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Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

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Bleeders (on the track)

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  • Bleeders (on the track)

    Please, this is not meant to stir the pot, I fear this question will appear really ignorant, but I'm dying to know . . .

    Years ago, I had several OTTBs that were fairly bad bleeders on the track that were fine as event horses (one bled 1x in a gallop session, never competing, the other never did), and am considering another. I have always heard that bleeding on the track really doesn't impact sporthorse performance.

    With all the research done on EIPH, do we still feel the same way? Or has this wisdom at all changed?


  • #2
    Both my current OTTBs have bled. Jay bled in training at least once and Juice actually bled when he was off the track and in full training with my trainer.

    Juice's was more likely an infection or allergy because it cleared up with SMZs.

    Jay's was exercise induced.

    Neither of them are showing at the upper levels but i've had Jay for 5 years now and we've done a lot of jumping, galloping (sometimes not on purpose!) and he's never bled.

    Juice is just getting into eventing but he's never bled since the initial time.
    http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


    • #3
      Nearly all OTTB's are "bleeders" now days. Finding a horse that isn't on Lasix is getting nearly impossible. Trainers are afraid of someone else's horse having an advantage on it, so they have them scoped to reveal "exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage," which could be allergies, and it could be just normal blood vessles rupturing while the horse is galloping at excessive speeds. The last 15 or so TBs I've owned have been diagnosed with EIPH, and not ONE has had an issue with it. I did get an amazing deal on a little arab cross on account of the day I went to try him, he started bleeding. Scared the owner enough to sell him for peanuts, but he never bled again!


      • #4
        Unless I was looking for an Advanced horse, I wouldn't really care. Even then, I'd take a chance if they were nice enough, you could always sell them later on as a nice lower level horse.

        Like someone else said, a lot of them are on it even if they really don't need it because the trainers are afraid it'll give someone else an edge. Some tracks aren't so bad, but at a few it seems like every single horse is on it. It wouldn't bother me much at all.


        • #5
          The fact that a horse raced on Lasix (now Salix) is NOT an indication that a horse is a true bleeder. Lasix is generally considered to be a performance enhancer and there are opinions on both side of the aisle on that, but suffice it to say that, yes, most racers are treated with Lasix.

          At my track this year, bleeding has been an unusually prevalent problem, most likely a result of the track surface being particularly tiring/strenuous on the horses. We have few options for race-day treatment of horses who are known bleeders as we must comply with NYS racing regulations. Because of this problem, many racers are therapeutically and/or prophylactically treated with SMZs/clenbuterol after a race and may be given clenbuterol routinely until the safe period "out" from a race.

          That said, any OTTB who goes to a discipline other than racing will likely not be asked to perform at the level of output that is typical in racing. Yes, they may be exerting themselves over a period of time, e.g. over a cross-country course, but racing asks them for maximal effort in a minimal period of time and that can set them up for pulmonary hemorrhage.

          It's appropriate to ask pointed questions about the horse's history re: PH, but I would mostly feel confident that the potential situation would not be a problem in most disciplines.


          • #6
            Just did a research paper on this for a disease class, i could send it to you when im done but i found a ton of great info on the horse.com. search EIPH or racing pulmonary issues and stuff like that, they had detailed and up to date articles. Its tough because theres still alot that they dont know about it.