Cosequin Presents Aftercare Spotlight: Horses Giving Back

POSTED ON  |  17-07-2017

UC Davis Treadmill
Often when human athletes retire from professional sports, their next career is in some way related to the sport they love. Even more often, these former players are passionately committed to giving back to a sport that gave them so much, volunteering their time and pursuing opportunities that will positively impact the next generation and make their sport accessible, fair and safe for the masses. At the University of California, Davis (and at many other colleges and universities across the country), there is a group of horses doing just that for the Thoroughbreds of today and tomorrow.

Horses in the exercised Thoroughbred research herd at UC Davis, supported through funds provided by the California Horse Racing Board, take part in drug administration studies, most of which are used to establish recommendations for horseracing. Dr. Heather Knych, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, says 80 to 85 percent of the recommendations put forward over the past several years by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (and often adopted by various racing jurisdictions) regarding therapeutic medication withdrawal protocols prior to competition have been established using data collected from the UC Davis herd.

“We typically maintain a herd of 15-16 Thoroughbreds,” said Knych, whose research focus is in Equine Pharmacology, specifically in performance horses. “Our horses participate in many types of studies, with the most common study being what we refer to as a ‘drug administration study,' in which horses receive a therapeutic drug and then we collect blood and urine samples at a number of times post-drug administration. This allows us to determine how the drug behaves in the horse's body, how the drug is metabolized and eliminated and how long the drug can be detected.”

© 2015 IGSRV All rights reserved.