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YPIE Scientist: Marissa

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

Research: An Examination of Equine Health Characteristics for Disease Prevention

Awards: Somers Science Fair 2022 Participant


There are many characteristics that contribute to disease in equines. Things such as age, height, weight, breed, and diet can affect a horse's overall health. Traits such as these have also been shown to contribute to diseases in equines. The question being observed in this study is how and which characteristics correlate to specific diseases in horses. If traits examined in equines can be linked to disease, the prevention of these diseases may be possible. In order to find a correlation between characteristics in horses and disease, data will be collected over the summer of 2022 at two distinct study sites in the Westchester County area of New York. Four separate stables will be observed. Each stable consists of a range of 7-16 horses. Data will be collected based on their previously mentioned characteristics (age, height, weight, breed, and diet) and the diseases they possess which are stated on a chart attached to their stall along with their diet. The completion of the collected data is expected to yield results displaying a connection between an equine's characteristics and the diseases they experience. Horses that possess similar traits are expected to share the same diseases. Other papers such as a study by Turner, et al. have found a direct link between the traits horses possess and the diseases they have. This particular study gave rise to the discovery that Osteoarthritis, an inflammatory disease, is primarily present in Arabian breeds of equines. It is expected that individual equine traits such as age, height, weight, breed and diet will contribute to the diseases they harbor.

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