Dr. Caroline Loos is originally from Belgium, but has been in the US for almost 10 years. She recently finished her PhD at the University of Kentucky where her research focused on how insulin dysregulation influences different aspects of protein metabolism in horses and how dietary protein intake may impact insulin metabolism. Dr. Loos is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky, continuing her work in equine nutrition and physiology. Her current research program focuses on the relationship between whole-body protein metabolism and insulin dysregulation as well as optimizing protein feeding in horses, especially in relation to muscle development and metabolic diseases.
Dr. Loos came in contact with Cavalor back in 2013, right after she applied to graduate school at UK. Soon after, in early 2014, the Cavalor team and Dr. Loos completed their first research project together, which was the start of their successful collaboration. Besides research, Dr. Loos has been consulting and advising the Cavalor team since by providing educational materials and updates on the latest research.
Dr. Loos believes that great research is only possible through teamwork and bringing in experts from across the world rather than just one person on their own. This philosophy falls exactly in line with Cavalor’s vision for research and development. The Cavalor research program covers a broad range of topics and focuses on all aspects of equine health, not just nutrition. The collaboration with Cavalor has therefore opened a lot of doors and has given Dr. Loos a tremendous amount of opportunities to learn new skills while connecting with people around the world. Dr. Loos shares, “Cavalor is such a dynamic company with an incredibly motivated team that is not afraid to go after the unknown and ask the hard questions that allows them to offer the most unique products on the market. Similarly, I like to seek challenges to keep expanding my knowledge, and the experience I have gained through working with Cavalor has really allowed me to grow professionally.”
This is very different, especially because a lot of researchers are very protective of their work. However, both Cavalor and Dr. Loos believe the best work is done by pulling in different experts to design the best research projects or develop the most innovative products. Because of Cavalor’s global network and collaborations, they are able to do better research rather than being confined to one area or one location.
AN INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
Working with Cavalor has given Dr. Loos the opportunity to keep learning about different products and various aspects of the equine nutrition industry internationally. For example, Cavalor plays a major role in organizing the European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress hosted in Belgium or the Netherlands every other year. In collaboration with different universities in Europe, this conference brings together scientists from around the world to present the latest cutting-edge research that has been completed in the last few years. Dr. Loos says, “being able to attend this wonderful congress for several years now has definitely led to a lot of networking opportunities.”
Having a good network is essential as a scientist, in particular as an equine scientist. In the equine industry resources are often hard to come by and collaborations with other experts are the key to doing good science. Dr. Loos explains, “Being from Belgium, it is important to me to keep strong connections in Europe, in particular in my work with Cavalor, where I often form a bridge between the European and the US team and help with translating information.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
There are a lot of things that we don’t know yet and that we can still improve when it comes to horse health. This is what drives every researcher, to ask questions and search for new answers that hopefully lead to discoveries that can improve the well-being of horses. That is the purpose and the beauty of science.
Dr. Loos shares, “being able to ask any question you want is really what it is all about, both as a researcher and just a horse lover in general. To have that opportunity to go find an answer to one of the many questions we still have on horse health is a true privilege. And while some still see research in a bad light, truly, it’s such a unique way to make a difference and improve our horses’ quality of life”.
The innovations following new research allow for the opportunity to enhance horse health and performance. It is Dr. Loos’s goal to keep contributing to making a difference, whether that is in one horse’s life or in many horses’ lives. The more lives the better. Being able to do research allows her to work towards that goal and she is grateful for the opportunity.
INVESTING IN RESEARCH
While many scientists have great ideas and interesting questions to ask, the equine research industry is tough, oftentimes due to lack of funding opportunities. Dr. Loos explains, “animal research, especially with horses, is expensive and cost is very often a big reason that we can’t do everything we want. In contrast to many other species, equine scientists rely heavily on the support of the horse industry to fund projects.”
In recent years, horse owners and trainers have become more aware of the importance of research and the demand for science-based products is increasing.
Cavalor focuses on innovation and results and has therefore always valued the importance of scientifically proven products. They go the extra mile to provide proof that their products work and they have invested a great deal in research for many years.
As a company, Cavalor is unique in that they are not solely focused on the commercial side, and product-related research. They genuinely have an interest in improving our knowledge of all aspects of horse health and want to invest in enhancing our understanding of equine diseases, performance and nutrition. In the end, that benefits everyone, especially the horses.
Cavalor isn’t afraid to get out of their comfort zone. They are not afraid to ask the hard questions or to ask the questions that no one else has asked. They are willing to get out there and try the newest products but also utilize ingredients that perhaps no one has yet. Only by staying on the cutting-edge of research and striving for continuous innovation and improvement of our knowledge can a company stay as relevant as Cavalor. This is why Cavalor has been able to develop a complete feed, supplement and care line of unique and science-based products that really work.
And that is what the horse world needs. Cavalor is willing to go the extra mile and bring their team with them to pursue a well rounded and holistic understanding of horse health utilizing different ingredients, whether in feeds or supplements, to improve equine well-being and performance.
Worldwide, the Cavalor team works together daily to find answers to questions posed by the horse industry with the goal of ultimately giving the best advice possible that will ensure optimal health of the horse.