Blog Contributors

Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.
Manager – Equine Tech Services
I grew up with horses and learned to ride early. My first horse was Casey, a grade gelding that we owned from the time he was 2 years old until he died in his late 20’s. Since I was 13, I’ve shown in Quarter Horse shows in events from Hunter Under Saddle and Hunter Hack, to Western Riding, Reining and all the speed events. I also competed in Youth and High School Rodeo. While at Texas A&M University, I discovered research. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to focus on reproduction or exercise physiology. Then I decided that nutrition affected both, so that’s where I focused. My research included studying the effects of fat-added diets in both broodmares and weanlings. After working with the Texas Agricultural Extension service, I joined Land O’Lakes Purina Feed. Horses are all my family does. My husband trains cutting horses, both children show in cutting and compete in rodeo events, I help my daughter with her barrel horses and help my husband at shows.

Mary Beth Gordon, Ph.D.
Equine Research and New Product Development
In my role at Purina, I direct the research and new product development for the horse business group. This involves conducting research, analyzing data, scouting for new products, reformulating older products and basically working to improve the health of the horse through nutrition. My PhD in Animal Science is from Rutgers University, where my research focused on the effects of exercise on the hormonal regulation of appetite in horses. I was particularly interested in characterizing the appetite stimulating hormone, ghrelin, and how it relates to feed intake and energy homeostasis. My work has been published in numerous scientific journals including The Veterinary Journal, Equine Veterinary Journal, Journal of Animal Science, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science and Equine Comparative Exercise Physiology. In addition to my work at Purina, I own 4 horses and I am active in the sport horse world as a dressage rider. 

Kelly Vineyard, Ph.D.
Equine Nutritionist
 As an Equine Nutritionist with Purina, my responsibilities include research and new product development, technical support, and nutritional consultation with veterinarians. I earned my B.S. in Animal and Dairy Sciences from Auburn University and my M.S. and Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Florida. I have been involved with horses for almost as long as I can remember. Before I went to graduate school to study nutrition, I worked a variety of horse-related jobs, including wrangler on a cattle ranch, clerk at a tack store, working student for a dressage trainer, young horse trainer, and the all-important stall-mucker. I currently ride and compete in dressage and am a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. My competition dressage horse is a fantastic OTTB named Roman, and I also have a sweet pony named Sunny D (spoiled pasture-pet). I feel extremely fortunate to combine my passion for horses with my love for science through my work with Purina.

Katie Young, Ph.D.
Equine Nutritionist

As the lead technical equine nutritionist with Purina, my role may be different every day! Some days I spend on the computer working on formulas and tags, answering emails from customers, sales specialists and dealers, writing and editing technical information, and so on. Some days I travel to speak at meetings, clinics, or whatever. And some days I just try to keep up with paperwork! In my spare time, I ride, train, and give lessons at the barn where I keep my little herd of 6 horses.

Kimberly James
National Sponsorship, Events and Ambassador Manager

Mike Jerina
Horse Research Department Manager

Kathy Williamson, DVM

I am the Manager of Veterinary Services for Purina Animal Nutrition and my office is at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, MO.  I provide veterinary technical support to our equine researchers, customer service, feed dealers and customers.  I received my Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science from Otterbein College and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University.  My professional equine background has been pretty diverse.  I have worked in private practice, race track regulatory medicine and academia.  My professional areas of interest while in equine practice in Maryland and Oklahoma were general medicine, lameness and preventative health care.   Prior to joining Purina, I worked as a research associate in the Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.  My work there focused on equine and Alaskan husky sled dog exercise physiology research.

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