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Money raised following the death of American racehorse Barbaro has been invested into the study of laminitis.

America’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has invested $100,000 into the study from the Barbaro Memorial Fund.

Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, was put down in January this year suffering from laminitis in both front legs. Eight months previously, in May 2006, the racehorse shattered a leg during the Preakness Stakes. His plight and battle for recovery touched hearts across America and around the world.

“Through the support of member organisations and fans….we hope to exceed our fundraising goal to address equine health and safety issues, including finding a cure for laminitis,” stated NTRA president Alex Waldrop on the Barbaro Memorial fund website.

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has been entrusted with the funds and intends to endorse laminitis research in a two-fold study. Veterinary scientists propose to explore the nature and development of the disease as well as its prevention and therapy.

Recent indications suggest that the chemical serotonin speeds the spread of laminitis, so scientists plan to investigate whether a drug that counters serotonin may stem or even cure the signs of the complaint.

“The fund-raising effort of the NTRA already is having a positive impact on researchers’ attempts to solve a major malady that is a constant peril to all equines,” said Edward Bowen, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

The laminitis research projects will begin shortly at the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University and will continue for up to two years.