Thursday, September 03, 2009

Unraveling Equine's Mysteries - Full Article

September 03, 2009

Most people don't realize how close Kentucky came to having the life sucked out of its bid for the WEG by a small tick. Dr. Peter Timoney does.

by Jeff Beach

Lexington, KY - As the head of the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center at that time, he was made aware of a growing concern among the event's European organizers that holding the event in Kentucky could expose the horses to paraplasmosis, a blood disease commonly spread by the ticks.

Timoney, who served on the state World Equestrian Games Commission, played a central role in gathering the evidence that helped alleviate the concerns, including tick-counting surveys in the Horse Park area and risk assessment analyses on the likelihood of the disease spreading.

While few may be aware of its role in such matters, the Gluck Center's ability to apply its scientific expertise to the most pressing equine issues of the moment has made it a highly valued resource to Kentucky's significant horse interests over the years.

And in recent years, the Center has started a new chapter, as Irish born Timoney stepped down last year to make way for "new blood and a fresh perspective," he said, which has come in the form of Dr. Mats Troedsson, a native of Sweden.

Troedsson, an expert in horse reproduction, left a position at the University of Florida to become Gluck's new director last year. That has allowed Timoney to dedicate more of his time to his first love: researching infectious diseases found in horses.


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