Tag Archives: Horse Care

Patch, 2017 Kentucky Derby Contender, Arrives at Old Friends

Patch with assistant farm manager Antonio Marin.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 20, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, welcomed 2017 Kentucky Derby contender and graded-stakes-placed Patch.

The son of Union Rags out of the A. P. Indy mare Windyindy, Patch was donated to the non-profit organization by owner Calumet Farm following his three-season racing career. His last start was in the Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga this past August.

A 30-1 long shot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Patch became the season’s feel-good story after it was revealed that he had lost his left eye as a two-year-old but overcame his adversity to make it to the Churchill Downs starting gate on the First Saturday in May.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Patch eventually finished 14th in that race behind winner Always Dreaming.

“Patch is a great horse and he has a great story,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He is beloved by fans, and we are so looking forward to welcoming them this year. Patch has already stolen the hearts of everyone at Park Equine, where he spent a week while we made paddock space available, and everyone here is really excited about him.

“Our gratitude goes out to Calumet for entrusting us with Patch,” Blowen added, “as well as to Park Equine, and to the people at Sallee Horse Vans for transportation.”

Old Friends is planning a “Welcome Home Patch” day at the farm sometime in the near future. Announcements will be made soon with date, time, and details.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Grade 1 Winner Next Question Euthanized

Next Question, known as Q, at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in New York.

GREENFIELD CENTER, NY – JANUARY 17, 2020 – Grade I winner Next Question was euthanized on January 16 at Old Friends at Cabin Creek due to complications from a paddock accident. He was 12.

Based in Greenfield Center, NY, Cabin Creek is an official satellite facility of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY.

Affectionately known as Q, Next Question (Stormy Atlantic-Seattle Stardust, by Slew City Slew) initially retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in 2014, where he lived for one year before returning to his owners, Three Diamonds Farm, for a second career. He returned to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in November of 2019.

Racing for Three Diamonds Farm and trainer Michael Trombetta, Next Question’s greatest accomplishment came in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack, where he upset the field at 16-1. Other accolades include a placing in the 2013 Around the Cape Stakes at Belmont Park, and participation in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

In 2013, his career ended with three wins, one 2nd, and two 3rd’s from 13 starts, and earnings of $424,391. He was bred in New York by Dr. Lance G. Bell.

“Q was a kind, sweet horse who was well loved by everyone who cared for him throughout his life,” said Old Friends at Cabin Creek owner and manager JoAnn Pepper. “We are heartbroken to carry on without him, and grateful to Three Diamonds Farm for allowing us to have this time with Q.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Cajun Beat, 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Dies at 20

Cajun Beat at Old Friends in Georgetown (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 17, 2020 – Cajun Beat, the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, has died.

The 20-year-old son of Grand Slam had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, since 2016. Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen made the announcement of his passing this morning.

Details of Cajun Beat’s death are pending following a full necropsy.

Co-owned by Padua Stables and John and Joseph Iracane, Cajun Beat proved himself a consistent winner in his three seasons on the track. He broke his maiden at Calder in only his second start as a two-year-old, and captured his first stakes early in his three-year-old year, winning the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream. He followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway.

A month later Cajun Beat entered the starting gate for the 2003 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita at odds of nearly 23-1, but just over a minute later he put himself, trainer Steve Margolis, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez in the limelight by cruising to a 2¼ length victory.

His time of 1:07.95 was, at the time, the third fastest ever in the Sprint.

The following year Cajun Beat earned two more graded wins — including a victory on the grass in the Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park for new trainer Bobby Frankel — before retiring in 2005 with Padua Stables.

He joined Old Friends in 2016 along with his closest friend, Padua’s Pride.

“He was a lovely horse, a real champion,” said Satish Sanan of Padua Stables. “With all of the horses we’ve had, he was one of our favorites — he was my wife’s favorite. He didn’t show much talent until we gelded him, and then he became a hell of a sprinter. He gave us a lot of thrills. We were very grateful to Old Friends for taking he and Padua.”

“Cajun Beat was as sweet as he was speedy,” said Old Friends’ Blowen. “Yesterday, after his unexpected death, his long-time pal, Padua’s Pride, stood over the body, nudging him, as if he was trying to get him up. All of this with the setting sun in the background. He earned every bit of it… to die with the dignity that the rest of us can only hope for.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A new fellow moved into the barn this week. His barn name is Joe, though his registered name is a mile long and beyond my ability to pronounce. We’ve had some interesting conversations. Joe’s been around. He’s very smart and worldly, and a really nice fellow.

Joe and I watched the barn’s farrier working on one of the young horses, and started talking about our experiences with farriers. He told me about a guy who was so sure he knew everything there was to know about feet, that he wouldn’t listen to anyone else. This farrier told the horse owners that HE was the trained professional, and they had to agree with anything and everything he decided to do with their horses’ feet, no questions asked, or they had to find another farrier.

I remembered a saying I once heard, that the dumbest people are the ones who think they know everything. When I shared it with Joe, he started to laugh. He said his owner told the guy the same thing, and then immediately hired a different farrier. While Joe’s person respected the man’s training and experience, she also has a great deal of horse knowledge and experience of her own. She was not about to ignore her responsibility of making sure that her horse had the best care possible. She would not blindly give complete control of her horse’s care over to anyone, no matter how much they claimed to know.

There are two lessons here. One: don’t give your personal power over to anyone, especially if they demand it. The very fact that someone demands blind obedience should make you suspect. Only those who are insecure about their own knowledge or abilities would demand that you follow them without question. Someone who really does know what they are doing would welcome questions as an opportunity to explain.

The second lesson is to remember to always remain the student no matter how accomplished you may be. There is always more to learn. As soon as you think you know it all, your mind closes. Remember: learning, like life, is a process and a journey, not a destination. The mind is like a parachute. To function property, it must be open!

I’m so glad my own farrier is always learning. He’s kept my feet feeling good for a long time. And, when he learns about new techniques or reads the latest research, he’s willing to share it with Jane. That gives her the opportunity to learn as well, and helps her make good decisions regarding my care.

Are you still learning? How could you attain some new information today? Make it your goal to learn something new in the next 24 hours, and then share it with me. Okay? I want to learn too!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Is Changing the Prognosis for Condylar Fracture Injuries

Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic is changing the prognosis for condylar fracture injuries in race and sport horses. Advances in diagnostic imaging, surgical skillset, and the facilities necessary to quickly diagnose, treat, repair, and rehabilitate horses with condylar fractures have improved dramatically in recent years.

Most commonly seen in Thoroughbred racehorses and polo ponies, a condylar fracture was once considered a career-ending injury. Today, however, many horses fully recover and return to competing in their respective disciplines.

What is a condylar fracture?

A condylar fracture is a repetitive concussive injury that results in a fracture to the cannon bone above the fetlock due to large loads transmitted over the cannon bone during high-speed exercise. On a radiograph, a condylar fracture appears as a crack that goes laterally up the cannon from the fetlock joint and out the side of the bone, essentially breaking off a corner of the cannon bone, sometimes up to six inches long.

“A condylar fracture is a disease of speed,” said Dr. Robert Brusie, a surgeon at Palm Beach Equine Clinic who estimates that he repairs between 30 and 50 condylar fractures per year. “A fracture to the left lateral forelimb is most common in racehorses as they turn around the track on a weakened bone and increased loading.”

Condylar fractures are further categorized into incomplete and non-displaced (the bone fragment hasn’t broken away from the cannon bone and is still in its original position), or complete and displaced (the fragment has moved away from the cannon bone itself and can often be visible under the skin).

Additionally, condylar fractures can occur laterally or medially. According to fellow Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Weston Davis, most condylar fractures tend to be lateral on the outside condyle (a rounded projection on a bone, usually for articulation with another bone similar to a knuckle or joint).

“Most lateral condylar fractures are successfully repaired,” said Dr. Davis. “Medial condylar fractures tend to be more complicated configurations because they often spiral up the leg. Those require more advanced imaging and more advanced techniques to fix.”

What is the treatment?

The first step in effectively treating a condylar fracture through surgery is to accurately and quickly identify the problem. Board-certified radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski utilizes the advanced imaging services at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to accomplish exactly this.

“Stress remodeling can be detected early and easily on nuclear scintigraphy before the horse goes lame or develops a fracture,” said Dr. Puchalski. “Early diagnosis of stress remodeling allows the horse to be removed from active race training and then return to full function earlier. Early diagnosis of an actual fracture allows for repair while the fracture is small and hopefully non-displaced.”

Once the injury is identified as a condylar fracture, Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeons step in to repair the fracture and start the horse on the road to recovery. Depending on surgeon preference, condylar fracture repairs can be performed with the horse under general anesthesia, or while standing under local anesthesia. During either process, surgical leg screws are used to reconnect the fractured condyle with the cannon bone.

“For a small non-displaced fracture, we would just put in one to two screws across the fracture,” explains Dr. Davis. “The technical term is to do it in ‘lag fashion,’ such that we tighten the screws down heavily and really compress the fracture line. A lot of times the fracture line is no longer visible in x-rays after it is surgically compressed. When you get that degree of compression, the fractures heal very quickly and nicely.”

More complicated fractures, or fractures that are fully displaced, may require additional screws to align the parts of the bone. For the most severe cases of condylar fractures, a locking compression plate with screws is used to stabilize and repair the bone.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Jorge Gomez approaches a non-displaced condylar fracture while the horse is standing, which does not require general anesthesia.

“I will just sedate the horse and block above the site of the fracture,” said Dr. Gomez. “Amazingly, horses tolerate it really well. Our goal is always to have the best result for the horse, trainers, and us as veterinarians.”

According to Dr. Gomez, the recovery time required after a standing condylar fracture repair is only 90 days. This is made even easier thanks to a state-of-the-art standing surgical suite at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The four-and-a-half-foot recessed area allows doctors to perform surgeries anywhere ventral of the carpus on front legs and hocks on hind legs from a standing position. Horses can forgo general anesthesia for a mild sedative and local nerve blocks, greatly improving surgical recovery.

“A condylar fracture was once considered the death of racehorses, and as time and science progressed, it was considered career-ending,” concluded Dr. Brusie. “Currently, veterinary medical sciences are so advanced that we have had great success with condylar fracture patients returning to full work. Luckily, with today’s advanced rehabilitation services, time, and help from mother nature, many horses can come back from an injury like this.”

Competing in Wellington this season? Stop by the Palm Beach Equine Clinic annex office conveniently located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.

Hats Off to the Horses 2020

The “Einstein” modeled by Dagmar Steiner (Photo by Laura Battles)

The “Einstein” is the latest design on the block in the Old Friends 11th Annual “Hats Off to the Horses” auction

The annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” online fashion auction kicks off with a beautiful Derby-style chapeau going on the virtual block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off four handcrafted Derby hats between January and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 200-plus retired racehorses. To date this online fundraiser has garnered over $37,000 for Old Friends.

This new hat was inspired by the multiple graded stakes winner Einstein and it is showcased here by equine artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner.

The hat will be up for bid for 10 days only from 8 pm (EST) January 1st through 8 pm (EST) on January 11th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link, or CLICK HERE to visit our eBay page.

To read more and to view additional images of the hat, CLICK HERE.

About the Horse

Einstein is the Brazilian-bred son of 1985 Horse of the Year Spend a Buck. Throughout his career he accomplished what few racehorses have done. He earned graded stakes victories on three different track surfaces: the Turf Classic (on turf), the Clark Handicap (on dirt), and the Santa Anita Handicap (on synthetic). Other races Einstein called his own include the 2006 and the 2008 Gulfstream Turf Handicap, the 2007 Mervin H Muniz Jr Memorial Handicap, and dual runnings of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in 2008 and 2009. In all, he finished his career with wins in 11 of his 27 starts — five of them Grade 1 stakes — and earnings of $2.7 million.

About the Hat

The distinctive red, black, and gold silks of owner Frank Stronach’s Racing Stables provided the hues for this stunning Derby hat. A foundation was created using a base layer of red dupioni silk overlaid with a swirling black scroll lace. A red silk under brim creates a bold, elegant effect when the wearer’s face is upturned, while the edge of the brim is trimmed with a double layer of black silk organza ruffles, which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric.

To further showcase Stronach’s stable colors, a red silk-organza Marguerite fleur with a red dupioni rose curl center adorns the front of the hat, while a black button with gold edging provides an accent in the back. For a final touch, black silk organza leaves and three black silk organza “feathers” were added to reflect Einstein’s dark bay coloring.

As always, several strands of the horse’s tail hair have been braided and woven into the trim.

Bidding on the “Einstein” is open now.

For more information about Old Friends, see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs® Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions, from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can be seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Maggie Mae Designs (508) 430-1626, sally@maggiemae.com

Update to AQHA Racing Awards and Publicity Policy

The American Quarter Horse Association is committed to the welfare of horses, as well as the integrity of American Quarter Horse racing.

In an effort to recognize only those whose standards help to maintain the integrity of our sport, the Association created the Racing Awards and Publicity Policy in 2018. This policy prohibits any horse or trainer of record with racing violations from being considered for AQHA awards or publicity.

Effective January 1, 2020, any horse associated with a trainer who is added to the violations list during the year will be required to pass a hair test, in addition to meeting the other requirements, before it will be removed from the AQHA Awards and Publicity list.

This recommendation originated from the AQHA Racing Committee, and was then approved by the AQHA Racing Council, followed by the AQHA Executive Committee.

Violations include positive tests for Class 1 or Class 2 substances, clenbuterol, any prohibited substances in the presiding jurisdiction, or any medications other than those defined by ARCI as being a controlled therapeutic medication, and also include as a violation the failure to report for out-of-competition testing.

The full AQHA Policy Concerning Awards and Publicity of Horses and/or Trainers with Racing Medication Positives, as well as a list of trainers and horses with violations, is available on the AQHA website. Information will also be posted about the standard procedure for the collection and testing of hair.

For more news and information, visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Myth or Fact: Horses sleep standing up. The truth lies in survival. Horse physiology has evolved to give them the best possible chance of procreating the species. And yes, that means horses can sleep standing up. They have specific physiological developments that make standing sleep possible. However, not all their sleep needs can be met while on their feet.

Designed for Survival

The horse “stay apparatus” makes it possible for them to stand and enter the lighter sleep stages. It functions in both the forelimbs and the pelvic region. When the stay apparatus is activated, the muscles are bypassed in favor of the tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue. These tissues require less muscle activity and reduce fatigue.

The stay apparatus fully supports the horse’s weight without collapsing. However, a horse can wake up and move almost instantly because the muscles are already prepped and in position. In the wild, that gives horses a significant survival advantage over their predators.

More Than Standing

All that being said, all of a horse’s sleep cannot take place while standing. Like humans, horses need rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this deep sleep stage, the brain becomes almost as active as it is during the day. Vivid dreaming, muscle spasms, and an increase in heart rate and breathing occur.

A temporary paralysis also takes place during this phase, which is why horses have to lay down for a short time each day. If they didn’t, they may act out dreams, collapse, or potentially injure themselves. Generally, horses only need about 30 minutes of REM sleep to maintain their health, but some may spend more or less time based on their individual needs.

Promoting Better Equine Sleep

Though the structure of the equine sleep cycle may be different from humans, it’s no less vital to their health. People need mattresses to get comfortable, and horses have unique sleep needs too. Horses spend anywhere from five to seven hours in a state of rest. Their deepest sleep takes place after midnight.

Standing sleep doesn’t require much more than a safe, undisturbed space. However, for a short period of REM sleep, horses need plenty of room. Corrals or pens should be large enough that the horse can comfortably lie down. If several horses share an enclosed space, there needs to be enough room that one or more can comfortably lie down at the same time. In a herd, the horses take turns lying down to sleep as a survival measure.

Horses can suffer from REM deficiency and drowsiness if they’re not getting enough deep sleep. We’ve already mentioned how lack of space can limit REM sleep, but so, too, can a horse’s position in the herd hierarchy and/or their physical health. Arthritis can make it difficult for a horse to get up and down, for example.

A bedded area, one that’s large if you’ve got several horses, can help with both issues. Horses prone to arthritis can get comfortable while those low in the hierarchy can lie down without disturbing those higher up the chain.

With the right conditions, your horse should be able to get the rest he needs. Think about what you might need to take along when you travel. It could be extra bedding or panels so that he can easily and safely lie down. When you take the steps to make sure your horse is getting good sleep, you’ll be setting both of you up for success.

Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.

FEI Publishes Tokyo Horse Monitoring Research Project Findings

Michael Jung (GER) with Fischerwild Wave. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

The results of a major research study commissioned by the FEI, aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments, have been published.

Conducted at the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event in August 2019, and led by the FEI’s climate expert Dr David Marlin, the study monitored the combined effects of long travelling times and distances, time zone disruptions, and heat and humidity on competing horses.

Horses were monitored before and during the test event, including how they adapted to the challenging climate in Tokyo. Central to the report is data collected on-course and post-competition, which allowed for detailed analysis of the cross-country test.

The study findings show that horses generally coped extremely well with the conditions and remained in good health for the duration of the test event, held at the same time of year as the Games in 2020, despite the fact that conditions were thermally challenging, with Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer* (WBGT) Index readings frequently in the region of 32-33°C.

The report confirms that on cross country day (13 August), the high WBGT Index, steep initial climb, and sharp turns on the course produced a significant challenge for competing horses. Heart rates during cross country, and blood lactate, heart rate, and rectal temperature after cross country indicated that horses were working at close to maximal capacity.

A new heart rate monitor that also displays the ECG plus infra-red thermal imaging to provide a rapid and accurate estimate of horses’ temperature were key pieces of technology used in data collection for the study.

The report highlights that “all possibilities must be explored to mitigate the effects of the likely climatic conditions, including reduction in distance appropriate for the conditions and bringing the cross country start time forward to avoid the highest WBGT conditions that would normally peak between late morning and mid-afternoon.”

Following discussions between the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG), the IOC, and the FEI, consensus has been reached on advancing the cross country start time to either 07.30 or 08.00 on 2 August 2020 as part of the heat countermeasures. A final decision on the move, which is fully supported by the findings in the Marlin report, will be made by the IOC Executive Board.

“We have worked very closely with TOCOG to put in place the best possible heat countermeasures for both our equine and human athletes for Tokyo 2020, and the findings in this important research study will play a crucial role in guiding final decisions on appropriate facilities and support,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “The report will also be a valuable tool for athletes and National Federations as they prepare their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Heat countermeasures that are already in place for horses include air conditioned stables at both equestrian venues (Bajikoen and Sea Forest), early morning and evening training and competition sessions under floodlights, constant and close monitoring by a world class veterinary team, and multiple cooling facilities including the provision of shade tents, cooling fans, ice and water, and mobile cooling units.

The FEI has been working on optimising equine performance in challenging climates with Dr Marlin since before the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Dr Marlin has been working with the FEI for the past three years specifically on Tokyo, reviewing historical climate records, analysing data collected at the main venue at Bajikoen (EQP) and at the cross-country course at Sea Forest (SFC), and leading the test event research project.

The findings from the research project have been sent to TOCOG, the IOC, all National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with athletes competing in equestrian sport, and all National Federations affiliated to the FEI.

The full report is available here.

*The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index is used to measure heat, humidity, solar radiation, and wind factor.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

FEI Researches Equine Health and Performance at Tokyo 2020 Test Event

Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Grisors JRA. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

With optimising performance in challenging climatic conditions high on the agenda during the numerous Ready Steady Tokyo test events, the FEI had already put in place a major research study aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments.

Long travelling times and distances, time-zone disruptions, and heat and humidity pose specific challenges to horses and of course to human athletes. Monitoring of the combined effects of all these factors was put in place prior to the horses’ departure from their home countries en route to Tokyo and throughout last week’s equestrian test event in the Japanese capital. Data collected will be used to provide the FEI, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (TOCOG), as well as National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with detailed information on equine performance in these conditions.

“High level equestrian competitions are increasingly taking place in parts of the world where the climate poses health challenges for both humans and horses,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said.

“The study plays a crucial role in guiding the TOCOG and other Organising Committees on appropriate facilities and support, and will be used to advise and guide athletes and National Federations on the preparation of their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The study monitored horses before, during, and after their journey to Tokyo, with data collected through under-tail temperature monitors and sensors that measure stable and travelling activity, as well as thermal comfort. SaddleClip sensors were used to record gait, speed, and distance, and heart rate monitors were used on the horses prior to and during competition. The technology for the data collection was made possible through the FEI’s partnerships with Epona Biotec, Arioneo, Equestic, and Polar.

Findings from the study will build on the existing framework for implementing measures to run equestrian sports in hot and humid climates that was developed for the Games in Atlanta 1996 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. Olympic test events prior to Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008 also included organised monitoring of competing horses.

To ensure that NOCs and NFs are fully aware of the climatic challenges, the FEI included an information session on climate mitigation protocols aimed at minimising the effects of heat and humidity in the official Observers Programme, which ran concurrently with the test event.

During next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, equestrian sport will be held at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park and Sea Forest venues. Baji Koen, which hosted the Olympic equestrian events at the Tokyo Games in 1964, has been extensively refurbished by the Japan Racing Association, while the cross country venue at Sea Forest that will be shared with rowing and canoe sprint is on reclaimed land and will be turned into a park post-Games.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56