Health and lameness of the racehorse were topics under the spotlight at OwnerView’s recent Thoroughbred Owner Conference session, held virtually as part of a series throughout the year.
A panel of veterinarians gave their input into lameness and disease, led off by Cornell University’s Dr Lisa Fortier, who gave a presentation on joint injections, their use, and potential alternatives.
Fortier noted that while steroids are potent and easily available, negatives associated with steroid joint injections include that steroids could show up in a post-race drug test and that steroid injections do not protect the joint from additional damage.
Fortier promoted the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in treating joint issues, noting that PRP has regenerative properties and “works better and longer” than steroids. However, she emphasized that PRP, a type of biologic, is not a miracle cure and that horses’ joints must be treated before they are severely damaged.
Dr Larry Bramlage, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky, described different conformation flaws that can affect a horse’s future soundness and efficiency.
He reviewed videos of young horses with various conformational defects and discussed how they could negatively affect the horse as an adult. He also highlighted that “good” conformation in foals and yearlings is different from what should be considered desirable in an adult horse due to how a horse’s structure changes as it grows.
While Bramlage noted that many conformation defects can be corrected surgically if necessary, others will be self-correct with natural growth.
“Most horses aren’t perfect, but most horses that are successful have reasonable conformation,” he said.
Dr Steve Reed, from Rood & Riddle, focused his presentation on neurologic issues in horses, including cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy and equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). He reviewed symptoms and treatment options for these diseases and stated the ideal characteristics of a hypothetical effective EHV-1 vaccine.
It was the third session of the virtual series hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and presented by Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine, and Stoll Keenon Ogden.
The panel on May 10 was sponsored by Mersant International LTD and OCD Pellets and moderated by Mike Penna of Horse Racing Radio Network.
The virtual owner conference will return on September 6 with a panel of Thoroughbred owners. Sessions are recorded for registrants to view later if they cannot watch live.
This year, OwnerView is also hosting an in-person conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, on July 25-26.
OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership. The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView website was launched in May 2012.