This thesis includes epidemiological studies conducted to measure the association between the attainment of training milestones by Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses at two years of age and subsequent racing performance. Additionally, the quantification of racing performance is comprehensively reviewed to identify robust parameters to measure racing success.
Retrospective records of all Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses born in the 2001/2002 season were obtained and analysed separately. The three training milestones used were: registered with a trainer, trialled and raced. Racing performance outcomes were: length of career, in number of years raced and number of race starts, and total earnings.
Horses that were registered with a trainer, trialled, or raced as two-year-olds had more race starts and more years racing than those horses that achieved the milestones at a later age. Additionally, horses that achieved the training milestones as two-year-olds were more likely to win or be placed (first-to-third) in a race, and earned more money than horses that achieved the milestones at a later age. Approximately one-third of the horses born in both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred foal crop failed to achieve the first training milestone indicating high levels of wastage. The results of this thesis suggest that there is a strong association between the attainment of training milestones at two years old with positive career outcomes.
Content removed due to copyright restrictions (ch. 3.):
Tanner, J.C., Rogers, C.W., & Firth, E.C. (2012). The association of 2-year-old training
milestones with career length and racing success in a sample of Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand. Equine Veterinary Journal. Advance online publication.