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Briony Witherow

BSc MSc RNutr. PGCHEP FHEA 

A graduate of Aberystwyth University (2010) and the Royal Agricultural College (2011), the early part of Briony’s career was spent in the commercial sector as senior nutritionist at one of the UK’s major feed companies. In 2016 Briony went on to achieve registered nutritionist status with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) and started her own equine nutrition consultancy, Practical Equine Nutrition. Based in Cambridge, Briony lectures in Equine and Animal Science at Writtle University College alongside maintaining some independent nutrition consultancy.

Briony has her own horses (both good doers!) who she rides and drives and is very passionate about research having a clear and tangible practical application. Briony’s involvement with horse owners through her nutrition consultancy and own horses provide a constant reminder of the challenges horse owners face and helps to fuel her key research interests and projects.

In her academic career Briony has supervised various student pilot studies focussing on equipment to extend chew time (e.g., slow feeders) and the impact of feed type and management on chew parameters. Her current research projects include advancing the validation of the RumiWatch headcollar for use in horses to measure chew parameters. Data collection for this project took place over Summer 2023. We aimed to measure the accuracy of visually observing and counting chew frequency versus the accuracy of the RumiWatch headcollar across different forages, presentation, and head shapes. If measures of accuracy are consistent with previous smaller scale validation studies, further research will be undertaken, using these headcollars to gather more data on how chew rate differs between individuals, the impact of different forages and presentations (e.g., nets, feed balls etc.). The hope is that these head collars may allow us to collect greater quantities of data over longer periods, potentially more accurately than the current method, opening up the opportunity to research the longer-term impact of feeding equipment and enrichment upon health, behaviour and welfare. Briony has written for many publications including Horse & Hound and Equine Health Magazine as well as peer-reviewed papers for UK-Vet Equine.

 

Articles by Briony Witherow