More than 200 researchers, veterinarians, breeders, and other equine professionals participated in the 34th annual French Equine Research Day held Feb. 28 in Paris, France. The event, sponsored by the French National Stud, provides a forum for presentation and discussion of the most recent equine research in the country.

This year’s program addressed three major subject areas: sociology and economy, infectious pathologies, and equine genetics. The 25 topics presented included behavior studies, grazing patterns, comparative research on various turfs and their effects on joints and tendons, herpesvirus, influenza, and the use of molecular markers in genetic selection. Particular emphasis was given to the discussion of the management of the 2007 equine viral arteritis (EVA) outbreak in France and measures to reduce EVA risks worldwide.

Speakers represented leading French equine health research centers such as the Franck Duncombe Laboratory, the National Veterinary School of Alfort, the National Institute for Agricultural Research, and the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network for Equine Pathologies.

“I must insist on the importance of the transfer of research knowledge,” said Francois Roche-Bruyn, MSc, director of the National Stud, in his opening remarks. “The results of research are not fully achieved until they are practiced in the field.”

With 8 million euros ($12 million USD) invested in equine research annually, France is the fourth largest producer of equine research worldwide.