Purpose: The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is committed to supporting research that has a direct, timely, positive impact on the management and welfare of endurance horses. This includes management of horses prior to a competitive event (e.g. nutrition, training), management or treatment of horses during a competitive event (e.g. hydration, nutrition, risk factors for pulls, veterinary interventions), or follow up after an event (e.g. follow up on lameness pulls). We will also consider funding small, efficient technology developments that would facilitate our use of the vast amounts of data that are collected during an AERC event.
As an example of the types of projects we are seeking, see the link below for a summary of the Tevis Hydration Study, a recently funded project conducted by Dr. Jerry Gillespie.
The AERC Research Committee invites for consideration proposals that meet the following guidelines. We currently consider qualified proposals on a rolling basis.
• The proposal should be completed using the AERC Research Proposal form which can be obtained by contacting the Research Committee Chair, Dr. Margaret Brosnahan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Proposals should include a clearly stated hypothesis, the answer to which will have an immediate and positive impact on the sport of endurance.
• Proposal budgets should not exceed the $10,000 – $12,000 range. Small projects (or pilot projects with significant potential) with budgets of less than $5,000 are equally welcome.
• We will consider funding second phase projects with slightly larger budgets if an initial project brings promising results.
• Salaries, stipends, and indirect costs are not fundable.
• Major equipment purchases are not fundable.
As veterinarians and scientists, we recognize that there are many research questions of academic interest about the horse, but as a small organization with a limited research budget we must choose to fund those with the most immediate impact for our sport. At the same time, we welcome creative ideas and novel approaches, so if there are questions about the appropriateness of a project, please feel free to contact the Research Committee in advance of submitting a proposal.
Submit a Proposal: If you have a proposal that you wish to submit for consideration then contact the committee chair or any of the current members.
T.M.Hess, DVM, MS, PhD Pratt Fellow in Equine Nutrition, Virginia Tech will be exploring Do risks of potassium supplementation depend on speed and trail difficulty? This study will be done, using on board data acquisition, under conditions replicating actual competition.
Research Measures the Heart of the Endurance Horse – a final report on research into “comparison of echocardiographic measurements in elite and non-elite Arabian endurance horses” by Mary Durando, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Margaret M. Sleeper, VMD, DACIM, and Todd Holbrook, DVM, DACVIM, M. Payton and EK Birks. Published in the October 2013 issue of Endurance News.
Is heart rate variability an effective measure of equine fitness, overtraining, or metabolic derangements? by Mary Durando, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Margaret M. Sleeper, VMD, DACIM, and Todd Holbrook, DVM, DACVIM (pdf).
Are horses responsible for introducing noxious weeds onto trails and adjacent ecosystems in the western USA? by Dr. Stith T. Gower (pdf)
Are Horses Responsible for Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States? by Dr. Stith T. Gower (pdf)
Why Do Endurance Horses Fail to Finish: A Pilot Study by Harold Schott, DVM, PhD and John Kaneene, DVM, MPH, PhD (pdf)
Can Successful Endurance Performance Be Predicted by Physiology? by Mary Durando, DVM, PhD