AQHA Executive Committee Approves Grants for Horse Health Research

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) executive committee has given their approval for nine equine medical research projects to be funded by the AQHA and the American Quarter Horse Foundation in 2011-12, according to a report from

The research programs will take place at universities around the country and will cover a variety of topics:

  • "Selective Breeding Practices in the American Quarter Horse: Impact on Health and Disease" will be carried out by Molly McCue, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD; and James Mickelson, PhD, at the University of Minnesota;
  • "Identifying the Role of a 'Metabolic Master Switch' in Equine Metabolic Syndrome and its Implications for Targeted Treatment" will be carried out by Amanda Adams, PhD, at the University of Kentucky;
  • "Equine Herpesvirus-1 and the Type-I Interferon Response" will be examined by Thomas Chambers, PhD, and David Horohov, PhD, also at the University of Kentucky;
  • "Cardiovascular Function in Horses with Acute Gastrointestinal Disease" will be carried out by Michelle Barton, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; and Steve Giguere, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, at the University of Georgia;
  • "Measurable Post-Treatment Changes in Antibody Isotype Responses to Babesia equi Predict Parasite Clearance and Removal of Transmission Risk" will be evaluated by L. Nicki Wise, DVM, at Washington State University;
  • "Dysregulation of Innate Immunity Predicts Outcome during Endotoxemia/SIRS" will be carried out by Philip Johnson, BVSc (Hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS; Amy DeClue, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM; Nat Messer, DVM, Dipl. ABVP; Joanne Kramer, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Shannon Reed, DVM; and Alison LaCarrubba, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, at the University of Missouri;
  • "Metabolic Gene Expression and Mitochondrial Function in Horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome" will be examined by Heidi Banse, DVM, at Oklahoma State University;
  • "Verification of a S. equi Detection Assay for Equine Nasopharyngeal and Guttural Pouch Wash Samples" will be evaluated by Ashley Boyle, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; Shelley Rankin, PhD; Helen Aceto, VMD, PhD; and Ray Boston, MSc, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania; and
  • "Arthrodesis of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint in the Horse: A Biochemical Comparison of 5.5mm Cortical Screw Augmented 4.5mm Narrow LC-DCP and 5.0mm LCP Constructs" will be carried out by Richard Rocconi, DVM, at Mississippi State University.

Combined, the grants total more than $292,000.

More information about the research taking place can be found at

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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