- Journal of Equine Science (ISSN:13403516)
- vol.12, no.1, pp.1-7, 2001 (Released:2001-10-27)
The body size and weight of 584 Banei draft racehorses at Obihiro Racing Stable in Hokkaido, Japan, was investigated. Almost all the animals (94.7%) were cross-breed heavy draft horses; there were a few Percheron and Percheron grade (4.8%) and a Belgian breed (0.5%). The ages of the animals ranged from 2 to 10 years. Males accounted for 80.3%, females for 17.5%, and 2.2% were castrated. The mean body measurements of 2-year-old Banei draft racehorses were significantly smaller than those of the 3-to 4-year-old or 5-to 10-year-old horses. Hip width, croup width, and rump length of females were greater than those of males. In contrast, males had greater chest width and cannon bone circumference than females. Significant relationships among almost all body measurements were observed. A high correlation was found between body weight and chest girth, croup width and body length. A principle component analysis were applied to investigate the effect of body conformation on racing performance in terms of earnings and the time on the performance test. Performance was significantly related to the principle components of general body size and weight of the horses. The cannon bone, body length, and rump length were suggested to have an effect on earnings per race in 2-year-old male horses. In terms of body size and conformation, the Banei draft racehorses, which are large in general size and well balanced, seemed to show high performance.