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Wester, Felicia, 2019. Effekt av relativ ålder på travhästars tävlingsprestation. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry



Harness racing in Sweden has evolved since the 18th century when it began as racing to the
church or at frozen lakes. Since then Sweden has become one of the world's foremost harness
racing nations with a world-class breeding. Mares show heat and are fertile during the bright
season of the year, which in Sweden is from late February or early March until early autumn.
This means that most foals are born in May and April. The breeding season can start earlier
with a light program, which usually means less time outdoors for the mare when the program
is most easily controlled by keeping the lighting in the stable on for a long time.
The Standardbred trotter is expected to compete and perform at a high level at an early age.
There are advantages and disadvantages for horses to be born early or late in the year.
A disadvantage of late-born foals in addition to the relative age difference is that the foal
often moves on large surfaces early, which can lead to skeletal damage. Contact with humans
decreases as late-born foals often go out into large pastures shortly after birth. The advantage
of late-born foals is that the foal can be offered movement at an early age without climate
restrictions. The advantage of early-born foals is that the foal gets used to standing on stables
and in human contact at an early age. In many cases, the mare has a good and controlled
nutrient intake which gives a positive effect for the skeletal structure of the foal. The
disadvantage is that the foal sometimes cannot be offered the outdoor space it needs.
Early-born foals have been proposed to perform better on the racetrack. To get early foals
breeding season for the mare need to be advanced which could affect the mare.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the performances of Standardbred
trotters is affected by month of birth.
The material in this study was two- to four-year-old Standardbred trotters born in 2010-2012
and factors as earnings, speed, gender, birth period and numbers of starts were studied. The
differences between the results were measured by p-value where the difference was
significant at p-value <0.05 and tended to be significant if the p-value was <0.1.
The results showed that it was most favorable for horses to be born early in the year. Horses
born in February did most races per year and with a better earnings and speed then horses
born later in the year.
In conclusion the hypothesis that the month of birth would have an effect on the performance
of two and three-year-old horses is true. The effect follows with the horses up to four years
and possibly longer than that. Horses born in January-March perform best followed by horses
born in April or late May and last horses born in June-August. The heat season can be
advanced with an artificial light program. There are no studies that indicate that light
programs would adversely affect the mare
Keywords; horse, birth, age, artificial light program, race performance

Main title:Effekt av relativ ålder på travhästars tävlingsprestation
Authors:Wester, Felicia
Supervisor:Connysson, Malin
Examiner:Viklund, Åsa
Series:Examensarbete på kandidatnivå / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Hippologenheten
Volume/Sequential designation:K97
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK004 Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
Keywords:horse, birth, age, artificial light program,, race performance
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal physiology and biochemistry
Deposited On:17 Sep 2019 10:32
Metadata Last Modified:29 May 2020 12:27

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