Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

The influence of air pollution on Thoroughbred race performance

  • Maureen C Gates (a1)
Abstract

This study examined the changing levels of air pollution at major racetracks in the United States over the past 35 years of Grade I Stakes Thoroughbred racing (n = 675) to evaluate the impact on race performance. Information on winning race times, race speed, temperature, track conditions, ozone and particulate matter was analysed using multiple regression and ANOVA. The 8, 9 and 12 furlong races showed slight improvement in winning times over the 35-year time span. Although there was no significant difference in mean race speed in terms of particulate matter (F4,112 = 0.514, α < 0.05), the few races run under ‘hazardous’ ozone levels, based on the Pollutants Standards Index, were markedly slower (F4,251 = 12.365, α < 0.05). A multiple regression analysis of six additional pollutants in the Californian races revealed no significant effects beyond a slight improvement in the 7 furlong races, with decreased nitrogen dioxide levels. Of the nine racetracks with 9 furlong races, winning times in Pimlico and Belmont were approximately 4 s slower than average. Belmont also had the greatest percentage of races with hazardous ozone conditions. Other correlations between year, pollutants and improvements in race time were of small magnitude and may be an artefact of the sample size rather than of true predictive value. While racing under high levels of certain pollutants appears detrimental to equine athletes, very few races are run under these conditions and other factors such as breeding, training and individual variation may play a more significant role than this study could document with respect to pollution.

Copyright
References
Hide All
1AirNow. Air quality index. Environmental Protection Agency [online]. 2005 [cited 2005 Jun 5]. Available from: URL: http://cfpub.epa.gov/airnow/index.cfm?action=static.aqi.
2Air Resources Board Air quality data statistics. Welcome to California[online]. (n.d.) [cited 2006 Feb 20]. Available from: URL:http://www.arb.ca.gov/adam/welcome.html.
3American Lung Association Press Fact Sheet. [online]. (n.d) [cited 2005 Oct 5]. Available from: URL: www.lungsusa.org.
4Bailey, K (1994). Methods of social research. Toronto, Canada: Maxwell Macmillan.
5Bernmark, E, et al. (2006). Bicycle messengers: energy expenditure and exposure to air pollution. Ergonomics 49(14): 14861495.
6Carlisle, AJ and Sharp, NC (2001). Exercise and outdoor ambient air pollution. British Journal of Sports Medicine 35(4): 214222.
7Corradi, M, Alinovi, R and Goldoni, M (2002). Biomarkers of oxidative stress after controlled human exposure to ozone. Toxicology Letters 134(1–3): 219.
8Davis, M, Foster, W. Inhalation toxicology in the equine respiratory tract. In P, Lekeux (ed.) Equine respiratory diseases. Ithaca: New York International Veterinary Information Service [online]. 2002 Feb2 [cited 2005 Sep 20]. Available from: URL: http://www.ivis.org/special_books/Lekeux/davis/ivis.pdf.
9Derevenco, P, Albu, M and Duma, E (2002–2003). Forecasting of top athletic performance. Romanian Journal of Physiology 39: 57–62.
10Draper, SB and Wood, DM (2005). The oxygen uptake response of sprint vs. endurance trained runners to severe intensity running. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 8(2): 233243.
11Environmental Protection Agency Air quality data [online]. 2005 [cited 2005 Sep 20]. Available from: URL: (http://www.epa.gov/air/data/index.html).
12Environmental Protection Agency. The plain English guide to the Clean Air Act [online]. 1993 [cited 2006 Feb 27]. Available from: URL: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/peg_caa/pegcaain.html#index.
13Equibase Company Homepage: Offical Source for Racing Information. 2004 Grades stakes [online]. 2004 [cited 2005 Oct 5] Available from: URL: http://www.equibase.com/products/2004gradedstakes.cfm.
14Fecht, JCalifornian cities head national pollution table [online]. City Mayors environment: American lung association 2005 [cited 2006 Mar 18]. Available from: URL: http://www.citymayors.com/environment/polluted_uscities.html.
15Florida-James, G, Donaldson, K and Stone, V (2004). Athens: the pollution climate and athletic performance. Journal of Sports Science 22(10): 967980.
16Focosi, D. Sports medicine [online]. 2005 [cited 2005 Dec 20]. Available from: URL: http://focosi.immunesig.org/sportsmedicine.html.
17Galan, A, et al. , (2003). Short-term effects of air pollution on daily asthma emergency room admissions. European Respiratory Journal 2: 802–803.
18Gauderman, E, et al. The effect of air pollution on lung development from 10 to 18 years of age. New England Journal of Medicine [serial online] 2004 Sep 9 [cited 2005 Sep 20]. Available from: URL: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/351/11/1057.
19Holcombe, SJ, Jackson, C, Gerber, V, Jefcoat, A, Berney, C, Eberhardt, S and Robinson, NE (2001). Stabling is associated with airway inflammation in young Arabian horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 33(3): 244–249.
20Huck, S, et al. (1974). Reading statistics and research. New York: Harper and Row.
21Information Superbrand, Inc. The stakes races. TurfPedia: the Horse Racing Encyclopedia [online] 2002 [cited 2005 Sep 20]. Available from: URL: http://www.turfpedia.com/playing_the_races/the_stakes_races.html.
22Jaeger, R (1990). Statistics: a spectator sport. London: SAGE Publicaitons.
23Kinney, PL and Lippmann, M (2000). Respiratory effects of seasonal exposures to ozone and particles. Archives of Environmental Health 55(3): 210–216.
24Marlin, CJ, Schroter, RC, White, SL, Maykuth, P, Matthesen, G, Mills, PC, Warran, N and Harris, P (2001). Recovery from transport and acclimatisation of competition horses in a hot humid environment. Equine Veterinary Journal 33(4): 371379.
25Marlin, CJ, Scott, CM, Schroter, RC, Harris, RC, Harris, PA, Roberts, CA and Mills, PC (1999). Physiological responses of horses to a treadmill simulated speed and endurance test in high heat and humidity before and after humid heat acclimation. Equine Veterinary Journal 31(1): 31–42.
26McConnell, A. Air pollution sports: the real problem facing the organizers of the Athens Olympics [online]. 2004 [cited 2005 Oct 10]. Available from: URL:http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/air-pollution-sports.html.
27Mills, PC, Roberts, CA and Smith, NC (1996). Effect of ozone and airway inflammation on glutathione status and iron homeostasis in the lungs of horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research 57(9): 13591363.
28Mudway, IS, Krishna, MT and Frew, AJ (1999). Compromised concentrations of ascorbate in fluid lining the respiratory tract in human subjects after exposure to ozone. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 56(7): 473–481.
29Neher, JO and Koenig, JQ (1994). Health effects of outdoor air pollution. American Family Physician 49(6): 13971404.
30Nevill, A and Whyte, G (2005). Are there limits to running world records. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 37(10): 17851788.
31Newman, JREffects of industrial air pollution on wildlife. Biological Conservation [serial online] 1979 [2006 Jan 26]; 15(3):181–190 Available from: Science Direct Database..
32Peters, JM, Avol, E, Gauderman, WJ, et al. (1997). A study of twelve southern California communities with differing levels and types of air pollution II: effects on pulmonary function. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 159: 768–775.
33Pierson, E, et al. (1986). Implication of air pollution effects on athletic performance. Journal of Sports Science 18(3): 322–327.
34Samet, J, et al. Fine particulate air pollution and mortality in 20 US cities, 1987–1994. New England Journal of Medicine [serial online] 2000 Dec 14 [cited 2005 Jun 7]. Available from: URL: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstractt/343/24/1742.
35RAG. Air pollution reduces athletic performance. Occupational and Environmental Medicine [serial online] 1999 [cited 2005 Jun 8]; 56:535–538 Available from: URL: http://www.rag.org.au/barb/yahoo3899.htm.
36Rigas, ML, Ben-Jebria, A and Ultman, JS (1997). Longitudinal distribution of ozone absorpton in the lung: effects of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone exposures. Archives of Environmental Health 52(3): 173–178.
37Tabachnick, B and Fidell, L (1989). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Harper and Row.
38Thurston, G, Lippmann, M, Scott, MB and Fine, JM. Summertime haze air pollution and children with asthma. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 1997; 155: 654660.
39US Environmental Protection Agency About the PSI Chart. Retrieved October 15, 2005 fromhttp://www.epa.gov/air/data/help/hpsi.html?co~24005~Baltimore%20co%2c%20Maryland#aqi 2005.
40Witte, R and Witte, J (2004). Statistics. 7th edn. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology
  • ISSN: 1478-0615
  • EISSN: 1479-070X
  • URL: /core/journals/equine-and-comparative-exercise-physiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed