Investigation of what radiographic lesions in thoroughbred yearlings are significant in limiting future racing performance

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRO-013259

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Thursday, June 17, 2021

  • Project completion date: Monday, July 31, 2023

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred breeding


Yearling repositories have long been a place of mystery in the equine industry. The potential impact on the value of yearlings presented at sales rings by interpretation of the radiographs presented results in a intense focus on sales days. Often there is significant debate about what a lesion might mean to the horse in question with on occasion significant uncertainty or decisions made based on one persons often limited experience.


The goal of this research effort is to summarize what is currently “known” about radiographic lesions by a group of experts who actively participate in this aspect of the industry and then preform a retrospective investigation of a large group of radiographic examinations to determine what importance should be placed on various lesions in the repository in the future. The overall objective being to answer the industry question of what do these lesions mean to future performance and provide increased certainty to prospective buyers and sellers in the future.


To achieve these goals this group has been formed that has access to many yearling radiographs submitted to yearling sales in Australia. Specifically, all the radiographs submitted but Randwick Equine Centre and Scone Equine Group (estimated >8,000 yearlings) with associated reports from a small group of highly experienced reviewers will be used as the material for this study. Statistical analysis will be performed on subgroups of data to verify reliability of these reports. Data analysis by year of subsequent racing performance will be performed. 


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Queensland