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Nutrition, Podcast, Sports Medicine

Purina Presents the 2014 Sporting Dog Summit

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Achieving a Performance Edge. This was the general topic addressed during two days of presentations by four leading experts in the fields of canine nutrition, sports medicine, rehabilitation and performance to an audience of sporting dog trainers, handlers, breeders and members of the sporting dog media.

The event was held at Purina’s beautiful Event Center in Gray Summit, Missouri from July 28th to 30th. I would like to thank Purina representative Pat Lamantia for inviting me (Strideaway) to participate.

Most of us know and are immensely appreciative of what Purina already does to support not only pointing dog field trials but also events throughout the country for retrievers, coonhounds, beagles and versatile hunting dogs. If you do not already know what a phenomenal company Purina is and what amazing people work there, this event can leave no doubt of their commitment to our sporting dogs, their dedication to canine nutrition and their pursuit of leading edge information on the overall health of all dogs, and in our case, that of our canine athletes.

From beginning to end, the 2014 Sporting Dog Summit — its presenters, its flawless organization, and the hospitality provided were absolutely top notch. Thanks to all at Purina who made this happen. (The last Sporting Dog Summit was held in 2002. Strideaway cohort Mazie Davis was in attendance.)

It is rare that our sport has been presented with such ground-breaking information that leads us to a greater understanding of our dogs, the potential of even higher levels of field trial performance and preventing injury in our dogs. How to incorporate this new information to current modes of training and trialing will be up to individuals. Some may find it difficult to change long-held habits and routines; others will take the challenge and be the first to discover the benefits of what they learned during the Summit.

Did you miss out on this great information by not being there? No! Purina videotaped the entire event. Stay tuned…we’ll let you know when it becomes available.

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Presenters: Dr. Jennell Appel, Dr. Brian Zanghi, Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, Dr. James “Jimi” Cook.

Here are short bios of the presenters and the topics of their two days of presentations. (republished from the booklet produced by Purina for the Summit):

Arleigh Reynolds, DVM, PhD, DACVN 
Dr. Arleigh Reynolds received his bachelor’s degree in 1983, his veterinary degree in 1986 and his doctorate degree in 1992 — all from Cornell University. He became board-certified in veterinary nutrition in 1996 and was assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Cornell from 1994 to 1998. He became a Senior Research Scientist at Purina in 1998. He is Director of the Purina research facility at Salcha, Alaska where he evaluates the impact of nutrition on the performance of sled dogs which, he says, are tremendous athletes that represent a good model for working dogs.

An avid sprint dog competitor, Dr. Reynolds has produced teams that have won five of the top three finishes in the Fur Rondezvous Open World Championship in Anchorage since 2009, including winning the 2013 and 2014  Championships. Since 2007, his sled dog team has earned seven top three finishes in the Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, winning the 2013 and 2014 Championships in undefeated racing seasons. Dr. Reynolds is a seven-time International Sled Dog Racing Association medalist, having won the Gold two times, and is the reigning International Federation of Sled Dog Sports World Champion.

Dr. Reynolds is also a very effective speaker. He is able to articulate his subject matter to those of us who share his passion for athletic dogs but lack his scientific background. Check out: Are Dogs the Ultimate Endurance Athlete?

Topics covered during the Summit:
• Periodizing Nutrition and Conditioning for Optimal Performance
• Exercise and Immune Function: Why Do My Dogs Only Get Sick When They Are Competing?
• Recovery Strategies for Optimizing Performance

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Dr. Arleigh Reynolds

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James L. “Jimi” Cook, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR

Dr. James L. “Jimi” Cook received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Florida State University in 1988, and then competed for five years as a professional water skier. He completed his veterinary degree in 1994 and his doctorate degree in 1998, both from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He became board-certified from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999 and a charter member of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2010, currently serving as its president. In 1999, he founded the Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory at the University of Missouri, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, veterinarians, engineers and basic scientists dedicated to translational orthopedic research. Dr. Cook has written more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, received over $20 million in research funding and been honored with numerous awards including America’s Best Veterinarian in 2007. He holds 14 U.S. patents and successfully steered three biomedical devices though Food and Drug Administration approval for human clinical trials. Along with his wife, Dr. Cristi Cook, a veterinarian radiologist at the University of Missouri, he is founding member of Be The Change Volunteers, a nongovernmental organization whose teams have built 26 schools in 14 developing countries, providing educational opportunities for more than 4,000 students.

Topics covered during the Summit:
• Musculoskeletal Development, Early Training and Injury Prevention in the Canine Athlete
• Treatment and Rehabilitation for Orthopedic Injuries in the Canine Athlete

Dr. James CookI asked Dr. Cook for a summary of some of the points made during the Summit: SA Podcast24_Dr. James Cook_2014 Purina Sporting Dog Summit





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Jennell Appel, DVM, CCRT

Dr. Jennell Appel has been involved in the field of canine rehabilitation with a special interest in canine athletics since 2002. After receiving her veterinarian degree from St. George’s University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008, she completed one year of clinical rotations at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Appel completed her certification as a canine rehabilitation therapist in 2009 from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and is currently pursuing board certification through the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She focuses on improving patient mobility and strength in combination with decreasing pain and inflammation due to orthopedic or neurologic injury, surgery, degenerative joint disease, and/or chronic pain. Dr. Appel currently is chief veterinary rehabilitation consultant for Biko Animal Physiotherapuetics. She founded the SportVet Canine Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Mobile Clinic in 2013, which allows her to treat canine athletes in the field during agility trials, field trials and hunt tests. She also speaks regularly on injury prevention and conditioning at canine athletic seminars.

Topic covered during the Summit:
• Recognition and Treatment of Soft-Tissue Injuries in the Field

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Brian Zanghi, PhD

Dr. Brian Zanghi joined Purina in 2006, bringing his academic expertise from the University of Kentucky, where he earned a doctorate degree in animal science studying companion animal protein nutrition to evaluate digestion and absorption mechanisms. Among his personal interests, Dr. Zanghi enjoys the training and performance of Labrador Retrievers and was intimately involved in starting a United Kennel Club Hunting Retriever Club in Kentucky during his doctorate program. Since joining Purina, Dr. Zanghi has been studying canine exercise physiology, canine cognition and behavior, and the role nutrition plays in optimizing the performance of active dogs and in helping to maintain overall health for adult and older pets. This research led to the recent launch of the Purina Pro Plan SPORT PRIME and ReFUEL nutritional supplement bars for active dogs and the Purina Pro Plan P5 app designed for tracking canine training and exercise progress, Dr. Zanghi has written several peer-reviewed publications on the scientific research of adult and senior dogs’ locomotor activity patterns, body composition and cognition.

Topic covered during the Summit:
• Metabolic and Nutritional Priming for Canine Performance

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Thanks again to Purina for giving those of us at the Summit the opportunity to meet and spend time with these wonderful people who so enthusiastically shared their wealth of knowledge.

The Summit also provided a long awaited opportunity to meet some of the people at Purina who up till then, I only knew via email or telephone conversations — Bob West, Gail Inman, and Melissa Miller. Also in attendance were others I only knew from afar  — Strideaway contributor Tom Davis, Bernie Matthys (the younger) from the American Field, Mark Herwig from Quail/Pheasants Forever, Ted Gartner from Garmin International, Jake Smith from Pointing Dog Journal, Matt Soberg from the Ruffed Grouse Society and Steve Snell from Gun Dog Supply. In attendance were field trial friends/Strideaway contributors Sherry Ebert, Sean Derrig, Robin Gates, John Stolgitis as well as Delmar, Rick and Ronnie Smith. I made lots of new acquaintances from other sporting dog areas and met so many other wonderful people from Purina.

Though spare time was limited, I managed to get a few interviews. Next up: podcast with Dr. Arleigh Reynolds. Coming soon: podcasts with Sherry Ebert (on Tomoka), Delmar Smith (who celebrated his 88th birthday), and Stacy Perkins.

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Joe Sivewright, President and COO, Nestlé Purina PetCare — North America
welcoming everyone to the Summit.

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Short breaks provided people with the opportunity for some one on one.

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Police K9 Demo!

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Dr. Jennell Appel demonstrates stretching techniques. 

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Some familiar faces watching the demos.

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K9 athletics by the Pro Plan Performance Team!

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Rick Smith, Bob West and Ronnie Smith presenting Delmar Smith with a
cake to celebrate his 88th birthday!



Running Dog


Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present — amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend, Bill Allen who passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on January 25, 2022 at the age of 96. We will miss him but he left us the greatest of gifts, his wonderful writings in a book we published for the 3rd time in 2021: The Unforgettables and Other True Fables.

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