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Small redworm blood test (including encysted larvae) to be launched as a diagnostic service in September 2019

Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Sasha Melia

A new blood test for diagnosing small redworm (cyathostomin) infections in horses is to be launched by Austin Davis Biologics (ADB), the providers of EquiSal Tapeworm saliva testing service, this autumn!

 

Excitingly, the new test, developed at Moredun Research Institute, enables detection of all stages of the small redworm life cycle, including the all-important encysted larval phase. Until now it has not been possible to test for encysted small redworm as faecal egg counts (FEC) only detect the presence of egg laying adult worms. This has meant that a routine winter treatment to target this life cycle phase has become the recommended practice.

 

Small redworms are the most common gastrointestinal parasites to infect horses. When horses harbour a large burden of encysted larvae that emerge on mass from the intestinal wall, clinical symptoms develop, such as diarrhoea and colic, which can be fatal (larval cyathostominosis). Moxidectin is the only dewormer capable of eliminating these encysted stages for which worm resistance is not known to be widespread. To protect the effectiveness of this dewormer, targeted treatment programmes are required to ensure that the drug is only administered when it is really needed. The commercial availability of a diagnostic test to detect all intra-host stages of small redworm will be of great value to equine veterinarians enabling them to make a differential diagnosis as well as informed treatment decisions.

 

The blood test has been developed by Prof Jacqui Matthews’ group at the Moredun Research Institute (MRI), the main funder being The Horse Trust. In recent years, ADB has worked with the Matthews group to develop the blood test for commercialisation and the new service provision represents the first phase. Dr Corrine Austin, of ADB said “We are thrilled to be making this test available to horse owners after extensive research has been conducted to achieve high accuracy. ADB are now developing laboratory ELISA kits to enable independent veterinary laboratories to conduct blood testing; these kits are expected to reach market during 2020. Research into the saliva-based test is ongoing and is expected to be commercialised several years from now.”

 

Professor Matthews commented, “It is great to see the commercialisation of this much-needed test to support sustainable worm control in horses. The test fills an important gap in our diagnostic toolbox and will enable horse owners to work with their veterinarians in targeting anthelmintic treatments against cyathostomin infections and hence help protect these important medicines for the future”

 

Rhona Macdonald, business development manager at MRI said: “We are delighted that the research has led to the development of a new blood test to help diagnose small red worms in horses and that the test is now available through Austin Davis Biologics”.

 

Veterinary practices can contact ADB at [email protected] to register interest in the diagnostic test service. Once an account is set up, unique barcoded submission sheets will be supplied enabling efficient result reporting.

 

British Breeding Re-Launch Equine Bridge

Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 by Sasha Melia

British Breeding are delighted to announce the re-launch of the newly enhanced British Breeding Equine Bridge, in association with British Showjumping, British Dressage and British Eventing.  The Equine Bridge is a programme designed to bring together breeders, trainers, riders and owners to support the very best British bred horses on their journey into the sport and to achieve the ultimate goal of seeing more British riders on British horses representing their country at international level. The first new Equine Bridge event will take place on 14th and 15th October this year at Addington EC in Buckinghamshire and is for horses and ponies aged four to six years that have qualified via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity Evaluations.

 

CEO of British Showjumping, Iain Graham explains the vision behind the new format:

“We have re-designed the Equine Bridge to offer more opportunities for all stakeholders in the industry, from the breeders who need recognition and feedback, as well as the opportunity to place their horses and ponies in competent hands to enable them to achieve their potential, to our riders and owners, who need to find youngsters with the talent to go all the way to the top.”

 

The October Equine Bridge event will offer activities for ridden four to six-year-old horses and ponies for the disciplines of eventing, dressage, showjumping and endurance. The event is designed to encourage networking between breeders, trainers and riders to and encourage investors and new owners into the market by offering information and seminars on management, insurance and syndicate opportunities, plus a showcasing opportunity for unridden horses and ponies at three to four years of age.

 

British Breeding Director, Rachael Holdsworth, says,  “We listened to potential buyers of young horses who told us that they would like to be able to see a range of high quality young horses and ponies in one place and who want better information about the future prospects of their investment. The Equine Bridge is ideally placed to showcase the very best of British bred youngstock while also providing objective and trustworthy information.”

 

The ridden Bridge horses will undergo a two day evaluation programme designed to provide helpful support and feedback, as well as an objective and detailed assessment. It will include a detailed veterinary inspection of correctness of conformation and soundness and nutritional, saddlery and farriery advice from industry experts. The horses and ponies will be observed by a team of three internationally renowned judges over both days. On day 1, the participants will receive training under their usual rider with senior discipline trainers, then on day 2, the horses will be presented again under saddle, first with their own rider, and then with one of the disciplines’ test riders who will contribute to the feedback.

 

As well as recognition for having completed the Bridge assessment, British Breeding and the Olympic Disciplines are working together to provide an attractive range of benefits, from reductions on membership and entry fees, to access to further opportunities designed to offer incentives and support.

 

CEO of British Dressage, Jason Brautigam, says, “Our vision for the Equine Bridge is to create an ongoing programme of support and opportunities. The October event is an important start to a range of activities designed to get the very best British bred horses out there representing their country. We will continue to monitor the progress of all Bridge candidates and offer incentives and support where it is needed. We are particularly interested in ways in which we can provide better information about and accessibility to young horse classes, at national level, as well as for the world breeding championships.”

 

Recruitment to the Equine Bridge takes place via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity programme.   From the pool of past Futurity entries, those who achieved a score of 8.5 or above as 3-year-olds and who are aged between 4 and 6 this year are already qualified to go forward for the Bridge programme. Additional qualifying opportunities have also been implemented for this summer.

 

British Breeding Director Dr Eva-Maria Broomer explains; “To provide a smooth transition for young horses and ponies into the Equine Bridge programme, we have taken significant steps to enhance the qualifying process via the Futurity Evaluations. This year, for the first time, we are running separate Futurity assessment days for 3 to 5-year-olds, which will enable us to optimise the evaluations for this age group. In addition to the 3-year-old horses and ponies, we are inviting older candidates of 4 and 5 years old to come forward, thus providing the opportunity for them to qualify for the Equine Bridge”.

 

These evaluations are open to any horse that meets the criteria for being British bred. For 2019, there are four Equine Bridge qualifying opportunities across the country: 29th July at Richmond EC in Yorkshire, 28th August at Catherston Stud in Hampshire, 1st September at Drumcarrow in Scotland, and 21 September at Solihull in the Midlands.

 

Three-year-old entrants are to be presented in hand and loose and will benefit from a new arena layout designed to eliminate tension and give youngstock a good experience. Five-year-old entrants will be presented under saddle to show some basic work appropriate for their age, as well as without tack for their conformation assessment. Four-year-old entrants will have a choice of being presented loose and in hand or under saddle.

 

Those interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity for British bred horses can enter one of the qualifiers via the online entry system at

www.british-breeding.com.

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