AHF Announces $12,500 in Research Grants

The Arabian Horse Foundation (AHF) has announced $12,500 in equine research funding for 2011. The latest round of funding brings the total given by the Foundation in the last four years to more than $100,000.

"The amount of the financial support given is indicative of the significant strides the Foundation is making in encouraging our Arabian horse community to donate and support the philanthropic endeavors of the Foundation," said Larry Kinneer, AHF president. "Without the support of our membership and others dedicated to our breed, the Foundation could not make such financial contributions that are essential in equine research."

Of the $12,500 in awards, $4,000 will go to the cerebellar abiotrophy research being conducted by Cecilia Penedo, PhD, at the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. The Foundation has contributed previously to this research. Another $3,000 will go to help support a project request from the Morris Animal Foundation to study melanoma susceptibility in gray horses. In addition, the Foundation is directing $3,000 to Babak Faramarzi, DVM, PhD, of the Western University of Health Sciences, for the study of equine hoof interactions with the ground surface and the impact of trimming and hoof conformation. The fourth award of $2,500 supplements previous funding to Samantha Brooks, PhD, of Cornell University, to continue research on equine metabolic syndrome and cushing's disease in the Arabian horse.

Beth Minnich, who chairs the Foundation's Equine Research Advisory Panel, said of the recent awards, "this year's funding is very exciting for the Foundation and its donors; as we are able to build on our success with the cerebellar abiotrophy and lavender foal syndrome projects, and continue to expand our ability to support important research on a variety of equine health issues."

In addition to Minnich, the Equine Research Advisory Panel is made up of Ray Cerniga, DVM; Tim Fleck, DVM; and Cory Soltau, DVM.

"The recommendations from the Panel were strong and well explained," Kinneer said. "Each is truly deserving of the funding we have allocated." He noted that the contribution for melanoma research is the first collaboration with the Morris Animal Foundation.

Minnich noted that "this is an opportunity for the Foundation to help support research into an important condition that affects a large number of Arabians. This project also helps us establish a relationship with the Morris Animal Foundation and researchers at the University of Minnesota where the research will be conducted."

"Not only does funding support for this project expand our research portfolio for projects studying health issues affecting Arabian horses, it also provides an opportunity for increased exposure for the Foundation within the equine research community," said Minnich.

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