Prof's Research Featured on Sports Show

November 10, 2010 - In the News

Prof. Peter Physick-Sheard's research examining the heart rates and rhythms of racehorses will be featured tonight on The Score's Bet Night Live show at approximately 7:50 p.m.

The population medicine professor, along with Kim McGurrin, another U of G equine cardiac specialist, is the first to show what actually happens to a horse's heart rate and rhythm during a race.

The two researchers were able to capture this information by attaching lightweight heart monitors to standardbred horses. The monitor, which weighs less than a pound, was tucked under the horse’s harness and recorded the electrical impulses sent from the heart during the race as well as during the warm-up and cool-down.

The researchers found that some of the horses’ heart rates occasionally reached a maximum of 270 beats per minute while racing, which is much higher than the 230 to 240 beats recorded in previous clinical studies. They also discovered that about 16 per cent of the horses experienced significant disturbances in heart rhythm during the early recovery period after the race, a finding that was recently published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Physick-Sheard is now conducting a similar study on thoroughbred horses.

Bet Night Live is a sports program that focuses on horse racing and airs Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

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