Amanda Avison, DVM, a Ph.D. student at Ontario Veterinary College, received the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow awarded by The Foundation for the Horse for her research into investigating sudden cardiac death in performance horses.

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research. In addition to the financial reward, Dr. Avison also received a $500 stipend to support her travel to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) 69th Annual Convention in San Diego, California, where she accepted her award Nov. 30.

Her long-term goal with the research is to identify the increased risk of death in equines that are currently clinically normal at rest. Her research will support the idea of a stall side test that could identify the daily stress allowing practitioners to be able to identify when the equine athlete is not at increased risk to perform. During Dr. Avison’s research she collected samples from the cardiac muscle to identify the molecular markers that may cause cardiac sudden death.

“The study of sudden cardiac death is an area of intense activity. I am complimenting the research by seeking to understand the fundamental characteristics,” said Dr. Avison. “My research will bridge the gap of knowledge that exists in the cardiac area.”

“The receipt of this fellowship will support my career in many ways and allow me to continue to reach my goals and remain focused on helping horses through research,” she added.

“The health and welfare of America’s horses is core to the mission of the EQUUS Foundation. We are honored to partner with The Foundation for the Horse through the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellowship to support veterinarians who are dedicating their careers to equine research,” said Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Foundation chairman.

For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through The Foundation for the Horse, visit

About the EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002, is the only national charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses from peril and strengthening the bond between horses and people. To learn more, visit

About The Foundation for the Horse

Established in 1994, The Foundation for the Horse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through Education, Research, and help for Horses at Risk. It is governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders. In 2022, and for the second consecutive year, The Foundation awarded over $1 million in scholarships and grants to impact equine health and well-being throughout the U.S. and developing countries. To learn more, visit

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