The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced March 19 that the NTRA Charities – Barbaro Memorial Fund has made three new disbursements to support laminitis research. Totaling $134,707, the funds will flow to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania’s Barbaro Fund for Laminitis Research.
According to a release, with funds from the Barbaro Memorial Fund, the Grayson Foundation will support the following new studies:
• “In Vivo Gene Transfer for the Treatment of Laminitis,” by Dr. Dean Richardson at the University of Pennsylvania. Funded for $55,941, 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.
• “Endotoxemia as a Predisposing Factor for Laminitis,” by Dr. Nicholas Frank at the University of Tennessee. Funded for $41,490, the study will seek to verify the possible relationship between endotoxin and the onset of laminitis.
These two new studies were each recommended by the Grayson Foundation’s 32-person strong Research Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Paul Lunn of Colorado State University.
An additional $37,276 will be directed to the University of Pennsylvania’s fund for Laminitis Research.
“We are proud that the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund has made such important laminitis research possible, and we thank the Barbaro Memorial Fund’s many contributors, whose generosity has kept Barbaro’s memory alive in a tangible and highly constructive way,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop, who is also the president of NTRA Charities, in a release.
Since its inception, The NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund has disbursed almost $400,000 in support of conferences, research programs and a half-dozen research projects, all focused on finding a cure for laminitis, the painful and often fatal hoof disease that plagued Barbaro for so much of his recuperative period following his injury in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).