Reproduction Facility Opens at UK Maine Chance Equine Campus

A grand opening celebration for the University of Kentucky's (UK) Equine Reproduction Facilities was held Feb. 2 at UK's Maine Chance Equine Campus. The celebration recognized the generosity of supporters who funded the remodeling.

The remodeled facilities, consisting of two state-of-the-art barns with laboratories, will help UK's Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center faculty develop the best equine reproductive research program in the country and give the Center, an affiliate of UK's Ag Equine Programs, better opportunities to match the signature equine industry it serves. The mare facility and separate stallion facility will be used reproductive health studies. Laboratory facilities have been constructed for handling semen, embryos, and reproductive tissues.

Lexington is often viewed as the epicenter of the state's signature equine industry, and as such, reproductive health is of top concern to industry stakeholders.

"This reproductive lab is evidence of the vision of many stakeholders who encouraged UK to provide research worthy of what is arguably the Thoroughbred reproduction center of the world," said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research at UK's College of Agriculture, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station director, and administrative leader for UK Ag Equine Programs. "We are fortunate to have the leadership of Dr. Mats Troedsson (DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, ECAR, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science and director of the Gluck Equine Research Center) and his new team of reproductive researchers to implement this vision in this 21st century facility."

Major donors who supported remodeling the facilities included area horse farms and organizations, as well as notable equine veterinarians. Donors include: diamond sponsors Lisa and Robert Lourie and Shadwell Farm; platinum sponsors Ashford Stud, Darley USA, Flaxman Holdings Limited, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, and Walter W. and June Zent; gold sponsors William D. Fishback Jr., Kevin B. Pfiester, and Tom Riddle; silver sponsors Stuart E. Brown II, Ed Squires, and Mats Troedsson; and bronze sponsors Butler Animal Health, Ed Fallon, Luke Fallon, Hancock Farm, Kristina Lu, and Peter Morresey.

Funds donated by stakeholders were matched through UK's research challenge trust fund.

"Bringing state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to the horses at Maine Chance Equine Campus will help us address clinical equine reproductive health and fertility issues of importance to the horse industry," Troedsson said.

"This is truly a team effort between veterinarians, breeding farms, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and the state of Kentucky," said Squires, director of UK Ag Equine Programs and executive director of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation.

Areas of reproductive health research at the Gluck Equine Research Center include causes, diagnosis, and treatment of embryonic and fetal loss in mares; early embryonic development; uterine infection; nutritional effects on reproduction; stallion behavior; diagnosis and treatment of fertility problems in stallions; and fescue toxicosis.

Other issues being addressed include pregnancy losses, high-risk pregnancies, and methods to enhance fertility of mares and stallions.

Jenny Blandford is the Gluck Equine Research Foundation Coordinator at the Gluck Center. 

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