02/13/2007 12:00AM

Jacksons give $3M for research

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Roy and Gretchen Jackson have given $3 million to endow a chair for equine disease research at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school, the university announced Tuesday.

The Jackson-owned 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, spent a little more than eight months at the university’s New Bolton Center equine hospital after shattering his right hind leg during the Preakness Stakes on May 20, 2006. Barbaro, who subsequently developed laminitis, was euthanized at the hospital on Jan. 29.

The endowed chair will be named in honor of the New Bolton Center’s chief surgeon, Dr. Dean W. Richardson, who treated Barbaro.

The endowment will be a key element in the university’s initiative to fight the disease laminitis, a painful hoof disease that is a common and frequently fatal complication in horses suffering from other initial problems such as injury. Laminitis ultimately was responsible for Barbaro’s death after his fractures had healed.