Thursday, April 19, 2018
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) veterinary science and education investment programme for 2018 includes: 
• 5 Major Research Projects 
• 7 Small Research Projects 
• 1 Scholarship  
• 1 Equine Post Doctoral Fellowship 

• 2 Infectious Disease Surveillance Programmes 

In addition to the allocation approved by HBLB of £1.8m (2017: £1.55m), the Racing Foundation will again be supporting equine veterinary scientific research, providing £200,000 towards two of the major projects beginning this year. 

The HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) will continue to manage ongoing projects and educational awards being funded by the Foundation, the TBA and the BEBF. In addition, both the TBA and ROA contribute towards the Equine Infectious Disease Service. 

Professor Sandy Love, Chair of the HBLB’s VAC, said: 
“As always, the quality and range of applications for grants to start in 2018 was excellent.  Choosing between them was tough and we could easily have recommended more awards without compromising on quality.  

“We have a tried and tested system to help identify which grants should proceed.  First, the Industry’s stakeholders agree the priorities and scope for future investment against which to measure applications.  Then we take into account the observations of expert reviewers from all over the world.  The final part of the assessment mechanism examines the scientific rigour and the relevance to the racing, breeding and rearing of Thoroughbreds.  

“The new application round, for awards to start in 2019, opens on Monday 23 April.”

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of The Racing Foundation, said: 
“The Racing Foundation is delighted to be working with the HBLB to support two new major research projects that have high relevance to the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
“The first research project will investigate why not all young Thoroughbreds enter training, with the ultimate aim of identifying factors that might prevent them from pursuing a racing career. A group of Thoroughbreds will be monitored from birth to examine the impact of early life experiences such as exercise, disease and injury, on their racing careers. The second project being supported by the Racing Foundation forms part of a large programme being run by the Animal Health Trust that seeks to identify an improved vaccine for EHV-1 disease. We very much look forward to seeing the findings of both projects over the next 3 years.”

In addition to those two projects, examples of the areas being covered by work starting this year are: 

• The origins of tendon disease and a strategy for prevention and treatment   
• Causes of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (roaring)
• Early identification of stress fractures 
• New technique to speed up gene sequencing methods to help vaccine development 
• Other impacts of Atypical Myopathy 
• Improving the quality of equine MRI for diagnosis of musculoskeletal issues 
• Viral causes of liver disease 
• Analysis of outcomes from tie back surgery 
• New approach to Rhodococcus Equi treatment 
• New lameness assessment system

For further information please contact:
Professor Sandy Love
HBLB Veterinary Advisory Committee

Tansy Challis
Grants Manager, The Racing Foundation
07709 954620

Annie Dodd
HBLB Grants Manager
020 7333 0043

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