People: Kristien Verheyen
Racecourse injuries are of concern to horse welfare, cause economic losses and damage the public perception of racing. This project will establish the reasons for injury and death in British flat racing and identify risk factors for these injuries, using all available data from the period 2000 - 2013. Trends in injury rates over time will be evaluated. In addition, genetic contributions to racecourse injury occurrence will be investigated by measuring heritability of injury susceptibility and the correlation between performance and susceptibility to injury.
Results from the study can be used by policy makers to inform strategies aimed at reducing injury occurrence on British racecourses. Information on injury heritability and the association between predisposition to injury and performance can inform breeding practices to enhance performance whilst minimising injury risk. The research priority of the study is improved methods of identification, management and prevention of musculoskeletal disease and injury in racehorses.