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Barbaro fund contributes to laminitis study

March 17, 2011

The Barbaro story

The fund set up after the death of top racehorse Babaro has given $US49,000 to support the second year of a research project on laminitis.

Barbaro with jockey Edgar Prado. © Kathy Freeborn
The funds from the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research will support work by Dr Dean Richardson at the University of Pennsylvania.

The project seeks to develop a gene therapy approach to prevent laminitis in the contralateral hoof when a horse is being treated for a musculoskeletal injury.

Since Barbaro's passing, hundreds of his fans have given to his legacy fund. Barbaro shattered a hind leg moments after the start of the Preakness Stakes in 2006.

He recovered from the fracture but was plagued by laminitis problems throughout his recovery, which eventually led to his death.

In 2008, Pfizer Animal Health teamed up with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) to generate funding for laminitis and equine safety research.

Thanks to these efforts, the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research has disbursed almost $US400,000 in support of conferences, research programmes and several research projects, virtually all focused on finding a cure for laminitis.

The balance of the costs for Richardson's research in 2011 - $US14,924 - will be funded by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

The Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research also supported this project in 2010 through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

"We are proud to continue our support of this important laminitis project, which has already come up with some promising preliminary data," said NTRA president and chief executive Alex Waldrop, who is also the president of its charitable wing, NTRA Charities.

"Pfizer's generosity, along with the contributions of so many of Barbaro's fans, have kept Barbaro's memory alive in this very constructive way."

Richardson was Barbaro's veterinarian during his much-publicised fight for recovery.



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