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Training management of Standardbred trotters: a field survey in France

Abstract : This study aimed to characterise the training practices of French trainers and to describe the training load undertaken by unqualified (UT) and qualified Standardbred trotters (QT). During the Paris-Vincennes 2012 meeting, 20 trainers from the Grosbois training centre were surveyed. Details of their general training practices as well as the weekly workloads for UT and QT were obtained. A nonparametric Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the UT and QT data and a principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out to examine links between trainer characteristics and particular training practices. Four main exercises used to train trotters were identified: (1) ‘promenade’ exercise: light exercise at walk and at slow trot (5.1±0.4 m/s) lasting 48±9 min; (2) ‘jogging’: moderate trot exercise (6.9±1.5 m/s) lasting 44±12 min; (3) ‘parcours’ exercise: moderate/high intensity trot session (10.3±0.9 m/s) over 2,844±1,412 meters with a final sprint; (4) ‘interval’ type exercise: fast trot sessions (10.8±0.9 m/s) over 1,010±212 meters with sprint phases. Trainers used a combination of these four exercises to train both UT and QT. Moreover, the estimated training weekly workload did not appear to differ between the two age categories, with apparently similar exercises and training loads being used to train both UT and QT. The results of the PCA suggested that as trainers become older and more successful they tend to change the composition of exercises used. They preferably used more ‘jogging’ type exercise, regardless of the horses’ age or training level. Whilst the weekly training plan varied between trainers, it seems that the individual trainer's annual programme was relatively constant, consisting of a repetition of a typical training week.
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Justine Fortier, Véronique Julliand, P. Harris, Anne-Gaëlle Goachet. Training management of Standardbred trotters: a field survey in France. Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2014, 10 (1), pp.63-71. ⟨10.3920/CEP13035⟩. ⟨hal-02502875⟩



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