Barbaro fund gives $US90,000 for laminitis research

December 8, 2008

Three laminitis research projects will benefit from $US90,801 given by the Barbaro Memorial Fund, set up to honour the memory of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner.

The fund is administered by NTRA Charities, a subsidiary of The National Thoroughbred Racing Association in the United States. Funds for the studies will flow through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

One new study and two existing ones will receive funding.

The lion's share will go to a new study, "Effect of Digital Hypothermia on Inflammatory Injury in Laminitis", which is being undertaken by Dr James Belknap of Ohio State University. It is a two-year project and will receive $US82,109.

The two continuing projects are "Targeting 5-HT in Equine Laminitis", by Dr Douglas Allen at the University of Georgia, and "Treatment of Equine Laminitis with Doxycycline", by Dr Susan Eades at Louisiana State University.

These two studies were funded with a $US100,000 contribution from the Barbaro fund to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation in 2007; an additional $8692 completes the projects in 2008.

Both projects are on schedule to produce research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The Barbaro Fund contributed an additional $US60,000 in 2007 toward laminitis research projects and programmes at the University of Pennsylvania, bringing its total disbursements to $US250,801.

"We are proud that the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund is making this important laminitis research possible and we salute the Barbaro Memorial Fund's many contributors, who are collectively ensuring that Barbaro's legacy lives on in a tangible and essential way," said NTRA president and chief executive Alex Waldrop, who is also the president of NTRA Charities.

A distinguished panel of equine veterinarians, assembled by the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation, evaluated several proposals before making final recommendations on the laminitis studies.

The panel included Dr Larry Bramlage, chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Dr Johnny Smith, the Foundation's veterinary consultant, Dr Paul Lunn, Professor, Head of Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University; Dr Scott Hay, President of the Teigland, Franklin, Brokken veterinary firm and a specialist in equine lameness; racetrack practitioner Dr Tom Brokken, also of Teigland, Franklin, Brokken veterinary firm and a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP); Dr David Horohov, the William Robert Mills Chair at the Maxwell Gluck Research Centre, University of Kentucky; Dr Gary Lavin, a retired race track practitioner, past AAEP president, and Vice-Chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation; Dr Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board; Dr John Stick, Professor, Chief of Staff, Large Animal Clinic, Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr James Orsini, Director, Laminitis Institute, and Associate Professor of Surgery, New Bolton Centre, University of Pennsylvania.