$2.5 Million Research Initiative Draws 27 Pre-Proposals

The announcement of a $2.5-million equine health consortium initiative was met with great enthusiasm, says Kristin Benjamin, vice president of scientific programs and advancement for Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) in Englewood, Colo. Twenty-seven research groups met a Feb. 15 pre-proposal deadline detailing how they would use the funding.

The initiative will finance up to $500,000 a year for the next five years on one focused area of equine research. The MAF asked that collaborations of researchers from multiple institutions submit pre-proposals. Benjamin was impressed by the feedback from groups that included both U.S. and international researchers.

Respiratory disease, inflammation, lameness, colic, and the genome were the submission areas. Lameness and respiratory disease garnered the most pre-proposals.

The MAF will send the proposals to "expert reviewers," including scientists and foundation and industry representatives. The MAF will make a decision on a specific health topic using the reviewers' feedback. Applicants with studies in the chosen research area will send full proposals for review, and Benjamin expects approval of a final research project by early summer.

Once the project is chosen, MAF will market it to its donors and the horse industry to raise the annual half-million dollar pledge for five years.

For more information see www.TheHorse.com/emag.aspx?id=6679.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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