Metrics Equine takes an ultra-sound heart scan to generate a Cardio Score based on the size, age and fitness of individual horses. While by no means a cardio diagnostic tool, the Cardio Score is a relative measure of the heart's innate capacity to supply oxygen needs to that horse, and can be compared to a horse's peers, whether it's a yearling, 2-year-old in training, currently racing, or breeding stock, and often by sire.
The image to the right is one frame of the scan frozen when the heart is at its maximum capacity to gather and pump the blood to the rest of the body. This is virtually an identical image of what your own heart looks like when your cardiologist performs an ultrasound on your heart.
Click on the image to view the heart in motion.
Metrics Equine has conducted several studies of the Cardio Scores we have taken for yearlings, 2-year-olds, racehorses and breeding prospects over the past decade and compared those scores to the race records of each of those horses.
The two charts below are for yearling colts (left) and fillies (right) and are based on more than 800 Cardio Scores.
The Cardio Scores across the bottom show the range of Cardio Scores (A is the highest range, D
The conclusion is unmistakable: Although the study is comprised of a natural distribution, a horse with a Cardio Score of A, B+, or B has a far greater chance at earning black type and winning at a mile or further; one with a score of C+ would probably be better off below a mile, while horses with C or D Cardio Scores are rarely in either category.