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Abstract and Figures

While Quarter Horses are recognised as the fastest breed of horse, direct comparisons to race times with other breeds can be misleading. Quarter Horse races begin when the starting gates open. Thoroughbred and Arabian races begin a short distance from the gates after horses have started running. This study compared speeds of these breeds as they accelerate from the starting gates and during the middle and end of races. To compare racing speeds of the 3 breeds, and to compare speeds during various segments of the races. Video tapes of races were obtained from a local track. The various race segments were viewed and the winning horse timed by 5 individuals. Fastest and slowest times were removed and the 3 remaining times averaged. Quarter Horses averaged faster speeds than Thoroughbreds even when Thoroughbreds were raced at a distance (402 m) similar to Quarter Horse races. Both breeds were substantially faster than Arabians. Quarter Horses racing 336 m or less gained speed in each segment of the race while Arabians and Thoroughbreds racing 1006 m ran fastest during the middle of the race and had decreased their speed in the final segment of the race. Despite similar race times reported for 402 m, Quarter Horses averaged faster speeds than Thoroughbreds when timed from a standing start. In short races, both breeds accelerate throughout the race. Arabians, despite being known for endurance, had slowed by the end of the race. This study demonstrates that Quarter Horses achieve faster racing speeds than do other breeds. It also reveals a potential flaw in race-riding strategy as a more consistent pace throughout the Arabian and longer Thoroughbred races may be more efficient and result in a faster overall race time.
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128
EQUINE EXERCISE
PHYSIOLOGY
7
Equine
r~.
J.,
Suppl.
36
(2006)
128-132
Racing speeds
of
Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and
Arabians
B.
D. NIELSEN’,
K.
K.
TURNER,
B.
A.
VENTURA,
A.
D. WOODWARD
and
C.
1.
O’CONNOR
Michigan State University, 1287 Anthony Hall, East Lansing, Michigan 48824,
USA.
Keywords:
horse; Quarter Horse; Thoroughbred; Arabian;
race;
speed
S
u m m a
r
y
Reasons
for
performing
study:
While Quarter Horses are
recognised as the fastest breed of horse, direct comparisons
to race times with other breeds can be misleading. Quarter
Horse races begin when the starting gates open.
Thoroughbred and Arabian races begin a short distance
from the gates after horses have started running. This study
compared speeds of these breeds as they accelerate from the
starting gates and during the middle and end of races.
Objectives:
To compare racing speeds of the
3
breeds, and to
compare speeds during various segments of the races.
Methods:
Video tapes of races were obtained from a local
track. The various race segments were viewed and the
winning horse timed by
5
individuals. Fastest and slowest
times were removed and the
3
remaining times averaged.
Results:
Quarter Horses averaged faster speeds than
Thoroughbreds even when Thoroughbreds were raced at a
distance
(402
m) similar to Quarter Horse races. Both breeds
were substantially faster than Arabians. Quarter Horses
racing
336
m or less gained speed in each segment
of
the race
while Arabians and Thoroughbreds racing
1006
m ran
fastest during the middle of the race and had decreased their
speed in the final segment of the race.
Conclusions:
Despite similar race times reported for
402
m,
Quarter Horses averaged faster speeds than Thoroughbreds
when timed from a standing start. In short races, both breeds
accelerate throughout the race. Arabians, despite being
known for endurance, had slowed by the end of the race.
Potential relevance:
This study demonstrates that Quarter
Horses achieve faster racing speeds than do other breeds. It
also reveals a potential flaw in race-riding strategy as a more
consistent pace throughout the Arabian and longer
Thoroughbred races may be more efficient and result in a
faster overall race time.
Introduction
The general public tends to view Thoroughbreds as the fastest
racehorse,
a
view reinforced by the disproportionate amount
of
televised Thoroughbred racing
as
compared to other breeds.
However, the American Quarter Horse is generally recognised by
horsemen as the fastest breed. The name of this breed reflects its
reputation as the fastest horse at a quarter
of
a mile (402 m). The
speed and acceleration of
a
Quarter Horse is fast enough that
jockeys who have only ridden Thoroughbreds have been left in the
starting gates as their Quarter Horse mounts rapidly accelerate
when the races start, therefore providing evidence of the Quarter
Horse’s quickness. In contrast, the Arabian’s prowess
is
as an
endurance athlete (Hoffman
et
ul.
2002)
and is better suited for
racing longer distances. Due to time constraints at horse racing
tracks and interests
of
the betting public, parimutuel Arabian races
are usually contested at similar distances to Thoroughbreds,
despite being substantially slower.
Even though many horsemen recognise the differences in
speed between these various breeds, confusion occurs when
racing times are compared. The current world record for 402 m
by a Quarter Horse is 20.686 sec (Anon 2005a). By contrast, the
world record for Thoroughbreds racing
402
m
is
20.8 sec (Anon
2005b). This relative lack of difference appears to be in
disagreement with the belief that the Quarter Horse
is
the fastest
breed of horse at that distance. However, a major difference in the
method used to time Quarter Horse races as compared to
Thoroughbred and Arabian races renders the comparison faulty.
While Quarter Horse races are timed from the moment the
starting gates open, time in Thoroughbred and Arabian races
begins when the horses cross in front of a flagman stationed a
short distance in front of the gates. When the flagman drops the
flag, the race begins (Ainslie 1986).
As
a
result, Quarter Horse
races begin from a standing start while Thoroughbred and
Arabian races begin when horses are already running. Using
a
high-speed camera, Pratt
(199
1)
determined that the interval from
when the starting gates began to open until they were fully open
was 0.35 sec. After the gate was wide open, it took another 0.23
sec for the first foreleg to come down in the first jump out of the
starting gates. Therefore, nearly
0.6
sec elapse from the time the
race begins until a Quarter Horse has taken a step away from the
gates. This difference in timing techniques explains why racing
Quarter Horses are deemed faster by those that ride them but are
not substantially faster according to record times.
While recorded times for Arabians are slower than
Thoroughbreds, the opportunity to compare this breed to the
2 faster breeds may show differences in racing patterns. In work
conducted by Pratt
(1991),
the fastest speed reached by a Quarter
Horse during a 402 m race occurs when the horses have raced
about 230 m
-
after that, speed declines. Rarely in Thoroughbred
races are speeds at the end of
a
race greater than during the
beginning or middle (Ainslie 1986). Considering the Arabian
breed’s reputation for endurance, one might expect this breed to be
better able to sustain its speed throughout a race.
The first hypothesis of this study is that Quarter Horses
achieve faster speeds than do Thoroughbreds and that Arabians
‘Author
to
whom correspondence should be addressed.
B.
D.
Nielsen
et
al.
129
have the slowest maximal speed of all the 3 breeds. A second
hypothesis is that Arabians are better able to sustain their maximal
speed than are Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.
Materials and methods
Selection
of
races
Results from all races conducted during the 2005 race meet at
Mount Pleasant Meadows (Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA) were
obtained weekly from Equibase
(http://www.equibase.com).
This
represented 36 days of racing and provided the unique opportunity
to compare racing times of Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and
Arabians
-
all racing on the same track on the same days. Races at
the distances of 302, 366 and 402
m
were chosen for further
review for Quarter Horses, 402 and 1006 m for Thoroughbreds,
and 1006 and 1207 m for Arabians. The five fastest races at each
of these distances within a breed (except for 402 m for Quarter
Horses) were determined and video-tapes of those races obtained
from Mount Pleasant Meadows. These distances were selected in
an attempt to compare speeds between breeds when raced at
similar distances. In addition, more than one distance for each
breed was chosen to allow for comparisons of speeds at various
distances within a breed. The minimum distance of 302 m was
chosen for Quarter Horses
so
that segments of the races to be timed
would not overlap while still allowing race segments to be roughly
100 m. It was felt segments shorter than that would amplify the
error associated with inaccuracies in timing. Only
2
Quarter Horse
races were run at 402
m,
therefore necessitating the inclusion of
the distance of 366 m to allow sufficient numbers
of
a similar
distance for adequate statistical analyses. Preferably, a distance
longer than 1207 m would have been available for Arabians.
However, only one longer race
(1980
m) was run during the meet.
Race track
dimensions
Mount Pleasant Meadows track design consists of an
805
m oval
with a chute on the grandstand side stretching for 402 m to the
finish line (Fig 1). For Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred races of
402 m, the entire race was conducted in a straight line starting in
the chute and finishing in front
of
the grandstand. For the 1006 m
Thoroughbred races and for all of the Arabian races, the races
started in the chute, continued around the oval and finished in
front of the grandstand.
Timing
All of the selected races were watched and timed by the same
5
individuals. Each individual used a stopwatch capable of
measuring to one-hundredth of a second. To obtain an estimate of
the accuracy of timing, each race was hand-timed by stopwatch to
be compared to the official time of the race as reported by
Equibase. After the entire race was timed, individual segments
from the beginning, middle and end of each race were timed.
Timing of the beginning segments began when the horses left the
starting gates and ended when horses passed by the pole
representing a distance closest to 100 m from the start of the race.
Due to flagging of the start in some Thoroughbred and Arabian
races, the actual distance of the initial segment varied and was
taken into account when calculating average speed of the initial
race segment. For the ,302 m Quarter Horse race, the middle
segment was timed between the poles at the
201
and 101 m. For
the Quarter Horse races at 366 m, and the Quarter Horse and
Thoroughbred races of 402 m, the middle segment was timed
between the poles set 274 and
201
m from the finish line. For the
Fig
1:
Overhead view
of
Mount Pleasant Meadows with starting points
of
various race distances
(-),
the finish line
(0)
and placement
of
cameras
used
to
film the races
(0).
Thoroughbred races at
1006
m and for all of the Arabian races, the
middle segment was timed between poles set at SO3 and 402 m
from the finish line on the backside of the oval. For all races, the
end segment was timed from the pole set at the 101 m mark to the
finish line.
From the
5
times for the entire race and for each of the race
segments, the slowest and fastest times were thrown out and the
3 remaining times averaged. The average time for each race
segment was divided by the distance of each segment to determine
the average speed during that segment of the race.
Statistical analyses
Linear regression was applied to the average hand-times of the
entire races compared to the official race times as obtained from
Equibase and the correlation between the two was determined.
Analysis of variance was performed using SuperANOVA' to
determine differences in overall speed between breeds, at each
segment between breeds, within a breed at each distance, and
within a breed at each segment.
Post hoc
analysis using Fisher's
Protected LSD was used for mean separation. Differences were
considered significant at P<O.OS.
I30
Racing
speed\
of
Quarter
Horses,
Thoroughbreds
and Arabians
TABLE
1:
Mean speeds
*
s.e. (kmlh) of the beginning, middle and final
segments of Quarter Horse
(QH),
Thoroughbred (TB) and Arabian (AR)
races
Breed Overall Race segment
BeginningA MiddleB FinalB
QH
70.7f4.0a 39.1 *1.4x 81.5+2Say 91.5+1.8aZ
TB
58.0f3.5b 36.8i0.8' 68.0i3.5by 69.1 f5.3by
AR
44.7
f
1.5c 34.9
f
1.2' 52.4
*
O.gCy 46.8
f
0.8cY
abc
Means within a column not sharing a similar superscript differ
(Ps0.05).
xYz
Means within a row of race segment not sharing a similar superscript differ
(P50.05).
AB Overall race segments not sharing the same superscript differ
(P<0.05).
TABLE
2:
Mean speeds
*
s.e. (kdh) of the beginning, middle and final
segments
of
Quarter Horse
(QH),
Thoroughbred (TB) and Arabian (AR)
races at various distances
Breed Distance (m) Race segment
BeginningA MiddleB FinalC
QH
302 42.8
i
2.ZX
77.5
f
3.gby 92.6
f
3.5*
QH
366 36.7
f
0.gx 81.2
i
2.4by 91.3
f
2.62
QH
402 35.9
f
4.P 92.4
i
7.Zay 89.3
f
0.3y
BeginningA MiddleB FinalB
TB"
402 36.1
f
1
.LTX
76.4
f
4.6ay 83.9
f
4.1ay
TB
1006 37.5
+
0.5' 59.6
f
OBbZ
54.2
f
0.7by
BeginningA MiddleC FinalB
AR"
1006 37.3
f
1
.Oax
54.6
f
0.7az 46.1
i
0.W
AR
1207 32.6
f
1 .7bx 50.3
f
0Bby
47.5
i
1.4Y
abc Means within a column
not
sharing a similar superscript differ
(PS0.05).
xYz
Means within a row
of
race segment not sharing a similar superscript differ
(PS0.05). Overall race segments not sharing the same superscript differ
(P<0.05).
**
Shorter distance within a breed is significantly faster than the
longer distance
(P<O.OOI).
Results
There was strong correlation between official race times and race
times clocked via a stopwatch (r2
=
0.999). When all distances and
segments of races were combined, Quarter Horses were faster than
Thoroughbreds, and Thoroughbreds were faster than Arabians
(Table
I;
P<O.OOOl).
No
difference in speed during the beginning
segment of the races was seen between breeds, but Quarter Horses
were faster than Thoroughbreds
(P50.0002)
and Thoroughbreds
were faster than Arabians
(P<O.OOOI)
during the middle and final
segments of the races. The average speed of the beginning
segment for
all
breeds over all distances was slower than the speed
during the middle and final segments. Only with Quarter Horses
was speed increased in the final segment as compared to the
middle segment
(P<O.OOOI).
No
differences were seen in the overall average speed of
all
segments for the
3
Quarter Horse race distances (Table
2)
though
the speed in the middle segment was faster at 402 m when
compared to the other
2
distances. The speed of the final segment
had increased over the middle segment for the
2
shorter distances
but was unchanged at 402 m. Average speeds in 402 m
Thoroughbred races were faster than in
1006
m Thoroughbred races
(P<O.OOOl),
with the beginning segment slower than middle and
final segments
(P<O.OOOI).
At
1006
m, the middle segment was the
fastest
(P<O.OOOl).
Arabian races at
1006
m were faster than
Arabian races at 1207 m
(P
=
0.01).
As with the other breeds, the
TABLE
3:
Comparisons between breeds of mean speeds
f
s.e.
(km/h) at
similar distances in the beginning, middle and final segments of races
Breed Distance
(m)
Race segment
~
BeginningA MiddleB FinalC
OH'
3661402 36.4
f
1.1 84.4
f
2.4Y 90.7
f
1.9Y
TB
402 36.1
f
1.5~ 76.4
f
4.6Y 83.9
f
4.1y
BeginningA MiddleC FinalB
TB*'
1,006 37.5
f
0.5x 59.6
f
0.8az
54.2
f
0.7ay
AR
1,006 37.3
f
1
.Ox
54.6
i
0.7bZ 46.1
i
0Bby
abc Means within a column not sharing a similar superscript differ
(P<0.05).
'YZ
Means within a row
of
race segment not sharing a similar superscript
differ
(P<0.05).
Overall race segments not sharing the same superscript
differ
(P<0.05).
*
Quarter Horse faster than Thoroughbred
(P<0.05).
**
Thoroughbred faster than Arabian
(P<O.OOl).
beginning segment of the Arabian races was the slowest
(P<O.OOOl).
With the race distances combined, the middle segment
was the fastest with the speed decreasing
(P<O.OOOl)
by the end of
the races. Individually, this decrease was only significant at 1006 m
(P<0.0001)
though there was
a
trend for a decrease in speed from
the middle to final segments at 1207 m
(P<O.
1).
As
there were no differences in speeds of Quarter Horses in
races of 366 and 402 m, the data was pooled for comparison to
Thoroughbred speeds at 402 m (Table 3). The overall average
speed of segments from Quarter Horse races was faster than the
Thoroughbred races
(P
=
0.037) with the overall average speed for
all horses racing this distance increasing during each segment.
Individually, there was only
a
trend
(P<O.l)
for both breeds to
increase speed from the middle
to
the final segment. At 1006 m,
the overall average speed
of
segments from Thoroughbred races
was faster than that of Arabian races
(P<O.OOOl).
In contrast to
shorter races, the middle segment at for
all
horses racing 1006 m
was the fastest
(P<O.OOO
1
),
while the beginning segment remained
the slowest
(P<0.0001).
Discussion
The strong correlation between official race times and times
determined via stop-watch is expected. At the shortest distances
clocked (302 m), the fastest official time was 16.900 sec.
A
95%
accuracy in timing would allow the hand-time to be off by as
much
as
0.845 sec. Being that inaccurate is unlikely given that
5
individuals performed the timing and the highest and lowest
values were excluded. At the far extreme is the longest race timed
-
a 1207 m Arabian race that took 87.0 sec.
A
5%
error would be
4.35 sec, which is extremely unlikely. This strong correlation also
provides some support that this method of determining racing
speeds has some validity.
Some limitations do exist with this method. To begin with, the
segments being clocked are much shorter than the entire races. For
the shortest Quarter Horse races, each segment would consist of
roughly one third
of
the time (different speeds during each segment
accounting for the differences). Thus, the degree to which
inaccuracies in timing alter the calculated speed is amplified.
Additionally, while it is easy to see when the starting gates open, a
flag is dropped, or when a horse crosses the finish line (all
necessary in determining the time of
a
race), determining when a
horse passes a pole to start or end a race segment is much more
difficult, especially when the cameras used to film the races
are
at
an angle or head-on. The greatest discrepancy between the actual
time to cover a segment of the race and the times established
through hand-timing should occur in the beginning segment of the
B.
D.
Nielsen
et
al.
131
366,402 and 1207 m races. Those races are started furthest from
the cameras which results in the greatest angle of vision when
horses finish that segment. The average variation amongst all five
times for the beginning segments of all races at those distances was
12.7%, which, while not great, reflects some inaccuracy in the
methodology. As a result, though these values are useful in
comparing various breeds and also various segments of races, they
are somewhat limited in their ability to accurately determine
speeds. Therefore, the speeds calculated should be viewed in
relative terms to each other and not as absolutes. A more accurate
way to determine speeds would be to be present on race days and
have individuals posted at the various segments around the track.
This would require being available on every race day, extensive
man-power and a need to have a complete set of timers for every
horse in a race. Furthermore, the racing stewards had concerns that
having individuals stationed around the track might distract horses
and interfere with race results. For these reasons, the procedures
used in this study were implemented despite known limitations.
That being said, this study supported the hypothesis that
Quarter Horses are faster than Thoroughbreds and that
Thoroughbreds are faster than Arabians at typical racing distances
at the track studied. When comparing submaximal effort,
Cikrytova
et
al.
(1991) reported velocity at a heartrate of
170 beats/min to be 10.35 dsec in Thoroughbreds while only
8.15 dsec in Arabians. The difference in speed is supported by
research that reported Arabian horses have a higher proportion of
types
I
and
IZa
muscle fibres as compared to Thoroughbreds that
have a greater proportion type
IIx
(Lopez-River0 and Letelier
2000). While environmental factors such as training likely have
some influence
on
these differences, genetic differences between
breeds play an important role. Cunningham (1991) concluded that
35% of variability in athletic performance in Thoroughbreds is
due to hereditary factors. Likewise, the heritability of speed in
Quarter Horses has been estimated to be 24% (Willham and
Wilson 1991) and the heritability of racing times for Arabians
racing 1200 m has been estimated to be 27.8%
(Ekiz
et
al.
2005).
Not surprisingly, this study also showed that the initial race
segment was the slowest. However, the failure to detect
differences in speeds during the initial segments is surprising.
Race riders of the 3 breeds attest to differences in acceleration
away from the starting gates. Possible reasons for this failure
to
detect breed differences include the exact end of the beginning
segment being difficult
to
detect. The segment occurs in the chute
and the camera is at a greater angle to the end of that segment than
any other
-
adding a greater degree of uncertainty as to when to
stop timing the beginning segment. Additionally, Quarter Horse
races begin when the starting gates open while Thoroughbred and
Arabian races typically include an additional distance to run after
leaving the starting gates before the race officially begins. This
additional distance was factored into the measurements and
timing. While it was taken into consideration, it did afford roughly
an additional 10 m to be included into the beginning segment of
those races to determine the average speed. As a result, Quarter
Horses typically had a
100
m section from which to determine the
average speed, whereas roughly a
110
m section was used in races
where a flagman signaled the race start. Therefore, a longer period
for acceleration was allowed, thereby increasing the average speed
of that section. This was a recognised limitation in calculating
speed during the beginning segments of the races. However, given
that the poles
on
the racetrack were the markers available for
timing, it could not be reasonably altered.
The dramatic increase in speed during the middle segment of
the 302 m Quarter Horse races, and also in the 366 m races,
suggest that the horses had not reached their peak speeds during
those segments. Pratt
(1991)
calculated that peak speeds in horses
racing 402 m occurred at about 230 m and that the horses had
slowed by the end of the race. All, or most, of the middle segment
in the 302 and 366 m races had been completed before the horses
would have reached peak speeds. While Pratt (1991) only
evaluated 2 animals, our work supports similar conclusions that
Quarter Horses
are
still accelerating during the middle part of
races of 366 m or less.
While Thoroughbreds racing 402 m showed a trend for
increased speed from the middle
to
final segments (P
=
0.055),
Thoroughbreds racing 1006 m had decreased speed between those
2 segments. As would be expected, Thoroughbreds racing a
shorter distance had faster average speeds than those racing the
longer distance. The same was true with Arabians having faster
speeds when racing 1006 m as compared to 1207 m. Similar to
Thoroughbreds, the Arabians had slowed down from the middle to
the final segments at 1006 m and had a trend for slowing down
between these segments at 1207 m (P<O.l). This failure to
maintain a constant speed during the duration of the race refuted
the hypothesis that Arabians in this project would be able to
maintain their speed. While known for their endurance, these
Arabians raced at distances that arguably
are
sprints and
are
not
capitalizing on the Arabian breed’s natural endurance. This failure
to maintain speed also suggests that the races were not being
ridden in a manner to ensure maximum performance. Most human
distance world records set in the last decade have been set in
‘almost metronome-like pacing’ (Cooper 2005). Assuming the
same principle applies to horse racing, a more consistent pace
likely would allow for a faster finishing time. Interestingly, it was
noted that frequently the horses that won these longer races often
lead the race from start to finish. This does not negate that
changing racing techniques allowing slower fractions during the
middle of the race should allow faster fractions at the end of the
race and potentially a better overall performance. However, riders
are hesitant to get too far behind in a Thoroughbred
or
Arabian
race even though
it
might improve their horses’ performance.
While there were differences in speed with Quarter Horses
being the fastest and Arabians being the slowest, these results
were expected. Shorter races involve maximum acceleration
without concern for pace. In longer races, pacing the horse to
allow sustained speed is advisable. A fairer assessment of speed is
to compare breeds at a similar distance. While it would have been
ideal to have sufficient numbers of Quarter Horse races at 402 m
to adequately compare to Thoroughbreds at the same distance,
since only 2 Quarter Horse races were run at this distance, it was
deemed necessary to also time races at 366 m which represented
the distance closest to 402 m that is run in Quarter Horse meets.
Since the overall speeds of those 2 distances did not differ, it
seemed reasonable to pool the data. Upon doing
so,
the
comparison demonstrates that Quarter Horses were faster than
Thoroughbreds when raced at similar distances. Similar
comparisons between Thoroughbreds and Arabians also
confirmed that Thoroughbreds are faster than Arabians when
raced at a distance of 1006 m. While comparisons of speeds
between Thoroughbreds and Arabians have been made previously
with Thoroughbreds being faster when running at
V02max
(Prince
et
al.
2002), to the authors’ knowledge, no comparison of speeds
between Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds competing at a
similar racing distance has been made.
Acknowledgements
Special thanks go to Bob Evans, Racing Secretary at Mount
Pleasant Meadows, for his assistance with this project.
Additionally, we wish to thank the track starter, Bob Williams, for
his guidance in conducting this work.
132
Racing
\peed5
of
Quarter
Horse,.
Thoroughbred5 and Arabian,
Manufacturer's address
'SuperANOVA
vI
.I
1.
Abacus Concept\.
Inc
,
Berkeley. California. USA.
References
Ainslie. T.
(
lY86J
Ains/ie'\ Complete Guide to Thomirghhrcd Racing,
3rd edn..
Simon
&
Schuater,
New York.
Anon
(2005aJ
World
Record.,.
AQHA Available:
http://www.aqha.comlracing/
latest/w~irldrecorda.html. Accessed
Oct.
27,
2005.
Anon
(200Sh)
Thoroughbred Champions. World Records http://thoroughhred
champions.com/library/worldrec.htm.
Accessed
Oct.
27.
2005.
Cikrytova,
E.,
Ko\telecka, B., Kobar,
J..
Horak,
R. and Hanak,
J.
(
IYY
I
I
Standardized
exercise test
on
a
track to
evaluate
exercise capacity in ditlerent breeds
of
horses.
In:
Equine E.crrcise PhysioloKv
3.
Eds: S.G.B. Perssiin. A. Lindholm and L.B.
Jelfcott,
ICEEP Publications. Davi\.
pp
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... It is important to note that many strides were taken at the beginning of QH races as the horses accelerated. As higher speeds were reached, the stride frequency tended to decrease as SL increased as has previously been described by Nielsen et al. (2006). In that study, the speed was lower in the beginning of QH races than in the middle and final parts of QH races-contributing to the explanation as to why the average speed of QH was slower at shorter distances (100.6 m) than at the longer distances (402.3 m). ...
... Although it is recognized that QH are faster than TB (Pratt, 1991;Nielsen et al., 2006), the results obtained from the calculations used in this study to determine average speed (distance divided by time) appear to lack support for thisproviding temptation to conclude the QH and TB race at similar speeds. Likewise, if one compares the world speed records at the same distance (402 m), they appear somewhat similar. ...
... In reality, while accurate, calculating the speed using the time of the race and distance fails to take into consideration that QH races are timed from when the starting gates begin to open and the horse is standing still while TB races are timed after horses have already started running (Nielsen, 2014) and have traversed the "run-up" which is highly variable (Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, 2020). Although TB tend to be relatively constant in their speed throughout a race and the peak speed reached often is somewhat similar to their average speed, this is not true for QH (Nielsen et al., 2006). The average speed for a QH takes into account the period in which they are standing still and have not yet begun running. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main factors influencing speed in athletes are stride length (SL) and stride rate (SR). However, conflict remains whether SL or SR is the key determinant of higher speeds. Quarter Horses (QH) generally reach higher speeds in their races than do Thoroughbreds (TB). However, the influence of SL and SR on this greater speed is unclear. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to compare SL and SR in QH and TB raced in short (sprint) and long (classic) distances. We hypothesized that QH have a higher SR in comparison to TB, and SR decreases as distance increases. Two race distances were analyzed for each breed: QH races of 100.6 and 402.3 m, and TB races of 1,207.0 m and 2,011.7 m. Data from twenty horses were obtained, consisting of five horses from each race distance (10 QH and 10 TB). Five individuals watched recordings of each race three times counting the number of strides taken by each winning horse. The SR was calculated using the average number of strides over a given race duration, and SL was determined by calculating the total number of strides over the distance covered. Speed was calculated by dividing the distance by the time of the winning horse. The PROC Mixed Procedure was used to identify statistical differences between breeds, and between distances within the same breed. Results showed that although the SL of the TB was longer in comparison with the QH (P < 0.001), the average SR in QH was higher than in TB (2.88 vs 2.34 + 0.03 strides/s; P < 0.001). Further, QH classic distance demonstrated a faster speed than TB at either distance (P < 0.001). In conclusion, QH achieve a higher SR in comparison to TB (between 14-20% more than TB), confirming the importance of SR in achieving high racing speeds.
... An IceQube sensor weighs about 190 g [53]. With racing Quarter Horses (one of which was a research animal on farm A) being shown to take up to three strides per second in short races and capable of reaching peak speeds in the range of 90 km/hr, the potential downward force of that weight attached loosely above the fetlock could be enough to cause irritation not seen in other studies [54,55]. ...
Article
Keeping horses outdoors on pasture full-time with free access to shelter holds numerous advantages over housing in stalls, promoting both better mental and physical health. One reason for these benefits is the potential for increased physical activity in horses outdoors on pasture versus those confined to stalls. However, it is not guaranteed the horse will take advantage of this opportunity for greater movement. For this reason, it is important to understand the various reasons why horse activity patterns change. The objective of this study was to investigate how various weather factors - including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind speed - directly affect equine movement. To achieve this, horses on two similarly-managed farms were equipped with triaxial accelerometers during five independent time periods from January to August. These devices tracked number of steps, standing time, time lying down, and number of lying bouts. The movement data were then compared to the corresponding weather conditions. No strong correlations were found between the recorded movement of the horses and any of the environmental conditions. However, differences in average number of steps and average time lying down were observed between farms and across testing periods, suggesting other influences such as ground conditions and the use of blankets. Further studies are needed to determine the best management practices to encourage pasture activity and support optimal equine physical health.
... Besarnya perbedaan tersebut adalah sebesar 13,00 % lebih tinggi sapi karapan K1 dibandingkan dengan K2. Ini berarti dalam jarak yang sama yaitu 222 m atau middle segment (Nielsen et al., 2006) sapi karapan K1 lebih pendek waktu tempuhnya dan lebih cepat larinya dibandingkan dengan sapi karapan K2. Sapi karapan K1 dalam 10 hari melakukan exersice 5 kali sedangkan K2 hanya 3 kali. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tujuan penelitian ini adalah untuk mengetahui perbedaan terhadap waktu tempuh serta kecepatan lari dengan perbedaan exercise dan pemeliharaan pada sapi karapan di desa Bulangan Branta Kecamatan Pegantenan Kabupaten Pamekasan. Metode yang digunakan adalah metode studi kasus dengan pengambilan sampel purposive sampling dengan kriteria sapi Madura jantan tipe karapan dengan umur 2-3 tahun. Materi penelitian terdiri dari dua kelompok perlakuan yaitu kelompok satu (K1) dengan exercise (frekuensi) dan pemeliharaan (memandikan, penjemuran, pemijatan dan pemberian jamu) yang berbeda dengan kelompok dua (K2), dengan total sapi 20 ekor. Variabel yang diamati adalah waktu tempuh dan kecepatan lari yang dihitung berdarkan jarak tempuh yang sama yaitu 222 m. Analisis data yang digunakan ialah independent t test menggunakan Ms. Excel. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa rataan waktu tempuh sapi karapan K1 adalah 18,4 detik dan sapi karapan K2 adalah 20,8 detik. Rataan nilai kecepatan lari sapi karapan K1 ialah 12,03 m/detik dan sapi karapan K2 ialah 10,69 m/detik. Dari hasil penelitian tersebut dapat disimpulkan bahwa rataan nilai waktu tempuh dan kecepatan lari sapi sangat berbeda nyata antara sapi karapan K1 (exercise) terhadap sapi karapan K2 (maintanance).
... Quarter Horses (QH) are the fastest horses in the world in short-distance races (Nielsen et al., 2006) and the most versatile (Petersen et al., 2014). In addition, this breed represents the largest population of registered horses in Brazil (514,316 animals) (ABQM, 2019) and in the world (2,906,070 animals) (AQHA, 2015). ...
Article
The aims of this study were to evaluate the genetic diversity of the racing line Quarter Horse breed in Brazil and to provide data on the most influential ancestors by pedigree analysis. All horses that had participated in sprint races in Brazil between 1978 and 2016 were evaluated. There were 5,861 athletes horses (2,474 males and 3,387 females) born between 1971 and 2014. These animals were referred to as the racing population (Pr), which was divided into three subpopulations to evaluate three complete decades (84.5% of Pr). These subpopulations consisted of 1,712, 1,604 and 1,461 animals born in the 1980s (sP80), 1990s (sP90) and 2000s (sP00), respectively. The quality of the pedigree was assessed based on the number of complete equivalent generation traced. There were 5.4 (Pr), 4.7 (sP80), 5.7 (sP90) and 6.3 (sP00) generations, which permitted accuracy of the conclusions reported. The generation intervals were long, with 13.2 (sire-son/daughter) and 10.6 (dams-son/daughter) years (Pr). The coefficients of inbreeding and average relatedness were 0.95% and 1.84% for Pr and 1.60% and 2.56% for sP00, respectively. In Pr and sP00, the effective population size (Ne) based on ΔFi was 215 and 144, respectively, with 68 and 41 animals per generation. The probability of gene origin given by the effective number of founders (fe), ancestors (fa) and founder genome equivalents (fge) was 192, 61 and 34, respectively, for Pr, with considerable losses of genetic diversity over the last decades evaluated. The number of ancestors (founders or not) that explained the total genetic diversity was 1,587. This number is considered high; however, only 32 and 9 ancestors explained 50% of the genetic diversity of Pr and sP00, respectively. The 10 most influential ancestors of sP00 explained 52.2% of the total genetic diversity. The loss of genetic diversity and concentration in a reduced number of breeding animals indicate failures in the breeding and conservation programs of the racing line. Mating designs in conjunction with the selection of breeding animals should be promoted and goals should be defined for racing line of the Quarter Horse breed in Brazil.
... The key predictors of a successful ultra-marathon finish are age (30-50 years for men and 30-55 years for women) and specific aspects of anthropometry including low body fat and low body mass index (BMI) [5]. Equine endurance sports also require special anatomical and physiological predispositions, and these criteria are fulfilled by Arabian horses [6,7]. Due to certain limitations in the studies on the effects of ultra-endurance exercise, especially at the beginning of training, endurance horses, particularly those that have not previously been involved in any performance activity, may be considered a good model for human athletes, at least in some aspects, including the adaptation of the immune system. ...
Article
Full-text available
Development of an anti-inflammatory state during physical training has been postulated in both human and equine athletes, but it is not completely understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether endurance training changes pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine profiles within a 20-week training season in young inexperienced endurance horses. Nine Arabian horses were examined in this prospective 20-week follow-up study. Blood samples were analysed 5 times monthly, at rest and after training sessions. Routine haematological examinations were performed. Cytokine patterns including IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10 mRNA expression using Real Time-PCR, and serum concentrations of IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-17, INFγ, TNF-α, and IL-10 by ELISA test were determined. During endurance training, the most significant decrease in post-exercise cytokine type 1 levels (TNFα and IL-β) occurred within 20 weeks, beginning from the 3rd month of training. IL-6 serum level decreased after the 4th month. The results suggest that endurance training can induce advanced overall anti-inflammatory response as an adaptation to increasing workload.
Article
Understanding the physiological and biochemical changes in racehorses can be invaluable. Accurate information in this area could result in better understanding of needs of sport horses. The aim of this study was to prove the hypothesis that biochemical changes could influence the outcome of competitions. In this study, β-endorphin was evaluated as an indicator of analgesia, lactate as an indicator of fatigue and cortisol as an indicator of stress in the first two horses and the last ones that cross the finish line. This study was performed on 44 horses participating in the 1000-meter national championship. In Group 1, 22 winners and second place horses were included; for Group 2, 22 last and penultimate horses were included. Blood samples were obtained in the doping room after race (T0) and 20 minutes after finishing (T20). Results for beta endorphin at T0 and T20 were higher (P>0.05) for Group 1 compared to Group 2; on the contrary, lactate concentration was lower (P>0.05) for Group 1 than Group 2 at T0 and T20. However, differences (P<0.05) were obtained within groups at T0 and T20 for beta endorphin and lactate concentrations. No significant differences were found for cortisol concentration.The results of this study showed that winning horses had higher levels of β-endorphin and lower levels of lactate than losers. Further and deeper experimental studies are needed to prove the hypothesis that biochemical changes could influence the outcome of competitions.
Article
Background: Characteristics and outcomes after surgical repair of third carpal bone (C3) slab fractures involving both radial and intermediate facets in racing Quarter Horses are unknown. Objectives: To describe the pre- and intraoperative characteristics of C3 slab fractures of both radial and intermediate facets in Quarter Horses and to report on the long-term outcomes after internal fixation. Study design: Retrospective case series. Methods: Case records were collected from racehorses with C3 slab fractures between 2008 and 2020. Inclusion criteria required arthroscopic-guided repair of C3 slab fractures involving both radial and intermediate facets in Quarter Horses. Routine C3 slab fractures (single facet), fractures in other breeds or those repaired with other techniques were excluded. Outcomes were obtained by standardised questionnaire. Data were presented as mean ± SD or as proportions with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: Of 22 Quarter Horses with C3 slab fractures involving both radial and intermediate facets, 91% (CI 79%-100%; n = 20) were collapsing and 91% (CI 79%-100%; n = 20) had avulsion of the medial palmar intercarpal ligament. Articular cartilage erosion and osteochondral fracture of the radial carpal bone was observed in 91% (CI 79%-100%; n = 20) and 41% (CI 20%-62%; n = 9) cases respectively. At 5.5 ± 3.9 years after surgery, 86% (CI 72%-100%; n = 19) were alive and used for breeding or retirement. Of 18 horses with follow-up >1 year, 39% (CI 16%-61%; n = 7) resumed some athletic activity. Main limitations: Cases were referred specifically for surgical repair and horses with fractures considered too severe for surgical intervention or euthanasia at owner request were not included. Questionnaire responses are susceptible to recall bias. Conclusions: Horses with C3 slab fractures of both radial and intermediate facets that are repaired have a favourable prognosis for retirement, breeding and potentially low-level athletic activity.
Article
The sheer diversity of heritable physiological traits, and the ingenuity of genome derived research technologies, extends the study of genetics to impact diverse fields. Equine science is no exception, experiencing a number of genome-enabled discoveries that spur further research in areas like nutrition, reproduction and exercise physiology. Yet unexpected findings, especially those that over-turn commonly held beliefs in the horse industry, can create challenges in outreach, education and communication with stakeholders. For example, studies of ancient DNA revealed that the oldest domesticated equids in the archeological record we in fact another species, the Przewalski's horse, leaving the origins of our modern horses a mystery yet to be solved. Genomic analysis of ancestry can illuminate relationships older than our prized pedigree records, and in some cases, identify unexpected inconsistencies in those pedigrees. Even our interpretation of what constitutes a genetic disease is changing, as we re-examine common disease alleles; how these alleles impact equine physiology, and how they are perceived by breeders and professionals in the industry. Effectively translating genetic tools for utilization in horse management and preparing our community for the debate surrounding ethical questions that may arise from genomic studies, may be the next great challenges we face as scientists and educators.
Article
Throughout the ages, humans have selected different horse breeds for their locomotor capacities. Consequently, the properties of equine locomotor tissues could have diversified because of the specific requirements of different disciplines. Therefore, this study aimed to compare biochemical properties of tendons in different equine breeds traditionally selected for racing or sports performance. We hypothesised that tendons in racing breeds would have biochemical properties that would increase strength, whereas those in sporting breeds would have more elastic properties. An ex vivo tendon tissue study comparing the common digital extensor tendon (CDET) and superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of sports horses (Friesian horse, Warmblood horse) and racehorses (Thoroughbred horse; the oldest, reference standard breed) was performed. The SDFT and CDET from middle-aged Friesian (n = 12), Warmblood (n = 12) and Thoroughbred horses (n = 8) were harvested, and their biochemical properties were compared. The biochemical analysis demonstrated significantly higher water percentage, lower collagen concentrations/glycosaminoglycan content and higher crosslink concentrations in the SDFT of sports horses compared to racing breed horses (P < 0.05); DNA content was also significantly lower in sports horses than racehorses (P < 0.05). Racehorses had mainly extra fibrillar collagen support, whereas sports horses had mainly extra crosslink collagen support. From a functional perspective, the racing Thoroughbred relied on stronger tendons, while the sporting Friesians and Warmbloods relied on less stiff, more elastic tendons. In conclusion, there were significant biochemical differences in tendon properties between breeds, possibly related to their intended locomotor performance, although this requires further biomechanical and ultimately genetic confirmation.
Thesis
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to analyze the results of Quarter Horse (QM) speed racing in Brazil, prioritizing discussions of race pattern, genetic diversity, main ancestors, parameters and genetic trends of the characteristics derived from earning, final time and velocity. The data contained 23,482 sprint records, belonging to 5,861 animals (42.2% males) and a total pedigree of 11,425 horses. Five distances 275, 301, 320, 365 and 402 meters (m) were evaluated, with 1,072, 6,579, 2,726, 5,682 and 7,423 records, respectively. Changes in animal genetic diversity were evaluated by 3 subpopulations in three complete decades, from 1980 (sP80), 1990 (sP90) and 2000 (sP00), evaluating 84.5% of the total data. The characteristics monetary profitability at the age of two horse age (RM2), best time and distance class 301 and 402 m (BT301, BT402, CT301 and CT402) were used to estimate genetic parameters. The beginning of the career of the 5,861 horses indicated that 29.4% and 27.9% of the animals performed their first race in the distances of 301 m and 402 m, respectively, and 75.2% of the animals started at 2 years of age. horse riding. At the main distance (402 m), the non-breeding male animals that started the races at 4 years were the fastest and the ones that contributed the most to the phenotypic evolution of the final time and speed characteristics. Inbreeding and kinship coefficients were low, ranging from 0.49% to 1.60% and from 1.12% to 2.56%, respectively. The effective population size (Ne) values ranged from 144 to 369 (ΔFi) and 41 to 117 (generation). The totality of genetic diversity was explained by 1,587 ancestors (founders or not), considered high, but with only 50 (sP80) and 9 (sP00) ancestors it is possible to explain 50% of the total genetic diversity. The loss of genetic diversity in the QM race lineage in Brazil is evident and undeniable, and regular evaluation programs are necessary to prevent the continuation of the loss of genetic diversity observed in animals born in the 21st century. The heritability traits obtained in the traits were low to moderate in magnitude and the means ranged from 0.11 ± 0.05 (R2) to 0.35 ± 0.05 (CT301). The estimates of the bi-characteristics were moderate to high and, higher than the uni values, the bi-characteristics ranged from 0.19 ± 0.06 (CT301) to 0.76 ± 0.02 (BT402) in the interaction with RM2. The additive genetic, residual and phenotypic correlations showed positive values between RM2 with CT301 and CT301 and negative between RM2 with BT301. The study proved to be a good indicator for tracking changes in traits earnings, best time and speed, providing information on genetic diversity as well as animal models that can be used in breeding evaluation and selection for breeding programs of the Quarter Horse racing line in Brazil.
Article
Full-text available
The aims of the study were to investigate the effects of the type of track, age, sex and origin of horse on racing time for Arabian horses, and to estimate the genetic parameters for racing time. The racing records used in this study were obtained from the Turkish Jockey Club. The trait used in the study was racing time for racing distances of 1200 m, 1300 m, 1400 m, 1500 m, 1600 m, 1800 m, 1900 m, 2000 m, 2100 m and 2200 m. The data from each racing distance were analysed separately. Genetic parameters were estimated by REML procedure using the DFREML program. The effects of type of track, sex and origin of horse on racing time were significant for all racing distances. The effect of horse age on racing time was not significant for distances of 1300 m, 1500 m, 2000 m and 2200 m, whereas it was significant for other distances. Estimates of heritability ranged from 0.175 to 0.304, and repeatability ranged from 0.295 to 0.460, depending on the racing distance. These estimates indicated that the genetic progress for racing performance could be achieved if breeders use accurate selection programmes.
Article
Full-text available
To test the hypothesis that endurance performance may be related quantitatively to changes in blood, we measured selected blood variables then determined their reference ranges and associations with speed during an 80 km race. The plan had 46 horses in a 2 times 2 factorial design testing a potassium-free electrolyte mix and a vitamin supplement. Blood samples were collected before the race, at 21, 37, 56 and 80 km, and 20 min after finishing, for assay of haematocrit, plasma pH, pO2, pCO2, [Na+], [K+], [Ca++], [Mg++], [Cl−], lactate, glucose, urea, cortisol, α-tocopherol, ascorbate, creatine kinase, aspartate amino transferase, lipid hydroperoxides, total protein, albumin and creatinine, and erythrocyte glutathione and glutathione peroxidase. Data from 34 finishers were analysed statistically. Reference ranges for resting and running horses were wide and overlapping and, therefore, limiting with respect to evaluation of individual horses. Speed correlations were most repeatable, with variables reflecting blood oxygen transport (enabling exercise), acidity and electrolytes (limiting exercise) and total protein (enabling then, perhaps, limiting). Stepwise regressions also included plasma urea concentration (limiting). The association of speed with less plasma acidity and urea suggests the potential for fat adaptation and protein restriction in endurance horses, as found previously in Arabians performing repeated sprints. Conditioning horses fed fat-fortified and protein-restricted diets may not only improve performance but also avoid grain-associated disorders.
Article
Research on the racing performance of quarter horses has been used to develop genetic prediction summaries on all horses with at least one start on record at the American Quarter Horse Association. In the 1987 summary, records from a total of 212,065 horses were used to give genetic predictions on stallions, mares, geldings, fillies, and colts. A reduced animal model was used that incorporated the repeated records of individuals. The individual race was the contemporary group after the data were adjusted for distance, sex, and age. Estimates of heritability of .24 and repeatability of .32 suggest that increased racing performance can be achieved if the predictions are used by breeders. Continued research in variance component estimation includes the genetic covariances among the several distances, maternal influence, and genetic parameters for racing longevity.
Article
In order to compare the metabolic responses to exercise in 2 similarly managed breeds of horses, 5 Arabian (AR) and 5 Thoroughbred (TB) horses, fed an identical diet with a similar diet and exercise training programme for the 2 preceding months, undertook 3 treadmill (3 degree incline) trials with a minimum of 7 days between tests: 1) an incremental test (MAX) for determination of aerobic capacity, V(LA4) and lactate threshold (LT; the percentage of VO2max when plasma lactate = 4 mmol/l); 2) a single high-speed exercise test (SPR) at 115% VO2max for estimation of maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) and 3) a 90 min test at 35% VO2max (LO). VO2max (P<0.001) and running speed (P<0.05) at VO2max were higher in TB (mean +/- s.e. 154 +/- 3 ml/kg/min at 12.9 +/- 0.5 m/s) than in AR (129 +/- 2.5 ml/kg/min at 11.8 +/- 0.2 m/s). Total run time during MAX was greater (P<0.05) in TB (10.5 +/- 0.5 min) than in AR (93 +/- 0.3 min). However, V(LA4) and LT were not different between groups. Run time during SPR (TB 149 +/- 16; AR 109 +/- 11 s) and MAOD (TB 88 +/- 4; AR 70 +/- 6 ml O2/kg) were higher (P<0.05) in the TB group. During LO, FFA were higher (P<0.05) and the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) lower (P<0.05) in AR than in TB between 60 and 90 min, of exercise, indicating a greater use of fat for energy. These metabolic differences may reflect breed variation in muscle fibre types. However, further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms underlying the apparent breed differences in energy metabolism during exercise.
Anon (200Sh) Thoroughbred Champions
  • Anon , World Record
  • E Aqha
  • B Ko\telecka
  • J Kobar
  • R Horak
  • J Hanak
Anon (2005aJ World Record.,. AQHA Available: http://www.aqha.comlracing/ latest/w~irldrecorda.html. Accessed Oct. 27, 2005. Anon (200Sh) Thoroughbred Champions. World Records http://thoroughhred champions.com/library/worldrec.htm. Accessed Oct. 27. 2005. Cikrytova, E., Ko\telecka, B., Kobar, J.. Horak, R. and Hanak, J. ( I Y Y I I Standardized exercise test on a track to evaluate exercise capacity in ditlerent breeds of horses.
Speed asjociated with plasma pH, oxygen content. total protein and urea in an 80 km race. Equine vet Skeletal muscle pnifile of show jumpers: Phy\i(il(igical and pathological conyiderationa
  • R M Hoffman
  • T M He
  • C A William
  • D S Kronleld
  • K M Griewe-Crandell
  • J E Waldron
  • P M Grsham-Thiers
  • L S Gay
  • R K Splan
  • E K Saker
Hoffman, R.M.. He\\. T.M.. William\. C.A.. Kronleld. D.S., Griewe-Crandell. K.M.. Waldron. J.E.. Grsham-Thiers. P.M.. Gay, L.S., Splan, R.K., Saker. K E. and Harris. P.A. (2002) Speed asjociated with plasma pH, oxygen content. total protein and urea in an 80 km race. Equine vet./.. Suppl. 34. 39-43, Loper-Ribero. L and Letelier. A. (2000) Skeletal muscle pnifile of show jumpers: Phy\i(il(igical and pathological conyiderationa. In: The Elite Showjumper: Prowedbigs of rhe Conference on Equirir Sports Medicine and Scimce. Ed: A. Lindner. Taormina. pp 57-16.
The golden rule, of running. Kuune,-'\ World. 40. 64-70, Cunninghain. P, ( I Y Y I 1 The genetic\ 01 Thoroughbred horses
Cooper. C. (2005) The golden rule, of running. Kuune,-'\ World. 40. 64-70, Cunninghain. P, ( I Y Y I 1 The genetic\ 01 Thoroughbred horses. Sci. Amer. 264, Y I-YX.