Advancing life-saving research for equine athletes and foals
The brown, spindly legs of a new foal wobble as the young horse walks to greet UC Davis veterinarian and professor Gary Magdesian. He strokes the head of the young horse he saved from a potentially lethal infection common at birth.
“This is why I love my work,” said Magdesian, the first holder of the Roberta A. and Carla Henry Endowed Chair in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at the School of Veterinary Medicine. “This is who my endowed chair really helps.”
Magdesian’s endowed chair position has had positive impacts on his research and the lives of several horses.
“I can say that many research projects made possible by the chair position have influenced our treatment of very sick foals and equine athletes,” said Magdesian, who developed the first veterinary school residency in the nation to emphasize large animal critical care. “I have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for far-thinking people like Roberta and Carla Henry, who are philanthropists. Their legacy will be to continue to improve the care of veterinary patients, and to advance the state of clinical practice for our beloved pets and animals.”
The chair has allowed Magdesian to attend the largest human critical care medical conference to keep up with the most cutting edge medical advances in the field of critical care medicine — information that he will apply to his treatment of horses and share with residents and students.
Additionally, the chair has allowed Magdesian to conduct research at one of the largest and most difficult 100-mile equine endurance races, which typically has a 50 percent disqualification rate due to lameness, exhaustion and metabolic diseases.