Advancing the science of horse nutrition – specifically in the areas of obesity, laminitis and the senior horse – is the aim of a new trans-Atlantic partnership between two leading organisations.
The Waltham Equine Studies Group, which provides the science behind the Spillers feed brand, has joined forces with the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, an internationally recognised equine research facility.
The research partnership will be led by Amanda Adams, PhD, Assistant Research Professor at the Gluck Center, along with Pat Harris, MA, VetMB, PhD, DipECVCN MRCVS, head of the Waltham Equine Studies Group and Director of Science for MARS Horsecare.
The collaboration by Waltham with key research institutes and universities around the world enables Spillers to continually set the bar for nutritional innovation and science-based solutions.
Professor Harris said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Dr Adams and collaborate on innovative research which will address fundamental as well as pertinent practical questions to all those interested in the health and welfare of horses.”
Dr Adams’ research focuses on improving the health and well-being of the aged horse and understanding the effects of obesity on various metabolic and inflammatory components, particularly in horses affected by equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). Adams is a past recipient of the Buckeye Nutrition and Waltham Equine Research Grant in 2013 which provided funding for a project that suggested age plays a role in regulating certain aspects of inflammatory and metabolic function in geriatric horses. The results of this work have recently been submitted for publication.
“Collaborations are critical to the success of any research programme and I very much look forward to collaborating with Professor Pat Harris and the Waltham Equine Research team, who are truly passionate about the horse,” Adams said.
“They not only support product development research but also basic research in order to better understand the mechanisms of biology behind aging, obesity and laminitis, allowing us, as an industry, to provide better care for the horse.”
Spillers research and development manager Clare Barfoot said that with the ageing equine population, “we at Spillers fervently believe we need to identify the best ways to feed our life-long partners. We hope the exciting research findings that this collaboration will generate will soon be benefiting the lives of senior horses in the UK and around the world.”