The University of Guelph has received $2 million from the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund to support clinical research in the health and performance of racehorses. The announcement was made during the second annual Equi-Challenge Aug. 27, which brings together some of Canada's most notable equestrians.
“This generous gift is an investment in the future of the equine industry and the future of the Ontario Veterinary College,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “We'll be creating and disseminating new knowledge through research and teaching at OVC, helping the equine industry grow and prosper.”
Currently there are more than one million horses in Canada, with nearly half of them in racing and breeding. The equine industry generates $3.5 billion a year in Canada, including $1 billion annually in Ontario with its more than 6,600 equine farms.
“The E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund was established to honour the enormous contributions of E.P. Taylor to the horse racing industry in Canada and indeed, worldwide,” said longtime trustee Robert McMartin. “This donation marks our belief in Guelph and its vision to build a centre of excellence for equine performance and reproduction. We believe clinical research is an essential part of this vision."
The E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund has been supporting graduate student and faculty research conducted through the University, OVC and Equine Guelph (a partnership between U of G and the equine industry) since the mid-1970s. It has sponsored more than 100 research projects that are central to the health and well-being of horses, from studies on debilitating diseases in foals to preventing pregnancy failures in brood mares and research on respiratory ailments.
“We take this latest gift as a vote of confidence that we are on the right track with our plans to support and improve the health and performance of Ontario's race horses,” said OVC Dean Elizabeth Stone. “This donation will help fund unprecedented new research and allow our equine experts to advance and improve equine medicine, surgery and husbandry. It will significantly impact the well-being of racehorses and the racing industry and will generate a lasting legacy in the name of E.P. Taylor.”
Results of the University's equine performance research will be put into practice at a new Equine Sports Medicine and Reproduction Centre being planned for the U of G campus. Proceeds from the annual Equi-Challenge are going to help build the facility.
The centre will focus on application of the latest discoveries, including those made possible by the E.P. Taylor gift. It will offer direct access to top equine specialists and the latest technologies and help attract top students and veterinarians interested in equine research.
Services will include advanced gait, respiratory and cardiovascular evaluation, and cutting-edge diagnostics for performance and health. The reproduction facility will offer sophisticated services such as fertility evaluation, artificial insemination, and embryo transfer.
The new centre is part of the University's multi-year plan to enhance existing OVC facilities and services.