Effect of a simulate show jumping competition on the blood gas profile of horses trained for show jumping


Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the changes in the blood gas profile of jumpers after warm up and after a show jumping competition. For this purpose, 10 Sella Italiana geldings, 7 years old and clinically healthy, were used. The horses were trained to take part in show jumping competitions. Blood samples were collected at rest, after the warm up, immediately after the exercise, and 45 min after the end of exercise. Standard bicarbonate concentration (SBC), hydrogen carbonate ion (HCO_3^-), total carbon dioxide (TCO_2), oxygen capacity (O_2Cap), oxygen content (O_2Ct), base excess of the blood (BE-b), base excess of extracellular fluid (BE-ecf), pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO_2), partial pressure of oxygen (PO_2), oxygen saturation (SO_ 2), hematocrit (Hct), hemoglobin (Hb) and lactate were determined. Moreover, the heart rate (HR) of each subject was assessed by means of a cardio-frequency meter. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a statistically significant effect of sampling time on all of the parameters studied (P < 0.05). These findings showed the importance of the warm up and a long recovery on acid-base balance in jumpers, underlining the importance of the warm up in order to improve the body response in buffer capacity during show jumping events. The observed changes in the acid-base balance can be helpful in assessing the metabolic and respiratory changes in horses during training and competition but further studies should be conducted examining various training schedules and recovery times in order to better define the response of the jumper.

Keywords: Acid-base status, blood gas analysis, show jumper, training, warm up

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