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Young Racehorses and skeletal symmetry

McTimoney Practitioner to present study on young racehorses at conference

McTimoney animal practitioner, Rory O’Brien, will present a scientific study he has undertaken on young racehorses at the prestigious British Society of Animal Science conference in Croke Park, Dublin in April.

Rory who qualified with an MSc in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in 2016 and has a lifelong interest in racing will present his study titled: “Is there a relationship between the age at which training the National Hunt Thoroughbred Racehorse commences and chiropractic assessment of skeletal symmetry.”  

Rory grew up attending point to points and then worked his way around the world in racing. He said: “I worked in a racing stable at Woodbine in Canada at 19, which involved travelling to the US for races. I subsequently worked at Bloodstock Sales in UK and Australia.”

Having worked extensively within the flat racing industry, earning first-hand experience of the benefits, and drawbacks, of commencing training at such a young age, Rory said: “My belief since then has been that the appropriate training as yearlings is extremely beneficial in terms of soundness and longevity. However, overtraining at this stage tends to have poor outcomes.” This view combined with Rory’s experience of National Hunt racing, where he is very interested by the fact that: “4yo point to pointers are now enjoying huge success at the top level on the racecourse -  prompted me to examine whether there is something more to this.”

Rory explained how his interest in McTimoney treatment was sparked: “I acquired a horse who had been injured after racing on the track and began getting him fit to run in point to points. He had terrible movement and couldn’t turn fluently in either direction. A McTimoney practitioner was recommended to me and after 2 treatments the horse was like a different animal. He subsequently won his point to point on his first start when trained by my uncle.”

During the National Hunt/Point to Point season, much of Rory’s work will involve treating racehorses using McTimoney techniques. In the summer months, Rory focuses more on eventers and show jumpers.

All members of the McTimoney Animal Association are qualified after training with the premier institution of its kind, the McTimoney College in Abingdon, having studied up to three years at postgraduate level attaining an MSc or Post Graduate Diploma in Animal Manipulation.

McTimoney Animal Practitioners are registered with the McTimoney Animal Association.

Visit www.mctimoney-animal.org.uk.