Grayson-Jockey Club Partners With State in Research Effort

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will partner with the state of Kentucky in funding a research project on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS). The Foundation committed $56,400 as an equal partner with the state.

The state of Kentucky will use the $56,400 it received as part of the tobacco-settlement money to co-fund the research effort. Kentucky Governor Paul Patton has been involved in following the tragic and economically severe pattern of early and late fetal loss in Kentucky this year, and formed a task force on MRLS earlier this year. The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board was formed to determine how to distribute those funds.

Dr. Noah Cohen, an epidemiologist at Texas A & M University, developed the research project. The Foundation had earlier funded an initial fact-finding trip to Kentucky, during which Dr. Cohen met with personnel from the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, and the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, etc. Dr. Cohen is assembling a team, including Dr. Vincent Carey, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Harvard Medical School.

This team, working with Kentucky personnel, will seek to characterize clinical disorders that caused the fetal loss, identify causal factors, and formulate a plan for preparation, control, and prevention in the future. The schedule calls for analysis by early in 2002, in time for farm managers to benefit from increased knowledge prior to the spring.