Like any animal, foals are more susceptible to disease during their first months of life. The easiest way to prevent disease from manifesting in young foals is to vaccinate the mare late in her gestation. This allows the foal to begin their life with a passive immunity for many harmful diseases. Unfortunately there are still some diseases that we cannot yet vaccinate for. The most prevalent of these diseases in young foals is Rhodococcus Equi. Continue reading
We always talk about the value of having a fresh horse when racing. The theory is great; horses predominantly train one side of their body, the left. Jogging to the right or galloping on the right lead down the stretch is nothing close to what we can do on the farm. At the farm, a horse can gallop either direction and alternates daily. The hills of the All-weather gallop work muscle groups that haven’t been touched in months and the jogging builds a foundation that can’t be denied.
At some point, we need to ‘put our money where our mouth is’, so we did. We received a number of horses in November and December of last year with the idea that they would come in, enjoy some turnout time, and start back into foundation and race training on our gallops. The endgame was to run competitively at the Keeneland Spring meet, something many owners shoot for but a select few succeed at.
We gave the horses about 30 days to let down in the fields and paddocks before we started them back into training. We started back with a ‘mandatory’ 30 days of jogging, this would tell us which horses were ready to move forward and which needed a bit more time jogging before moving forward. Jogging is one of the most important exercises for a horse because it is more work for the musculature of the horse than galloping. A horse needs a solid foundation to finish a race and jogging plays a big role in developing the hind end and strengthening the horse, especially jogging up and down hills.
Once the horses were ready to move up to a gallop we started them at an easy gallop then moved up incrementally until we reached over 2 ½ miles daily on the all-weather gallop. Keep in mind that the horses were being turned out every evening in a paddock or pasture where they can walk close to 25 miles in a night just grazing. The horses were sent to their respective trainers mid March and most ran throughout the Keeneland meet with many slated to run in the next few weeks at Churchill or Woodbine.
Overall we had 7 runners at Keeneland. Two of those won high level Allowance races and two ran 2nd in MSW company. Those four horses ran the best speed figures of their careers at the Keeneland meet and we expect to see more of the same in the coming weeks from the rest of the crop. Just for reference, we were 28.5% winning and 57% in the money for the meet.
Margaux farm has always taken on the long shots and taken pride in the job we can do for their owners. Training the good ones is fairly easy, most can handle that. Training horses with injuries or issues takes a good team. We are especially proud of RERUN who broke his maiden this weekend at Tampa for a good friend and client.
Rerun was brought to Margaux as a horse that had accrued a pretty serious injury in the stall while he was in training at the track. He was given the proper amount of time off to heal by his owner, and came to Margaux to start back into training. We spent plenty of time slowly bringing Rerun back into training, working him on the hills and helping him continue to heal his injury. Rerun was sent off to his trainer this Spring, and there have been ‘no issues’ since he left Margaux.
To get a horse like Rerun back to the races is an accomplishment in itself for his owner, but we couldn’t be happier to see him running as sound as any other horse. Breaking his maiden in his 3rd start by 9 ¾ is a testament to what a patient owner and a good team can do for a horse. We hope to see Rerun continue his success going forward. Watch the race here via The Blood-Horse.
Have questions about the horse racing industry? We’ve incorporated the OwnerView app into our Facebook page. Developed by The Jockey Club, and also available online at OwnerView.com, this tool is an amazing resource for owners: new and old alike.
To access the app, simply click on the link, as shown below:
The screenshot below is an example of what you can expect to find:
Click here to read the December 18th Newsletter
Besides vaccination schedules, the other major consideration in herd health management is that of internal parasite control. My primary focus in this article is an issue that was raised by our local Rood and Riddle veterinarian (with whom we developed our herd health program): an observed increase in the number of ascarids in the Central Kentucky weanling crop.
After running fecal floats on our weanlings (44 total), we observed the following statistics:
- 25% (11 weanlings) with 0 ascarids
- 56% (21 weanlings) with 25 à 75 ascarids (low)
- 20% (9 weanlings) with 100 à 375 ascarids (moderate)
- 6% (3 weanlings) with ≥ 400 ascarids (high)
While there are many different products available to treat internal parasites, the drug of choice in the Thoroughbred industry for a long time has been Ivermectin. As a part of our herd health program for foals and weanlings, the young horses (up until their yearling year) are dosed with Strongid at 30 and 60 days, and beginning at 90 days they are dosed with Ivermectin on a monthly basis. In December, all of the farm horses are dosed with a combination Ivermectin/Praziquantel product, to limit the presence of the difficult-to-detect tapeworms.
At the time of this writing, we have put into practice a change proposed by our veterinarian – deworming our entire weanling population with both the Ivermectin/Praziquantel, as well as an Anthelcide product. The suspicion is that our industry’s overuse of Ivermectin has led us to introducing a resistance in ascarids to the drug. We’ll be coming back in 30 days to re-evaluate our weanlings with another fecal float, to gauge the effectiveness of the Anthelcide in treating the ascarids. I would imagine we will begin rotating a dose of Anthelcide during the weanling year during our next foaling season, but we will know more after we re-run the fecal floats.
- Dayn Johnson
Click here to read the October 22nd Newsletter
Click here to read the August 24th Newsletter
Click here to read the August 3rd Newsletter