Thursday, May 20, 2021

Keeping horses safe from heat and humidity

 With the Tokyo Olympics due to take place shortly during the Japanese Summer, the Equine Veterinary Journal has compiled a collection of relevant articles covering the health and welfare of horses competing in hot and humid conditions.

The special online collection "Preparing for Tokyo Olympics" contains 11 papers and is available to read free of charge. It highlights the ground-breaking research that followed the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.


“This is not the first time that extreme heat and humidity has challenged the viability of Equestrian events at the Olympic Games,” said Christopher Elliott, who is Guest Editor of the collection. “It is vital that we learn from the past to ensure the welfare of equine athletes in the future.” 


Topics covered are:


  • Physiological, metabolic and biochemical responses of horses competing in the speed and endurance phase of a CCI**** 3dayevent
  • Physiological responses to the endurance test of a 3day event during hot and cool weather
  • Physiological responses of horses competing at a modified 1 Star 3dayevent
  • Adaptations to daily exercise in hot and humid ambient conditions in trained Thoroughbred horses
  • Sweating rate and sweat composition during exercise and recovery in ambient heat and humidity
  • Physiological responses of horses to a treadmill simulated speed and endurance test in high heat and humidity before and after humid heat acclimation
  • Comparison between two post exercise cooling methods
  • Contributions of equine exercise physiology research to the success of the 1996 Equestrian Olympic Games: a review
  • An index of the environmental thermal load imposed on exercising horses and riders by hot weather conditions
  • Use of the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) Index to quantify environmental heat loads during Threedayevent competitions
  • Risk factors for exertional heat illness in Thoroughbred racehorses in flat races in Japan (2005–2016)


Professor Celia Marr, Editor of the EVJ, added: “Prevention is always better than cure: this special collection provides much excellent research and knowledge gained from previous events. We must ensure that we use it to best effect to keep the equine athletes competing in extreme climates in Tokyo this summer safe, cool, healthy and performing at their best.”


To read the articles, go to:

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