UC Davis Experts on Racehorse Health

Horse Racing on field
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine routinely researches racetrack safety, like measuring the impact particular surfaces have on horses. (Don Preisler/UC Davis)

The following University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine faculty members are available to comment to media on a variety of topics related to racehorse health, ranging from bone and tendon injuries and treatments to drug testing and track safety. For sources on other related topics, contact Amy Quinton, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-9843, amquinton@ucdavis.edu.

Horse racing injuries, regulation and drug testing

Rick Arthur, equine medical director at the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and at the California Horse Racing Board, is an expert on horse racing injuries, regulation, drug testing, anabolic steroids, medications, veterinary procedures and pre-race veterinary examinations. His joint appointment to the racing board and the Maddy Laboratory involves research and development of drug-testing policies as well as analysis of laboratory findings and industry education. Contact: Rick Arthur, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 626-241-0682, rmarthur@ucdavis.edu.

Racehorse injuries and improving track safety

Susan Stover, professor and director of the J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory, is an expert on musculoskeletal injuries of racing horses and improving racetrack safety. She is internationally known for her work, which systematically characterizes equine bone growth and development and the effect of repetitive use. Her studies have demonstrated that pre-existing stress fractures underlie most performance-related fractures in athletic horses. Stover has identified risk factors for fracture development, resulting in better early detection, changes in training methods and overall improvements in racehorse welfare worldwide. She has also directed studies to improve methods of fracture repair, developed new techniques to detect lameness and added substantially to the early knowledge of pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial drugs used to prevent equine orthopedic infections. She also collaborates with physicians and engineers to model micro-crack fractures in bone, with important implications for a variety of human orthopedic diseases including osteoporosis. Contact: Susan Stover, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 530-752-7438, smstover@ucdavis.edu

Tendon and ligament injuries and treatments

Larry Galuppo, professor and chief of the Equine Surgery and Lameness Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, specializes in equine orthopedic surgery, including tendon and ligament injuries and joint disease, with special interest in traumatology and fracture repair. His research emphasis is on biomechanics of bone fractures, implant design, and fracture repair, focusing on novel healing methods for musculoskeletal injuries using regenerative medicine technology. Contact: Larry Galuppo, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 530-752-8088, ldgaluppo@ucdavis.edu.

Effects of medications on racehorses

Heather Knych, associate professor of clinical veterinary pharmacology, specializes in the field of equine pharmacology. She studies the effects of medications on horses and oversees the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory’s Equine Pharmacology Research Laboratory. Her specific research interests include pharmacokinetics, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships and clinical effects of anti-inflammatory and other drugs in performance horses. Contact: Heather Knych, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 530-752-8700, hkknych@ucdavis.edu.

Gait analysis, lameness and injury prevention

Scott Katzman, assistant professor with the Equine Surgery and Lameness Service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, specializes in equine lameness and gait analysis. His research focuses on racehorse injury prevention as well as diagnosis and management of upper respiratory obstructions, and gastrointestinal surgery. He co-leads a team of UC Davis equine surgeons who routinely provide emergency veterinary care for the Breeder’s Cup when it is hosted in California. Contact: Scott Katzman, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 612-799-9489, sakatzman@ucdavis.edu.

Research for improving racehorse health

Carrie J. Finno, associate professor and director of the Center for Equine Health, is an expert in equine genetic research with a strong focus on neuromuscular disease. The Center for Equine Health directs funding for research aimed at improving racehorse health. Contact: Carrie J. Finno, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 530-752-2739, cjfinno@ucdavis.edu

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