• VOLUME 61 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
Help Protect Young Thoroughbreds from Catastrophic Injury when being asked to work at speed at under tack shows.
Yearlings and Two Year Olds being asked to race at speed at auctions for prospective buyers at far too young an age for developing bodies leading to catastrophic breakdowns.
Four major thoroughbred auction companies race the young thoroughbreds as part of the sales procedure called “under tack shows”. These horses are reported to breeze 1/8 mile at speeds that exceed what will be required in their future racing careers.
“To impress potential buyers, owners push their horses to breeze in faster 1/8 mile fractions than they ever will run in their future racing careers. These bullet works—most less than 11 seconds for 1/8 mile and some even breaking the 10-second barrier—are faster fractions than even the elite, mature horses will run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.”
Catastrophic Injuires are occuring when young horses are being trained and prepared for these auctions. As the horses are prepared before the actually auctions. Many of these horses are still chronologically yearlings.
“In the wake of a series of such catastrophic breakdowns, it is imperative that the four major thoroughbred auction companies institute immediate reforms at under tack shows. These reforms will not only reduce life-ending and career-ending injuries at under tack shows themselves but also eliminate the pressure to use damaging speed-training techniques on immature horses to prepare them to perform sprints at excessive speeds.”
“Biomechanical science, basic biology, and veterinary medical science clearly tells us that an immature horse cannot perform high-speed work in a way that is reliably predictive of its racing ability at maturity. Of far greater significance in the selection of racing prospects are factors that would include: age-appropriate conformation analysis; the quality of the horse’s walk, trot, and slow gallop; cardiovascular analysis; laryngeal examination; pedigree analysis; full physical examination; and temperament.” Dr Lyons
“Four years ago, Adena Springs changed its under tack show format to model European under tack shows, which permit only gallop or gradual acceleration down the stretch in untimed works.”
Please sign all four petitions. Each signature will result in a direct email sent to each of the racetracks currently involved in Under Tack Sales and the racing at speed of these young thoroughbreds.