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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Physiological Parameters of Endurance Horses Pre- Compared to Post-Race, Correlated with Performance: A Two Race Study from Scandinavia

Larsson, J; Pilborg, P.H; Johansen, M.; Christophersen, M. T; Holte, A; Roepstorff, Lars; Olsen, L. H; Harrison, A. P


Few studies have investigated the physiological parameters of endurance horses in Scandinavia. Hence, this two race study has focused on the effects of endurance racing in terms of equine clinicopathological blood parameters, heart score, and fluid use. Race A involved 15 horses (120 km). Two pre- and one post-race blood samples were taken, body condition score was assessed in triplicate pre-race, and an ECG was used to determine heart score. Race B involved 16 horses (65–120 km). One pre- and two post-race blood samples were taken. For both races, horse data as well as fluid intake estimates and cooling water were noted. Race A showed that blood haematocrit, albumin, sodium, and triglycerides increased significantly with endurance racing, whilst chloride, glucose, iron, and potassium decreased significantly. In race B, blood creatinine, cholesterol, and inorganic phosphate continued to increase significantly during the first post-race sampling period compared to pre-race levels, whilst iron, which decreased significantly during the race, increased significantly over the two post-race sampling periods. It is concluded that whilst no correlation between heart score and speed was observed, a significant correlation exists between experience and changes in blood parameters with endurance racing and between fluid intake and average speed.

Published in

ISRN Veterinary Science
2013, article number: 684353

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    Other Veterinary Science

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