Racehorse Respiratory Health Course Completes the Trifecta in Winter Online Learning Series!

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Horse cold day breath

Equine Guelph has partnered with Standardbred Canada, Ontario Racing and Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) to offer three online courses in Winter of 2024 in priority healthcare areas of respiratory, lameness and gut health. Sponsored by Standardbred Canada, the Racehorse Respiratory Health course  is the final course in this winter series.

The two-week online short course, developed specifically for the horse racing industry, will be offered from March 4 – March 15, 2024 and will be available FREE (value of $95) to the first 100 AGCO licence holders and/or Standardbred Canada members who enroll.

In the 2017 Ontario Horse Racing Industry Survey conducted by Equine Guelph, ‘respiratory issues’ was ranked the top health issue of concern.

The Racehorse Respiratory Health course will cover topics such as the anatomy and function of the equine respiratory system, the causes and prevention of respiratory diseases, and the evaluation and management of respiratory health in racehorses.

Respiratory health is essential for any racehorse, as it affects their performance and well-being. However, many racehorses are exposed to various risk factors that can compromise their respiratory function, such as cold air, dust, ammonia, infections, and inflammation. This course will provide practical and evidence-based information on how to reduce these risks and improve respiratory health in racehorses, using the latest research and expert advice from veterinarians and industry professionals.

The most recent update to the course includes a video interview with Dr. Luis Arroyo who has been involved with research studies on Exercise‐induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH). Horses suffering from EIPH are known as ‘bleeders’.  Watch a sneak peek.

Dr. Janet Beeler-Marfisi will be following up as guest expert, available in week two of the course, answering any further questions on ‘bleeders’ and other respiratory health concerns.  Janet is a researcher, assistant professor, and a diagnostic Clinical Pathologist at the Ontario Veterinary College. She studies the equine lung diseases, mild and severe equine asthma (inflammatory airway disease and heaves) and exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. She’s particularly interested in the role of air pollution (smog) in causing these diseases, as well as unravelling the relationship between barn dusts and lung inflammation. Dr. Beeler-Marfisi has always had an interest in horse health, having grown up around her father’s Standardbreds and having married a Standardbred racehorse trainer. She is also a teacher who is dedicated to helping her students find ways to truly understand the information she shares. 

A past student commented:

“I want to thank Equine Guelph for allowing me the opportunity to learn about Racehorse Respiratory Health. The opportunity to work on the program on my schedule was great. The more we learn about our Equine Athletes the better stewards we will be to these magnificent animals.”

Doctors Sarah Shaw and Amy Lack will return as the course co-instructors for the Racehorse Respiratory Health online course.

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Instructor, Racehorse Respiratory Health course

Dr. Sarah Shaw is a private practice owner and a large animal internal medicine specialist working in Ontario, Canada. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College, she spent one year in a large animal ambulatory practice and then completed an internship at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala. She then pursued a large animal internal medicine residency at Texas A&M where her research focused on Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. In 2016, Dr. Shaw began working at Rotenberg Veterinary P.C., a practice with a focus on Thoroughbred mares, foals, sales yearlings, and racehorses. Concurrently, she has developed a diverse equine internal medicine referral caseload and is an adjunct professor at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Doctor Amy Lack with 2 dogs
Dr. Amy Lack, Instructor, Racehorse Respiratory Health course

Dr. Amy Lack grew up riding and showing horses in western New York. She obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri in 2015 and completed a residency in internal medicine at Mississippi State University in 2019. During her residency, she completed a Master’s thesis with a focus on Equine Asthma. Amy joined the Large Animal Internal Medicine service at the Ontario Veterinary College in July of 2020.

Dr. Shaw and Dr. Lack will be discussing common respiratory issues for racehorses as well as early detection and prevention.  You will journey through the anatomy of a horse’s respiratory system and finish the course with an understanding of how these obligate nose-breathers differ from yourself.

Shaw and Lack will also be joined by Industry Ambassadors, Ruleen Lilley and Renée Kierans, who will be on-hand as peer helpers to assist students and ask questions on hot topics.

“We are pleased to partner with Equine Guelph in providing valuable training and education to horse people across Canada.”  – Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Canada President and CEO.

The course is suitable for anyone involved in the horse racing industry, such as trainers, grooms, owners, anyone who wants their horse to reach its full potential!

The course is delivered completely online through the Horse Portal, a user-friendly and flexible learning platform that allows participants to access the course materials anytime and anywhere and interact with the instructors and other learners through discussion forums. No prior online learning experience is required.

Sign up now as registration is limited, for the FREE Racehorse Respiratory Health course 
March 4 – 15, 2024