This light microscopic investigation of 15 Thoroughbred horses provided substantial evidence for the classification of equine laryngeal hemiplegia as a distal axonopathy. Morphologic and morphometric examinations were performed on resin embedded recurrent laryngeal nerves from control, subclinical and clinical laryngeal hemiplegic animals. In the latter group of animals some distal hindlimh nerves were also examined. A distally graded loss of myelinated fibres selectively affecting those of large diameter was demonstrated in both left and right recurrent laryngeal nerves. Morphologic evidence of similar pathological changes in long hindlimb nerves was also present. An explanation for the early involvement of the cricoarytenoideus lateralis muscle in the course of laryngeal hemiplegia, was offered by the demonstration of more large diameter fibres in the branch of the recurrent laryngeal nerve innervating it, thus making it more susceptible to the disease process.