The Thoroughbred Owners of California have contributed $50,000 as the lead gift in a $1.2 million initiative to establish an Equine Athletic Performance Laboratory through the Center for Equine Health at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine.
The gift represents the largest donation the association has contributed to equine research. Funds will be pooled with other gifts to develop a special research endowment to study performance issues, prevent injury and assure well-being in race horses. Once established, the laboratory will enable equine veterinarians to devise analytical methods for evaluating athletic conditioning and performance capabilities of individual horses. The program will also seek to provide objective assessments of how training techniques, drug agents or other factors may affect performance. Specialized monitoring equipment and a core herd of race-conditioned Thoroughbreds will assist investigations.
Gregory L. Ferraro, director of the Center for Equine Health, says that the new program will complement ongoing faculty investigations. "Our equine researchers have discovered many causes of injuries and how to repair them. The Performance Laboratory will help us find new tools to prevent those problems from happening in the first place."
The Center for Equine Health advances the health, well-being, performance and veterinary care of horses through study and education. Research findings are applied in the school's teaching hospital to raise veterinary care standards and provide "hands on" training opportunities for future veterinarians, academic clinicians and researchers.