The most important risk factors for injuries in jump racing, the causes of equine tendon injury and how resistant worms in horses are to drugs are just some of the questions the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) hopes to have answered by research it has funded to the tune of £1.2million.

The HBLB evaluated 33 funding applications before deciding to back research projects into infectious diseases, vaccine design, musculoskeletal injuries and environmental safety factors.

Professor Willie Donachie, chairman of HBLB veterinary advisory committee, said: “It was an extremely competitive round of bids and we expect that the winning projects will make an important and practical contribution to the health and welfare of the thoroughbred horse.”

The HBLB has granted the money to six projects at five institutions — the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool, Moredun Research Institute and the Animal Health Trust.

Since 1945, the HBLB has funded £45m-worth of equine veterinary research and education, with the aim of improving the health and welfare of the racehorse.

The latest round research starts this month.