Buyers Surveyed on Disclosure of Surgeries

Thousands of Thoroughbred buyers were sent surveys asking what they think about the mandatory disclosure of surgeries that cause permanent changes in the conformation of sale horses.

Distribution of the questionnaires began in mid-April. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) funded the survey, which was conducted by the Matrix Group.

Surgeries that result in permanent changes in conformation include transphyseal bridging and periosteal elevations. The mandatory disclosure of such procedures is a requirement of the Sales Integrity Program’s code of ethics that was developed in 2004 by a task force organized by TOBA in response to complaints about auctions.

However, a monitoring committee that oversees the code of ethics delayed the implementation of the surgical disclosure provision last year after some consignors expressed concerns about how information about surgical procedures would be collected and managed. Some sellers also questioned whether the information was something buyers really wanted.

Surveys were sent to more than 2,500 buyers at all levels of the market. The project was to be completed by Aug. 1. For more information see

About the Author

Deirdre Biles

Deirdre Biles is the Bloodstock Sales Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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