Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Hoof Impact and Foot-off Accelerations in Galloping Thoroughbred Racehorses Trialling Eight Shoe-Surface Combinations

Version 1 : Received: 24 June 2022 / Approved: 28 June 2022 / Online: 28 June 2022 (04:20:25 CEST)

How to cite: Horan, K.; Coburn, J.; Kourdache, K.; Day, P.; Carnall, H.; Brinkley, L.; Harborne, D.; Hammond, L.; Peterson, M.; Pfau, T.; Millard, S. Hoof Impact and Foot-off Accelerations in Galloping Thoroughbred Racehorses Trialling Eight Shoe-Surface Combinations. Preprints 2022, 2022060373 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202206.0373.v1). Horan, K.; Coburn, J.; Kourdache, K.; Day, P.; Carnall, H.; Brinkley, L.; Harborne, D.; Hammond, L.; Peterson, M.; Pfau, T.; Millard, S. Hoof Impact and Foot-off Accelerations in Galloping Thoroughbred Racehorses Trialling Eight Shoe-Surface Combinations. Preprints 2022, 2022060373 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202206.0373.v1).

Abstract

The athletic performance and safety of racehorses is influenced by hoof-surface interactions. This intervention study assessed the effect of eight horseshoe-surface combinations on hoof acceleration patterns at impact and foot-off in 14 galloping Thoroughbred racehorses retired from racing. Aluminium, barefoot, GluShu (aluminium-rubber composite) and steel shoeing conditions were trialled on turf and artificial (Martin Collins Activ-Track) surfaces. Shod conditions were applied across all four hooves. Tri-axial accelerometers (SlamStickX, range ±500 g, sampling rate 5000 Hz) were attached to the dorsal hoof wall (x: medio-lateral, medial=positive; y: along dorsal hoof wall, proximal=positive; z: perpendicular to hoof wall, dorsal=positive). Linear mixed models assessed whether surface, shoeing condition or stride time influenced maximum (most positive) or minimum (most negative) accelerations in x, y and z directions, using ≥40,691 strides (significance at p&lt;0.05). Day and horse-rider pair were included as random factors and stride time as a covariate. Collective mean accelerations across x, y and z axes were 22–98 g at impact and 17–89 g at foot-off. Mean stride time was 0.48 ± 0.07 s (mean ± 2 s.d.). Impact accelerations were larger on turf in all directions for forelimbs and hindlimbs (p≤0.015), with the exception of forelimb z-minimum, and in absolute terms maximum values were typically double minimum values. Surface-type affected all foot-off accelerations (p≤0.022), with the exception of hindlimb x-maximum; for example, there was an average increase of 17% in z-maximum across limbs on the artificial track. Shoe-type influenced all impact and foot-off accelerations in forelimb and hindlimb datasets (p≤0.024), with the exception of hindlimb impact y-maximum. Barefoot hooves generally experienced the lowest accelerations. Stride time affected all impact and foot-off accelerations (p<0.001). Identifying factors influencing hoof vibrations on landing and hoof motion during propulsion bears implication for injury risk and racing outcomes.

Keywords

racehorse; hoof; acceleration; gallop; shoeing; surface; stride time

Subject

LIFE SCIENCES, Other

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