Biomechanical and Mechanical Investigations of the Hoof-Track Interface in Racing Horses

Jeffrey J. Thomason, Michael L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The aim of this article is to review current knowledge of kinetic variables of the hoof-track interaction and track properties relevant to the objective of minimizing injuries to horses at racing tracks. In each phase of the stance-primary impact, secondary impact, support, and breakover, the hoof experiences different combinations of force and acceleration. The role of each combination, and of measured track properties, in causing catastrophic and chronic injuries to the limbs of racing horses is unknown. Limited data of this type have been provided in previous epidemiologic studies of risk factors for breakdown. Future epidemiological studies should include characterization of the track surfaces and a more complete description of the kinematics of the hoof and surface. Consideration of an appropriate range of physical properties is necessary in track design, testing, and maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-77
Number of pages25
JournalVeterinary Clinics of North America - Equine Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario and the American Quarter Horse Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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