As a signal of its commitment to supporting equine safety and welfare research, Keeneland will pledge a total of $100,000 over the next four years to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
“The best interest of the horse is the beginning and end of all we do at Keeneland,” said Shannon Arvin, president and CEO of Keeneland. “In furtherance of our mission, Keeneland has long championed the important work of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which is a leader in equine safety, integrity, and research. Especially exciting is Grayson's study of advancing technology and veterinary science and their roles in keeping our equine athletes safe.”
Some of those funds will support a study to compare positron emission tomography (PET) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for assessment of fetlock injuries in sport horses. The project is a one-year grant to Dr. Mathieu Spriet, University of California, Davis.
In 2015, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation funded the first project that employed the use of PET scans on equine athletes, and there was additional funding in 2019. At least 10 PET scans will have been installed through the end of 2023 in North America.
“Although the PET project is geared toward sport horses, we think it resonates with a tangible topic being discussed in the Thoroughbred industry today,” said Dr. Stuart Brown, Keeneland's vice president of equine safety. “Investment in furthering our understanding of the benefits of this new imaging modality and its application in the diagnosis and prevention of bone injury in our equine athletes remains an intense area of interest for interventional opportunities on behalf of the horse.”
“I can't thank Keeneland enough for its support of Grayson's invaluable research that helps so many of our horses,” said Dell Hancock, chair, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “I challenge other racing associations to show their commitment to the safety of our equine athletes by incorporating funds for Grayson into future business expenses.”
Keeneland is a long-standing partner in support and funding of Grayson's research initiatives and has hosted its Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, which brings together breeding, racing, and veterinary communities to improve safety and soundness of racehorses.
More information on the PET project and other current research being funded by Grayson can be found here: bit.ly/graysoncurrent.