Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Lauren Daphne Jenkins, Ottawa Hills, OH
Between 2003 and 2006, California racetracks experienced a 40% increase in racing fatalities. Fatal musculoskeletal injuries to racehorses have a direct and detrimental impact on the racing industry, through both public perception and major economic loss2. Turfway racetrack in Kentucky reported an 85% decrease in racing fatalities because they removed their dirt racetrack surface and replaced it with a synthetic racetrack surface1. This study evaluates selected racehorse shoe characteristics produced by the wear patterns caused by dirt and synthetic racetrack surfaces. The hypothesis is that a synthetic racetrack surface causes less wear on the horseshoes of Thoroughbred racehorses than a dirt racetrack surface. Data of the shoe wear patterns showed that the synthetic racetrack surface produced a shallower longer wear on the toe-front whereas the dirt racetrack surface produced a deeper longer wear pattern on the toe-end. Studies have shown that placing the greater weight on the toe-front of the hoof results in decreased leg injury of a Thoroughbred race horse3.  Measurements of the length of horseshoe wear at the toe-end of the horses that raced on synthetic track showed much more uniformity than horses that raced on dirt track. The results supports my hypothesis by showing that the horses that raced on dirt surfaces had greater wear patterns in their shoes compared to horses that raced on synthetic surfaces.