Pioneering RVC research identifies a key reason for equine pregnancy loss

Research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated that a chromosomal defect is the reason why a significant proportion of horse preg- nancies fail within the first two months of develop- ment. This will pave the way for new diagnostic tests for, what could be, one of the most common causes of pregnancy loss in mares. Pregnancy loss is a

notoriously difficult condi- tion for veterinary surgeons to manage, as the underly- ing cause is often unknown. In this pioneering study, re- searchers from the RVC have determined aneuploid

Head of Equine Pregnancy Lab

pregnancies, which is when a copy of a whole chromosome is either duplicated or lost (similar to Down’s Syndrome screened for in human pregnancy), as a key cause of equine pregnancy loss. The researchers,

led by Dr Mandi de Mestre, Reader in Reproductive Im- munology and Head of the Equine Preg- nancy Laboratory at

Charlotte Shilton – 2nd year PhD student in Equine Pregnancy Lab, lead author of manuscript

the RVC, collabo- rated with seven dif- ferent veterinary practices to gain ac-

cess to samples from across the UK and Ireland and found that around 20% of the pregnancies lost were aneuploid. Charlotte Shilton, RVC PhD student who performed the analysis, applied three different ge- netic approaches to confirm the results. Work is now under-

way to identify the underly- ing cause of these aneuploid pregnancies, with early data from this study suggesting it is most commonly intro- duced via the egg or sperm. Until now, chromosomal defects such as aneuploidy have only been reported as a rare condition in young horses with developmental

Young Black Entrepreneur Promoting Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Equestrian Community

Mya Brathwaite is a

16 year old equestrian from Brooklin, Ontario. Her new company High Horse Equestrian offers Eco Friendly equestrian apparel and accessories. Awarded funding as part of the Ontario Govern- ment Summer Company Program, Mya has been building her business on- line and actively promot- ing her business throughout the equestrian community. As an equestrian

and person of colour, Mya would like to see more diversity promoted as part of the Equestrian community in the media. “I love my sport, and being around horses has made a huge impact in my overall wellbe- ing. I would really like to see more people exposed to our sport from all cultures. It is important that we are all represented in the media when promoting equestrian sports.” Mya has designed an Eco Friendly

Polo Shirt, that is made of 55% Hemp and 45% organic cotton. The High Horse Equestrian Polo does not compromise com- fort and offers UV Protection in a range of inclusive sizes from Small to 2X. For more information please contact

Mya Brathwaite at 289-928-8752 or visit Photo: Mya Brathwaite and her horse Hen- ley at Lake House Stables in Ashburn, On- tario.

High Horse Equestrian is a business

venture started by 16 year old Mya Brath- waite. An equestrian and proud owner of

teammates Hudson and Henley. High Horse Equestrian’s mission is to provide sustainable eques- trian products, while pro- moting diversity and inclusiveness in the equestrian community.

Summer Company is a

program of the govern- ment of Ontario that helps young people between 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice and serv-

ices. The province's Small Business Enter- prise Centres and selected non-profit organizations in your community deliver the program.

Mandi de Mestre –

disorders. This study explains

why the condition is so rare in horses, with most em- bryos and fetuses possess- ing this genetic change dying very early in develop- ment, as is also observed in human pregnancy. The study highlights the need to reconsider this genetic con- dition both in pregnancy loss but also for early devel- opmental disorders. Dr Mandi de Mestre,

Reader in Reproductive Im- munology at the RVC, said: “Early pregnancy loss

remains a very frustrating condition for clinicians to treat as the underlying cause is unknown in around 80% of cases. These findings will allow researchers to de- velop new diagnostic tests for pregnancy losses, which would offer hope to thou- sands of owners of breeding mares that suffer this condi- tion.

“A diagnostic test

would allow them to make informed decisions on treat- ment strategies and to ad- vise on whether they should

invest in further attempts to breed their mare benefiting both horses and their breed- ers alike in the future. I would like to thank both the Thoroughbred Breeders As- sociation and our collabora- tors at Texas A&M University and the partici- pating veterinary surgeons for their support on this project.

James Crabtree, Inde-

pendent Veterinary Consult- ant in Equine Reproduction and Stud Medicine at Equine Reproductive Serv- ices, said: “This has been an im-

portant study to be involved in as the cause of pregnancy failure in any given mare is often without diagnosis and we have to make assump- tions in order to best treat and manage our patients after pregnancy failure. The team at the RVC

have been great to work with and very understand- ing of the challenges we face in practice while con- sidering our clinical judge- ments and reasonings with care and attention. It has been a great privilege to work with the Royal Veteri- nary College on this re-

search project and we look forward to further collabo- rations.”

Reference 10.1038/ s41598-020- 69967-z “Whole genome analysis reveals aneuploi- dies in early pregnancy loss in the horse” (92407416- 0 9 9 9 - 4 9 4 b - a 1 e 4 - 07e6ce4b34c8) The full paper is avail-

able at Nature (Scientific Reports): 1598-020-69967-z

NATDA Launches Virtual Show, Cancels 2020 NATDA Trailer Show

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Due to the effects of COVID-19, the North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) has been forced to cancel this year’s NATDA Trailer Show in Nashville, TN. In its place, NATDA will launch a virtual event on October 26, 2020, giving dealers the same benefits of the trade show without ever leaving the comforts of their home.

“Unfortunately, re-

cent developments, includ- ing bar and restaurant closures, state-to-state re-

strictions and citywide phase extensions, convinced us there’s no way to main- tain our physical show dur- ing these incredibly unpredictable times,” said Andy Ackerman, NATDA President. “After speaking to hundreds of dealers, a strong majority felt they simply were not ready to venture to Nashville under the current circumstances.” In place of this year’s

NATDA Trailer Show, NATDA will launch a 3- week online event, starting on October 26, 2020, where dealers, manufacturers and

suppliers can still connect with one another, listen to valuable educational semi- nars and see the latest prod- ucts in the trailer industry. “Though no replace-

ment for our in-person event, this year’s online platform allows us to pro- duce the same benefits of coming to our show – to connect with the industry,” said Andria Gibbon, CEM, NATDA Director of Opera- tions & Events. More information re-

garding the 2020 Virtual NATDA Trailer Show will be announced in the coming weeks. Dealerships inter- ested in participating in the event

can visit ealer-registration. For possi- ble exhibitor inclusion, con- tact NATDA’s Director of Sales, Karen Anderson, at 727-360-0304 x105. A d d i t i o n a l l y ,

NATDA is pleased to an- nounce its Trailer Show will return to Nashville, TN, next year on September 1-3, 2021. Prior to the rise in COVID-19 cases, NATDA’s registration efforts were at a

record-breaking 30% in- crease compared to previous years. Clearly, a destination that dealers around the country want to visit, NATDA is excited to finally be back at the Music City Center next year. For additional infor-

mation, please contact NATDA at 727-360-0304 or visit

About NATDA NATDA (North

American Trailer Dealers Association) serves the light and medium-duty trailer in- dustry by connecting deal- ers, manufacturers and suppliers together through a host of beneficial and edu- cational platforms. From printed publications like its bi-monthly magazine and annual buyer’s guide to the annual NATDA Trailer Show, NATDA’s promo- tional outlets result in abun- dant


opportunities with high- quality, industry-specific contacts.

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