Competitors in the 1990 Race of Champions (a 150-mile, 2-day endurance ride) were asked to participate in a study on body weight and condition of endurance horses. Prior to the race, the following information was collected: body weight, rider and tack weight, previous race record, hours and miles trained per week, body condition score, and rump fat thickness. When possible body weights were obtained at veterinary checks during the race. The majority of the horses in the race were of Arabian or part-Arabian breeding. Average age was 11 years. The average horse weighed 410 kg and carried 79.9 kg of weight (rider and tack). Mean condition score (1–9 scale) was 4.67 (n=57). Using rump fat thickness, mean body fat was estimated at 7.8%. Approximately 60% of the horses were eliminated during the race for injury, lameness, or failure to meet metabolic criteria. The most competitive horses (finishers in the top 7) tended to have lower condition scores (p<.05) and less rump fat (p<.l) than non-competitive horses eliminated for metabolic criteria. Horses with faster race times also tended to have won more "best condition" awards in past-performances (p<,05).
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