Frequency of musculoskeletal injuries and risk factors associated with injuries incurred in Quarter Horses during races. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency and anatomic location of musculoskeletal injuries incurred by Quarter Horses during races and to compare data from injured horses and matched control horses. DESIGN: Matched case-control study. ANIMALS: 97 Quarter Horses that sustained a musculoskeletal injury during races and 291 horses from the same races that were not injured. PROCEDURE: Data examined included racing history, race-entrant characteristics, racing events determined by analysis of videotapes of races, and, when performed, results of prerace physical inspections. Data for injured horses were compared with data for control horses, using conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: Incidence of a catastrophic injury among Quarter Horses during races was approximately 0.8/1,000 race starts, whereas incidence of musculoskeletal injury during racing was approximately 2.2/1,000 race starts. Odds of musculoskeletal injury were approximately 8 times greater among horses assessed to be at increased risk of injury on the basis of results of prerace physical inspection than for horses not considered to be at increased risk of injury. Evidence was lacking that 2-year-old horses were at increased risk of injury or that sex influenced the risk of injury among Quarter Horses during races. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Incidence of racing injury among Quarter Horses appears to be lower than that observed among Thoroughbreds. Regulatory veterinarians can identify horses at increased risk of injury on the basis of prerace physical inspection, indicating that these inspections could be used to reduce the risk of injury during races.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cohen, N. D., Dresser, B. T., Peloso, J. G., Mundy, G. D., & Woods, A. M.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • September 1999