Fossils reveal racehorse weakness


Well-Known Member
5 March 2010
Just seen this on the BBC News website. Thought it was quite interesting!

"Scientists at the University of Liverpool are comparing ancient 15-million-year-old horse fossils with the bones of modern racehorses to find out why horses' legs can be prone to fracture.

Researchers are comparing modern bones with the fossils - using computer models to simulate how the old and new bones would respond to the forces experienced as horses gallop.

Lead researchers Dr Ellen Singer and Dr Nathan Jeffery told BBC News how comparing ancient and modern horses' leg joints could eventually help vets to understand ways in which "catastrophic" fractures might be prevented."


Well-Known Member
28 June 2008
w(b)est coast of Sweden
:confused: But the video ends before the end so to say, Dr Nathan Jeffery says "We think" and then the video stops
, they think what?

Admittedly, I don't quite understand why they don't compare Thoroughbreds with for example Arabs and/or Akhal-Tekes, both those breeds is also sometimes bred to become some sort of race horses, there is flat races for Arabs and Akhal-Tekes (at least in some parts of the world) and they're both known for being good in endurance races. Or they could compare Thoroughbreds with Quarter horses, a breed known for producing extremely fast "sprinters" and some compete in short sprint races (again, at least in some parts of the world).
I haven't heard about any of those three breeds getting fractures while racing, the same way that I've heard about it happening to Thoroughbreds, maybe they do and I've just not heard about it, but if they don't, why is there a difference? And a second if they don't, wouldn't that be a better comparison, than a 15-million-year-old horse fossil with three toes?

So basically, it gave me more questions than answers, but it was still interesting to hear, so thank you for posting the link.