Seasonal changes in serum progesterone levels in Thoroughbred racehorses in training

J Equine Sci. 2015;26(4):135-9. doi: 10.1294/jes.26.135. Epub 2016 Feb 3.


The objective of the present study was to verify the seasonal luteal activity of racehorses in training in Japan from March to August. We allocated 102 horses into a luteal activity group and non-luteal activity group. The luteal activity group included horses with serum progesterone levels that were consistently >1 ng/ml and changed by ± 1 ng/ml. In contrast, the progesterone levels of the non-luteal activity group were consistently <1 ng/ml. In late spring (from May 1 to June 30) and summer (from July 1 to August 31), the percentage of horses in the luteal activity group was significantly higher than in early spring (from March 1 to April 30, P<0.01). These findings demonstrate clear seasonal variations in ovarian activity. The present study also suggest that training for a race may not affect ovarian activity in female racehorses.

Keywords: progesterone; racehorse; seasonal change.