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US Study Of Aust Horses Questions Medication Impact
The results of a study of the performance of Australian racehorses with North American bloodlines throws doubt on the perception that medication adversely affects the thoroughbred gene pool, reports bloodhorse.com. The study, commissioned by The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee and presented at its 61st Annual Round Table Conference in New York, utilised data from Racing Services of Australia on all runners foaled since 1995. Out of a database of nearly 147,500 runners, the study analysed the records of 14,502 horses that were divided into three ancestral groups over three generations. The groups were, a) horses whose ancestors raced exclusively in North America; b) horses with half their ancestors having raced in North America; and c) horses with no North American ancestry. The results showed that Australian racehorses with exclusively North American pedigrees had more starts, raced more frequently, and won at longer distances on average than the other two groups. Dr Hiram Polk Jr who oversaw the study commented, "The data shows three generations of North American horses have not been affected by an exposure to race-day medication. It also shows that these horses are capable of racing successfully without race-day medication."