Since 2014, over $300,000 in contributions have been made to the USEA’s Equine Medical Research (EMR) Fund through USEA member $1 starter fees and additional donations received. These funds are then allocated to accredited research studies being conducted by trusted parties of the USEA. For 2022, the EMR recommended three studies being conducted by the Morris Animal Foundation and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. In the August 2022 USEA Board of Governors (BOG) meeting, the following studies were presented to and approved by the BOG:
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.
In this month's Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Vet Chat series Grayson sits down with Dr. Molly McCue and Dr. Sian Durward-Akhurst from the University of Minnesota. They are working on the project, “Predicting Exercising Arrhythmias with Resting Electrocardiograms. This project is supported by the USEA's Equine Medical Research Fund. The webinar will take place via Zoom on Thursday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Equine medical research has historically been underfunded. To address this underfunding, the Equine Medical Research Fund (EMRF) was created. Since 2014, United States Eventing Association (USEA) members have contributed a total of $284,052 one dollar at a time to the EMRF through their starter fees. An additional $22,700 was also donated by members through restricted donations.
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 funding from USEA’s Equine Medical Research Fund is generating some RESULTS! Since 2013, every starter at a USEA event pays $1 towards equine medical research. This fee was created in order to address that underfunding of equine research in the United States.