The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that its subsidiary, NTRA Charities, has disbursed $90,801 in support of one new and two continuing equine medical research projects. The disbursements were made from the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund, established in memory of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who succumbed to laminitis, a disease of the hoof, in 2007. Funds for the studies will flow through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

All three studies involve laminitis research. The new study, "Effect of Digital Hypothermia on Inflammatory Injury in Laminitis," by Dr. James Belknap of Ohio State University, is a two-year project funded for $82,109.

The two continuing projects are "Targeting 5-HT in Equine Laminitis," by Dr. Douglas Allen at University of Georgia and "Treatment of Equine Laminitis with Doxycycline," by Dr. Susan Eades at Louisiana State University. These two studies were funded with a $100,000 contribution from the Barbaro fund to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation in 2007; an additional $8,692 completes the projects in 2008. Both projects are on schedule to produce research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The Barbaro Fund contributed an additional $60,000 in 2007 toward laminitis research projects and programs at the University of Pennsylvania, bringing its total disbursements to $250,801.

"We are proud that the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund is making this important laminitis research possible and we salute the Barbaro Memorial Fund's many contributors, who are collectively ensuring that Barbaro's legacy lives on in a tangible and essential way," said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop, who is also the president of NTRA Charities.

A distinguished panel of equine veterinarians, assembled by the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation, evaluated several proposals before making final recommendations on the laminitis studies. The panel included Dr. Larry Bramlage, chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Dr. Johnny Smith, the Foundation's veterinary consultant, Dr. Paul Lunn, Professor, Head of Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University; Dr. Scott Hay, President of the Teigland, Franklin, Brokken veterinary firm and a specialist in equine lameness; racetrack practitioner Dr. Tom Brokken, also of Teigland, Franklin, Brokken veterinary firm and a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP); Dr. David Horohov, the William Robert Mills Chair at the Maxwell Gluck Research Center, University of Kentucky; Dr. Gary Lavin, a retired race track practitioner, past AAEP president, and Vice-Chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation; Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board; Dr. John Stick, Professor, Chief of Staff, Large Animal Clinic, Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. James Orsini, Director, Laminitis Institute, and Associate Professor of Surgery, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Formed in 1999 as a subsidiary of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), NTRA Charities is a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) public charity whose mission is to promote and support charities in or related to the Thoroughbred industry. For more information contact Peggy Hendershot, NTRA Charities executive director, at (800) 792-6872 or visit NTRACharities.org.