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2003/12/17

MSU Stallion Auction Seeks Treatment For Horse Lameness by Keryn Page A unique auction by Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine will bring researchers closer to diagnosing and treating horse lameness, the No. 1 cause of financial loss in the equine industry. Stallion services for several exceptional breeds of horses are available through an ongoing auction, which will conclude Dec. 15. The breeds include American paint horse, American quarter horse, Arabian, Standardbred, Tennessee Walker, Thoroughbred, Trakenher and Percheron. "We have some spectacularly well-bred horses, and the people who buy these breedings will get a phenomenal deal," said Dr. Ann Rashmir, stallion auction steering committee member and CVM associate professor of clinical sciences. "Top-bred stallions like Gen's Major General, Pikepass, Smart Pistolero and Absolute Acre have been donated." Donors include Spendthrift Farms (Lexington, Ky.), WRJ Horse Ranch (Macon), 6 Shoe Quarter Horse (Sturgis), Cypress Creek Ranch (Starkville) and Rollingwoods Farm (Olive Branch), along with several individual owners. Minimum bids for the stud services will begin at half the regular stud fees, which range in price from $200 to $7,500. Bidders can view photographs, pedigree information and current bid prices for the stallions online at http://www.cvm.msstate.edu/StallionAuction/about.html. The Web site provides information for placing bids by telephone. Money raised from the Stallion Service Auction will fund research and purchase state-of-the-art equipment to effectively deal with lameness in horses, the most common equine problem presented for evaluation at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. "To help our equine clients, we have recently obtained advanced imaging resources including state-of-the-art ultrasonic capabilities, digital radiographic equipment and a computed tomography scan," Rashmir said. "Additional advanced imaging techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of equine lameness would improve our service to our equine clients and improve the equine industry in the state of Mississippi." Funds from the auction will be used to update the veterinary school's nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan) capabilities and add magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to its diagnostic lameness offerings. MRI is a noninvasive, two-dimensional, cross-sectional imaging technique that provides superior resolution of tissues. MRI uses magnetic fields and is superior for visualization of soft tissue structures such as joints, tendons and ligaments. "With the proceeds from the Stallion Service Auction, we can acquire these advanced imaging techniques that will provide the next step in the evaluation of lameness when X-rays and ultrasound fail to establish a definitive diagnosis," Rashmir said. "With the appropriate diagnosis, every horse will have the opportunity to obtain the appropriate therapy." Washington State University is the only facility in the United States that offers MRI for adult horses. Besides participating in the auction by bidding on stud fees, those who wish to help the fund-raising effort can donate a stallion's stud fees to the auction or make a cash donation for the needed equipment. Bids will be accepted until 5 p.m. Dec. 15. For horses still available after that deadline, bids will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on bidding procedures, terms and conditions, contact Rashmir by telephone at (662) 325-3432 or Dana Bowman by e-mail at bowman@cvm.msstate.edu.

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