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MRLS Mess

MRLS Mess

By Ray Paulick -- As live foal reports from The Jockey Club confirm the full impact of last spring's Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, the breeding industry continues to be frustrated by uncertainty over the cause of the problem.

2001 U.S. Purses and Handle Set Records

Gross purses rose 3.6% and pari-mutuel handle increased 1.6% in the United States for 2001, setting records in both catagories, according to the 12th edition of "The Jockey Club Fact Book," released online today.

Herald-Leader Reporter Wins Eclipse Award for Writing

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that Janet Patton, a business writer for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, has won the media Eclipse Award for writing in the news/ commentary category.

MRLS Loan Regulations Being Drafted

Federal and state officials are drafting regulations for federal loans that will be available for eligible farmers impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome.

With MRLS Outbreak, 2001 Was Year of Loss For Breeding Industry

With MRLS Outbreak, 2001 Was Year of Loss For Breeding Industry

The worst health problem to hit the Thoroughbred industry since CEM and EVA occurred during the spring of 2001. What was grouped by the industry under the heading of mare reproductive loss syndrome actually was two reproductive situations. The first was the loss/abortion of late-term or at-term gestations. Some foals were born compromised and later died. The second situation was early fetal loss.

With MRLS Outbreak, 2000 Was Year of Loss For Breeding Industry

With MRLS Outbreak, 2000 Was Year of Loss For Breeding Industry

The worst health problem to hit the Thoroughbred industry since CEM and EVA occurred during the spring of 2001. What was grouped by the industry under the heading of mare reproductive loss syndrome actually was two reproductive situations. The first was the loss/abortion of late-term or at-term gestations. Some foals were born compromised and later died. The second situation was early fetal loss.

Auction Year in Review: Huge Hit

Auction Year in Review: Huge Hit

North America's Thoroughbred marketplace suffered a big setback in 2001. To put it in perspective, the decline was bigger than anything recorded from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, when the industry suffered a disastrous slump that sent investors fleeing from the horse business.

Tobacco Funds Approved For MRLS Study

The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board on Friday approved using $311,000 from state and county tobacco-settlement funds to research causes of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that resulted in deaths of foals and caused some mares to abort fetuses last spring.

Farm Bill, With MRLS Provisions, Clears Committee

Democrats forced a new farm bill through a Senate committee Thursday after giving Southern senators more money for big farms and adding a dairy program that could raise retail milk prices. Provisions for loans that would aid farmers impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome are included in the bill that cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee.

MRLS Losses, Executive Summary

The Department of Equine Business at the University of Louisville was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Governor, to quantify the economic loss to the Kentucky equine breeding industry resulting from the loss of a large number of foals to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) in 2001. Following is a summary of the detailed analysis contained in that study.

Recommendations Forthcoming From Mare Reproductive Loss Survey

The survey of 133 Central Kentucky farms was designed to identify risk factors, not causes, of mare reproductive loss syndrome, said Dr. Roberta Dwyer of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center. As a result of the survey, a list of recommendations will be put forth in the next four to six weeks to help farm managers avoid risk factors in the future.

Mare Reproductive Loss Survey Confirms Some Beliefs; Belies Others

Results from the survey of 133 farms in Central Kentucky regarding the early fetal loss and late-term abortions that occurred this spring substantiated the preliminary ideas held by researchers and veterinarians this spring. The survey also put to rest some fears of causes put forth by individuals in the industry. It is perhaps this second result that makes the survey good news for horse owners.

Study: Growth Rates Not Affected by MRLS

While mare reproductive loss syndrome has had a devastating effect on in-foal mares in 2001, a just-released study indicates it had no affect on the growth rate of foals of 2000 and 2001 raised on Central Kentucky farms and foals of 2001.

Mare Study's Preliminary Results Are Encouraging

Mare Study's Preliminary Results Are Encouraging

There are no significant differences between mares bred in Kentucky and mares bred in Florida, according to the preliminary results of a study that was designed to determine the effects of mare reproductive loss system (MRLS). Drs. Tom Riddle and Kent Vince of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington used ultrasound exams to compare the allantoic and amniotic fluids of the two groups. They also looked at fetal heart rates.

Farm Bill Has Foal-Loss Impact Provision

Language that calls for low-interest loans for owners and breeders impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome is included in a farm bill now under consideration by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill may be ready the week of July 30.

Kentucky Legislators Tour Affected Farms

Kentucky Legislators Tour Affected Farms

As Central Kentucky breeders and owners prepare for the "ripple effect" from mare reproductive loss syndrome, Kentucky legislators are in the process of gathering information to assess the damage. Meanwhile, a state equine emergency management plan is in the works.

Crisis or Opportunity

By John R. Gaines -- The Chinese ideogram for "crisis" is the same as the Chinese ideogram for "opportunity." There is a certain wisdom in this.

Farm Aid

Farm Aid

By Ray Paulick -- The pregnancy losses may have slowed, and University of Kentucky researchers may have identified the leading cause for the mare reproductive loss syndrome that hit the Bluegrass region this spring, but the damage is just now being assessed. The losses, which will be sustained over the next several years, will be devastating for many farm owners and breeders.

Those Who Touch Horses

By Kimberly S. Graetz -- While we are extremely fortunate in Central Kentucky to have skilled and learned professors, veterinarians, researchers, nutritionists, agronomists, and all the other people with degrees, it's the people who touch the horse every day who have been the unsung heroes during this spring's equine health crisis.

Welcome Relief

Welcome Relief

By Ray Paulick -- An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned.

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