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News

Racing Australia Equine Genetics Research Centre Officially Opened

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Media Release
23 April 2018
Racing Australia Equine Genetics Research Centre Officially Opened
The Racing Australia Equine Genetics Research Centre (EGRC) was officially opened on Monday 23 April 2018 by Russell Balding AO Deputy Chair Racing Australia & John Messara AM former Chair Racing Australia.

Russell Balding AO Deputy Chair Racing Australia & John Messara AM former Chair Racing Australia

Russell Balding AO Deputy Chair Racing Australia & John Messara AM former Chair Racing Australia
(Photo courtesy of Rod Thompson of The Scone Advocate)

Located within the Hunter Valley Equine Research Complex in Scone, Racing Australia now has a permanent presence in the heart of Australia’s leading Thoroughbred and Equine Breeding region. “Through the establishment of this Genetics Research Centre here at Scone, Racing Australia is proud to be returning to regional Australia some of the support it has always given the Australian Thoroughbred industry”. said Russell Balding AO.

The Centre will undertake DNA typing of all Thoroughbred foals to confirm parentage and establish a unique pedigree that is accessible throughout its life. It will also provide services to 30 other horse breed societies across Australia. An estimated 20,000 tests will be analysed at the Centre each year.

The gathering of over fifty guests from politics and the breeding industry were introduced to the EGRC team and toured the facility.

The EGRC team combines experts in equine genetics research, technical scientific and diagnostic skills with a love for horses of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Dr Natasha Hamilton EGRC Director, Dominique Dolgener EGRC Manager, Taelor Mackenzie and Emalyn Batley EGRC Laboratory Technical Officers
(Photo courtesy of Rod Thompson of The Scone Advocate)

With an equine geneticist on staff, Racing Australia will now be able to keep up with the latest cutting-edge developments in horse genetics.

This Centre will also ensure Racing Australia also has the capability to perform its own research into genetic diseases in horses—of all breeds—and offer the findings to others working to improve equine health.

In 2017 Racing Australia participated in the International Horse STR DNA Typing Comparison Test and achieved rank 1 with 100% genotyping accuracy. Rank 1 is necessary to allow parentage verification of Thoroughbreds for the International Stud Book Committee.

More information on the Racing Australia Equine Genetics Research Centre can be found at https://equinegeneticsresearchcentre.horse/

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Equine Genetics Research Centre

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Media Release
25 October 2017
Equine Genetics Research Centre
Australian racing’s first equine genetics research laboratory service is to be established at the centre of one of Australia’s premier Thoroughbred horse breeding districts, the Chair of Racing Australia, Ms Frances Nelson QC announced today.

The Equine Genetics Research Centre will be located at Scone in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

“Locating these new laboratory facilities in the heart of one of Australia’s internationally- recognised breeding regions makes perfect sense given the vital functions it will perform for the Australian Thoroughbred racing industry,” said Ms Nelson.

The work of the Centre will be critical to the ongoing integrity of Australian racing. Its DNA testing underpins both the breeding and racing sectors of our sport.”

“To ensure the Centre met world standards, Racing Australia worked with the International Society of Animal Genetics to successfully gain approval and institutional membership,” Ms Nelson concluded.

The new facility will be established within Scone’s Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre complex and is expected to be operational by April 2018. Building works are due to be completed by the end of this year.

Chairman of the Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre, Bill Rose welcomed the new facility.

“The establishment of the Equine Genetics Research Centre in Scone brings enhanced integrity to Australian racing and breeding and we are delighted Racing Australia has made the decision to establish a world class facility in the heart of our Thoroughbred breeding region” Mr Rose said.

The Centre will undertake DNA typing of all Thoroughbred foals to confirm parentage and establish a unique pedigree that is accessible throughout its life. It will also provide services to 30 other horse breed societies across Australia. An estimated 20,000 tests will be analysed at the Centre each year.

Ms Nelson also announced that Dr Natasha Hamilton had been appointed by Racing Australia as the inaugural Director of the Equine Genetics Research Centre.

Dr Hamilton has worked at the University of Sydney as a researcher and lecturer, most recently teaching neurophysiology & equine science within the Faculty of Science.

She is also a contributing member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ Gene Doping Control Subcommittee, the International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop and the International Society of Animal Genetics.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to become a contributing member of the industry that I have loved for so long and I am particularly excited about the research possibilities of this role. I look forward to working closely with industry participants to ensure Australia’s racing industry continues to be the world’s leading Thoroughbred industry,” Dr Hamilton said.

For further information please contact: Myles Foreman

Operations Chief Executive Officer

Tel: 0418 559 144

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