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The first aim of this study was to establish a profile of age-related normal serum concentrations of osteocalcin (OC) in Ardenner horses. For this first part, blood samples from 49 healthy Ardenner horses were collected. The second aim was to study two biochemical markers of bone metabolism, OC and a carboxy-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I), in 30 young Ardenner horses during 1 year. Amongst them, 17 showed lesions of juvenile degenerative joint disease in the distal forelimbs. A specific radioimmunoassay for equine OC was used to measure the serum concentration of the marker. The serum concentration of CTX-I was measured using a commercially available human assay validated for use in the horse. The effect of age, sex, season and health status (with or without lesions) was assessed. Levels of OC fall between birth and the adult stage: this decrease being most marked between birth and 1 year of age. This age-related decrease of OC was confirmed in the 30 young Ardenner horses, but CTX-I levels remained constant in this group. The Levels of the two markers changed significantly with the season with higher concentrations during the winter. No significant difference was shown either between the two sexes or between the two health statuses.