Topics presented were in the areas of nutrition, genetics, orthopedics and Friesian research. All presentations were video taped and are now available for viewing along with presenter’s bios under the “Education/Links” tab on the Foundation’s website:
BREEDING FRIESIAN MARES
Kory Niswender, DVM, ACT Equine Reproduction Specialist
Dr. Niswender took us through the process of breeding the mare as well as a discussion of embryo transfer. He stressed the key points where breeding the Friesian mare is different from the light breed mare, outlining his protocols that lead to his success with Friesian mares.
GIVING YOUNG HORSES THE BEST CHANCE TO BECOME SOUND ADULTS
Dr. Karen Davison, PHD Equine Nutritionist
Dr. Davison focused on the importance of feeding the young growing horse, beginning by emphasizing the impact that correct nutrition of the broodmare can have on the resulting foal. She discussed topics like body scoring and the importance of the correct levels of protein in the horse’s diet.
FRIESIAN HEALTH RESEARCH – PROJECTS BOTH HERE AND ABROAD
Kathy Fox, DVM Director of Research Fenway Foundation for Friesian Horses
A discussion of the current research involving the Friesian horse, both here in the United States and in the Netherlands was presented by Dr. Fox. All that is being done to help the Friesian horse become a healthier, stronger breed should encourage Friesian horse owners to continue to stay involved.
OSTEOCHONDROSIS: MYTHS AND TRUTHS
Reese Hand, DVM, ACVS Sports Medicine and Lameness Specialist
Dr. Hand spoke with a focus on Osteochondrosis. He defined further the term osteochondrosis and went on to explain the difference between osteochondrosis dessicans and subchondral bone cysts. Radiographs helped to show us what these lesions look like and where they are most likely to be found. Causes and treatment were discussed as well as some guidelines for prevention.
GENETIC DIVERSITY AND HEALTH IN THE FRIESIAN HORSE
Dr. Gus Cothran, PhD Genetic Specialist
Dr. Gothran is a clinical professor at Texas A & M University with a special interest in equine genetic defects and their impact on breeds with a small population. He stressed the importance of identifying these genetic issues and breeding responsibly so that horses are not excluded from reproducing in an already limited genetic pool. He touched on topics such as genetic drift, factors that influence population size and the impact that a single stallion can have with respect to a genetic mutation and the appearance of a recognized disease in a population.