Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (GJCRF) has announced funding for 25 scientific research projects. Of the projects, 15 are new, while 10 are continuing projects, though all focus on equine veterinary research.

Of the projects, several are of interest to farriers, including a newly funded study on insulin dysregulation. This study, conducted by Andrew van Eps, a professor of Equine Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Pennsylvania, examines the effects of sirolimus, a drug that is an insulin production suppressor, in treating insulin dysregulation, a common cause of laminitis. Preliminary data indicates that a single dose of the drug can suppress insulin production for at least 24 hours, reducing the development of laminitis, a serious and common problem in horses. 

Other new studies include a project on how uneven footing, shoeing and hoof conformation can impact a horse’s fetlock joint, leading to injury. Two studies focus on Thoroughbreds, one on superficial digital flexor tendons and another researching the effects of palmar osteochondral disease. 

In addition to these new studies, many continuing studies are also being funded by GJC, including a second study by van Eps, again researching laminitis, but with this study also looking to develop a prototype of a laminitis therapeutic device. Other studies examine varied topics, including joint injury, racing stride, stress fractures and bone growth. 

“Grayson aims to support projects that address a wide range of equine health issues, and this diversity can be seen in our approved projects this year,” says Jamie Haydon, president of GJCRF. “We are grateful to [donors] for recognizing the importance of [the research].”

GJCRF also sponsors multiple career development awards, with three recipients granted funding. This year’s honorees include Rosemary Bayless of North Carolina State University, Sarah K. Shaffer of the University of California-Davis, and Bruno C. Menarim, from the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky. Shaffer’s research delved into linking horse training to stress reactions in the bones of race horses, while Menarim’s research looked at joint inflammation treatment. 

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