Haematological and haematochemical responses to training and competition in standardbred horses

Research paper by Giuseppe Piccione, Stefania Casella, Claudia Giannetto, Vanessa Messina, Vincenzo Monteverde, Giovanni Caola, Sergio Guttadauro

Indexed on: 26 Aug '09Published on: 26 Aug '09Published in: Comparative Clinical Pathology


The aim of this study was to evaluate haematological and haematochemical responses to training and competition in standardbred horses. We investigated the modifications that occur in athletic horses during different workloads of training and after official competitions of 1,600 and 2,000 m. The study was carried out on 15 gelding clinically healthy horses. The animals were divided into three groups: group A, group B, and group C. All animals of group A were subjected to two training schedules with different workloads. Group B took part in a 1,600 m trot official competition, and group C took part in a 2,000 m trot official competition. Blood samples were collected from each animal at rest, after training/competition, and 60 min after the end of the physical exercise. On each subject of groups A, B, and C, red blood cell, white blood cell, haemoglobin, haematocrit, and platelets were recorded by means of a multiparametric automatic analyzer, and the concentrations of triglycerides, glucose, creatinine, urea, glutamate pyruvate transaminases, and glutamate oxaloacetate transaminases were assessed with a spectrophotometer. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine significant differences. The results indicated that exercise had a significant effect on haematological and haematochemical parameters, the effect being proportional to the workload.