“No hoof, no horse” is an axiom all horsemen know well. If a horse has a hoof problem, it’s going to affect performance, no matter how fit and healthy the horse.
Despite the importance of a horse’s feet, sales companies do not list feet X-rays in their “required views” for the repository. Required views, as specified by “Keeneland Repository Digital Requirements for 2018 September Yearling Sale,” are 38 radiographs (horses of racing age) or 36 radiographs (all other horses) showing specific aspects of the knees, fetlocks, hocks, and stifle, taken within 21 days prior to the sale. The most common issue buyers look for in joint X-rays is a defect in the cartilage, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
In horses purchased to race, past trauma to the hoof such as a chip or a fracture may not make the horse lame at auction, but it could become an issue once the horse is in training. Broodmares with chronic hoof conditions could require costly special treatments to keep them comfortable, with the threat of the condition possibly worsening with each pregnancy, limiting their reproductive years.