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Article

Speed and Blood Parameters Differ between Arabian and Žemaitukai Horses during Endurance Racing

1
Large Animal Clinic, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilžės St. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Animal Breeding, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilžės St. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mandy Paterson and Jane M. Williams
Animals 2021, 11(4), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040995
Received: 5 March 2021 / Revised: 17 March 2021 / Accepted: 29 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Equine Training and Rehabilitation)
Limited information exists on the physiological changes that occur in the horses competing in endurance races. The objective was to provide the initial data describing changes in laboratory measurements of the horses competing in endurance races under temperate conditions and to compare the data between the Arabian horses, which are one of the most popular horse breeds in the world, and a Lithuanian horse breed—Žemaitukai. The study was carried out on 112 horses. Blood samples were collected before and after an endurance race. The Arabian horses were faster compared to the local breed (Žemaitukai). The study showed significant changes in horse blood gasometrical and biochemical indicators.
Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has described equine endurance racing as the second largest discipline in the world, above which is only show jumping. The Žemaitukai is an ancient indigenous Lithuanian horse breed known since the 6th or 7th century. The Arabian horse breed is one of the oldest human-developed horse breeds in the world. Compared with other race horse breeds, the muscle tissue of Arabian horses is characterized by significant differences in structure—a predominance of oxidative fiber type I is observed in Arabians, making them the prevailing breed in endurance racing. The Arabian horses are recognized as the leading breed in endurance competitions. Speed, pace, and total time in the race strategy have been extensively studied in human sports, and in contrast, this strategy appears to have been virtually ignored in equestrian sport, despite the potential for contributing to performance optimization. In relation to speed and total time in the race, there are limited data on postrace physical, biochemical, and blood gas parameters of endurance horses. Thus, this study was carried out to investigate the effects of speed on the blood parameters of the Arabian and Žemaitukai horses during an endurance race. Blood samples were taken before and immediately after the exercise. Biochemical and blood gas indicators were analyzed. The study showed significant increases in mean blood gasometrical indicators, such as partial carbon dioxide pressure (8.09–15.18%, p < 0.001); base excess in the extracellular fluid (14.01%, p < 0.001 in the Arabian horses and 172.01% in the Žemaitukai breed, p = 0.006); decreases of the blood electrolyte ionized calcium (4.38–8.72%, p < 0.001) and the hematocrit and hemoglobin values (20.05–20.12%, p < 0.001 in the Arabian horses and 6.22–6.23% in the Žemaitukai breed, p = 0.003–0.004); and decreases in the base excess in the blood values (29.24–39.38%, p < 0.001) and lactate (13.45–31.97%, p < 0.001) in the blood of both breeds in the post-competition horses. Significant increases after competition were determined for the values of creatinine (21.34–30.82%, p = 0.001–0.004), total bilirubin (50.84–56.24%, PH < 0.001), and albumin (2.63–4.48%, p = 0.048–0.001) for both breeds. For the faster Arabian horse breed, recovering after racing took half the time that the local Žemaitukai breed did. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise; horse; endurance; pace; horse breed exercise; horse; endurance; pace; horse breed
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MDPI and ACS Style

Poškienė, I.; Gruodytė, R.; Autukaitė, J.; Juozaitienė, V.; Antanaitis, R. Speed and Blood Parameters Differ between Arabian and Žemaitukai Horses during Endurance Racing. Animals 2021, 11, 995. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040995

AMA Style

Poškienė I, Gruodytė R, Autukaitė J, Juozaitienė V, Antanaitis R. Speed and Blood Parameters Differ between Arabian and Žemaitukai Horses during Endurance Racing. Animals. 2021; 11(4):995. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040995

Chicago/Turabian Style

Poškienė, Indrė, Renata Gruodytė, Jurgita Autukaitė, Vida Juozaitienė, and Ramūnas Antanaitis. 2021. "Speed and Blood Parameters Differ between Arabian and Žemaitukai Horses during Endurance Racing" Animals 11, no. 4: 995. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040995

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