The Thoroughbred Owners Conference 2022 held the third session of its virtual series on May 10 with a panel of veterinarians who presented health topics that commonly affect racehorses. The series is hosted by The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and is presented by the Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine and Stoll Keenon Ogden.
The Tuesday panel was sponsored by Mersant International LTD and OCD Pellets and moderated by Mike Pena of the Horse Racing Radio Network. The veterinarians present were Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rudd and Riddell Equine Hospital. Lisa Fortier, Cornell University; and Dr. Steve Reid, Rudd and Riddell Equine Hospital.
Fortier led the discussion with a presentation on common injections, their use, and potential alternatives. Fortier noted that while steroids are powerful and readily available, the negatives associated with steroid joint injections include that steroids can show up on drug testing after a race and that steroid injections do not protect the joint from further damage.
Fortier encouraged the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in treating joint problems, stating that PRP has regenerative properties and “works better and longer” than steroids. But she stressed that an injection of platelet-rich plasma, which is a biological type, is not a magic cure and horses’ joints must be treated before they become severely damaged.
In his presentation, Reed focused on neurological problems in horses, including cervical spinal myelopathy and encephalopathy caused by herpes virus, the neurological form of herpes virus 1 (EHV-1). Review symptoms and treatment options for these diseases and describe the ideal characteristics of an effective virtual vaccine, EHV-1.
Pramlaj described various conformation defects that could affect a horse’s safety and efficiency in the future. View videos of young horses with various formation defects and discuss how they can negatively affect the horse as an adult. He also highlighted that ‘good’ conformation in ponies and youngsters is different from what should be considered desirable in an adult horse because the structure of the horse changes as it grows.
While Bramlag noted that many conformation defects can be surgically corrected if necessary, others will be self-correcting with normal growth.
“Most horses are not perfect,” he said, “but most successful horses have reasonable shape.”
The Virtual Owner Conference will return on September 6 with a panel of thoroughbred owners. Six virtual boards are scheduled for 2022, and sessions are being taped for registrants to view at their convenience if they are unable to watch the live broadcast.
This year, OwnerView is also hosting an in-person conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, July 25-26. Registration information for both in-person and virtual conferences can be found at ownerview.com/event/conference.
OwnerView is a joint effort led by The Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Owners and Breed Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as coaches, public racing unions, the process of buying and owning a Thoroughbred, racing horse retirement, and owner licensing.
The need for a central resource to encourage authentic ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView website was launched in May 2012.