In The News

Monday, June 23, 2014


Starlight Racing Making Large Commitment To Laminitis Research


Starlight Racing partners, in memory of Intense Holiday, who recently succumbed to laminitis, has announced it will donate large sums to two organizations for the purpose of funding research into that insidious disease.

Starlight will offer a matching-funds donation of up to $100,000 to be divided between Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (earmarked strictly for laminitis research) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Laminitis Research Project. Both Grayson-Foundation and the AAEP Foundation are challenged with raising matching funds for their research projects.

“Intense Holiday illustrated one of the most frustrating and tragic aspects of laminitis,” said Jack Wolf, founder of Starlight Racing. “That is when an injury seems to be treatable, even to the point where a horse appears to be out of the woods, but then laminitis develops and the horse is lost. Intense Holiday had a condylar fracture, which we were confident could be dealt with, but laminitis developed and he lost a hard-fought battle to the disease.

“Our impetus to donate and raise money for this research really arose, not just from our loss, but from the overwhelming outpouring of support from the racing community. We heard hundreds of stories from people who, like us, lost horses prematurely. While most people know about Secretariat, Barbaro, and St. Nicholas Abbey losing their lives to laminitis, there are many lesser known horses as well, including Glen Hill Farms’ Banned and so many other horses I’ve learned about over the last two weeks. The overarching theme I’ve heard has been enormous frustration with regard to laminitis.”

“We are very sorry for Starlight’s loss, but admire that their response is to help other horses,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “Laminitis has always been a high priority for our Foundation, and although it remains an arch enemy, progress has been made. For example, recently developed knowledge on cryotherapy (the destruction of abnormal tissue through freezing) was utilized in saving Paynter, but every case is different. Even though the team treating Intense Holiday implemented a form of cryotherapy, in his case, with laminitis in both front feet, it could not save him.

“We are confident donors both large and small will come through and allow us to match the Starlight challenge.”

“We are saddened at the loss of Intense Holiday and the many other horses that have succumbed to this devastating disease,” said Dr. Jeff Berk, chairman of the AAEP Foundation. “We salute and thank Starlight Racing for its dedication to helping us try to solve the mysteries of laminitis. Based on multiple surveys with AAEP members over the past decade, laminitis remains the number one disease equine veterinarians seek answers to. It is based on this member input the AAEP Foundation started its Laminitis Research Project and is the only research area the Foundation is directly funding.”

For those wishing to donate to laminitis research you can do so by sending a check to either Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation or AAEP Foundation with a memo designating your donation for laminitis research in connection with matching the Starlight donation.

Donations for Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation can be sent to:

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

821 Corporate Drive

Lexington, KY 40503

Or online:

Donations for the AAEP’s Laminitis Research Project can be sent to:

American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation

4075 Iron Works Parkway

Lexington, KY 40511

Or online:

Contact: Ed Bowen, president, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

Contact: Ed Bowen
(859) 224-2851