New regulations requiring veterinarians and trainers to file and keep medical records on a horse in training may seem like a lot of extra paperwork, but regulatory veterinarians say it makes a big difference in their ability to keep horses safe. In a video conference held as part of this year’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, Drs. Dionne Benson, Ryan Carpenter, Scott Palmer and Will Farmer gathered to discuss the advantages and challenges to veterinary records reporting.
“For me, it’s real simple: I think the regulatory body in whatever state you’re working in should have access to everything you do,” said Carpenter, who was the only private practice racetrack veterinarian on the panel. “I think you have to be very accurate in how you report your information, and not only in the paper format that we turn into the CHRB but also in conversations that take place with the regulatory vets. I’ve found that’s the best way to establish a working relationship that puts the horses best interests [at the forefront].
Dozens of horses have died in Texas and the cause is still unclear. The horses lived in Wichita and surrounding counties. Wichita County Agricultural Extension Agent David Graf is investigating the deaths and thus far has found no definitive cause. Officials are still investigating and hope to gain a better understanding of what happened to the horses.
Graf suggested that kleingrass toxicity may be to blame; though kleingrass is a good grazing forage for livestock, it can damage the liver and cause death in horses, sheep and goats. Kleingrass was found in a bale of hay on a deceased horse’s farm. Two other horses were treated for liver failure. However, samples from other deceased horses showed low toxicity, meaning kleingrass may not be responsible for all of the deaths.
In coming weeks, officials from Texas A&M and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will inspect the fields where the horses had lived in hopes of finding more clues. The investigation is ongoing.
This week would begin the first 2-year-old races of 2020 in Kentucky, and is meant to mark the start of a partial phaseout of furosemide on race day. The Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is hoping to put a stop to that phaseout.
The horsemen’s group filed a civil suit in Franklin County Circuit Court May 15 seeking to remove racetracks’ legal ability to card Lasix-free races, as well as requests for an emergency and a permanent restraining order and a temporary injunction to stop Churchill Downs and Keeneland from running 2-year-old races without Lasix under house rules. The suit names the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Keeneland Association, and Churchill Downs Inc. as respondents.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order no. GA-23, issued this Monday, will allow for the reopening of the state’s simulcast racing on May 22. The order, relating to the expanded opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster, states that facilities may “operate at up to 25 percent of the total sited occupancy of the establishment.”
At 9 p.m. ET Monday, Lone Star Park has not made an official announcement regarding whether or not it is prepared to begin live racing on the 22nd, this coming Friday.
Executive Order No. GA-23, reads, in part:
“Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020, for all Texas counties except Deaf Smith, El Paso, Moore, Potter, and Randall counties:
D. Bowling alleys, bingo halls, simulcast racing to the extent authorized by state law, and skating rinks that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment; provided, however, that (i) bowling alleys must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating lanes; and (ii) components of the establishments that have video arcades must remain closed.
E. Rodeos and equestrian events that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy or, for outdoor areas, at up to 25 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the facility owner; provided, however, that this authorizes only the rodeo or equestrian event and not larger gatherings, such as county fairs, in which such an event may be held.”
Evangeline Downs, operated by Boyd Gaming, has not only postponed it’s 2020 Thoroughbred race meet until further notice, but a mass text sent to horsemen on Monday also cancelled morning training hours and ordered all horses and personnel off the backside by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
The Thoroughbred meet was scheduled to start on April 8.
Boyd Gaming has made several closures to gaming properties in the face of the international COVID-19 pandemic, but has yet to offer an official statement about the Evangeline decision.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Owned by Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin, sophomore No Parole is undefeated in three career starts against his fellow Louisiana-breds.
The son of Violence worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds Monday morning at the Fair Grounds, after which Moss posted on Twitter that No Parole would aim for Derby points in the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 14.
Trained by Tom Amoss, No Parole broke his maiden at the Fair Grounds on Dec. 15, defeating his rivals by 14 1/4 lengths. Next out, the colt won an allowance race by 13 1/4 lengths, and in his most recent start No Parole earned his first stakes victory in the LA Bred Premier Night Prince at Delta Downs.
Out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Plus One, No Parole was bred by Coteau Grove Farms. Moss purchased him for $75,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Fan favorite California Chrome may have suffered a bout of enteritis since his arrival to Arrow Stud in Japan, but one veterinarian familiar with the illness says there’s no reason to be concerned about his long-term health.
Enteritis is the inflammation of either the large or small intestine and often results in part of the intestine failing to move its contents along, which causes it to stretch out and become painful. In horses, enteritis presents as a classic colic, with symptoms of abdominal pain like elevated heart rate, lack of manure, and restlessness which could include a horse touching or kicking at its sides. Enteritis in the small intestine is most common in foals, while large intestinal enteritis is most common in adult horses.
Dr. Bryan Waldridge, veterinarian at Park Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., said typical presentations of enteritis will also have reflux of stomach contents through a nasogastric tube. Because the contents can’t keep moving through the intestine as normal, they’ll backfill into the stomach, which causes the horse discomfort. Ultrasound can also show a veterinarian where intestinal contents have backed up.
Court Vision produced the second highest win payout in Breeders’ Cup history
Not every offering at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale can be found at the end of a shank.
Friday’s closing session of the January auction will feature Hip 1671S, a lifetime breeding right to Breeders’ Cup Mile winner and veteran stallion Court Vision, who began his stud career in Ontario, relocated to Spendthrift Farm’s Kentucky base, then was moved to Acadiana Equine at Copper Crowne in Opelousas, La., for the 2017 breeding season. It’ll be the first time a stallion share, season, or breeding right has been offered at a Keeneland sale in nearly a decade.
Canadian horseman Sean Fitzhenry purchased the lifetime breeding right to Court Vision when the son of Gulch retired to Park Stud in Ontario in 2012, and he continued to support the stallion when he was moved to Kentucky in 2016. However, the breeding right had gone unused since Court Vision was sold to a group based in Louisiana and relocated to the state.
Sleep is vitally important to horses, but equines don’t require the eight consecutive hours many humans need to be healthy and rested. Instead, the average horse will spend just under three hours per day asleep; this sleep will be spaced out throughout the entire 24-hour time period. It’s rare for an adult horse to spend over 10 minutes asleep at any one time. This means that a horse sleeps between 15 and 21 times a day.
Horses can sleep standing up using a “stay apparatus” that effectively locks their legs in place using a group of ligaments, tendons and muscles. As horses are prey animals, using this mechanism allows the horse to move quickly if any predators are around. Generally, a horse that is resting on three legs is dozing and not actively asleep. When standing, horses tend to keep one or both eyes open, even while dozing. This also allows him to react quickly should a predator threaten.
Grazing horses and cattle together has long been suggested as a tool for helping control strongyle worms, but little research has been done to prove its efficacy. The majority of gastrointestinal parasites are host specific, meaning that the infective stages of equine worms ingested by cattle won’t develop into adults; the same is true for cattle worms ingested by horses.
In addition, horses and cattle graze differently; horses graze close to the ground and avoid areas where there is manure. Cattle can’t graze as close to the ground as horses and will graze areas that horses avoid.
A new study out of France used 44 breeding farms in two different regions of the country to test the benefits of grazing both species together. The farms raised both sport horses and pleasure horses; some were equine-only farms and others grazed cattle with their horses.
Researchers used surveys and interviews to determine stocking rate, the amount of pasture used for grazing and how much deworming products were used, as well as general pasture management. They found the following:
Few farmers understood that grazing horses and cattle together could be part of their deworming protocol
Many farms still rely on fenbendazole though resistance to the drug is well known
Young horses treated with moxidectin and grazed with cattle had 50 percent fewer stronglye eggs in their feces then their counterparts that were grazed in horse-only pastures
The study concluded that grazing horses with cattle is a promising alternative to controlling worms that is largely unused by horse farm owners.