The detrimental effects of toe grabs thoroughbred racehorses at risk
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The Detrimental Effects of Toe Grabs - Thoroughbred Racehorses at Risk. Presented by Bill Casner April 2007 Endorsed by: The Jockey Club, The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Kentucky Horseshoeing School. Kentucky Horseshoeing School. 1. The Problem . Photo by: Z.

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The detrimental effects of toe grabs thoroughbred racehorses at risk l.jpg

The Detrimental Effects of Toe Grabs - Thoroughbred Racehorses at Risk

Presented by Bill CasnerApril 2007

Endorsed by: The Jockey Club, The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Kentucky Horseshoeing School

Kentucky Horseshoeing School


1 the problem l.jpg
1. The Problem

Photo by: Z


2 documented contributors to injury l.jpg
2. Documented Contributors to Injury

  • Thoroughbred Anatomy

  • Toe Grabs


Thoroughbred race horse anatomy l.jpg
Thoroughbred Race Horse Anatomy

  • Age

    • Bone structure is not completely matured in 2-5 year-olds

    • Hoof is not completely matured

  • Pastern Length

    • Long pasterns tend to facilitate underslung heels

    • Underslung heels are correlated to decreased arterial blood perfusion which effects growth rates of the heels

  • Hoof TypeThin walls, lack of cartilage mass, smaller hooves

    Source: 2003. Contrasting structural morphologies of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ footed horses. Bowker, R.M. Proceedings 49th AAEP Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana


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Scientific Research on Toe Grabs

  • Scientific studies conducted at top research centers show that toe grabs increase the risk of injury.

  • For example: 90.5% of horses experiencing catastrophic injuries wore toe grabs


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Documented Research Results

  • Catastrophic injuries

    • Toe grabs were present on 90.5% of horses

    • Greater risk of catastrophic injury for long toe, underslung foot types

  • Suspensory apparatus injuries

    • 15.6% greater chance of suspensory apparatus failure with toe grabs than without

Sources in order of use: 1996. Postmortem evaluation of homotypic variation in shoe characteristics of 201 Thoroughbred racehorses. Kane, A.J. et al. AJVR.57: 1141-1146.; 2001. Underrun heels and toe-grab length as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in Oklahoma race horses. Balch, Olin k. et al. vol.47, AAEP proceedings; 2001.Risk factors for and outcomes of noncatastrophic suspensory apparatus injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. Hill AE, Stover GM, et al. JAVMA. 218: 1136-1144; 1996. Horsehoe characteristics as possible risk factors for fatal musculskeletal injury of Thoroughbred racehorses. Kane, A.J. et al. AJVR. 57:1147-1152


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Documented Research Results (continued)

  • Harder racetrack surfaces are associated with increased risk for fatal injuries

  • $1 billion economic impact of musculoskeletal injuries in the Thoroughbred racehorses

  • Up to 83% of Thoroughbred racehorse deaths can be contributed to an exercise-related injury

Sources in order of use: 2001. Racehorse injuries, clinical problems and fatalities recorded on British racecourses from flat racing and National Hunt racing during 1996, 1997 and 1998. Williams, R.B. et al. Equine vet J. 33, 478-486; 1998. Epidemiologic studies of racehorse injuries. Kobluk, C.N. Current Techniques in Equine Surgery and Lameness, 2nd edn., Eds: N.A. White and J.M. Moore, W.B Saunderes Co. pp 564-569; 1994. Causes of death in racehorses over a 2 year period. Johnson, B. J. et al. Equine vet. J. 26, 327-330


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What are the odds?

  • The odds of catastrophic injury in racehorses shod with toe grabs on front shoes is 1.5 times the odds in horses shod without toe grabs.

Source: 2004. Evaluation of horseshoe characteristics and high speed exercise history as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. Jorge A. DVM, MPVM, PhD; Scollay, C. DVM, et al. AJVR. Vol 66, No. 8, pp 1314-1320


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What are the odds?

For horses shod with low toe grabs compared to horses shod without toe grabs on front shoes:

Fatal musculoskeletal injury (FMI) 1.8x

Suspensory apparatus failure (SAF) 6.5x

Cannon bone condylar fracture (CDY) 7.0x

Source: 2004. Evaluation of horseshoe characteristics and high speed exercise history as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. Jorge A. DVM, MPVM, PhD; Scollay, C. DVM, et al. AJVR. Vol 66, No. 8, pp 1314-1320


What are the odds10 l.jpg
What are the odds?

For horses shod with regular toe grabs compared to horses shod without toe grabs on front shoes:

Fatal musculoskeletal injury (FMI) 3.5x

Suspensory apparatus failure (SAF) 15.6x

Cannon bone condylar fracture (CDY) 17.1x

Source: 2004. Evaluation of horseshoe characteristics and high speed exercise history as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. Jorge A. DVM, MPVM, PhD; Scollay, C. DVM, et al. AJVR. Vol 66, No. 8, pp 1314-1320


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3. The Mechanics of Toe Grabs

How do shoes with toe grabs affect foot function?

  • They result in a broken-back hoof pastern axis

  • They increase the degree that the sole flattens

  • They cause the hoof wall to distort more

  • They facilitate under run heels

  • They magnify the hyperextension of the fetlock joint


Normal hoof shoe impact l.jpg

The hoof approaches the track and begins to enter the surface

The hoof and leg slide forward

The ankle and hoof load

The toe holds its position and the heel rises upward

The toe breaks over and hoof leaves the surface

THE PHASES OF THE STRIDE

Ground contact

Slide phase

Loading phase

Heel lift off

Breakover

Normal Hoof/Shoe Impact

1

5

2

4

3

Ground contactSLIDE SLIDEHeel lift Breakover

Source: 2007. “Abnormal Forces Associated with Toe Grab Horse Shoes”, Rob Gillette, DVM, MSE; Mick Peterson, Ph.D.; Raoul Reiser, Ph.D.


Toe grab entrance l.jpg

As the toe enters the surface, the toe caulk acts as a wall, compacting the surface material in front of it, impeding the slide phase

At the same time the hoof is compacting the surface material below it.

The distal leg continues its forward momentum.

Toe Grab Entrance

CUSHION

BASE

Source: 2007. “Abnormal Forces Associated with Toe Grab Horse Shoes”, Rob Gillette, DVM, MSE; Mick Peterson, Ph.D.; Raoul Reiser, Ph.D.


Toe grab exit l.jpg

The toe caulk is fixated within the compacted surface material.

This increases the forces needed for breakover and toe-off to occur

Toe Grab Exit

Source: 2007. “Abnormal Forces Associated with Toe Grab Horse Shoes”, Rob Gillette, DVM, MSE; Mick Peterson, Ph.D.; Raoul Reiser, Ph.D.


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Loaded Leg Sequence material.

Both pictures are of same foot loaded equally

6”

5”

300 lbs

300 lbs


Slide16 l.jpg

4” material.

3”

1200 lbs

1200 lbs


Slide17 l.jpg

3” material.

1.5”

3000 lbs

3000 lbs


Slide18 l.jpg

Sagital Section of Same Foot material.

What’s happening inside the hoof?

300 lbs

300 lbs


Slide19 l.jpg

Notice how much more the sole flattens material.

1200 lbs

1200 lbs


Slide20 l.jpg

Notice the degree of wall deformation material.

Normal heel compression * Excessive heel compression *

*

*

3000 lbs

3000 lbs


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4. The Solution material.

  • Eliminate the use of toe grabs (Banned in California in April 2007)

  • Continue to fund quantifiable research in equine lameness

  • Require continuing education on shoeing and hoof care as well as certification for farriers

  • Encourage additional state racing commissions and racetracks to ban use of toe grabs


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Special thanks to: material.

The Jockey Club, The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, The Kentucky Horseshoeing School and to the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit’s Horseshoeing Task Force for providing the background and support for this presentation. Prepared by Mitch Taylor and Kimberly Brown.

Kentucky Horseshoeing School


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