Gro-Trac® is the first equine growth-monitoring software that allows breeders to compare the growth rates of their stock with those of young horses of similar age, sex and breed from the same country, or from around the world.
Over the last 20 years, Thoroughbred breeders internationally have been working with scientists at Kentucky Equine Research Inc. collecting growth data from their young Thoroughbreds. Body weight, wither height and body condition score data has been collected from nearly 20,000 Thoroughbreds in the USA, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. By using this database of growth records, breeders can quickly assess, track and manage foals and yearlings from birth within the Gro-Trac® programme.
The programme features growth curves generated from data collected (weights, heights and average daily gains) from thousands of young horses. Reference curves can include a broad range of growth data (i.e. All Thoroughbred Colts Worldwide) or only a specific group (i.e. English Thoroughbred Fillies or Kentucky Thoroughbred Colts Born in March). Growth measurements are displayed by way of graphs and charts for quick visual assessment. The innovative graphical design of the data displayed lends physical meaning to once abstract measurements. In each chart, the foal's measurement is compared to the selected reference group chosen by the user, showing the growth curve for the young horse as well as the reference group. Specific farm and group averages can also be calculated and measured against the desired reference group. The information presented in these visuals can include the bodyweight and condition score of the mare.
In addition to the charts and graphs, photographs can be imported into the programme to show physical changes from month to month. Pertinent comments can be added at any time – examples include management issues that may affect growth such as weaning dates, feed changes or illness. Symbols signifying the presence of a photograph or comment will appear on the graph at the time each one is entered. These features create an ongoing history of each foal, making Gro-Trac® a valuable management and communication tool. Easy-to-read, customised reports can be generated by the programme in Adobe PDF format, which can include height and weight graphs, Average Daily Gain bar graphs, photos, and narrative reports, and can be transferred electronically.
Gro-Trac® has a built-in feature that allows the user to export and import data confidentially over the Internet. Owners can import and view detailed growth data from remote locations in order to stay in touch with the progress of their horses, and information on horses from separate divisions of one farm can also be compared together. Consultants can be sent the latest data, make comments or adjustments and export any changes or additions to each record back to the farm via email or the Internet. Once the growth curves are studied, an appropriate decision can be made regarding the way an individual will be fed or managed in the future to achieve steady growth rates.
A weighscale isn't necessary to use Gro-trac® – the programme can estimate the weight of a young horse by converting heartgirth measurements into kilos or pounds.
Saracen provides KER's Gro-Trac® programme as a free service to stud farm clients – it can also be leased annually.
The programme keeps a complete management history of each foal.
Digital photos of the foal at different times of the year can be inserted to keep a photographic record of growth. Pop-up notes are used for special comments.
Bar graphs chart the average daily weight gain of foals against other foals of the same age and sex, and compare their weight and height to the norm for the chosen reference group. Percentiles allow a more relative comparison with the entire population.
If you would like to discuss your farm's requirements, please contact our Thoroughbred Office on +44 (0) 1488 734 56
Alternatively, use the mobile numbers or email addresses below:
Polly Bonnor - Thoroughbred Specialist
Clare Roberts - Area Manager (East)/Thoroughbred Specialist