UK is home to world-class research and service excellence in equine nutrition, pasture and forages, economics, environmental compliance and many others.
The Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center has a long history of important equine health research and currently has a research focus in the areas of genetics and genomics, infectious diseases and immunology, musculoskeletal science, parasitology, pharmacology/toxicology and reproductive health.
Equine researchers at UK have increased their efforts in understanding the role of nutrition and feeding management on the health, growth and longevity of horses in recent years. Many issues are being addressed by multidisciplinary teams that include nutritionists, plant scientists, agricultural engineers, microbiologists and veterinary scientists.
The vast majority of horses raised in Kentucky utilize pasture as an important nutrient source. Researchers at UK are developing nutrition and pasture management practices that improve knowledge of optimal feeding programs and optimal production schemes for horses.
Because horses have the potential to impact the land, environmental stewardship is also an area of interest.
Researchers are also documenting the economic and cultural value of the horse industry to Kentucky. The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey, a comprehensive statewide survey of all breeds of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules – the first such study since 1977 – was conducted between June and October 2012. Results were released in 2013. The survey found that Kentucky is home to 242,400 horses with a total economic impact of almost $3 billion. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/equine/kyequinesurvey.