The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s board of directors has approved a 2017 budget of $1,483,542 to fund 11 new equine research projects, eight renewing two-year studies, and two career development awards.

The total is the highest ever provided in one year by the foundation, which dates from the creation of the original Grayson Foundation in 1940.

“This is a bright and memorable moment in the history of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation,” said longtime chair Dell Hancock. “It is really gratifying to know that we are funding nearly $1.5 million dollars in critical equine research, and we realize it would not be possible without the dedication and support of our members, our donors and all those who participate in our various fund-raising events each year.”

As per the foundation’s established procedure, the funded projects were considered the best science by the foundation’s 32-person Research Advisory Committee (RAC). That committee comprises university researchers and veterinarians from various practices.

The foundation received 61 research proposals from university researchers across North America and six foreign countries. Projects are rated on the potential immediate impact on numerous horses as well as the scientific method proposed and budgetary efficiency.

The research that is funded by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is aimed at fostering the health and soundness of horses of all breeds and uses.

“Our funding this year featured a balanced set of projects covering a broad set of problems,” said Johnny Mac Smith, DVM, veterinary consultant for the foundation. “They ranged in nature from laminitis and nutraceutical components to two extremely pertinent grants dealing with the persistent problem of EHV-1.”

Research projects funded in 2017 include:

  • Endocrinopathic Laminitis: Pathophysiology and Treatment—James Belknap, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, The Ohio State University—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Anticoagulants as Thromboprophylaxis for Equine Herpesvirus-1 Infection—Tracy Stokol, BVSc, PhD, Cornell University—One Year;
  • Platelet Lysate Therapy in Infectious Arthritis—Lauren Schnabel, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, North Carolina State University—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Metabolomic Profiling of Placentitis Biomarkers in Mares—Christopher (Scott) Bailey, DVM, Dipl. ACT, North Carolina State University—One Year; 
  • Evaluation of Kisspeptin in the Pregnant Mare—Christianne Magee, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, Colorado State University—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells for Equine Joint Therapy—Linda Dahlgren, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Predicting the Risk of Equine Fatal Injury During Racing—Tim Parkin, BSc, BVSc, PhD, DECVPH, MRCVS, University of Glasgow—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Cytotoxic T-Cell Immunity to Equine Herpesvirus Type 1—Doug Antczak, VMD, PhD, Cornell University—First Year (Two-Year Grant);
  • Is Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) a Consequence of High Left Atrial Pressures?—Warwick Bayly, BVSc, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Washington State University—One Year;
  • Ethyl Pyruvate Improves Survival in Large Colon Volvulus—Susan Holcombe, VMD, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVECC, Michigan State University—One Year;
  • Synovial Oxylipid Profiles: Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids—John Caron, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, Michigan State University—One Year;
  • Thyro-hyoid Muscle Training to Treat DDSP—Norm Ducharme, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, Cornell University—Second Year;
  • A Novel Vaccine Against Equine Strangles—Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Texas A&M University—Second Year;
  • Fitness and Persistence of Drug-Resistant R. Equi—Steeve Giguère, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, University of Georgia—Second Year;
  • Novel Analgesic Combinations in Horses—Alonso Guedes, DVM, MS, PhD, University of Minnesota—Second Year;
  • Training and Surfaces for Injury Prevention—Susan Stover, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, University of California, Davis—Second Year;
  • Host-Directed Control of R. Equi Foal Pneumonia—Angela Bordin, DVM, MS, PhD, Texas A&M University—Second Year;
  • Unraveling Complex Traits by Defining Genome Function—Carrie Finno, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, University of California, Davis—Second Year; and
  • EHV-1 and Latency—Lutz Goehring, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Ludwig Maximilians University—Second Year.

Career development awards include:

  • The $15,000 Storm Cat Career Development Award was presented to Shavahn C. Loux, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, who will study “MicroRNAs as Markers of Placental Health in the Mare”; and
  • The $15,000 Elaine Klein Development Award, was presented to Sarah Jacob, DVM, of Michigan State University, who will study “Biomarkers of Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Age, and Diet.”

For more details on the projects, visit grayson-jockeyclub.org/default.asp?section=2&area=Research&menu=2.

Grayson is again supporting further investigation of injuries in North American racehorses at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.

“This project has support from The Jockey Club and is an ongoing result of a plan initiated at the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006,” said RAC chair Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky. “It is identifying aspects of training and scheduling that produce additional risk of injury.”

The 2017 slate of projects brings the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation totals since 1983 to 346 projects at 43 institutions for a total of $24,836,711.