Actual Research

Responsibles
Astrid Bos, Arno Lindner

Main Project

Relationship between plasma GGT activity (and many other blood variables) and the performance of Standardbred racehorses

Hypothesis
Horses with higher plasma GGT activities have a reduced likelihood of racing successfully than horses with low levels.

Material and methods

  • The blood of Standardbred racehorses that raced will be sampled in the morning (7.00 to 9:00 hours) 2 (3) days after racing and before exercising.
  • The horses of interest are the winner, horses placed (2-4 placed) and the loosers (placed after the 5th) of at least 50, better 100 races. A minimum of 3 horses per race will be needed, but they have to fit in the three categories defined: winner, placed, looser!
  • Five ml of blood samples will be taken by puncture of the jugular vein and collected in a vial with anticoagulant (Li-heparin?).
  • Samples will be placed in a cooling box with ice pads in it and a towel on top / or a newspaper = a separating layer between the ice and the blood vials. On top of the separating layer the stand with the upright blood vials will be positioned such that it cannot move. The temperature should not be above 10°C and not below 2°C. Blood samples will be taken to the clinic where hematocrit will be determined and WBC counted.
  • The rest of the samples will be centrifuged, plasma separated and frozen at -20°C (or more) until analysis.
  • Plasma variables to be measured are: GGT, Albumin, Cholesterol, Creatinine, Ca, P, Mg, Na, K, CK, AST, LDH and Cortisol.

Further parameters to be recorded

  1. Body condition score and body weight of horses before and after racing.
  2. Amount of kilometres or duration of transport after racing
  3. Race day and number, horse name, horse number and placing as well as age and gender and winning sum (or race record). Horses will be numbered from 1 to as many we will be sampling. Care has to be taken that when a horse is sampled repeatedly he is allocated always the same number!

Number of samples

  • With a minimum of 50 races x a minimum of 3 horses (winner, placed and looser) = 150 samples.
  • With a maximum of 100 races x a maximum of 5 horses (winner, 2 placed and 2 loosers) = 500 samples.

Partial funding
Logo FFP


Pre project

Changes of blood variables before and after racing in Standardbred horses

Hypothesis
The plasma GGT activities before and after racing do not differ (This needs to be done to know whether it is reasonable to collect blood for the main project after racing only).

Material and Methods
The blood of Standardbred racehorses will be sampled in the morning (7.00 to 9:00 hours) on days 3 and 2 before racing and days 2 and 3 after racing.

  • The horses of interest are the winner and one horse placed after the 5th of 10 races.
  • Five ml of blood samples will be taken by puncture of the jugular vein and collected in a vial with anticoagulant (Li-heparin? which system is most convenient for you?).
  • Samples will be placed in a cooling box with ice pads in it and a towel on top / or a newspaper = a separating layer between the ice and the blood vials. On top of the separating layer the stand with the upright blood vials will be positioned such that it cannot move. The temperature should not be above 10°C and not below 2°C. Blood samples will be taken to the clinic where hematocrit will be determined and WBC counted.
  • The rest of the samples will be centrifuged, plasma separated and frozen at -20°C (or more) until analysis.
  • Plasma variables to be measured are: GGT, Albumin, Cholesterol, Creatinine, Ca, P, Mg, Na, K, CK, AST, LDH and Cortisol.

Number of samples
10 races x 2 horses x 4 days (3-2 days before as well as 2+3 days after racing) = 80 samples

Partial funding
Logo FFP