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Thank You from the Research Team at the University of Ghent


We are so very grateful to the Fenway foundation for this donation. Thanks in part to this contribution, we can further strengthen our work as a representative to improve welfare, health and prosperity of this magnificent breed. The research group of Professor Delesalle focuses on exercise Physiology with focus on the gut-muscle-brain axis, leading to new insights into optimization of fuel use during exercise, thermoregulation, neurophysiology and rehabilitation. All research is performed from a comparative perspective, which means research across human and animal species and within these species across breeds. This approach provides a solid view on how diseases develop and manifest themselves. It also helps creating a view on breed specific features and disorders.


Our team is established at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ghent University in Belgium. Our faculty holds the first position in the World Shanghai Ranking of Veterinary Universities.


The team plays a leading role in unraveling the pathophysiological background of aortic rupture and megaesophagus in the Friesian horse and has created since many years, a research consortium between the Ghent, Utrecht and Wageningen Universities in close cooperation with the Dutch Royal Friesian Studbook and The Wolvega Equine Clinic in the Netherlands. In this way we have a continuous view on what happens within the Friesian breed when it comes to not only diseases but also performance capacity. Our goal is not only to focus on disease, but also to provide Friesian horse owners with proper advice on how to optimize health, training and welfare in their horses.


In the past, we have carried out large-scale epidemiological studies for mapping out aortic rupture and mega-esophagus in Friesian horses. We have developed an Innovative diagnostic approach to visualize aortic rupture. Recently we have conducted studies to obtain an unique view on the energy metabolism of the Friesian horse which helps us to formulate proper training and nutritional advice. We are unique in the world when it comes to research in the Friesian breed in all 3 areas (aortic rupture, megaesophagus and training) and are enormously grateful for this donation that supports us in continuing with our efforts to improve welfare, health and prosperity of this magnificent breed.






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