Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers from the University of Minnesota are investigating if genetic variants can help identify horses at high risk of developing potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmias are thought to be an important cause of sudden death in horses during exercise. Most horses that develop arrhythmias have no underlying structural heart disease, making it challenging to detect animals that may succumb to the condition.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has always been devoted to the progression of equine research. Since its founding in 1940, Grayson-Jockey Club has helped advise various equine research specialties and protocols seen in our industry today. The Foundation has endorsed health recommendations for equine industry protocols, uncovered solutions to critical diseases, and found clues to numerous resolutions of equine health issues.
At the USEA Board of Governors meeting in August, the Equine Medical Research Committee recommended the funding of four studies using the $39,581 collected in 2018 and the Board approved their recommendation.
The Equine Medical Research Fund was created in 2014 to provide consistent funding for equine medical research. A $1.00 starter fee was added to each USEA recognized event entry beginning in 2014, and at year’s end those dollars were distributed through the Morris Animal Foundation, which assists the USEA with selecting studies to fund, monitoring the funds, and reporting on progress.
As year one of the USEA Collapsible Fence Study comes to an end, Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith addressed the USEA Board of Governors at the 2016 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention on the progress of the University of Kentucky (UK) research at this halfway point.
The University of Kentucky (UK) study is focused on understanding the horse/fence contact and interaction during rotational falls as a means to provide insight into rotational fall prevention and requirements to guide the sport’s course and safety device designers.
“Right now, less than 25 cents per horse is being spent annually on equine medical research funding in the United States, and that’s a shame when you consider how much our horses mean to us,” said Michael Van Noy, DVM.
At the end of last year, the USEA made a plea to our members to help us support a research study into collapsible and deformable fence construction. This was a concerted effort to improve safety in eventing by working towards eliminating rotational falls.
Donations Still Needed to Help USEA Collapsible Fence Study Get the Green Light
Course builder, Eric Bull, has generously donated one this Novice level cross-country cabin to the USEA to be auctioned off with all proceeds going to support the USEA Collapsible Fence Study to ensure that we raise sufficient funds to meet the $25,000 challenge set by Ms. Jacqueline B. Mars.