A new technique that uses ultrasound to predict a racehorse’s likelihood of a return to racing after a tendon injury has been developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham, Oakham Equine Hospital and the world-famous Hong Kong Jockey Club.
In this unique collaboration, the team has created a scoring system for grading tendon injuries in racehorses when they first occur and used this in a large study to determine which ultrasound features will predict whether or not the horse will successfully race again after rehabilitation.
The new system will significantly improve racehorse welfare in both the short and long term. It will enable vets and racehorse trainers to make early and informed decisions on a horse’s future – whether to prescribe rest and recovery before racing again, rehabilitation for another career or immediate retirement.
The researchers have also been working with a leading veterinary ultrasound company, BCF Technology, to develop an App vets can use to record their ultrasound findings using the new scoring system.
In this video, Vet School researcher Rafa Alzola, also an equine vet, explains the importance of this study and how it was carried out.