Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Reduced Racing Performance

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • To rule out physical issues that may be causing the problem.

Speed is a combination of natural ability, fitness, training, riding and a variety of intangible factors. A horse must be functioning at its peak in all these areas in order to run at top speed. Reduced racing performance may be due to deficiencies or conditions involving any of these factors. In addition, environmental factors like track surfaces and conditions alter racing performance.

There is a fairly short list of common veterinary conditions on the race track and any of these might reduce racing performance. Conditions causing lameness, Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH), and other respiratory conditions that interfere with maximal respiratory function all commonly reduce racing performance.

Track veterinarians rule out and treat lameness, and assess other body systems to try to determine whether there is a physical reason for the poor performance.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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