Cartilage Repair Research Update

Members of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's Rokeby Circle were briefed on Aug. 19 by Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, on her work in equine sports medicine as it relates to regenerative therapies. Her presentation was part of the organization's annual dinner at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Rokeby Circle is a select group of donors who contribute $10,000 or more per year. In her presentation, Fortier, who is an assistant professor of large animal surgery at Cornell University, focused heavily on the subject of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow aspirate concentrate.

"These are regenerative therapies that enable the body to replenish, restore, and repair damaged cells and tissue," Fortier said. "The key is to get the horse's own body to restore versus replacement."

Fortier's Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation-funded study, "Concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate Improves Full-Thickness Cartilage Repair Compared with Microfracture in the Equine Model," was recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. She submitted her request for funding for the project in October 2005 and a grant was awarded in April 2006.

Fortier also briefed funders on an upcoming study of the use of PRP and bone marrow aspirate concentrate in treating tendonitis.

During the last four years, the foundation has averaged more than $1 million annually in grants to fund the research of equine health and safety. Since 1983, it has individually provided over $17.1 million to fund over 270 projects at more than 37 universities in North America and overseas.

Among those in attendance at the dinner were trainer Ken McPeek, Stella Thayer (president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame), Keeneland's Geoffrey Russell, and Dell Hancock of Claiborne Farm.

"We appreciate all you have done and continue to do for the horse," said Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation president Edward L. Bowen.

(Originally posted on

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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