Study Finds 3 Markers That Could Help Predict Fatal Horse Racing Injury Risk By Using New Blood Test; Markers Right 33% of Time

Horse Racing Industry is in desperate need & effort to effectively predict horse injury.
Learn why young horses are continuing to break down at every track in the country.
Respected scientists & track vets are doing studies to find answers.
Conducting two studies on Identifying race horses at risk of fatal injury.
The Two studies could Give vets & scientists early warnings signs of injury.
Inflammatory RNA Marker Protein may enable the prediction of breakdowns.

The quest continues for a better way to identify racehorses at risk for fatal injury.
Biomarkers do show the severity of an existing disease or injury state.
Researchers are hopeful mRNA to be more helpful from a predictive standpoint.
Provides instructions for the body’s response to disease or injury.
Challenge to determine how mRNA marker data could be practically applied to a time sensitive screening process

Researchers have previously looked at biomarkers with lesser results.
Now trying to find inflammatory messenger RNA markers that signal risk.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) provided real time instructions to produce proteins.
May still be subclinical, or not producing recognizable symptoms yet in horses.
Previous efforts yielded mixed results of inflammation in response to exercise .

Page and Horohov are in the midst of a two-phase research project.
The second phase is still in progress as gathered data from racetracks.
Researchers are  testing blood taken pre-race for TCO2 testing.
Comparing results between horses who suffered fatal musculoskeletal injuries.
Examined 21 markers; Found 3-IGF-1, MMP-2,& IL1RN- present in injured horses.
The three markers weren’t perfect predictors of impending injury.
This test is more expensive than a full blood panel.
Researcher Page cautioned that testing based on mRNA markers
Would likely not be used as the sole determinant of whether a horse was fit to race.

“Our testing is something that can be run on all horses within a limited timeframe,”- Dr. Allen Page.

“That’s why we see a potential role for screening horses via mRNA analysis and then sending horses with concerning results for advanced imaging.  Knowing that many catastrophic injuries occur in lower limbs, we would expect these imaging techniques to either clear a horse to race or identify areas of underlying bone damage, leading to a horse’s scratch from a race. For the foreseeable future, we do not anticipate our analysis being the sole reason that a horse should be scratched from a race.”
—Dr. Allen Page

STATS [Relating to the results of the Two Rounds of Research]:
 21 different mRNA markers in first round of research.
Second using sequencing to measure approximately 21,000 mRNA markers.
24 % of the time horse would not appear to be at risk based on marker levels.
But horses did suffer a fatal injury.
12 % of the time, tests suggested the horse was at risk of a fatal injury.
But the horse finished the race without a catastrophic breakdown.Overall, the three markers accurately identified at-risk horses 88 % of the time.

by Natalie Voss – Author of

Key People in the Research:
Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council (KEDRC)
Gluck researchers Dr. Allen Page & David Horohov



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