Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome to the Summer Riding Season

Just past the longest day of the year and the summer riding season is in full swing! Coast to coast, horse owners are loading up and hitting the trails, heading to shows and taking on the competition. Recently we checked in with a few of our national ambassadors to see what they were up to.

First up was the Old Salem Spring Show in New Salem, NY. Many of the top jumper riders make Old Salem a stop on their annual tour of the northeast making for great competition and great spectating. Amid a beautiful setting, both Todd Minikus and Beezie Madden found success on the scenic grass course with multiple wins a piece. 

Next stop was a visit around Texas horse country. We checked in with Lindy Burch, Kory Pounds and Matt Gaines, all of whom are getting ready for the upcoming NCHA Summer Spectacular in July. Not far removed from the Super Stakes this spring, the Purina cutting horse ambassadors are busy with foals on the ground, maintaining their current competition strings and already prepping for the NCHA Futurity this winter.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Sunny Week in Seattle

Last week the annual ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) Forum was held in Seattle Washington. I was privileged to attend this event both as representative of Purina Animal Nutrition at the trade show that accompanies this meeting, as well as a practicing veterinarian to acquire continuing education. Ordinarily, I don’t mind spending all day inside a convention center when meetings like this are held in Seattle because the weather is usually less than ideal. However this year was different, with bright sun and daytime temperatures in the mid 60’s and 70’s, making it hard to be stuck inside all day. Fortunately, the ACVIM Forum is among the premier veterinary CE events in the country, known for its state of the art presentations by the top veterinarians in the world. The Forum is attended by more than 1300 veterinary internal medicine specialists and general practitioners.

In conjunction with the Forum, the AAVN (American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition) held its 13th Annual Clinical Nutrition and Research Symposium. This event gives veterinary nutritionists, animal nutritionists and graduate students the opportunity to present their latest research findings related to nutrition and its effects on veterinary health. This year a record was set for attendance with over 160 veterinarians, nutritionists and students in attendance.  Purina Animal Nutrition was proud to sponsor the AAVN Large Animal/Equine Case Report Award, which was presented to Jennifer Gill from North Carolina State University for her submission entitled, “Evaluation of a potential insulin resistance in an obese Paso Fino mare with bilateral hind limb laminitis.” This year’s symposium featured primarily small animal (dog and cat) research abstracts that were very thought provoking. It can very useful and interesting to hear about advances in research involving other species and then to think about how they might apply to horses. An example of this was a presentation about a study investigating the traditional dietary recommendations for dogs with chronic kidney disease. This study found that protein restriction in the diet is likely not as critical as once thought, particularly with the advance of higher quality protein in most diets. It was a very enlightening talk that challenged one of the old dogmas of dietary management of dogs (and most other mammals) with kidney disease and these finding may have implications across all species including horses.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Our Time at the Equine Science Symposium

Part of the fun of traveling around the country doing horse research and attending scientific conferences is passing by sights like the “World’s Largest Pistachio.”  We couldn’t help but stop and take this in on our way to Ruidoso, New Mexico to attend the Equine Science Society (ESS) Symposium. The little shop there was full of homemade pistachio mixes from nuts grown on the property, local wine and fun gifts.  I am still enjoying the lemon-lime pistachios I picked up.

What in the world?

As for the conference, we had a great time at ESS and we stayed at the Inn of the Mountain Gods which is part of the Apache Indian reservation just outside of Ruidoso.  We had a busy schedule attending the scientific talks, meeting with colleagues and supplier companies, and catching up with the conglomerate of equine nutritionists that we get to see at this conference.  If you follow this blog regularly, I posted some pictures a few weeks back, which were a “teaser” to the talks Purina would be presenting.  Here is some more information about each one.