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Improve the Health of the
Arabian Horse


Photo Credit: Stuwart Vesty


More Than $80,000 Provided for Equine Research Since 2007

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Financial assistance to improve the health and performance of the greatest breed on earth. 

With knowledge comes power. When we understand more about genetic conditions, equine diseases, or equine medicine as they relate to the Arabian horse breed, we can educate breeders and owners to help them make decisions that will improve the health of the breed.


How do we gain that all-important knowledge? Equine research.


Equine research is vital to the continual health and performance of the Arabian horse. 


Equine Research Supported by the Arabian Horse Foundation

The Arabian Horse Foundation has helped fund equine research through collaborations with some of the top veterinary research programs in the world:


  • Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE), Dr. Samantha Brooks (University of FL-Gainesville)**

  • Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), Dr. Samantha Brooks (University of FL-Gainesville) Equine Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA), Dr. Cecilia Penedo (University of CA-Davis)

  • Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS), Dr. Samantha Brooks (Cornell University)

  • Occipitoatlantoaxial Malformation (OAAM), Dr. Carrie Finno (University of CA- Davis)

  • Equine Melanoma, co-sponsorships with the Morris Animal Foundation

  • Genetic Determinants of Melanoma Susceptibility in Gray Horses, Dr. Molly McCue (University of Minnesota)

  • Safety and Immunoreactivity of the Melanoma Vaccine in Tumor Bearing Horses, Dr. Jeffrey Phillips (University of Tennessee)

  • The Effect of Hoof Trimming on the Medio-Lateral and Dorso-Palmar

  • Load Distribution in Arabian Horses, Dr. Babak Faramarzi (Western University)

  • Equine Reproduction Laboratory Rebuilding Fund, Colorado State University

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Genetic Testing

In 2007, when the Foundation added the research arm, the test for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) was the only genetic test available for Arabians. Since then, the Foundation has been involved with studies that have resulted in the development of direct DNA tests for Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) and Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS).


Since the beginning of commercial testing for these two genetic disorders, the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory and the VetGen Laboratory combined through 2018 have tested more than 14,100 horses for CA and more than 4,700 for LFS. In 2017, none of the horses tested at either lab were CA or LFS-affected and in 2018, there were no LFS affected foals tested and only one CA-affected foal tested.


These test results are a testament to breeders utilizing genetic testing to help prevent the production of affected foals.

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Photo Credit: Stuwart Vesty

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Photo Credit: Jeff Jansen

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Equine Disorders & Disease

The Foundation has funded studies investigating the genetic basis of Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE), Occipitoatlantoaxial Malformation (OAAM), Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), and equine melanoma.


Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy is a seizure condition that can affect very young horses. In 2014, the Foundation and the lab of Dr. Samantha Brooks (University of FL-Gainesville) initiated a project focused on identifying the mode of inheritance and mutation(s) associated with JIE; with the goal of developing a genetic test to assist breeders in managing their breeding stock.


Occipitoatlantoaxial Malformation is a neurologic disorder caused by a malformation of the skull and first two cervical vertebrae, resulting in spinal cord damage which leads to varying levels of incoordination and weakness. To support the expansion of work previously done by Dr. Carrie Finno (University of CA- Davis) in identifying the HOX mutation associated with OAAM1, the Foundation has provided project funding aimed at determining additional mutations associated with other forms of OAAM. The goal of the project is to develop additional OAAM genetic tests to assist breeders in identifying carrier breeding stock.


Give to the Arabian Horse Foundation

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All AHA members can donate to the AHF when you renew your membership.

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You can also donate through planned giving, one-time gifts, or recurring donations.

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