Equine nutrition’s quiet achiever: Pat Harris works to keep horses healthy


Professor Pat Harris is an internationally renowned authority on equine nutrition from both a veterinary and academic perspective.
Professor Pat Harris is an internationally renowned authority on equine nutrition from both a veterinary and academic perspective. © NEF/Craig Payne Photography

Equine nutrition specialist Professor Pat Harris has had a busy year sharing knowledge and expertise with equine vets around the world, with courses, book publications and discussions on equine nutrition.

Harris, who is Equine Clinical Nutrition Specialist for Spillers horse feed, and head of the Equine Studies Group at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, which underpins the science behind the Spillers brand. The group is dedicated to advancing the science of horse nutrition and provides scientific support for Mars Horsecare globally. By collaborating with key research institutes and universities around the world its work remains at the forefront of equine nutritional science.

Harris MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS and RCVS, is an internationally renowned authority on equine nutrition from both a veterinary and academic perspective.

Her courses, book publications and webinars are aimed at providing practising equine vets with the latest knowledge and essential know-how on equine nutrition, whether for performance horses, leisure animals or the retired family pony.

Earlier this month Harris was one of several high-profile speakers at the British Equine Veterinary Association’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course: From superfoods to supplements: How to know more than the owner. During the course, which delivered seven CPD hours, Harris outlines what every vet needs to know when it comes to the basics of equine nutrition. She went on to discuss the microbiome and then clinical nutrition in sickness and in health in the old horse.

Harris was the co-editor of the publication Veterinary Clinics Equine Practice: Nutrition, which was published earlier this year. She was also the co-author of two chapters: “What would be good for all veterinarians to know about equine nutrition”, and “Nutritional considerations when dealing with an obese adult equine”.

In August, Harris is chairing and hosting a panel discussion on Nutritional Management of the Competitive Equine Athlete for veterinarians globally through VetPD, and will also present a webinar “Introduction to equine nutrition” to vets in Argentina.

In the autumn, Harris will be one of several leading speakers at the Mars Equestrian Equine Veterinary Continuing Education Series focusing on senior, obese and laminitic horses.

Clare Barfoot RNutr, Marketing and Research and Development Director at Mars Horsecare UK, home of the Spillers brand, said Spillers was fortunate to be able to benefit from Harris’s “considerable nutrition knowledge and expertise“.

“Pat is always very reticent about attention being drawn to her internationally lauded achievements in equine nutrition but all of us at Spillers feel extremely proud and privileged to have her as a part of the team,” Barfoot said.

This year Spillers has been celebrating its credentials as a leading researcher on nutrition led studies: earlier this year, via Waltham Equine Studies Group it hit the publication of its 100th research paper relating to obesity, laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome EMS and weight management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *