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Kentucky Equine Research continually conducts studies at its 150-acre research facility. Some of these results are presented at industry conferences or shared in peer-reviewed journals. Review some of our findings from the past 30 years below.
June 04, 2021

Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acid and N-acetylcysteine Supplementation Post-Exercise on Muscle mTOR Signaling in Exercising Horses

Recovery from intense exercise is crucial in the equine athlete and numerous nutritional interventions have been proposed to benefit exercise recovery. Branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine; BCAA) have been associated with improved muscle protein synthesis post-exercise. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione, a powerful antioxidant involved in many biological pathways, and supplementation has […]


June 04, 2021

Race Training Improves Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Volume Density, Function, and Capacity in Thoroughbreds

Racehorses are among the most elite athletes in the equine industry. However, little is known about mitochondrial adaptations to race training. To test the hypothesis that race training increases mitochondrial biogenesis and capacity, gluteus medius samples were collected from Thoroughbred horses (11 geldings, 2 mares) before and after 14 wk of early race training. Horses […]


June 04, 2021

Antioxidant, Reactive Oxygen Species, and Coenzyme Q10 Concentrations and Expression of Electron Transfer Proteins in Thoroughbreds with Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

In the mitochondria, complexes I and III of the electron transport system (ETS) generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) during exercise that are reduced by antioxidants to mitigate oxidative stress. Among these antioxidants are thiol-based antioxidants such as glutathione as well as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which also transports electrons from complex I and II to complex […]


June 04, 2021

Heart Rates at the Trot on a Mechanical Walker Are Correlated to Cardiovascular Fitness in Thoroughbred Racehorses

The relationship between heart rate (HR) and velocity under saddle or on a treadmill can be used to estimate cardiovascular fitness in horses. Whether HR data gathered during other types of exercise can be used to estimate fitness is unknown. This study hypothesized that HR data collected on a mechanical walker could be used to […]


June 04, 2021

Comparison of Skeletal Muscle Citrate Synthase Activity Across Equine Breeds

Skeletal muscle citrate synthase (CS) activity serves as a marker for muscle oxidative capacity. CS activity was compared among Quarter Horses (QH), Arabians (AR),  Thoroughbreds (TB), Standardbreds and Warmbloods at various ages and stages of training. Gluteus medius muscle biopsies were obtained at ages 6–23 m (n = 10), 2 y (n = 37), 3 […]


February 18, 2021

Changes in Red Blood Cell Fatty Acid Composition in Exercised Thoroughbred Horses Supplemented with Either KER EO-3 or Flax Oil for a Two-Month Period

The present study clearly demonstrates that daily intake of EPA and DHA from KER EO-3™ significantly increases RBC membrane EPA and DHA but that a similar amount of omega-3 in the form of ALA from flax (linseed) oil does not.  


December 21, 2020

Feeding Performance Horses with Myopathies

In combination with exercise, nutrition is an essential component of managing horses with myopathies. The optimal feeding program for an individual is tailored to the diagnosis of a specific underlying myopathy. Exertional myopathies are defined by muscle pain and impaired performance during or after exercise. Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER) represents a subset of exertional myopathies characterized […]


November 10, 2020

Growth and Development of Thoroughbred Horses

Research into the growth and development of Thoroughbreds managed on commercial breeding farms is reviewed in this paper. Because horses are not meat-producing animals, less research has been performed quantifying growth, muscle, and bone development than with other production animals. However, variations in growth and development are linked with both value and wastage in young […]


January 17, 2020

Omeprazole Reduces Calcium Digestibility in Thoroughbred Horses

Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole reduce nutrient digestibility in humans. This study determined the effect of omeprazole on the digestibility of diets containing limestone or marine-derived calcium (BMC) and to assess changes in blood parameters associated with gastric acid production and calcium status in horses. Thoroughbreds were used to evaluate the digestibility of diets containing […]


June 11, 2019

Heart Rate, Speed and Lactate During the Cross-Country Phase of an Advanced and CCI*** Three-Day Event

Performance in three-day event horses is influenced by the horse’s innate ability combined with its level of fitness. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate have been routinely measured in laboratory settings to evaluate fitness and/or ability in horses. To investigate whether these measurements are useful in assessing performance during competition, 11 horses competing at the […]


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