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Making a Difference

Since inception, the Racing Foundation has awarded grants totalling just over £10million

 in support of a wide range of projects and initiatives.


To see some of the grants that have been awarded, charities that have been supported

 and projects that have been funded, please visit the following pages:

Equine Science Research

PROFESSOR ROGER SMITH - ROYAL VETERINARY COLLEGE

RATIONALLY DESIGNING BESPOKE TOPICAL DELIVERY SYSTEMS FOR EQUINE THERAPEUTICS

£80,000 - 2 YEARS

The delivery of drugs through equine skin is poorly understood and has therefore been mainly limited to application of cooling agents and topical anti-inflammatories.

This two year research project will exploit emerging state-of-the-art strategies from human medicine to develop scientifically-based drug delivery systems for horses. 

Phase one will explore the fundamental barrier properties of horse skin while the second stage of the project will examine novel methods of enhancing drug delivery. This research could have implications across a wide range of therapies.

Read more about Professor Roger Smith>


DR DEBBIE GUEST - ANIMAL HEALTH TRUST

ESTABLISHING THE SAFETY OF ALLOGENIC EQUINE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS FOR TENDON REGENERATION

£67,000 - 2 YEARS

Tendon injuries occur frequently in Thoroughbreds, having a significant welfare and economic impact on the racing industry. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can turn into tendon cells and may provide an “off the shelf” source of cells to aid tendon repair. However, using ESCs in horses unrelated to those from which they were derived may be rejected as foreign by the immune cells of recipient horses. Previous work has suggested that ESCs do not produce an immune response, but, before taking the next step towards an “off the shelf” system, certainty is needed that such ESC-derived tendon cells remain immune privileged and do not change their properties when exposed to the inflammatory environment which is present in the acutely injured tendon. 

An established laboratory system will be used to determine the immunological safety of the ESCs specifically for tendon repair and support the clinical application of these cells. This 2-year research project will further develop existing stem cell therapeutics and has the potential to impact how injured racehorses are restored to race fitness.

Read more about Dr Debbie Guest>


PROFESSOR RICHARD PIERCY - ROYAL VETERINARY COLLEGE

WHY DO HORSES ROAR? FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END OF RECURRENT LARYNGEAL NEUROPATHY

£66,500 - 2 YEARS

For unknown reasons, recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (or roaring) is associated with degeneration of the nerve that supplies the larynx and causes poor performance in racehorses. 

This 2-year study aims to compare nerve function in different parts of the body with the objective of developing a practical diagnostic test that can be used to detect the earliest signs of disease. The work will also examine some key pathological processes in the nerves that supply muscles in the larynx to see why nerves in certain horses degenerate with a view to discovering the cause, and potentially, novel treatments.

Read more about Professor Richard Piercy> 


PROFESSOR PETER CLEGG - UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

POST-NATAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE TENDON INTER-FASCICULAR MATRIX FOR LONG-TERM TENDON HEALTH 

£80,000 - 2 YEARS

Tendon injuries remain one of the most common problems in Thoroughbreds; however, the manner in which tendons function and become injured is poorly understood. Tendons which are particularly prone to injury are highly loaded during use and have to stretch to make locomotion more efficient. The mechanism by which such tendons work to allow stretching and recoil during locomotion has been identified. Tendons develop this specific ability to stretch and recoil after birth, and this specialist property is fully developed by the age of two years. 

The project will study developing tendons to understand the process by which a key tendon develops its unique properties which are vital for orthopaedic function. The aim is to identify approaches, relating to training or conditioning, which can optimise tendon quality fully to maximise orthopaedic health through life, ultimately reducing the incidence of tendon injuries.

Read more about Professor Peter Clegg>


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