“It’s currently on people’s minds”, says Beeler.
“This research is born out of the desire to provide optimal health for equine athletes and will involve trainers, owners and veterinarians working together to find answers to the question of environmental influence.”
Beeler expects that smog and racing during cool or cold months will have the highest likelihood of a statistically significant association with EIPH and decreased racing performance, basing this hypothesis on literature from endoscopically diagnosed EIPH in Ontario Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.
Just as humans can modify their exercise based on a quick glance at weather reports, if the findings of this study confirm links to EIPH and smog in horses, trainers and veterinarians can work to lessen the effects on the horse. Some management changes may include altering training times or intensity on days with high smog or colder temperatures or adjusting post times. Ultimately, further research on a link between EIPH and air pollution could reveal more information about the development of EIPH and reduce reliance on medications such as furosemide.
This project is possible due to a grant from Equine Guelph, generously supported by Ontario Racing. It will be important to trainers and veterinarians in the Ontario racing industry; especially to those with racetracks in close proximity to highways and airports.