Comparison of the racing performance of Thoroughbreds with versus without osteochondral fragmentation of the accessory carpal bone identified on yearling sales repository radiographs

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Feb 15;254(4):501-507. doi: 10.2460/javma.254.4.501.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate 2- and 3-year-old and career race performance of Thoroughbred racehorse prospects with and without osteochondral fragmentation of the accessory carpal bone (ACB) identified on yearling presale radiographs. DESIGN Retrospective, matched cohort study. ANIMALS 47 nonlame Thoroughbreds with (exposed cohort) and 94 nonlame Thoroughbreds without (unexposed cohort) osteochondral fragmentation of ACB facture identified on yearling sales repository radiographs. PROCEDURES Repository radiographic interpretation reports for September yearling sales of a large Kentucky auction house from 2005 through 2012 were reviewed, and race records were collected and analyzed. Race performance was compared between horses with and without ACB fracture chosen from the same sale to identify associations between racing performance and ACB fracture. RESULTS No significant differences were identified between horses with or without ACB fracture in their incidence of starting a race as a 2- or 3-year-old and the number of races started, earnings, or earnings per start for 2- or 3-year-old or career race performance. There was no significant difference in performance between horses with or without concurrent carpal osteoarthritis, nor did performance differ between horses with ACB fracture alone and those with ACB fracture and other radiographic abnormalities found to be associated with poorer performance in previous studies. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE ACB fracture with or without carpal osteoarthritic changes identified on repository radiographs of Thoroughbred yearlings was not associated with poorer racing performance or lower likelihood of starting a race as a 2- or 3-year-old, compared with outcomes for unaffected horses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carpal Bones / injuries*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / veterinary*
  • Horse Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Horses
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / veterinary
  • Radiography / veterinary*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Running