In 2020, the Fenway Foundation for Friesian Horses, at the request of the KFPS, embarked on a multi-phase research program that could have a positive impact on the lives of Friesian horses and their owners around the world. Fenway is incredibly fortunate to be partnering with researchers at the famed Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky and Wageningen University in The Netherlands.
Our research team is working tirelessly towards identifying the genetic inheritance of megaesophagus, aortic rupture, and gastric rupture in Friesian horses. Our goal is the development of genetic tests that will assist in breeding decisions and, hopefully, over time, eliminate these debilitating and often fatal genetic flaws in our beloved Friesian horses.
We are so incredibly grateful to the Friesian community for their support in this very worthy cause. Every step we take in researching these diseases takes us one step closer to a brighter future for many generations of Friesian horses to come.
We are actively recruiting study candidates affected with megaesophagus, gastroparesis or gastric rupture, and aortic rupture. For information on how to participate, please see the below Research Sample Protocol.
Eventually, all owners will face the heartache of the loss of their Friesian horses. In spite of the emotional loss, we at the Fenway Foundation hope to learn from this tragedy. The Fenway Foundation will reimburse you (up to $400) for your Friesian necropsy and histopathology.
In some cases, the Fenway Foundation requests specific samples to be taken for research and preserved in a way that supports DNA extraction and histology when needed. If possible, please contact the Fenway Foundation prior to the necropsy so that we may provide the best guidance.