Research on the Nutrition and Management of Aging, Laminitic and Obese Horses to be a Focus of Upcoming Veterinary CE Webinars this Fall

Pat Harris MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS & RCVS Specialist in Clinical Nutrition (equine), will deliver research updates to deepen our understanding of equine aging, laminitis and obesity. Nettie Liburt, PhD, PAS and Amy Polkes, DVM, DACVIM are also presenters as part of the MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Equine Veterinary Continuing Education Series.   

The scientific community has grown the body of knowledge related to not only the aging horse, but also the obese animal and management of laminitic equids. Researchers are continually getting closer to unlocking the mysteries of laminitis, as well as revealing new insights about physiological changes that come with age and the management of equine obesity. This series of Equine Veterinary Continuing Education seminars, presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN™, intends to offer a total of six Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE)-CE credits to veterinarians and veterinary technicians this fall. The virtual series, open to all veterinarians and veterinary technicians, will take place on three consecutive Saturday mornings from 10:00am-12:00pm EST on Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13. Topics will include Obesity, Laminitis and the Senior Horse covering relevant research and providing up to date nutritional advice, as well as current guidance on diagnostics. For more information and to sign up for registration information, please visit

This virtual educational series integrates Mars, Incorporated’s equine-focused products and services which include WALTHAM™, ANTECH™, SOUND®, BUCKEYE™ Nutrition and SPILLERS™ Brands. The expert panel of speakers features nutrition and veterinary specialists in research, diagnostics and product development.

Pat Harris, MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS & RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Clinical Nutrition (Equine) is an internationally renowned authority on equine nutrition from both a veterinary and academic perspective. There will also be discussion on guidance for horse owners on the importance of nutritional management from Nettie Liburt, PhD, PAS and essential diagnostic testing information from Amy Polkes, DVM, DACVIM.

Dr. Harris is a co-author on over 100 peer-reviewed papers on the topics of laminitis, obesity, insulin dysregulation and the senior horse. Most recently, she was the co-editor of the 2021 Veterinary Clinics Equine Practice: Nutrition, and co-author of two chapters: 1) What would be good for all veterinarians to know about equine nutrition, and 2) Nutritional considerations when dealing with an obese adult equine. She also personally looks after her senior mare, who is over 35 years old (with no ability to ingest short or long chopped fibre), along with her mare’s son who is over 25 years old.

Dr. Harris gained her PhD on the Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome whilst working at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. She is a Past President of the British Equine Veterinary Association, the Current President of the Equine Science Society and a member of the British Equestrian Scientific Advisory Group. Currently her roles within Mars, Inc. include being:

  • Director of Science for Mars Horsecare
  • Head of Equine Studies Group at Waltham Petcare Science Institute
  • Scientific advisor to the MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Brand Team.

“I am delighted to be able to share the practically relevant highlights of our recent collaborative research into these key topic areas. It is a great opportunity to be able to highlight the interrelationship between research, nutrition and diagnostics and to be able to share our teams’ experience in these areas with Veterinarians.” said Dr. Harris.

The series will be presented virtually with pre-registration required. Registration details will be forthcoming. Equine veterinarians and veterinary technicians are encouraged to save the dates. For more information, please visit

 About Mars, Incorporated
 For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.

Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield™ Pet Hospitals, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, and VCA™.

We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.

For more information about Mars, please visit Join us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube.

 MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Sponsorship, funded by Mars, Incorporated, is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, MARS EQUESTRIAN is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines, to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, the MARS EQUESTRIAN Brand is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them. For more information please visit and join us @marsequestrian.

 For more than 30 years, Antech Diagnostics has been a leader in providing high-quality diagnostic laboratory and imaging solutions with over 70 labs throughout North America. Building upon extensive scientific inquiry and data analysis, ANTECH™ Equine has developed new platforms to address the health conditions of veterinary patients through risk assessment and diagnostics.  ANTECH Equine Health Program is designed to promote preventative health care by enabling veterinarians to incorporate wellness programs into their practice at an affordable price. Antech is constantly working to improve the level of equine health care and has partnered with Sound® Equine to expand their diagnostic capabilities through imaging. Sound® Equine, the pioneer of veterinary DR and the creator of the NEXT Equine DR system, is the exclusive provider of GE Ultrasound and Samsung mobile CT systems for the US veterinary market. Additionally, Sound® Equine developed and innovated Regenerative Laser Therapy, which has helped countless horses get back to work and into the winner’s circle.  Above all, ANTECH and Sound® Equine values partnership, both in our long-standing relationships with industry-leading vendors and our continued dedication to the largest veterinary customer-base in the market. Visit us at Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

 About the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition Brand
The BUCKEYE™ Nutrition brand combines science, innovation and a genuine passion for horses to produce the highest-quality, safest feed possible. Every product is formulated by equine nutritionists and produced in a state-of-the-art, medication-free facility. The BUCKEYE Nutrition brand takes feed safety seriously, using only 100 percent pure ingredients delivered daily and traced from field to feed bucket. These stringent quality standards are backed by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a world-leading authority on animal care. In business since 1910, Mars Horsecare US is passionate about unlocking the full potential of horses, allowing them to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Visit

 About the SPILLERS™ Brand
The SPILLERS™ Brand is a proud partner in care and strives to lead, support and communicate research to continually expand knowledge and improve horse health worldwide. Having produced the first ever compound feed for horses back in 1958, the SPILLERS Brand now has feeds to suit all types of horses and ponies, including fibers, balancers, Laminitis Trust approved products and a superior range of thoroughbred breeding and racing feeds.

All SPILLERS products are underpinned by science from the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a world-leading authority on pet nutrition and home to the WALTHAM™ Equine Studies Group, led by Professor Pat Harris, MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS.

The SPILLERS Brand is part of Mars, Incorporated, who put quality at the heart of everything.

 About the Waltham Petcare Science Institute
The Waltham Petcare Science Institute is Mars Petcare’s pet research center. Our work focuses on the nutritional and behavioral needs of pets, as well as preventive health. We use this knowledge to support development of innovative products and services, advancing science to deliver our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™. The WALTHAM™ Equine Studies Group, which is headed by Professor Pat Harris, MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS, is dedicated to advancing the science of horse nutrition and provides the scientific support for Mars Horsecare globally including the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition, SPILLERS™, and WINERGY™ brands. By collaborating with key research institutes and universities around the world its work remains at the forefront of equine nutritional science.

Abby Jacobi
Sr. Marketing Associate