SCIENTISTS PREDICT INJURED HORSES’ RETURN TO RACING
It’s now possible to predict whether a racehorse with a tendon injury will make a successful return to racing, say researchers. The team — a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Oakham Equine Hospital and the Hong Kong Jockey Club — have developed a scoring system for superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injuries. Researchers studied ultrasound changes in 469 racehorses when tendon injuries first occurred. This allowed the team to develop a scoring system to grade the severity of the injury and predict whether a horse will return to racing. “SDFT injuries have a significant impact — both economically and to the welfare of the horse,” says Dr Rafael Alzola, who authored the paper. “The scoring system means quicker decisions can be made about whether or not a horse should be rehabilitated for racing, choose a different career or be retired.” The system is already being used in veterinary practice, with vets able to download an app based on the scoring system.
A new scoring system can help predict if racehorses will make a successful return to the gallops