University of Maryland Extension

Advances in Equine Research

The University of Maryland’s Equine Studies Program is proud to announce its latest initiative to bring equine science directly to the horse owner in an affordable way by hosting a national webinar series titled “Advances in Equine Research”.  The weekly webinar series will feature prominent equine scientists who will share the latest research findings in parasite control, color genetics, and feeding forages to horses.  “Times are tough” says Dr. Amy Burk, Coordinator for the Equine Studies Program at the University of Maryland, “and horse owners can’t always afford to attend expensive research meetings or pay high prices to download journal articles in order to learn this important information”.  She adds, “Webinars are great because they allow the horse owner to skip the long drive and learn from the comfort of their own home”.  Each webinar will be held on a Wednesday night in November from 7pm to 8pm for the low cost of $12.  The schedule for the webinar series is below.  


November 4, 2015 7:00pm

Understand drug resistance and how to deal with it: These ain't your father's parasites!

Dr. Ray Kaplan, University of Georgia

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Many of the most important parasites of horses have become resistant to dewormers.  This leads to treatment failure and the potential for disease.  A main driver of drug resistance is the high frequency of treatments that are given to horses.  Adult horses in particular do not need to be dewormed nearly as often as in commonly done.  And when a horse is dewormed it is important to know whether the treatment actually worked.  In this webinar we will discuss how and why drug resistance develops, how we can prevent it from getting worse, and how we can control parasites better with fewer deworming treatments

    Dr. Kaplan is a Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Dr. Kaplan received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and his DVM from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.  He worked as a clinical veterinarian in a mixed-species private practice in Pennsylvania for several years before leaving practice for the University of Florida where he earned a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology.  Prior to his position at University of Georgia, Dr. Kaplan served in the Army Veterinary Corps at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he was Chief of Parasite Biology in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics.  Since 1998 he has been in his current position where he teaches and performs research and service in veterinary parasitology.  Dr. Kaplan’s research program is focused on measuring, understanding, and solving the problem of drug resistance in helminth parasites.  He is a Diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (Parasitology) and the European Veterinary Parasitology College, and is the director of the Athens Parasitology Diagnostic Laboratory.  He also is recipient of the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, the University of Georgia Charles N. Dobbins Award for Excellence in Service, and the Dr. Fred C. Davison Award for outstanding service to veterinary medicine.


November 11, 2015 7:00pm

“Spotting” the Genes for Color in the Horse

Dr. Samantha Brooks, University of Florida

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Have you ever wondered how a horse gets a particular color pattern or what color your foal might be if his parents are two different colors?  This webinar by seasoned horse geneticist, Dr. Samantha Brooks, will help answer those questions and much more.  She will discuss the basic horse coat colors, how they are modified to form patterns, and some important color associated disorders.  If you’re interested in breeding horses for specific colors or patterns, you don’t want to miss this webinar!

     A lifelong horse woman, Dr. Samantha Brooks was diverted from vet school by a budding passion for equine research. Following a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr. Brooks remained at the University of Kentucky to study at the Gluck Equine Research Center. While there she earned her PhD in Veterinary Science, specializing in Equine Genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Ernest Bailey. Following her PhD she was awarded the Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the expression of inflammatory genes in horses affected with laminitis. Her research program at the University of Florida explores a variety of topics relevant to horse health ranging from gene expression studies to mapping of genetic disorders in the horse. Previously her research group discovered genetic mutations and markers for coat colors, height, sarcoid tumors and two neurological conditions.  Ongoing work targets variation in gait, susceptibility to infectious disease, metabolic syndrome and skeletal defects using genome wide association, genome re-sequencing and transcriptomics technologies.


November 18, 2015 7:00pm

Strategies to Optimize Equine Hay Use

Dr. Krishona Martinson, University of Minnesota

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This presentation will focus on the latest research aimed at optimizing hay use when feeding horses.  Strategies include using different types of feeders to reduce hay waste, using slow-feed hay nets to reduce horse stress and extend foraging time, and the impact of hay soaking and steaming on hay quality and horse intake.  Tips on purchasing and storing hay and sources of additional information pertaining to feeding hay will also be briefly discussed. 

     Dr. Krishona Martinson holds a BS, MS and PhD in Agronomy.  Since 2008, Krishona has been the Equine Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota.  Krishona leads the University of Minnesota Extension Horse Program and has secured over $1 million for her applied research program which focuses on improving equine forage utilization.  She has published 29 journal articles, advised 20 undergraduate students, 10 graduate students, and one post-doctoral research associate.  In 2011, Krishona was named the Outstanding Young Professional from the Equine Science Society.  

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