Friday, June 19, 2015

[501] ‘MTSU On the Record’ examines horse supplement industry

MURFREESBORO — The next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program will focus on the questions surrounding nutritional supplements that horse lovers feed their animals.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Holly Spooner and Nicole Swirsley will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, June 22, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 28, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Spooner, who holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU, mentored Swirsley, a graduate student from Villa Rosa, California, in a study of how horse owners obtain information about their horses’ nutritional supplements.

“There’s a huge number of supplements, all in the equine market, probably somewhere in the number of thousands,” Spooner said. “The claims are anywhere from helping with hoof growth … up to improving performance or solving behavioral problems even.”

However, Spooner added, since these supplements are not regulated as drugs are, there is little proof of their efficacy.

“In 2009, horse owners spent over $49 million on supplements purchased just through veterinarians alone, and supplements purchased through veterinarians is the smallest part of the market,” Swirsley said. “More people buy them from feed stores or online through online producers than they do from their veterinarians. It’s a huge industry.”

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to and click the “more” link under “Audio Clips.”

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

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