Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology

Short Communication

Pre-race warm-up practices in Greyhound racing: a pilot study

A J Windreda1, P G Osmotherlya2 and C M McGowana3 c1

a1 Noahs Ark Animal Physiotherapy, Brisbane, Queensland 4030, Australia

a2 Faculty of Health, School of Health Sciences, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, Australia

a3 Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine, The University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 57, Helsinki 00014, Finland

Abstract

Despite the high athletic demands of Greyhound racing and recommendations for the inclusion of pre-race warm-up by some veterinarians, the extent of warm-up practices by Greyhound owners and trainers remains unexplored. We postulated that little pre-race warm-up occurred and any warm-up activities were performed at random. A cross-sectional study design was used to examine pre-race warm-up practices in a sample of 80 Greyhounds. Warm-up components were recorded and scores were assigned in order to quantify the total amount of warm-up undertaken. Associations between total warm-up and signalment and race characteristics were analysed statistically. Correlations between total warm-up performed and all variables including race distance, race order, grade of Greyhound and trainer were poor (all r < 0.2). No statistically significant association between total warm-up and any variable examined could be demonstrated at the P = 0.05 level, although a weak trend towards graded Greyhounds performing more warm-up was noted (P = 0.09). We conclude that little pre-race warm-up is performed in Greyhounds and that when practised, the amount and methods of warm-up are inconsistently applied.

(Received June 02 2007)

(Accepted September 28 2007)

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: c.mcgowan@uq.edu.au