The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's board of directors announced Feb. 27 that the foundation will fund a slate of 19 research projects worth $1,003,580 in 2014. The list includes 11 new projects and five that are in their second year, as well as three Storm Cat Career Development Awards.
The 2014 allocation brings the foundation's total impact since 1983 to $20.9 million in funding for 310 projects at 41 universities.
"The overwhelming generosity of members, donors, and those who support our fundraising events has enabled us to allot $1 million in research this year that will once again benefit horses of all breeds and disciplines," said chairman Dell Hancock in a release. "Providing funding of more than $20 million for 310 research projects in a 30-year period certainly confirms the deep commitment of our board and supporters to equine health."
The 2014 total includes funding for three Storm Cat Career Development Awards, which are stipends of $15,000 each to young scientists.
"The tightening of university budgets today is a cause of concern when it comes to recruiting the next generation of equine researchers," said Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation president Edward L. Bowen. "Through these development awards, our foundation is assisting young candidates to encourage their interest in this field."
The first Storm Cat Award was presented in 2006, and one award annually has been underwritten since then by board member Lucy Young Hamilton. The award is named in honor of the champion stallion Storm Cat, which Hamilton's family bred, raced, and stood at Overbrook Farm. In each of the last two years, the Foundation board has approved two additional Storm Cat Awards.
Funding decisions for research grants are made by the board after input from a 32-person Research Advisory Committee, which is composed of researchers and veterinarians representing various specialties. Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation received 59 proposals for research for the 2014 funding cycle.
The breakdown of the 11 new regular projects being funded is infectious disease, five; musculoskeletal soundness, three; laminitis, two; respiratory (non-infectious) disease, one. Descriptions of the new projects, continuing projects, and Storm Cat Award projects are available.
The foundation also announced that its board approved the appointment of Dr. Steve Reed, a prominent veterinarian affiliated with Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, to succeed Dr. Paul Lunn as chairman of the Research Advisory Committee.
Lunn served in that role for five years, but stepped down due to ongoing commitments in his position as the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Reed conducted notable research at The Ohio State University before joining Rood & Riddle.