A case study comparison of national hunt racehorse workload during jump schooling compared to maintenance interval training

K. Kenworth, Jane Williams

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    Introduction: Quantitative assessment of racehorse fitness levels, achieved through heart-rate monitoring (HRM), can aid trainers in formulating evidence-based training regimes. HRM is not used consistently within racehorse training despite the potential for workload data to optimise performance. National Hunt racehorses undertake gallop exercise to develop fitness but also engage in jump schooling for skill development. This case study aimed to evaluate how the workload of two racehorses actively engaged in training and racing in the UK, varied across 6 weeks of work during jump schooling and routine interval training.
    Materials & Methods: Fine Equinity™ HR monitoring systems collected weekly mean HR and speed data for matched furlong splits during all maintenance interval training (2nd-3rd furlong, all-weather) and jump schooling (2nd-3rd furlong, turf including four hurdles) sessions for 2 thoroughbred racehorses (Horse 1: age 6 years, Official Rating: 125; Horse 2: age 7 years, Official Rating: 121). Mean HR was converted into the percentage of HR-maximum horses were working at using an age adjusted formula to provide a proxy measure of workload (Vincent et al., 2006). Mann Whitney U analyses identified if differences in workload occurred between the different types of training sessions using SPSS.
    Results: No significant difference in the workload or average speed of the horses occurred between jumping (mean workload: 69.2±12.5% HRmax; mean speed: 16.67±1.53mph) and maintenance gallop (mean workload: 77.6±7.4% HRmax; mean speed: 18.8±3.3mph) training sessions (P>0.05).
    Discussion & Conclusions: This preliminary work suggests jump schooling develops horse’s skills but could also contribute to fitness development. HRM can be used to monitor how horses are working within training and can help trainers prepare horses appropriately for racing. Further work using a larger cohort of racehorses is required to validate these results.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018
    Event8th Alltech-Hartpury student conference: 2nd May 2018 - University Centre Hartpury, Gloucester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 2 May 20182 May 2018


    Conference8th Alltech-Hartpury student conference: 2nd May 2018
    Abbreviated titleAlltech 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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