More than 300 U.S. horse owners and industry leaders from 21 states recently gathered at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Mo., for a pair of educational VIP events hosted by Purina Animal Nutrition. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the latest in equine research, nutritional management and how nutrition impacts animal performance.
“We are always looking for ways to help provide better nutritional support for horses and education for horse owners. It’s a pleasure to welcome horse owners to the Purina Animal Nutrition Center to showcase our research and state-of-the-art facility,” says Karen Davison, Ph.D., equine nutritionist and sales support manager for Purina Animal Nutrition. “Our team of experts shared management insights that horse owners can take home and implement with their own horses.”
The VIP guests represented professional horse owners of varying size, location and type from across the U.S., providing a unique opportunity to share insights and network. Attendees toured the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, seeing firsthand the capabilities of this premier research facility.
Attendees also toured the Budweiser Stable and Brewery. Here attendees learned more about the nutrition program for the Budweiser Clydesdales, which is managed by Purina Animal Nutrition.
The Purina Animal Nutrition Center is the heart of the company and the backdrop to the company’s extensive nutrition research. A working farm with almost 1,200 acres and 3,000 animals makes the Purina Animal Nutrition Center a unique facility within the feed industry.
The primary focus of the VIP events is to share research with horse owners. More than 1,350 research projects have been conducted at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center to date.
Research shared during the events included:
- Horse feed formulation strategies and the importance of consistent, reliable nutrition.
- Hay quality and impacts on digestion and nutrient content.
- Forage utilization and digestive physiology.
- Carbohydrates in forages.
- Maintaining ideal body condition in athletic horses.
- Equine performance nutrition.
- Nutrition for equine reproduction and growth.
- Proper feeding and nutrition through the first year.
- Feed additive impacts on gut health.
- Serum allergy testing.
- Meeting dietary needs of horses with feed allergies.
- Hair mineral analysis cautions and considerations.
- Management of certain medical conditions through diet.
“Feeding horses correctly doesn’t have to be complicated and our goal is to help horse owners achieve success and work through unique challenges they may face,” says Katie Young, Ph.D., lead technical equine nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition.
Purina Animal Nutrition Center
A state-of-the-art research facility allows Purina Animal Nutrition to continue to be the industry leader in equine nutrition.
- Research specific to equine nutrition has been conducted for more than 87 years.
- This 60 acre facility is the only one of its kind in the industry.
The research facility’s primary focus is in the areas of feed intake, palatability and digestive physiology, breeding, foal growth and development, and exercise physiology.
Purina Animal Nutrition has been breeding registered Quarter Horses for more than 47 years utilizing some of the top stallions in the industry. They maintain approximately 14 broodmares that are bred using artificial insemination each year. The resulting foals are used in extensive studies to test established and newly formulated diets designed to improve growth and development in young horses.
A wide variety of data is collected from broodmares and foals including: body weight, body condition scores, blood chemistry, colostrum quality, radiographs, joint and limb scoring, and GPS measurements of movement patterns. This allows researchers to know where the foal is every 5 seconds.
“No matter the breed of horse or profession, when your horse is at his best, you are too,” says Davison. “Our goal is to develop nutritional programs and solutions that fit the needs of today’s horses.”