The National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s subsidiary, NTRA Charities, has announced that the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research has disbursed $49,000 to support the second year of a research project on laminitis.
The funds from the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research will support the “In Vivo Gene Transfer for the Treatment of Laminitis” project being conducted by Dr. Dean Richardson at the University of Pennsylvania. The project seeks to develop a gene therapy approach to prevent laminitis in the contralateral hoof when a horse is being treated for a musculoskeletal injury.
The balance of the project costs in 2011—$14,924—will be funded by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research also supported this project in 2010 through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
“We are proud to continue our support of this important laminitis project, which has already come up with some promising preliminary data,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop, who is also the president of NTRA Charities. “We thank Pfizer Animal Health for its continued strong support of the Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research. Pfizer’s generosity—along with the contributions of so many of Barbaro’s fans—have kept Barbaro’s memory alive in this very constructive way.”
The Barbaro Fund for Equine Health and Safety Research has disbursed almost $400,000 in support of conferences, research programs and several research projects—virtually all focused on finding a cure for laminitis, the painful and often fatal hoof disease that plagued Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro for so much of his recuperative period following his injury in the 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Richardson was the lead surgeon on the veterinary team that kept Barbaro alive following his catastrophic injury.