Triple Crown Aids In The Advancement of Equine Nutrition & Research
Working In Conjunction With Pennsylvania State University, Triple Crown Nutrition Is Aiding Equine Science Majors In Their Pursuit Of Cutting Edge Horse Feed Formulations & Protocols.
A Masters or PhD degree in Equine Nutrition is a relatively new concept. Many of the original researchers that established much of what we knew about horses had degrees in other species but had a real passion for horses. Because of the current proliferation of degrees in equine nutrition over the past 15 years, we now have access to more research that either confirms or disputes old data or is new information than we had for the previous 50 years.
In 2007, the National Research Council revised their recommendations for the first time in almost 18 years, meaning there wasn’t enough new research during that time to justify a revision. Very little changed and most companies had adopted the changes well before the new specifications were published.
New research on equine nutrition comes in two forms, privately funded research, and public research. Privately funded research is funded to research a specific result by a feed or ingredient supply company. Unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 50% of this research is ever exposed. If the research does not agree with the conclusions the sponsor of the research is paying for, it will never be published. Public research, on the other hand, comes primarily from universities generated through required research for degreed programs or from other research projects. The funding for these projects typically comes from grants or gifts to the university with no specific guidelines on what research results are expected.
Recently, Triple Crown has started a gifting program to the Pennsylvania State University to help fund equine projects for both graduate and undergraduate students. Some of the ongoing research involves analyzing metabolites produced from different feed rations to build a database to better understand how to feed to reduce the risk of issues like insulin resistance. Other current projects would include the most effective fiber length and the effect of multiple feedings. Dr. Burt Staniar, at Penn State, also mentors an Equine Undergraduate Nutrition Research Club that will utilize some of this money to support their projects. This unbiased research will then be made available to the industry for the benefit of all horse owners.
Triple Crown has always relied on unbiased published research when generating formulations. Because of the general lack of sufficient equine specific research, we have often also extrapolated research from other species if the amount and scope of the research would have an application to horses. Most research funding to universities goes into production animals. By gifting money specifically to horse research, Triple Crown is providing funds that otherwise would not reach equine projects.
According to Dr. Staniar, ÏTriple Crown Nutrition provides valuable funding for our projects when money for research is at a minimum. Without their support, our students may not have access to resources to complete their projects. What is special about Triple Crown Nutrition’s support is that it comes with Ïno strings attached. This creates a scenario in which the equine scientist and students can be most creative in the questions and problems that they are attempting to solve. Triple Crown Nutrition has really stepped up to the plate as a supporter of equine research and education with their support.
Triple Crown was using nutritional concepts such as prebiotics, probiotics, organic minerals, and high fiber/low soluble carbohydrate diets as early as 1990. Many companies are just now adapting some of this technology, and the biggest supplier in the horse feed industry has yet to acknowledge any of these benefits. So really, how beneficial is having your own research farm if you are behind the power curve of today’s feeding realities?