Stem Cells Save Racing Career

Stem cell therapy has been around for years, but recent developments and new scientific research has improved the use of stem cells to repair tendon damage in racehorses. When a tendon or ligament is injured, it does not only mean a very long lay-off for racehorses, but the tendons and ligaments are not as strong as before, after they have healed. This is due to scar tissue replacing the damaged tissue during the healing process, and therefore leading to a weaker tendon. In Australia, Vet Biotechnology Ltd, were able to prove the success of stem cell therapy, after Viz Vitae returned to the racetrack, not just as a healed racehorse, but as a winner.

Following a career-ending tendon injury approximately a year ago, Viz Vitae was treated by the veterinary staff at Vet Biotechnology Ltd with his own stem cells to speed up his recovery and prevent the creation of scar tissue in the bowed tendon, allowing original tissue cells to regenerate and regrow original tendon tissue. His recovery has been a success story; it has brought hope to hundreds of other racehorses, as stem cell therapy has been proven to work. Viz Vitae did not just win one event, but had victories in the Moonee Valley Hurdle and the Benalla Cup.

With regard to Viz Vitae’s remarkable recovery, David Bridgland, general manager of Vet Biotechnology Ltd, has this to say: "Friday is August 1, the birthday for all thoroughbreds in the Southern Hemisphere, and ushers in the foaling season and the opportunity to collect stem cells from the umbilical cord at birth. The stem cells derived from the umbilical cord are cryo-stored for the life of the horse in readiness for the treatment of injury and illness. Collecting the cord is like an insurance policy and will be a reassuring bonus for breeders who race their own produce and yearling buyers alike."

The stem cell procedure is relatively expensive, as it is highly regulated, but many horses that have been treated through this spectacular technology have returned to horse racing and of those, many have regained their winning ability. Other horses, such as Valedictum and Gorky Park, who have also received stem cell treatment, are also making a name for them on their return to racing, by excelling in their races and performing as they were before their injuries. It is anticipated that in future, technology and research can offer hope to bone fractures and other crippling injuries.

Back to Blog