2019-2020 Equine Research Program Funded Projects

Since 1960, the American Quarter Horse Foundation has awarded more than $11.7 million to various colleges and universities.

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Auburn University ($19,974.00)
"Evaluation of Single Dose Misoprostol for Reducing Effects of Endotoxemia in Adult Horses"
Endotoxemia is caused by bacteria releasing endotoxin into the bloodstream and occurs secondary to a number of different disease processes in the horse. Endotoxemia can trigger a severe inflammatory condition and as such is associated with higher treatment costs and poorer survival due to complications such as laminitis (founder), colic, multi-organ failure, and death. The objective of this study is to demonstrate misoprostol’s ability to combat inflammation associated with endotoxemia.
Young Investigator Award: Shune Kimura DVM

Colorado State University ($19,885.17)
“Metabolite Profiles of Tendons and Ligaments in Equine Patients”
Tendon and ligament injuries are a common cause of loss of work in the equine athlete. While differences in the biomechanical function of each tendon and ligament (energy storing vs. positional) explain some of this predisposition to injury, a direct correlation has not been identified. The objective of the current study is to compare the metabolic profile of commonly injured tendons and ligaments in the forelimbs and hindlimbs of normal horses. Comparing the differences between commonly injured tendons and ligaments will help determine if metabolic predisposition exists, for proactive targeting to prevent injury.
Young Investigator Award: Katie Ellis DVM

Michigan State University ($19,992.00)
“Influence of Circle Size and Speed on Forces Experienced by Exercising Horses”
Skeletal injuries are a major problem in performance horses – impacting animal welfare, putting riders at risk, and causing huge economic losses. This laboratory has successfully found approaches to improve skeletal strength through management and training and has been working on similar approaches to minimize unsoundness issues associated with joint issues. This study aims to document alterations in loading force associated with circular exercise and the influence that circle size and speed of exercise have on those forces. The results from this study should prove beneficial in improving the welfare and longevity of performance horses, while reducing economic losses.
Young Investigator Award: Alyssa Logan

Texas A&M University ($12,541.00)
“Impact of Cryopreservation on Distribution of IZUM01 in Stallion Spermatozoa”
Use of frozen-thawed semen is associated with reduced pregnancy rates in mares. Several factors have been implicated in this decreased fertility, such as loss of sperm motility, chromatin and IZUM01 which is a membrane protein required for fertilization. The purpose of the proposed studies is to define the distribution of IZUM01 on equine sperm, and evaluate how it changes after freezing. This information will contribute to the long-term goal of developing methods for optimizing fertility of frozen-thawed stallion sperm.
Young Investigator Award: Dale Kelley DVM, PhD

Texas A&M University ($57,067.00)
“Entry and Modulation of Signaling Pathways of Macrophages by Rhodococcus equi”
Pneumonia caused by a bacterium called Rhodococcus equi (R. equi) is an important cause of illness and death in foals, and the impact of R. equi pneumonia on the equine industry is large. In the United States, respiratory illness is the third most common cause of disease in young foals, and the second leading cause of death in foals. The information gathered from this project will give us the understanding needed to develop approaches to stimulate immune responses in foals to prevent R. equi.
Principal Investigator: Angela Bordin PhD

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine ($80,036.00)
“Field Evaluation of a Rapid, Mobile, Novel Sequencing Technology for the Detection of Equine Herpesvirus-1 in Equine Nasal Secretions”
Effective management is key to limiting the impact of EHV-1 on horse health and industry, as it is ubiquitous in horse populations. Test results for current detection methods, such as PCR and virus isolation, can take multiple days before they become available. A novel DNA sequencing technology offers a new tool to rapidly detect and differentiate EHV-1 (i.e., neurotropic and non-neurotropic strains) as a stall-side diagnostic and in field applications. This study may have a direct impact on outbreak management by providing an avenue for more accurate and efficient decision-making – ultimately reducing the impact this disease may have on horses, equine facilities, and the equine industry.
Principal Investigator: Kevin Lahmers DVM, PhD

For more information on the American Quarter Horse Foundation’s equine research program, please contact us at:
American Quarter Horse Foundation
Equine Research Program
PO Box 32111
Amarillo, TX 79120
(806) 378-5034 phone
(806) 376-1005 fax