The second Elastikon Equine Research Award, funded through a grant made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co. to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, has been awarded to Dr. Wayne McIlwraith of Colorado State University and Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Maine for their research designed to enhance the safety of racetracks for horses.
The project uses a drop hammer, with a simulated hoof, along with ground-penetrating radar, to analyze racing surfaces. Researchers agree that uniformity of a racing surface is a key component to keeping horses sound, and the McIlwraith and Peterson project will assist track superintendents in achieving that goal.
The project will address dirt tracks as well as synthetic surfaces.
The research project will create a protocol for track maintenance personnel to establish baseline information and maintain consistency on their racetracks. For synthetic surfaces, the research will include data on wax content and melt point.
“Elastikon is pleased to be able to support research which has a great potential to reduce injuries to race horses,” Jack Weakley, director of the Sports Medicine Group of Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Products Co., said in a statement. “When Grayson-Jockey Club told us this project had been highly evaluated and recommended by its board and its Research Advisory Committee, we felt strongly that it was an excellent project for us to join in supporting.”
Elastikon brand elastic tape and other company products are staples among horsemen and veterinarians.
The $43,000 track evaluation project is one of two dozen research projects currently being funded by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for $1.2 million. The foundation, traditionally the leading source of private funding for scientific research specifically to benefit horses, has provided $15.5 million to fund some 240 projects at three dozen universities over the past 25 years.