Massey Equine Research Centre

The Massey Equine Research Centre undertakes scientific research into health and production problems that limit horse breeding, rearing and performance. We work with national and international institutions to optimise equine health and welfare, and make results available to the equine industries through research extension.

Our expertise

equine nutrition


We are investigating nutrition of the young equine athlete and recreational horses and ponies, including projects looking at pasture-based nutrition. 

horse management

Health and management

We are researching all aspects of health and management of equine athletes and recreational horses and ponies, to reduce disease and improve equine health and welfare.

Injuries and lameness

We are using epidemiological studies to investigate the incidence of and risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries sustained while training and racing in both thoroughbreds and standardbreds.


We are researching new treatments for tendon injuries, investigating impact-induced fractures in third metacarpal bone tissue, and looking at the effects of age, exercise and disease on bone and cartilage microstructure.

Equine Research Centre

Learn more about the Equine Research Centre.

Our people

For more information about our research activity, click on individual researchers' names below.

Key contacts

Case Study:long and successful racing careers

horses at sunrise

A major economic and welfare problem facing the New Zealand racing industry is the loss of horses (wastage) from training and racing because of musculoskeletal injury.

While many believe that it is not good for young horses to race, new research from the Global Equine Research Alliance suggests that exercising young racehorses can help develop their musculoskeletal systems.

The Equine Research Centre collaborated with the New Zealand Racing Board to investigate whether reaching two-year-old training milestones affected career success and longevity. The study found that thoroughbred and standardbred horses that raced at two years old had longer and more successful careers than horses that first raced when older.

This valuable and robust data gives the racing industry an opportunity to adapt current practices so that horses start training and racing at two, and have every chance of long and successful racing careers.

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