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Study Supports 2YO Racing For Ongoing Soundness
Horses campaigned as juveniles are at less risk of injury than their older counterparts, according to data presented during a Nick Mills' Memorial Lecture given by researcher Tim Parkin in the Old Library at Lloyd's of London, reports bloodhorse.com. Tim Parkin, who is professor of veterinary epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, gave his keynote address on predicting risk during racing and equestrian sports from a veterinary perspective, and spoke about how the sport is using readily available data to help prevent injuries in racehorses. Among his findings is that horses who have been campaigned as juveniles are less likely than their older counterparts to sustain career-ending injuries. Parkin, who has worked in his chosen field for more than 20 years, posited that the skeletal strength of horses raced at two helps prevent injuries at a later stage. Switching trainers also leads to a slight increase in the chances of a horse suffering a career-ending injury on their next start, with horses changing hands in the lower rungs of United States claiming races at significant risk. Approximately 10 in every 10,000 starts in Britain and Ireland result in a fatal injury. Taking drastic measures to affect change is not the solution, says Parkin, as racehorses will not suffer a fatal injury in 99.9% of all starts. Parkin's research data was sourced in collaboration with the U.S. Jockey Club, with the data set incorporating 180,000 horses and 4.5 million race starts, as well as six million sets of training data. The study backs up the findings in a similar study done by Sydney University in 2012 (The Association of age at first start with career length in the Australian Thoroughbred racehorse population by BD Velie, PK Knight, PC Thomson, CM Wade, and NA Hamilton).