Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Commercial equine production in New Zealand. 2. Growth and development of the equine athlete

Chris W. Rogers A C , Erica K. Gee A , Charlotte F. Bolwell A and Sarah M. Rosanowski B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Massey Equine, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.

B Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health, Royal Veterinary College, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, United Kingdom.

C Corresponding author. Email: c.w.rogers@massey.ac.nz

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16752
Submitted: 17 November 2016  Accepted: 9 May 2017   Published online: 2 August 2017

Abstract

During the past 20 years, there has been a contraction in the New Zealand Thoroughbred industry and, to a lesser extent, within the Standardbred industry. These changes have seen an increasing proportion of the market being associated with fewer larger commercial farms. Many of these farms manage their own mares, and the mares and foals of several clients. This, in turn, has increased the similarity of the management of breeding and young stock within New Zealand. The temperate climate allows the majority of the management of breeding and young stock to be pasture based. The predominant pasture is ryegrass–clover mix that has been demonstrated to provide adequate nutrition for growth and development. The temperate climate also permits management of horses at pasture year round, which is proposed to stimulate development of the musculoskeletal system. Apart from a brief period during weaning, most young stock remain at pasture from birth until the start of yearling preparation. Free access to pasture exercise provides the opportunity to stimulate the musculoskeletal system for the future challenges as a racehorse. The export focus of many of the equine industries heavily influences the management decisions. Despite the availability of good-quality pasture post-weaning, many foals receive up to 50% of the daily dietary energy requirement as concentrates, possibly reflecting the emphasis on early sales as yearlings and the drive to optimise growth. The observations of drench resistance of common internal parasites presents an emerging problem for pasture-based production systems. A large proportion of the Thoroughbred foal crop is exported as yearlings or ready to run 2-year-olds. There is an increasing trend for Standardbreds to be sold as yearlings and this has resulted in changes in the management of Standardbred young stock.

Additional keywords: horse, pasture, sport horse, Standardbred, Thoroughbred.


References

Bailey CJ, Rose RJ, Reid SW, Hodgson DR (1997) Wastage in the Australian thoroughbred racing industry: a survey of Sydney trainers. Australian Veterinary Journal 75, 64–66.
Wastage in the Australian thoroughbred racing industry: a survey of Sydney trainers.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK2s7oslSmsA%3D%3D&md5=6e3b780acb04d16a8c6286201f5595a5CAS |

Barneveld A, van Weeren PR (1999) Conclusions regarding the influence of exercise on the development of the equine musculoskeletal system with special reference to osteochondrosis. Equine Veterinary Journal 112–119.

Bishop R, Scott I, Gee E, Rogers C, Pomroy W, Mayhew I (2014) Sub-optimal efficacy of ivermectin against Parascaris equorum in foals on three Thoroughbred stud farms in the Manawatu region of New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 62, 91–95.
Sub-optimal efficacy of ivermectin against Parascaris equorum in foals on three Thoroughbred stud farms in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXhsVCltbbO&md5=0aed266f5e37f7d3f5fd363f661379ebCAS |

Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Firth EC, French N (2010a) Management and exercise of Thoroughbred yearlings during preparation for yearling sales: a cross-sectional survey. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 70, 157–161.

Bolwell CF, Russell LJ, Rogers CW, Firth EC (2010b) A cross-sectional survey of training practices of 2-year-old racehorses in the North Island of New Zealand. Comparative Exercise Physiology 7, 37–42.
A cross-sectional survey of training practices of 2-year-old racehorses in the North Island of New Zealand.CrossRef |

Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, French N, Firth EC (2012) The effect of interruptions during training on the time to the first trial and race start in Thoroughbred racehorses. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 108, 188–198.

Bolwell C, Rosanowski SM, Scott I, Sells PD, Rogers CW (2015) Questionnaire study on parasite control practices on Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding farms in New Zealand. Veterinary Parasitology 209, 62–69.
Questionnaire study on parasite control practices on Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding farms in New Zealand.CrossRef |

Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Gee EK, Rosanowski SM (2016a) Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part 1. Thoroughbred racing. Animal Production Science 56, 77–81.
Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part 1. Thoroughbred racing.CrossRef |

Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Gee EK, Rosanowski SM (2016b) Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part 2. Standardbred racing. Animal Production Science 56, 82–86.
Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part 2. Standardbred racing.CrossRef |

Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Gee EK, Rosanowski SM (2017) Commercial equine production in New Zealand 3: the racing and sport industries. Animal Production Science
Commercial equine production in New Zealand 3: the racing and sport industries.CrossRef |

Brama PA, Tekoppele JM, Bank RA, Van Weeren PR, Barneveld A (1999) Influence of different exercise levels and age on the biochemical characteristics of immature equine articular cartilage. Equine Veterinary Journal. Supplement 31, 55–61.
Influence of different exercise levels and age on the biochemical characteristics of immature equine articular cartilage.CrossRef |

Brown-Douglas CG, Firth EC, Parkinson TJ, Fennessy PF (2004) Onset of puberty in pasture-raised Thoroughbreds born in southern hemisphere spring and autumn. Equine Veterinary Journal 36, 499–504.
Onset of puberty in pasture-raised Thoroughbreds born in southern hemisphere spring and autumn.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2cvptFOrtA%3D%3D&md5=b6af43a5a2ef0aa1703766fc6a584be2CAS |

Brown-Douglas CG, Parkinson TJ, Firth EC, Fennessy PF (2005) Bodyweights and growth rates of spring- and autumn-born thoroughbred horses raised on pasture. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 53, 326–331.
Bodyweights and growth rates of spring- and autumn-born thoroughbred horses raised on pasture.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2Mrktl2isA%3D%3D&md5=4d11d67552c75f729f150aee00d4aabbCAS |

Castle K (2012) Investigating the genetic and genomic basis of osteochondrosis in Thoroughbred horses from Australia and New Zealand. University of Sydney, Sydney.

Cohen ND (1994) Causes of and farm-management factors associated with disease and death in foals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 204, 1644–1651.

Cohen ND, O’conor MS, Chaffin MK, Martens RJ (2005) Farm characteristics and management practices associated with development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 226, 404–413.
Farm characteristics and management practices associated with development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals.CrossRef |

Denoix JM, Jeffcott LB, Mcilwraith CW, Van Weeren PR (2013) A review of terminology for equine juvenile osteochondral conditions (JOCC) based on anatomical and functional considerations. Veterinary Journal (London, England) 197, 29–35.
A review of terminology for equine juvenile osteochondral conditions (JOCC) based on anatomical and functional considerations.CrossRef |

Dicken M, Gee EK, Rogers CW, Mayhew IG (2012) Gestation length and occurrence of daytime foaling of Standardbred mares on two stud farms in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 60, 42–46.
Gestation length and occurrence of daytime foaling of Standardbred mares on two stud farms in New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC38%2Fot1WnsQ%3D%3D&md5=fe8e2b3ecd5c00d06cae369cc484f833CAS |

Duruttya M (2003) Use of an ethological test to calculate a distance covered by selected categories of Thoroughbred horses. Czech Journal of Animal Science 48, 46–50.

Dykgraaf S, Firth EC, Rogers CW, Kawcak CE (2008) Effects of exercise on chondrocyte viability and subchondral bone sclerosis in the distal third metacarpal and metatarsal bones of young horses. Veterinary Journal (London, England) 178, 53–61.
Effects of exercise on chondrocyte viability and subchondral bone sclerosis in the distal third metacarpal and metatarsal bones of young horses.CrossRef |

Fennessy PF (2010) An overview of the New Zealand Thoroughbred industry. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 70, 137–139.

Firth EC, Rogers CW, Van Weeren PR, Barneveld A, Mcilwraith CW, Kawcak CE, Goodship AE, Smith RKW (2011) Mild exercise early in life produces changes in bone size and strength but not density in proximal phalangeal, third metacarpal and third carpal bones of foals. Veterinary Journal (London, England) 190, 383–389.
Mild exercise early in life produces changes in bone size and strength but not density in proximal phalangeal, third metacarpal and third carpal bones of foals.CrossRef |

Galvin NP, Corley KTT (2010) Causes of disease and death from birth to 12 months of age in the Thoroughbred horse in Ireland. Irish Veterinary Journal 63, 37–43.
Causes of disease and death from birth to 12 months of age in the Thoroughbred horse in Ireland.CrossRef |

Gee EK, Firth EC, Morel PCH, Fennessy PF, Grace ND, Mogg TD (2005a) Articular/epiphyseal osteochondrosis in thoroughbred foals at 5 months of age: influences of growth of the foal and prenatal copper supplementation of the dam. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 53, 448–456.
Articular/epiphyseal osteochondrosis in thoroughbred foals at 5 months of age: influences of growth of the foal and prenatal copper supplementation of the dam.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXhtlWrurjK&md5=d8552767c2a0de09fd0a52f7689dc5aeCAS |

Gee EK, Firth EC, Morel PCH, Fennessy PF, Grace ND, Mogg TD (2005b) Enlargements of the distal third metacarpus and metatarsus in thoroughbred foals at pasture from birth to 160 days of age. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 53, 438–447.
Enlargements of the distal third metacarpus and metatarsus in thoroughbred foals at pasture from birth to 160 days of age.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2Mnjs1aiug%3D%3D&md5=ba1e92956e4dc038ff9272e4d36d8543CAS |

Gee EK, Rogers CW, Bolwell CF (2017) Commerical equine production in New Zealand. 1. Reproduction and breeding. Animal Production Science
Commerical equine production in New Zealand. 1. Reproduction and breeding.CrossRef |

George HEA, Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Gee EK (2013) A cross-sectional survey of New Zealand sport horse stud farms. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 73, 71–75.

Grace N, Shaw HL, Gee EK, Firth EC (2002a) Determination of the digestible energy intake and apparent absorption of macroelements in pasture-fed lactating Thoroughbred mares. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 50, 182–185.
Determination of the digestible energy intake and apparent absorption of macroelements in pasture-fed lactating Thoroughbred mares.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2MznsVWrtA%3D%3D&md5=c3337c9a03480ed10adc079be31e9756CAS |

Grace ND, Gee EK, Firth EC, Shaw HL (2002b) Digestible energy intake, dry matter digestibility and mineral status of grazing New Zealand Thoroughbred yearlings. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 50, 63–69.
Digestible energy intake, dry matter digestibility and mineral status of grazing New Zealand Thoroughbred yearlings.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XjtlWisb4%3D&md5=9688db2401e3d6f3f8851ab90c715aa9CAS |

Grace ND, Rogers CW, Firth EC, Faram TL, Shaw HL (2003) Digestible energy intake, dry matter digestibility and effect of increased calcium intake on bone parameters of grazing thoroughbred weanlings in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 51, 165–173.
Digestible energy intake, dry matter digestibility and effect of increased calcium intake on bone parameters of grazing thoroughbred weanlings in New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXmvFOgsbY%3D&md5=98c57fa72d08f046e7eb2c12ed517447CAS |

Hampson BA, Morton JM, Mills PC, Trotter MG, Lamb DW, Pollitt CC (2010) Monitoring distances travelled by horses using GPS tracking collars. Australian Veterinary Journal 88, 176–181.
Monitoring distances travelled by horses using GPS tracking collars.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3cvmsFahtw%3D%3D&md5=6336ddd5b076b857a4f10e73b4cff7f3CAS |

Heleski CR, Shelle AC, Nielsen BD, Zanella AJ (2002) Influence of housing on weanling horse behavior and subsequent welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 78, 291–302.
Influence of housing on weanling horse behavior and subsequent welfare.CrossRef |

Hintz HF (1998) Mineral requirements in the horse: a historical perspective. In ‘Advances in equine nutrition’. (Ed. JD Pagan) pp. 51–56. (Kentucky Equine Research Incorporated, Nottingham University Press: Nottingham)

Hirst RL (2011) ‘Seasonal variation of pasture quality on commercial equine farms in New Zealand.’ (Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University: Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Hoskin SO, Gee EK (2004) Feeding value of pastures for horses. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 52, 332–341.

Ineson AC, Rogers CW, Firth EC, Gee EK (2004) A comparison of subjective and quantitative methods for detection of physitis in Thoroughbred foals. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 52, 65–69.
A comparison of subjective and quantitative methods for detection of physitis in Thoroughbred foals.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2M7js1ajtQ%3D%3D&md5=26668d91a5be48670fb90ac9e8044893CAS |

Kurvers CMHC, Van Weeren PR, Rogers CW, Van Dierendonck MC (2006) Quantification of spontaneous locomotion activity in foals kept in pastures under various management conditions. American Journal of Veterinary Research 67, 1212–1217.
Quantification of spontaneous locomotion activity in foals kept in pastures under various management conditions.CrossRef |

Lepeule J, Bareille N, Robert C, Valette J-P, Jacquet S, Blanchard G, Denoix J-M, Seegers H (2013) Association of growth, feeding practices and exercise conditions with the severity of the osteoarticular status of limbs in French foals. Veterinary Journal (London, England) 197, 65–71.
Association of growth, feeding practices and exercise conditions with the severity of the osteoarticular status of limbs in French foals.CrossRef |

McIlwraith CW (2001) Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) in horses-a multifactorial process. In ‘Proceedings of the 17th equine nutrition and physiology society’, Lexington, Kentucky. pp. 2–23.

Morel PCH, Bokor A, Rogers CW, Firth EC (2007) Growth curves from birth to weaning for Thoroughbred foals raised on pasture. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 55, 319–325.
Growth curves from birth to weaning for Thoroughbred foals raised on pasture.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2sjislGhsw%3D%3D&md5=63fcdb9320a95366ae9a30ad29f95ddeCAS |

Morley PS, Townsend HGG (1997) A survey of reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares and morbidity, mortality and athletic potential of their foals. Equine Veterinary Journal 29, 290–297.
A survey of reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares and morbidity, mortality and athletic potential of their foals.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2cvjtlCltQ%3D%3D&md5=87f590ce87e4b843c2b776a61a898b6eCAS |

National Research Council (2007) ’Nutrient requirements of horses.’ (National Academy Press: Washington, DC)

O’Donohue DD, Smith FH, Strickland KL (1992) The incidence of abnormal limb development in the Irish Thoroughbred from birth to 18 months. Equine Veterinary Journal 24, 305–309.
The incidence of abnormal limb development in the Irish Thoroughbred from birth to 18 months.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK38zmt1Gqtg%3D%3D&md5=bedf2186cfa23149213c4692646eccc5CAS |

Oliver LJ, Baird DK, Baird AN, Moore GE (2008) Prevalence and distribution of radiographically evident lesions on repository films in the hock and stifle joints of yearling Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 56, 202–209.
Prevalence and distribution of radiographically evident lesions on repository films in the hock and stifle joints of yearling Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1cnktl2ltw%3D%3D&md5=0d3f609f9e90777760566848916b527cCAS |

Pagan JD, Nash DM, Koch A, Caddel S, Brown-Douglas CG (2006) The influence of bodyweight, wither height and body condition score on sale price of Thoroughbred yearlings at public auction. Proceedings of the Australian Equine Science Symposium 1, 27

Pearce SG, Firth EC, Grace ND, Fennessy PF (1998) Effect of copper supplementation on the evidence of developmental orthopaedic disease in pasture-fed New Zealand Thoroughbreds. Equine Veterinary Journal 30, 211–218.
Effect of copper supplementation on the evidence of developmental orthopaedic disease in pasture-fed New Zealand Thoroughbreds.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK1c3otlKltw%3D%3D&md5=8148fbd8c3b7862c3ea4db187bfeaae0CAS |

Randall L, Rogers CW, Hoskin SO, Morel PCH, Swainson NM (2014) Preference for different pasture grasses by horses in New Zealand. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 74, 5–10.

Rogers CW, Gee EK (2011) Selection decisions in Thoroughbred broodmares. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 71, 122–125.

Rogers CW, Gee EK, Faram TL (2004) The effect of two different weaning procedures on the growth of pasture-reared thoroughbred foals in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 52, 401–403.
The effect of two different weaning procedures on the growth of pasture-reared thoroughbred foals in New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2M7js1amsw%3D%3D&md5=93714c688462895c7c50a424b1f0a374CAS |

Rogers CW, Gee EK, Firth EC (2007) A cross-sectional survey of Thoroughbred stud farm management in the North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 55, 302–307.
A cross-sectional survey of Thoroughbred stud farm management in the North Island of New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2sjislGiug%3D%3D&md5=7e3b3ee1ce18bb53f5ecb02a24b861baCAS |

Rogers CW, Firth EC, Mcilwraitht CW, Barneveld A, Goodship AE, Kawcak CE, Smith RKW, Van Weerew PR (2008) Evaluation of a new strategy to modulate skeletal development in Thoroughbred performance horses by imposing track-based exercise during growth. Equine Veterinary Journal 40, 111–118.
Evaluation of a new strategy to modulate skeletal development in Thoroughbred performance horses by imposing track-based exercise during growth.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1c7ktFGhtg%3D%3D&md5=07bebbe6692d19eb408158c93ca201f3CAS |

Rogers CW, Gee EK, Vermeij E (2009) Retrospective examination of the breeding efficiency of the New Zealand Thoroughbred and Standardbred horse. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 69, 126–131.

Rogers CW, Bolwell CF, Tanner JC, Van Weeren PR (2012a) Early exercise in the horse. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research 7, 375–379.
Early exercise in the horse.CrossRef |

Rogers CW, Bolwell CF, Gee EK (2012b) Proactive management of the equine athlete. Animals (Basel) 2, 640–655.
Proactive management of the equine athlete.CrossRef |

Rogers CW, Bolwell CF, Gee EK (2014) Early exercise in the juvenile horse to optimise performance later in life. In ‘Horses breeding, health disorders, and effects on performance and behavior’. (Eds A Paz-Silva, MSA Vazquez, RS-A Fernandez) pp. 1–20. (Nova Publishing: New York)

Rogers CW, Gee EK, Bolwell CF (2016) Reproductive production constraints within the New Zealand racing industry. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 76, 146–150.

Scott I, Bishop RM, Pomroy WE (2015) Anthelmintic resistance in equine helminth parasites: a growing issue for horse owners and veterinarians in New Zealand? New Zealand Veterinary Journal 63, 188–198.
Anthelmintic resistance in equine helminth parasites: a growing issue for horse owners and veterinarians in New Zealand?CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXnsFGgs7g%3D&md5=26f1af34769ef5e052432826c0a43bfbCAS |

Shotton A, Bolwell CF, Rogers CW, Gee EK, Sells PD, Connel J, McIlwraith CW (2015) Flexural limb deformities in a cohort of Thoroughbred foals on commercial stud farms. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 75, 188–190.

Staniar WB, Kronfeld DS, Treiber KH, Splan RK, Harris PA (2004) Growth rate consists of baseline and systematic deviation components in thoroughbreds. Journal of Animal Science 82, 1007–1015.
Growth rate consists of baseline and systematic deviation components in thoroughbreds.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXis1arsLY%3D&md5=9540f2bd3f68bc487dabb0cf3df2145fCAS |

Stowers NL, Rogers CW, Hoskin SO (2009) Management of weanlings on commercial Thoroughbred studs farms in the North Island of New Zealand. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 69, 4–9.

Stowers NL, Erdtsieck B, Rogers CW, Taylor TB, Firth EC (2010) The prevalance of limb deformities in New Zealand Standardbred foals and their influence on racing success: a preliminary investigation. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 70, 140–142.

Tanner JC, Rogers CW, Firth EC (2011) The relationship of training milestones with racing success in a population of Standardbred horses in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 59, 323–327.
The relationship of training milestones with racing success in a population of Standardbred horses in New Zealand.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3MbltlOktA%3D%3D&md5=aed293beeaa49e880779b5ab0d29f528CAS |

Tanner JC, Rogers CW, Firth EC (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 45, 20–24.

Vander Heyden L, Lejeune JP, Caudron I, Detilleux J, Sandersen C, Chavatte P, Paris J, Deliege B, Serteyn D (2013) Association of breeding conditions with prevalence of osteochondrosis in foals. The Veterinary Record 172, 68–71.
Association of breeding conditions with prevalence of osteochondrosis in foals.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3s7gtV2isA%3D%3D&md5=463fa6f20472a4f3d47ebc9d743d4731CAS |

van Lierde M (2015) ‘An epidemiological study of the presence and significance of angular limb deformities in a sample of New Zealand thoroughbred foals.’ (Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Science, Massey University: Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Waldron K, Rogers CW, Gee EK, Bolwell CF (2011) Production variables influencing the auction sales price of New Zealand Thoroughbred yearlings. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 71, 92–95.

Wilsher S, Allen WR, Wood JLN (2006) Factors associated with failure of Thoroughbred horses to train and race. Equine Veterinary Journal 38, 113–118.
Factors associated with failure of Thoroughbred horses to train and race.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD287kslCluw%3D%3D&md5=b4cfb674646c196b03786a35584005d9CAS |



Export Citation