Research into the detection of subtle lameness in racehorses and new methods of monitoring equine tendon injury and healing are among the research projects to be funded in 2013 by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
The racing industry in North America has long been one of the most significant contributors of funding for equine research projects that help improve the health and welfare of horses, through the development of targeted treatments, refined diagnostics and an improved understanding of equine disease processes.
This year’s supported projects include an assessment of Acoustoelastography (AEG) as a tool in monitoring tendon strength and healing. By monitoring superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injuries in a group of horses with AEG over a 6-12 month period, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will evaluate the role that this non-invasive assessment technique could play in the rehabilitation process through the detection of tendon strength and integrity.
Another research project, which will be lead by Dr. Kevin Keegan at the University of Missouri, will work on the development of an objective, low-cost method for distinguishing obscure, subtle lameness in horses at the gallop.
The US Grayson-Jockey Club Research foundation will contribute over $800,000 this year towards 12 new, and 5 ongoing research projects. Other supported projects include further investigations into cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy (CVSM) or “Wobbler’s”, the neurologic form of Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHM), laminitis, and the treatment of ulcers with Omeprazole. (A full list of research projects is available on their site).
With the future of Canada’s horseracing industry in jeopardy due to the Ontario government’s abrupt cancellation of the revenue-sharing Slots-At-Racetracks partnership in the province, the level of funding for equine research here is sadly expected to drop. Currently, approximately 80 percent of the money that supports research at Equine Guelph is tied to racing.