Predoctoral Fellowship for McGill: Improving Indoor Arenas for the Equine Industry

Grants and Contracts Details


The equine industry is unique in that humans work in directly with the animals in their facilities for hours each day. Due to this constant exposure, farms need ways to mitigate the environmental concerns that are inherent in animal agriculture structures. Unfortunately, little research has been completed examining equine facilities and, specifically, indoor arenas. Because of this lack of research, there are no scientifically driven resources for owners to use to help build and manage facilities. The proposed project will serve to mitigate environmental concerns identified within indoor arenas and to publish resource guides for members of the equine industry to use to design and build indoor arenas with proper ventilation to minimize environmental issues including dust, moisture, and lack of ventilation. Through the distribution of the materials and the education of members of the horse industry, this project will improve the health of humans and horses which work in indoor arenas. The proposed project is within the focus of agriculture systems and technology in that it addresses “”. Equine facilities are used by the horses for housing and training, but are also heavily used by people ranging from young children to older adults (American Horse Council Foundation, 2018). Due to this, it is critical to provide a healthy environment within both barns and arenas. Equine facilities are large economic investments for the farm owners, with 20% of indoor arenas costing over $500,000 to build (McGill, 2018 unpublished survey). All of these factors coupled together indicates that it is essential for these facilities to be built properly and for longevity. By improving the design and construction of the indoor arenas, a healthier environment within a longer lasting facility would benefit the farm owners, employees, horse enthusiasts, and the horses. The dissemination of the information through the Extension curricula in the state of Kentucky and at national conferences would be valuable to wide variety of individuals within the equine industry. The PD’s curricular activities will be directly focused on construction materials such as concrete, steel, and timber, as well as on the environments within structures through HVAC classes and work. Additionally, a focus on modeling, specifically computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel modeling with to scale model facilities, will expand on the PD’s ability to write and publish accurate resources and guidelines for the design and construction of these facilities.
Effective start/end date6/15/206/14/23


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $180,000.00


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