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to

2014 2015 Annual Report

Equine Science

Center


Upcoming 2016 Events “Developing Future Leaders for the Equine Industry” Course:

Horse Management Seminar: Equitation Science

Rutgers Day: Agricultural Field Day

Equine Science Center’s Summer Showcase

January 5 & 7, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cook Student Center Rutgers, The State University of NJ New Brunswick, NJ

Cook Student Center Rutgers, The State University of NJ New Brunswick, NJ

Red Barn - Cook Farm Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Red Barn - Cook Farm Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Malinowski@aesop.rutgers.edu

CWilliams@aesop.rutgers.edu

ESC@aesop.rutgers.edu

ESC@aesop.rutgers.edu

For more events, visit our website @ esc.rutgers.edu


to

2014 2015 Annual Report

Equine Science

Center


Table of Contents

Table Of

Contents Introduction 8 10 12 14

Welcome Meet The Staff New Website Brings New Functionality Remembering A Member Of Our Family


Table of Contents

Getting to Know the Center

Supporting the Equine Community

20 22 24

28 30 32 36

Focus Areas Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement The “Community of 50�

Community Outreach Horse Racing 2014 - 2015 Events Community Engagement


Table of Contents

Stewards of the Environment

How Our Research is changing the Game

40 42 44 46 48

52 54 56 58

NE-1441 USDA Regional Project The Effects of Excess Dietary Phosphorus Protection of Environmental Resources What is My Pasture Made Of? Rotating Our Thoughts on Grazing Practices

The Older Horse: the Well-Being of Our Aging Herd The Microbiome: the Guts of Horse Health Signaling Proteins: Messengers for Equine Muscles Rotational Grazing: Heart of Pasture Management


Table of Contents

Awards & Accolades 62 64 66

Awards from the Center Accolades for the Center The Next Generation of Equine Scientists


Introduction

A Welcome from the Center Since its inception, the Center has established itself prominently within state, national, and international equestrian communities through its research and outreach programs, strategic partnerships with state and federal agencies and private entities, dynamic website, and the widespread recognition and acknowledgment it has received as a result of the impact of its programs. The Equine Science Center is the force behind connecting invaluable research findings to the greater community and in promoting best management practices and knowledge to those caring for and working with horses. After 14 years of providing the public with information on “everything equine,” the Rutgers Equine Science Center website had a major facelift, launching its redesign in March of 2015 to offer greater interactivity, new search functionality, plus a streamlined “Ask the Expert” section. With this facelift and integration, the Center will provide the public with a website that is not only friendly to use, but one which will remain unparalleled in providing science-based information to equine enthusiasts around the world.

Dr. Karyn Malinowski Director of the Equine Science Center

8 The Equine Science Center

The new search functionality will allow users to search, not only the site, but the PDF publications and brochures. The “Ask the Expert” section now allows users to ask horse-related questions directly on the page. Questions now require users to enter their


Introduction

location, which will in turn populate a real-time map displaying the locations from where the question originated. Currently populated with the locations from previous questions, the map shows that over 2,000 questions have been posted from all 50 states in the U.S., 28 different countries and all 6 continents. A live social media feed, “call out to alumni”, comment section, and constantly updated library are just some of the dynamic sections on the redesigned site. By assembling diverse and multifaceted research teams, we are better equipped to thoroughly investigate equine issues that matter to our stakeholders and advance our mission. Center faculty and staff procured almost $500,000 in grants, contracts, and gifts during the 12 month reporting period; resulting in one book, one book chapter, 12 refereed journal articles, 14 abstracts, two proceedings, and 6 invited lectures. Because of the commitment from private donors, the Center will be able to fund three research projects in the current fiscal year. We are also extremely grateful to the estate of Gwendolin E. Stableford with a bequest of over $835,000 which will endow an equine research fund in her name in perpetuity. During the year we lost one of Rutgers’ most celebrated and unforgettable characters, Lord Nelson. World-renowned equine personality, professor (Equine Science 4 Kids), and former mounted patrol horse, Lord Nelson, passed away on April 12 at Gales Way Farm in Wrightstown, New Jersey. Lord Nelson, who will be remembered as Rutgers University’s only equine professor emeritus, lived a distinguished life, full of adventure, up until the ripe age of 42. Key Center faculty, staff, and stakeholders met for a day long retreat in May to strategize on steps that need to be taken to ensure the Center’s health for the next five years. I look forward to hearing from our many successful alumni who should take the opportunity to connect with fellow alumni through the alumni section of our website. Think of us in your giving plans and help us continue to make the lives of horses happier and healthier as we carry out our mission of “Better Horse Care through Research and Education.”

esc.rutgers.edu 9


Introduction

Meet

The Staff In 1978, Cook College established an equine science program as part of its Department of Animal Sciences, with a focus of conducting research in the areas of exercise physiology; aging, growth and development; and nutrition. Students at Rutgers University can minor in equine science and be fully prepared to enter the equine profession upon graduation. Horse enthusiasts and industry professionals benefit from the program’s research that is delivered to them through the successful outreach component.

10 The Equine Science Center


Introduction

Dr. Kenneth McKeever

Dr. Kathleen Rahman

Dr. Carey Williams

Kyle Hartmann

Associate Director of Research

Associate Director of Academics

Associate Director of Outreach

Public Relations Specialist

Ken joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University as an Associate Professor in 1995 and proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the country. Dr. McKeever earned the rank of Full Professor in 2009 and currently serves as Associate Director of Research for the Equine Science Center.

Kathleen joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University as a Teaching Instructor in 2014. She exhibits a high level of enthusiasm and passion for Animal Science, teaching, and undergraduate advising. She currently serves as Associate Director of Academics for the Equine Science Center.

Carey joined Rutgers University in July 2003 as its Equine Extension Specialist, and the Associate Director of Outreach for the Equine Science Center taking an active role in teaching, conducting research, and working with the equine and academic communities to ensure the viability of the horse industry in New Jersey.

Kyle joined the Rutgers Equine Science Center in 2014. Previously working for the university in another capacity, Mr. Hartmann was excited to bring his experience to this new opportunity. Since his start, the Center has seen multiple redesigns and changes on media projects and promotional items.

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Introduction

New Website Brings New

Functionality

After 14 years of providing the public with information on “all things horses,” the Rutgers Equine Science Center had a major facelift, launching its redesigned website in March to offer greater interactivity, new search functionality, plus a streamlined “Ask the Expert” section. With this facelift and integration, the Center will provide the public with a website that is not only friendly to use, but one which will remain unparalleled in providing science-based information to equine enthusiasts around the world. 12 The Equine Science Center

The popular “Lord Nelson’s Blog,” migrated to a new location to launch a special “Kid’s Corner” on the new website. “Kid’s Corner” also features the “Equine Science 4 Kids” education portal as well as a link to the New Jersey 4-H Horse Program. The new search functionality allows users to search, not only the site, but the PDF publications and brochures as well. Specific sections, such as the blog and “Ask the Expert,” have siloed search options so that users will be able to search those sections, only getting search results that are pertinent to their topic of interest.


Introduction

The “Ask the Expert� section now allows users to ask horse-related questions directly on the page. Questions now require users to enter their location, which in turn populates a realtime map displaying the locations from where the question originated. Currently populated with the locations from previous questions, the

map shows that over 2,000 questions have been posted from all 50 states in the U.S., 28 different countries and 6 continents. A live social media feed, comment section, and constantly updated library are just some of the dynamic sections on the redesigned site. esc.rutgers.edu 13


Introduction

LO R D

1973

NELSON

42 YEARS

14

2015


Introduction

Remembering A Member of

Our Family

World-renowned equine personality, professor and former mounted patrol horse, Lord Nelson, passed away on April 12 at Gales Way Farm in Wrightstown, New Jersey. Lord Nelson, who will be remembered as Rutgers University’s only equine professor emeritus, lived a distinguished life, full of adventure, up until the ripe age of 42 (the human equivalent of 126 years). Lord Nelson was purchased in the summer of 1978 from Roosevelt Sales Stables in Edison, New Jersey. Believed to be five years old at the time and from a Quarter Horse ranch in Oklahoma, Nelson was selected as one of the first horses that would make up the Mounted Patrol unit of Rutgers University Police Department. He commuted to New York City daily to

train with the New York Mounted Patrol and finished the program in the fall of 1978. Originally a part of the Rutgers University Police Department for 10 years, he served as the first police horse at the university, eventually transitioning to the student-run mounted patrol unit at Rutgers, the only such program in the U.S. As a mounted patrol horse he patrolled for over 20 years and worked with an estimated six police officers and hundreds of students over his long and illustrious career. His personality is one that Karyn Malinowski, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center and faculty member in the Department of Animal Sciences,

esc.rutgers.edu 15


Introduction

says was “one-of-a-kind.” She remembers one night working late in Bartlett Hall on the Cook campus and all of a sudden hearing a fast-paced gallop coming from the road. Upon looking out the window, she saw Lord Nelson, who remembered to “walk” on the sidewalk and not the street, going back to his stable on College Farm Road followed by a police officer, on foot, in hot pursuit. Apparently he wanted to end his shift early that night. 16 The Equine Science Center

Lord Nelson will also be remembered as the first, and only, horse to ever receive an official football penalty in a NCAA football game. In addition to his time with the student mounted patrol, Nelson also served as the horse that was ridden by the Scarlet Knight at Rutgers football games. During a close game against Army in 1994, Nelson broke onto the field and raced all the way down the sideline to the opposite end of Giants Stadium. Receiving a yellow flag for his


Introduction “un-sportsHORSE-man like conduct,” he almost cost Rutgers the game. Lord Nelson retired from Rutgers in 2000, moving to Gales Way Farm to be cared for by a former Rutgers mounted patrol student, Wendy Gale-Hale (class of ’89). After nine years, the Equine Science Center brought him out of retirement to be the figurehead of Equine Science 4 Kids. Started in 2009 as a campaign to educate animal farmers in NJ about the Animal Waste Management Rule, the “Scoop on Poop” campaign worked to help farmers comply with the impending rule. As an advocate for environmental stewardship on horse farms, Nelson was once again in the spotlight.

State 4-H horse show. His duties included being an honored guest and a culinary expert for the ice cream social and bake sale. Known for his voracious appetite and love of all confectionery sweets, he fit in perfectly. In 2015, Nelson received the “Horse Personality of the Year Award” from the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board for all his years of hard work. This award signifies a cornerstone in his life and a fitting way to remember an equine professor, mounted patrol horse, and collegiate football legend.

The Equine Science 4 Kids portal was launched in 2010 as a fun and educational space for kids to learn about horses. A companion blog was also created where Lord Nelson would teach kids about the science of horses. Once again Lord Nelson was “working” for Rutgers as a professor emeritus, focused on educating young people. In 2012, he made a surprise appearance at the Horse Park of NJ to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the esc.rutgers.edu 17


Getting To Know The Center

Focus Areas The Rutgers Equine Science Center has set a course to become the first-call resource for equine health and management in the United States and internationally and the most effective proponent for the economic viability and sustainability of the horse industry in New Jersey. It has developed a team geared to deliver excellent science, applicable to both animal and human health. The focus areas of the Center were determined by our stakeholders in 2003 and are reaffirmed annually by meetings with our constituents and by needs assessment surveys. A role of the Center is to identify impending challenges for the equine industry and to utilize resources to address industry needs in a timely fashion, providing solutions that are science-based and unbiased in nature. 20 The Equine Science Center


Getting To Know The Center

Equine Health & Well-Being We ensure the well-being and optimal performance of the equine athlete. The research of our faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students help carry out this mission by delivering cutting-edge science to horse owners and users around the world.

Land Use Policy & Management Living on the urban fringe poses great hardships to equine operators. The Center works closely with policy decision makers and organizations like the Farm Bureau to ensure sustainability of the horse industry in the Garden State.

LAW

Integrity of Equestrian Sport Our work not only helps level the playing field by developing tests for illicit substances, it also protects the horse by assessing the effect of certain agents post-exercise.

Economic Growth & Industry Sustainability We know that the future lies in the hands of our youth – Equine Science 4 Kids entices young people interested in horses to become equine scientists and the “Developing Future Leaders for the Equine Industry” course helps to shape these leaders.

Environmental Stewardship The Rutgers Equine Science Center’s environmental stewardship team leads the nation in developing best management practices that are practical and friendly to both the equine operator and the environment.

esc.rutgers.edu 21


Getting To Know The Center

RUBEA

Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement

In 1992, a committee of stakeholders representing various equine interests formed the Equine Advisory Committee to support the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, formally known as Cook College. The committee secured from the New Jersey Legislature an allocation of $1.2 million in uncollected pari-mutuel winnings for the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station - of which $300,000

22 The Equine Science Center

was used to support equine research and the facilities and operations of the Equine Science Center. Subsequently, $900,000 in funding to the Experiment Station for Strategic Initiatives was made a line item in the state budget. Unfortunately, in 2010 this line was removed. The Center now relies on the gifts and donations of generous donors and friends throughout the university, community, and beyond.


Mission: RUBEA will become recognized as the advisory, advocacy, and fund-raising organization for the Equine Science Center, meeting the financial needs for its sustenance and growth. Vision: RUBEA seeks to assist the Rutgers Equine Science Center in its decisions regarding its equine teaching, research, and outreach; and to promote and support these activities through fund-raising and advocacy efforts.

Board Members: Ryck Suydam, Chair Elizabeth Durkin Esq., Vice Chair Sandy Denarski, Chair Emeritus David Meirs II, VMD, Chair Emeritus Taylor Palmer Jr., Chair Emeritus Peter C. Bousum, VMD Michael Campbell Peter Cofranceso, III Dylan Klein

Thomas Luchento Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D. Hon. Cathy Nicola Max Spann, Sr.


Getting To Know The Center

Community The

50

Of

The “Community of 50 for Equine Excellence” is an open group of dedicated people and organizations that understand the importance of supporting serious scientific research and also want to have a voice in policy-making as it affects horse farms and the horse industry in New Jersey. Members of the “Community of 50” are comprised of individuals, groups and commercial entities. They have committed to donating $10,000 per year for a total of five years. Currently, our 11 individual and commercial members will donate $550,000 to the Center for research and outreach activities. 24 The Equine Science Center

The “Community of 50” works to: • Impact policy maker’s decisions regarding the equine industry. • Increase awareness of the value of horses to people and the world. • Provide new opportunities for groundbreaking research.

“Community of 50” Members: • Brad Benson Hyundai • Sandy Denarski • Dr. & Mrs. Stephen P. Dey, II • Elizabeth Durkin • Karyn Malinowski • Fair Winds Farm - Mark and Laura Mullen • New Jersey Department of Agriculture • New Jersey Farm Bureau • Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey • UMH Properties • Pamela Arena Weidel

Equine Science Center Endowment $3.0 million (with naming opportunity)


Individual Graduate Fellowship $120,000 (payable at $30,000 for four years)

Endowed Graduate Fellowship $750,000 (with naming opportunity)

Building A Better Future

Interested in Joining?

Member of the “Community of 50 for Equine Excellence� $50,000 (payable at $10,000 a year for five years)

Contact: Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D. Director of the Equine Science Center (848) 932-9419 Malinowski@aesop.rutgers.edu


Supporting The Equine Community

Community

Outreach

The Equine Science Center emphasizes outreach and consistently shares research results with the public and the equine industry. We are committed to reaching out to the equine community in a number of different ways including Center hosted events, Rutgers Cooperative Extension programs in every New Jersey county, 4-H Youth Development programs, and a series of horse management seminars, webinars, and field meetings, as well as academic equine science courses open to the public.

28 The Equine Science Center

The Center’s website includes popular features such as the “Ask the Expert” page, archived webinars and podcasts, and virtual tours brimming with valuable information. “Equine Science 4 Kids,” is an online classroom featuring games, interactive activities, and a little horseplay for children of all ages. The Equine Science Center’s holds an annual Stakeholder Meeting to include members from the New Jersey equine industry in identifying issues of importance.


Supporting The Equine Community

The 2014 meeting was a tremendous success as horse owners and farmers, businessmen, breeders, students, and equine enthusiasts gathered to address issues within the equine industry in New Jersey. The annual event was well attended with more than 30 stakeholders focusing their attention on horse health, integrity of equestrian sport, land use and environmental stewardship, the future of the equine industry, and other areas of concern.

This also marked the first time that the Stakeholder Meeting, combined with the Equine Advisory Board (EAB), in an evening session. Many new faces attended the meeting and a spirited discussion led to the following key identified issues and announcements. In fall 2015, the Center will also conduct an electronic needs assessment survey of its many constituents.

esc.rutgers.edu 29


Supporting The Equine Community

Horse Racing The Center continues to support horse racing in a variety of ways as it works to ensure the sustainability of this economically important segment of the equine industry. In November, the Center released – “2014 State of the New Jersey Horse Racing Industry�, a follow-up to the 2009 white paper which reported the impact of slot machines and video lottery terminals on the horse racing and breeding industry, agriculture, and open space. The authors of the current report, Karyn Malinowski, Director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center and Dr. Paul Gottlieb, Chair of the Rutgers Department of Agricultural, Food, Resource Economics, utilized 30 The Equine Science Center

indicators of horse racing industry health in comparison to two neighboring states where alternative gaming revenue supports horse racing. Data was also collected to assess the number of horse farms entering the Farmland Preservation Program and the number of preserved horse farms sold during 2010-2014, the number of horse farms currently on the market, and any changes in hay, grain, or straw production by New Jersey animal feed producers. Malinowski and Gottlieb believe that these parameters serve as indicators of the confidence race horse owners and breeders have in the future of the industry as demonstrated by their willingness to invest in it.


Supporting The Equine Community

Racing Time-line The Garden State stands to lose its premier agribusiness which generates $780 million of economic impact annually, 7,000 jobs, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape if racing-related activities leave New Jersey.

2009

In 2014 equine operations represent a small and declining share of New Jersey’s preserved farms, which means that their acres cannot be protected by deed restriction alone. In addition, racehorse breeding operations in the state’s preservation program are being sold at a disproportionately high rate.

2014

In 2014, the US Trotting Association (USTA) announced that it would fund research at the Rutgers Equine Science Center to develop regulatory controls for the use of cobalt in racehorses. This research is a collaboration with Dr. George Maylin from the New York Drug Testing and Research Program.

2014 In 2015, Kenneth H. McKeever, Associate Director-Research, at the Rutgers Equine Science Center, was appointed to the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s (RCI) new Scientific Advisory Board. For more information about the state of horse racing, and the research being conducted at the Equine Science Center, go to our website: Horse Racing Section.

2015

esc.rutgers.edu 31


Supporting The Equine Community

Dorothy Havemeyer Conference

Evening of Science & Celebration

Riding My Way Back

Events 2014 -2015

32 The Equine Science Center

Horse Management Seminar


Supporting The Equine Community

Waste to Worth Conference

Jersey Fresh

Rutgers Day - Agricultural Field Day

Equine Science Society esc.rutgers.edu 33


Supporting The Equine Community

Ireland Visit to Coolmore Stud

American Society of Animal Science 34 The Equine Science Center

Fair Winds Farm Open House

Summer Showcase

University of Minnesota Equine Genetics and Genomics Laboratory Visit


Supporting The Equine Community

Open Space Pace

Legal Symposium

Events 2014 -2015

An Evening With Sally Ike

esc.rutgers.edu 35


Supporting The Equine Community

Community

Engagement

Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefit organizations and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community. In the case of the Equine Science Center, our community is the equine industry and equine enthusiasts world-wide! 36 The Equine Science Center


Supporting The Equine Community

Our annual stakeholder meetings begin the dialogue with leaders in the New Jersey horse industry where challenges impacting the industry are identified. The Center then conducts the research to address the challenges and, in partnership with the equine community, creates the messages and unification needed to ensure a strong horse industry. An example of this process from the past year is the production of the highly successful educational packet titled, “Equine Vaccinations”. The need was identified at the 2014 stakeholder meeting and the science-based material was produced by Center faculty and staff. The Center uses social media effectively to “get the word out” to all interested in horses. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to catch the latest from “Everything Equine.”

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Stewards Of The Environment

NE 1441 USDA Regional Project The NE-1441 USDA Regional Project, Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations, began its second five-year project cycle in 2014. This group, led by Rutgers faculty members Michael Westendorf and Carey Williams, as well as more than 15 scientists at other institutions, conducts research and outreach concerning the impact of horses and farm management upon the environment and water, air, and soil quality.

40 The Equine Science Center


Stewards Of The Environment

1 2 3 4 5 6

Pasture and Grazing Management Carey Williams Manure Storage Mike Westendorf

Research Areas & assigned leadership

Feeding Management Effects on Manure Characteristics Bridgett McIntosh Stable and Housing Facilities, Air Quality Ann Swinker and Betsy Greene Other Best Management Practices (BMPs) Krishona Martinson Determine Impact of Programs, BMP Adoption Rebecca Bott and Rebecca Splan

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Stewards Of The Environment

The Effects of Excess Dietary Phosphorus This research was conducted by Mike Westendorf and Carey Williams. Phosphorus excretion was studied in horses fed excess phosphorus. The hypothesis of this study was that the concentration of phosphorus and water extractable phosphorus (WEP) in the feces of sedentary horses would reflect the level of dietary phosphorus. Eight Standardbred mares were divided into two groups and received diets of grass hay and grain. The high phosphorus (HP) group received 142 g/d of monosodium phosphate (NaH2PO4), formulated to provide 4.5-times dietary phosphorus requirement, or 65-g phosphorus per day. The low phosphorus (LP) group received 28 g of phosphorus per day in the basal diet. These amounts were based on horses consuming 2% of body weight per day as hay plus supplemental grain. 42 The Equine Science Center


Stewards Of The Environment

Study

Highlights

• Excess phosphorus supplementation increased fecal phosphorus concentration. • Water extractable phosphorus was increased in horses fed high levels of phosphorus.

Feces were collected daily, weighed, and a 10% aliquot taken. At the end of each collection period, feces was composited for each horse and analyzed for nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and WEP. Fecal phosphorus and WEP content were greater in the HP group (8.1 ± 0.3 vs. 6.8 ± 0.3 g/kg, respectively) than the LP group (3.6 ± 0.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.3 g/kg, respectively).

• Increased water extractable phosphorus content may increase phosphorus runoff risk. • Water extractable phosphorus may be useful for determining phosphorus runoff risk.

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Stewards Of The Environment

Protection of

Environmental Resources This project is part of the ongoing environmental stewardship research by Mike Westendorf and Carey Williams. The goal of this project was to develop a feed management program for equine producers in New Jersey similar to the USDA-NRCS 592 Practice Standard for Feed Management. Participating farms served as local demonstrations for encouraging feeding Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to reduce waste nutrient excretion. Twenty-one cooperating farms were selected in two separate watersheds, one in South Jersey (SJ) and one in North Jersey (NJ). Most farm participants had little understanding of the relationship between nutrients in the diet and excretion, although most monitored feed intake and managed feed bunks to minimize waste disposal. Regarding feed management specific questions, 16 of the farms managed feed disposal to prevent water pollution, while 13 had a feed bunk/feeder management plan to prevent feed losses and mud accumulation around feeders. 44 The Equine Science Center


Stewards Of The Environment

Seventeen managed feed intake to reduce feed waste, however most did not manage phosphorus in the diets to reduce phosphorus in the manure. Only five farms fed no supplements, 14 fed at least one, while four fed greater than three. Hay and pasture were the primary forages, bagged feed plus bulk or whole grains were the main concentrates fed, with several feeding rice/wheat bran, beet pulp, oil, and/or flax seed. Most farms balanced diets on their own, one used a private consultant, one a feed dealer, and none used Cooperative Extension services. Horses began the project slightly overweight (BCS of 6 on a scale of 1 to 9) and there was little change over the course of the study. Overall the farms on the study were overfeeding, which created an excess of nutrients in the waste and on the land. Few people followed recommendations after year 1 (6 farms) and fewer people called with nutrition questions during the year (3 farms).

Study

Highlights

Those following recommendations saw changes in their horses’ conditions; those not following recommendations saw no changes. Suggestions for an equine feed management program are: • Regular testing of feeds and forages; • Use of nutrition professionals to analyze animals and formulate diets; • A pasture management program including rotational grazing, renovation, and fertilization as needed; • A feed bunk and dry lot management strategy to prevent mud accumulation and waste runoff.

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Stewards Of The Environment

What is My Pasture

Made Of ?

This work is part of the Masters dissertation by Laura Kenny under the supervision of Carey Williams. Species composition is often used in ecological and monitoring studies, but it also has value in pasture research. It is useful for tracking shifts in desired species over time and analyzing ground cover to predict soil erosion. However, without harvesting and sorting an entire field, this variable must be estimated. The objective of this study was to compare data from four techniques of estimating species composition: two Line Point Intercept (LPI) methods, Step Point (StPt), and Equine Pasture Evaluation Disc (EPED). Research was conducted on Rutgers University’s Best Management Practice Demonstration Horse Farm over a four-week period in August and September 2014.


Stewards Of The Environment

The

Project

Two 1.4 hectare(ha) pastures were renovated and planted with orchard grass (OG), tall fescue (TF), and Kentucky bluegrass (KB) in 2012 and not grazed until August 1, 2014. Each technique was performed three separate times in each of the pastures. The two LPI techniques were performed by identifying the first living plant to touch a pin dropped vertically into the canopy at regular intervals along a 30.5m tape. LPI 3-50 used 3 transects with 50 points each and LPI 5-30 used 5 transects with 30 points each. In the StPt method, the observer traversed the pasture in a tight zigzag pattern (about 25 passes of the field) and lowered a pin into the canopy at a 30-45 degree angle every 30 steps (for a total of 100 observations), identifying the first living plant to touch the pin. The EPED was used similarly, being tossed a total of 100 times in a zig-zag pattern. The living plant directly under an arrow on the edge of the disc was identified. Orchard grass, tall fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass were recorded separately. A fourth grass, creeping bent grass (CB), became established in large proportions and was also recorded. Everything else, including but not limited to weeds, litter, and bare ground were recorded as “Other� (O).

The Bland-Altman method of assessing agreement was used to compare all methods pairwise. Calculations were performed using the SAS System. The LPI 3-50 method detected KB (a short grass) significantly less often than EPED and TF (a tall grass) and O significantly more often than EPED. The magnitude of difference between these two methods was less than 8% and the limits of agreement were within 10%. The overall range in the limits of agreement was from 2.5 – 8.1%, suggesting that agreement was relatively high. Repeatability graphs of mean prevalence of each species against standard deviations showed a weak trend toward lower repeatability as prevalence increased, with EPED displaying the strongest trend. All methods agreed to within 8%, which is acceptable for our purposes to conclude that they agree well enough to be used interchangeably under this range of conditions. More extensive studies would be needed to validate these results for other conditions.


Stewards Of The Environment

Rotating Our Thoughts on

Grazing Practices This work is part of the Masters dissertation by Laura Kenny under the supervision of Carey Williams. Rotational grazing is often recommended but not widely adopted by horse operations in the Northeast US. In addition, equine specific research is lacking as to the benefits of rotational compared to continuous grazing. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of rotational and continuous grazing systems on horse health and vegetative performance. Two continuous systems were established with shelters, feeders, and waterers. Two rotational systems were established with four rotational pastures and a stress lot containing a shelter, feeder, and waterer. Twelve horses (initial body weight (BW) 543.9Âą13.6 kg and body condition score (BCS) 6.1Âą0.1) were used with 3 horses in each system for a stocking rate of 0.52 hectare/horse. 48 The Equine Science Center


Stewards Of The Environment

Study

Highlights

• Out of 184 days, horses in the continuous systems grazed

Rotational horses were allowed to graze a pasture when forage height was ≥7.6 cm and confined to the stress lot and fed hay when forage height was <7.6 cm or during inclement weather. During those times, horses were fed to meet or exceed the National Research Council requirements using grass hay fed at 2% BW along with concentrate during the winter months. Horse condition was assessed by monthly BW, BCS, and rump fat as measured by ultrasound. Plant performance was assessed monthly by estimating vegetative cover composition, herbage mass, and sward height.

184 days, where rotational horses grazed 97 days. During the winter months, the continuous system horses were offered less total hay than the rotational horses (6102 v 6714 kg, respectively). System had no effect on horse condition; however BW, BCS, and rump fat differed between each month (highest in September - November and lowest in January.

• Sward height differed between months, grazing system,

and their interaction where in each month, except for November, the rotational system had higher sward heights than the continuous system. Herbage mass varied with month, but not by system. Ground cover consisted of a higher percent of grasses and lower percent of litter/ bare ground in the rotational system as compared to continuous.

• In conclusion, despite differences in grazing days and

amount of hay offered, horse condition was similar between systems. Rotationally grazing horses resulted in taller pasture heights, but no difference in dry matter available to horses during the study. We would expect to see more differences between treatments during the following grazing season.

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How Our Research Is Changing The Game

The Older Horse: the

WELL -BEING

of Our Aging Herd Primary Investigator: Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D.

One of the largest industries in the United States involves horses, a $39.2 billion business associated with 9.2 million animals. The horse industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product is $102 billion, generating over 1.4 million full-time equivalent jobs across the country. More than 15% of the equine population is over the age of 20 years and many of these animals continue to participate in athletic activities. Partly responsible for the increased life-span of horses is the fact that equine nutritionists have advanced the development of â&#x20AC;&#x153;senior feedsâ&#x20AC;?, and that the animal pharmaceutical industry has developed effective anthelmentics for parasite control. However, advancing age in horses often is associated with declining body condition, muscle tone, aerobic capacity, thermoregulatory ability in response to acute exercise, and general well-being. Horses over 20 years can improve aerobic performance, reduce body fat, and partially restore changes that occur in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, in response to acute exercise, and insulin sensitivity with regular exercise training. Physiological similarities between humans and horses allow for broad implications of equine exercise physiology research in relation to aging and performance. 52 The Equine Science Center


How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Advanced age in horses is also associated with a decline in immune response and is characterized by increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, termed inflammageing, which has been linked to obesity. Horses make a good animal model for studying immunosenesence because they: 1) are a long-lived athletic species; 2) display age-related decline in body condition and muscle tone; 3) share with other long-lived species a high rate of DNA repair and a low rate of free radical production; 4) exhibit a reduced response to influenza vaccination. While aging and obesity-related loss of function and diseases have many factors, understanding the underlying imbalance of molecular signaling mediators in metabolically important tissues, such as muscle, to preserve functionality of physiological systems needs to be addressed. Research in the Malinowski and McKeever laboratories continues to focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the adaptive response to exercise which will aid in the development of exercise conditioning and nutritional strategies meant to preserve the health and well-being of the older horse.

Aging Horse Facts

• More than 15% of the 9.2 million horses in the U.S. are over the age of 20 years and many of these animals continue to participate in athletic activities.

• However, advancing age in horses often is associated with

declining body condition, muscle tone, aerobic capacity, and general well-being.

• Advanced age in horses is also associated with a decline in immune response and is characterized by increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, termed inflammageing, which has been linked to obesity.

• These infirmities can be ameliorated with exercise training and conditioning.

• Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the

adaptive response to exercise will aid in the development of exercise conditioning and nutritional strategies meant to preserve the health and well-being of the older horse.

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How Our Research Is Changing The Game

The Microbiome: the GUTS of Horse Health Project by: Ali Janabi, DVM Primary Investigator: Kenneth H. McKeever, Ph.D., FACSM

This study is being conducted as Dr. Janabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ph.D. dissertation research. The microbiome is the array of microorganisms present in the GI tract of a variety of species. Papers in the literature suggest that the microbiome exerts a large influence on the health of the host animal. The connection between the microbiome and the rest of the body is one of the hottest areas of research in human medicine. Succinctly, anything that alters the microbiome (e.g., diet, hydration, exercise, drugs) has the potential to alter the health and possibly the performance of an individual. 54 The Equine Science Center


How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Microbiome Facts

• The microbiome is the array of microorganisms present in

the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a variety of animal species ranging from insects to mammals.

• The microbiome influences the absorption of a wide

variety of nutrients and recently published studies suggest that microbiome plays an important role in the health of the animal through its influence on energy homeostasis.

• Anything that alters the microbiome (e.g., diet, hydration, exercise, drugs) has the potential to alter the health and possibly the athletic performance of an individual.

No studies have examined the effects of exercise on the microbiome of the horse. The objective of this project is to determine if exercise alters the composition of the microbiome in horses. Follow-up studies will look at common management practices and their effect on the microbiome.

• Studies of rodents and humans even go so far as to suggest that the microbiome can affect the immune system, can influence mediators of inflammation, and may play a role in the onset of obesity, insulin resistance, and Type II diabetes.

• Some sources in the literature have suggested that the number of cells in the microbiome of humans is 10 times the number of cells in the rest of the host’s body.

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How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Signaling Proteins:

Messengers

for Equine Muscles

Project by: Dylan Klein Primary Investigatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: Tracy Anthony, Ph.D. & Kenneth H. McKeever, Ph.D., FACSM

This study is being conducted as Dylan Kleinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ph.D. dissertation research and will examine the effect of acute exercise on the signaling proteins that mediate cellular mechanisms responsible for muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy is the increase in muscle size and presumable power that comes about with exercise training. In the first study, we will look at the effects of a single bout of exercise and then the adaptive response to repeated exercise (training). 56 The Equine Science Center


How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Signaling Protein Facts

• The Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) is a stress pathway that is activated in muscle during exercise to enhance the protein folding capacity of the cell.

• The UPR is thought to aid in the adaptations of skeletal muscle to exercise.

• This research will establish, on a molecular level, what it

Follow-up studies will look at the effects of detraining so as to better understand the changes associated with periods of layup due to injury, weather, or other situations that alter the ability to maintain fitness. A better understanding of the adaptive response to exercise training at the cellular level will lead to ways new methods to prevent muscle related problems associated with training.

means to be trained (i.e. fit) via characterization of the UPR in horses.

• Characterization of the UPR can aid in the development of molecular targets to prevent muscle wasting and enhance recovery in equine athletes.

• Future studies on the UPR could potentially help to identify the harmful effects of performance enhancing drugs on muscle function in equine athletes.

esc.rutgers.edu 57


How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Rotational Grazing:

Heart

of Pasture Management Project by: Laura Kenny Primary Investigator: Carey A. Williams, Ph.D.

This study is being conducted as Laura Kennyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s M.S. dissertation research. The goal of this study is to quantify the effects of rotational and continuous grazing systems on horses and the environment, and to share these effects with the scientific community and the horse-owning public. 58 The Equine Science Center


How Our Research Is Changing The Game

Rotational Grazing Tips

• Let the grass rest and recover! After your horses have grazed down a field, give it a few weeks to regrow for a productive pasture.

• Mow! Once you remove horses from a field, mow all the grass down to a uniform height. This keeps the grass in a nutritious vegetative state and has the added benefit of knocking down weeds.

• Feed your soil! Fertile soil is the basis of a healthy pastureplants need nutrients too! Take soil tests and apply lime/ fertilizer as recommended by the results.

This goal will be met by accomplishing the following objectives:

• Don’t overgraze! If none of the pastures in your rotational

1) Horse condition measurements; 2) Vegetation performance measurements; 3) Soil quality measurements; 4) Production cost estimates; and 5) Development of educational demonstrations and workshops for stakeholders over the course of the project.

• Create your own rotational system! If you have a large open

system have fully recovered (this happens in the hot summer), keep horses in a separate field or dry lot and feed them hay until a pasture is ready. This prolongs the useful life of the pasture. It also helps to keep horses off the pastures in times of very wet, dry, or hot weather when the plants are stressed. pasture, you can subdivide it with economical electric tape into several smaller pastures. This allows you to customize the system to your property, adding gates and laneways to minimize the need to catch and move horses one at a time.

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Awards & Accolades

Awards from the

Center

The Spirit of the Horse Award Margret “Maggi” Romano, a founding member of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association, received the 2015 Spirit of the Horse Award from the Rutgers Equine Science Center. Romano, who resides in Clarksburg, NJ, is the wife of Anthony Romano, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The award recognizes people whose lives have been impacted by horses and who continue to give back to horses and the equine industry through dedicated time and service. Maggi is a person who eats, breathes, and lives horses 24/7/365. She doesn’t take short cuts when the well-being of a horse is involved. Her philosophy is that when dealing with horses one should give 110 percent at least, but never less than 100 percent. 62 The Equine Science Center


Awards & Accolades

The Gold Medal Horse Farm Award

The award and overall program gives recognition to outstanding equine farms for their dedication to environmental sustainability and management. It also underscores the efforts of the New Jersey equine industry to maintain the beauty of the Garden State. The program is a collaborative initiative by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, the Rutgers Equine Science Center, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The 2015 winner of the Gold Medal Farm award is Wood Hollow Farm, owned and operated by Kathy Poppe and Gary Pullen. This farm impressively manages 17 horses on three acres of land while remaining environmentally responsible. Wood Hollow Farm joins Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Arrigo Racing Stable LLC and Showplace Farms as the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only Gold Medal Horse Farms. esc.rutgers.edu 63


Awards & Accolades

Accolades for the

Center

Dr. Williams Receives the 2015 Equine Science Award Dr. Carey Williams, Associate Director of Extension at the Equine Science Center at Rutgers University, and Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, received the 2015 American Society of Animal Science and Equine Science Societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Equine Science Award. She was honored at the societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual meeting in Orlando, FL.

64 The Equine Science Center


Awards & Accolades

Dr. McKeever Appointed to New Top-Tier Racing Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. McKeever was appointed to the Association of Racing Commissioners Internationalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (RCI) new Scientific Advisory Board. The RCI is the preeminent international body of regulators, scientists, and others involved in the oversight of equine and canine racing. Their mission is to advise national and international regulatory bodies so as to achieve consensus on policy issues including those focused on improving the integrity of the industry. The newly formed board is charged with developing recommendations for which anti-doping programs are conducted in the international racing community. The formation of this top-tier advisory board was prompted by numerous factors, including functional concerns about the current scientific advisory process, transparency, non-participation of key experts, and the recent withdrawal of the United States Trotting Association from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. esc.rutgers.edu 65


Awards & Accolades

The

Next Generation

of Equine Scientists

66 The Equine Science Center


Awards & Accolades

The Doris C. Murphy Endowed Scholarship The Doris C. Murphy Endowed Scholarship in Equine Science was created to honor the memory of a woman who loved animals. Shortly before Ms. Murphy’s death in 1998, she contacted her financial advisor, Kate Sweeney of Smith Barney, and expressed her desire to support animal science education. Ms. Sweeney, a Cook College alumna, suggested the equine science program as an appropriate beneficiary. Similar to Ms. Murphy, Kate is also very supportive of women’s education. The endowed scholarship is offered to female undergraduate students majoring in Animal Sciences with an equine science interest. Students must have a financial need and also be a New Jersey resident. The scholarship recipients for 2014-2015 were Ruleena Barreto & Kelly Hogan.

The Ernest C. Bell Memorial Scholarship The Annual Breeders Awards luncheon, hosted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, presented Catherine Seeds, a senior at the Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), with the Ernest C. Bell Scholarship for 2015. Dr. Carey Williams, Associate Director for Outreach at the Rutgers Equine Science Center presented the award to Seeds for outstanding scholarship and commitment to the New Jersey horse industry. The Ernest C. Bell Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to perpetuate Mr. Bell’s memory and legacy in the New Jersey Horse industry. Mr. Bell was also a founding member of the Equine Advisory Board. The scholarship is awarded to a senior at SEBS who is majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis in Equine Science. The recipient must be a New Jersey resident and demonstrate a high level of scholastic achievement, involvement with New Jersey’s horse industry, and financial need. esc.rutgers.edu 67


Better Horse Care through Research and Education

esc.rutgers.edu

Equine Science Center Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Administrative Services Building II 57 US Highway 1, South New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Rutgers Equine Science Center's 2015 Annual Report  
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