'Information in the public domain may only complicate matters more'
Mark Hillyer is a partner and soft-tissue surgeon at Newmarket Equine Hospital, the largest such facility in Europe. We asked for his thoughts as a new era begins...
There are five types of wind operation on the BHA list, which are the main ones, but there are others we sometimes do that are not listed, although these are uncommon.
While wind operations surgically are rarely nothing more than 100 per cent successful, the results themselves aren't, at least in terms of improvement in performance.
Surgery always helps in these cases but it's not always just the wind that is the sole factor. While many people are in favour, I feel that having the information in the public domain may only complicate matters further, and there are credible reasons why it may not be as great a predictor as people are expecting.
While wind surgery can help those in desperate need, in my experience some horses are operated on only because they have not reached the level of performance that people want.
Time will tell us more as to how useful this information is to the public but, in general terms, an important point is that running on heavy going can be a struggle for most horses after a wind operation.
We know from putting our trainers on and going running ourselves that it's easier to run down the street than it is through a sand dune, and any such demanding conditions will but extra pressures on wind.
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