Mary E. Miller Chair of Excellence in Equine Health

 Dr. Holly Spooner
Dr. Holly Spooner

The Mary E. Miller Chair of Excellence in Equine Health is one of 100 Chairs of Excellence in the Tennessee Higher Education System. It is housed at Middle Tennessee State University, in the School of Agriculture Horse Science Center. 

The purpose of the Mary E. Miller Chair in Equine Health is to enhance equine health through research and teaching. The Chair Holder funds are used to support the Clinical Specialist in Equine Health.   In this role, the Chair extends knowledge to the horse industry through research and teaching and collaborates on equine health studies with veterinarians  and equine scientists nationwide. Seminars, professional papers, and periodicalarticles will be used to reach the industry.  The Clinical Specialist position was filled in August 2012 with Dr. Holly Spooner. 

Since her arrival in 2012, Dr. Spooner continues to make an impact on the Horse Science Program. She instructs several undergraduate and graduate courses in her area of equine exercise physiology as well as in stable management, events management, and equine evaluation and selection.  Dr. Spooner is the Graduate Director for the M.S. in Horse Science program and is currently chairing the graduate committee for seven M.S. students and serves on the committee of four additional students.

Dr. Spooner continues to have high research productivity. She investigates the use of vibration therapy for improving bone density in the equine athlete, as well as its influence on biomechanics, and conducts research into the long-term impact of furosemide administration, a controversial topic in the racing industry. Dr. Spooner has recently investigated the perception of owners and participants on welfare practices in the stock horse discipline, and is currently investigating factors influencing youth involvement in the horse industry.  Dr. Spooner and her graduate students recently presented 4 abstracts at the 2017 Equine Science Society Symposium, where she was also named the Equine Science Society‚Äôs 2017 Outstanding Young Professional. 

Dr. Spooner provides key industry leadership, serving on the board of the Tennessee Stock Horse Association, TN Pony of the Americas Club, the AQHA Equine Research Committee, and as a Director of the American Youth Horse Council. Dr. Spooner also coaches the MTSU Stock Horse team, 2017 ASHA Division II Reserve National Champions. She was selected by the American Quarter Horse Association to instruct International Horsemanship Clinics in both 2015 and 2017, with outreach to 6 countries.  Her industry outreach also includes educational programs for numerous breed and discipline groups as well as UT Extension.

Dr. Spooner brings a solid background of teaching, research and industry outreach that continues to enhance the Chair. Additional corpus and or interest would help with further research funding.

For more information about Dr. Spooner, visit: