Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 684353, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/684353
Research Article

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

1Department of Animal & Veterinary Basic Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
2Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, 2630 Taastrup, Denmark
3Department of Equine Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), P.O. Box 7070, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
4Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
5Department of Animal & Veterinary Basic Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen University, Gronnegaardsvej 7, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

Received 24 June 2013; Accepted 3 August 2013

Academic Editors: D. Barnard, B. China, and J. Foreman

Copyright © 2013 J. Larsson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.