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Monday, July 04, 2011  •  11:22 GMT


The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is to award a £15,000 bursary to the Animal Health Trust (AHT). The bursary to the Newmarket based veterinary charity will be used to help fund the development of a rapid result blood test to identify horses infected with Strangles.

The AHT has already developed a test that can detect the disease, however the result is not known for 48 hours. The aim of the new research is to develop the test to produce a result within 10 minutes. The test, which is being developed in conjunction with Forsite Diagnostics Ltd, will be a useful tool for disease screening at sales and competitions.

“As an independent charity we receive no government funding and this bursary is extremely important to us and we are delighted to be working in partnership with The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on this specific project,” said Dr Richard Newton of the AHT who is carrying out the research in partnership with Professor Andrew Waller. “Without this vital funding to carry out the painstaking work that will give us the confidence to launch the test, it will remain no more than a theoretical possibility.”

The Bursary will be presented at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1- 4 September 2011) – in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the event.

“With increasing horse movement, not only world-wide but closer to home between competitions and livery yards, preventing the spread of disease is an increasingly important challenge facing the horse world,” said Elizabeth Inman Director of the Trials. “We are delighted to be able to play a part in this challenge and hope that this anniversary bursary will help to fast-track this new test out of the laboratory and into the field and thereby help reduce the spread of what is a horrible disease for horses and owners.”