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Choose Your Favorite KER Research Horse, Enter to Win Prize PackBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 22, 2014

At the heart of every equine nutrition and exercise physiology study conducted at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) are the research horses. Each of these horses has contributed to the volume of data that KER has amassed over the last 25 years, much of which has changed the way modern horses are nutritionally managed.  Not surprisngly, certain research horses endear themselves to the people that work with them most closely, the research farm staff.

For the first-ever Favorite Research Horse Contest, the research farm staff has narrowed the field to three outstanding horses. Now we need your help in choosing the winner. Here’s a brief bio of each candidate. Go to the Kentucky Equine Research Facebook page to vote.

King

Stats: 8-year-old bay Thoroughbred gelding

Arrived at KER: 2010

First used in KER research: 2011

Research studies completed: 7

Specific work at KER: used in studies involving gastric health, nutrient digestibility, muscle glycogen repletion, and furosemide 

King is the go-to guy for fun. He’s a little like the boyfriend you don’t take home to mom. Think Dermot Mulroney. When it comes to companionship, he’s species-neutral, and enjoys humans and horses equally. Less endearing, however, is his skillful removal of nappies and their subsequent destruction. He holds the same contempt for grazing muzzles, required gear for King, who tends to be portly. In a word: mischievous.

Barossa

Stats: 5-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred gelding

Arrived at KER: 2010, after being purchased at Fasig-Tipton

First used in KER research: 2013

Research studies completed: 3

Specific work at KER: used in studies investigating furosemide as well as development work for EO-3, KER’s marine-derived omega-3 supplement.

Extremely cute and exceedingly aware of it, Barossa is the teen heartthrob, and therefore easy to love. He is content with equine companionship, but he really ratchets up the charm when humans enter the mix. Interns and others are easily lured in by his magnetism. Barossa’s secret desire: to be a little girl’s pony forever and ever. He’d even tolerate pigtails and ribbons, no questions. In a word: winsome.

Love

Stats: 4-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred mare

Arrived at KER: 2013

First used as a research horse: 2013

Research studies completed: 1  

Specific work: used in a study that required both geldings and mares

Love is your best girlfriend, even if a bit boyish. Think Emma Stone. Though injury-prone, she has a heart of gold, with nary a hint of the proverbial chestnut-mare attitude. Geldings are usually used for research, but a field full of Loves would be a pleasant sight indeed. Patient and diligent to a fault, Love outperforms many of her peers through sheer supremacy in work ethic. In a word: clement.

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