Horse Racing

Two-day horse nutrition, safety seminar – a success

Observer writer

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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A nutrition and safety seminar on the care for horses left most of those in attendance gaining more knowledge and with a better idea of how to keep and care for their horses especially in the area of nutrition.

The two-day seminar, which was sponsored by the local promoting company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) and Nutramix, was held at Caymanas Park. The seminar was well attended by a cross section of racing professionals on both days (Thursday, August 16 and Friday, August 17).

The guest lecturer for the two days of the seminar was Dr Randel Raub, senior vice-president of the Kentucky Equine Research.

Raub, who is the former director of Research and Marketing for Hubband Feed, an Alltech Company, spoke on several subject areas including – the handling of horses; equipment; catching the horse; leading the horse; grooming; saddling and bridling; mounting and dismounting; transportation; preventing the spread of diseases; enhancing performance in racehorses and nutrition and feeding for speed.

“I got an invitation from SVREL and Nutramix. They asked if I would be interested in coming down and talking to the racehorse trainers and grooms and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for me to come and see if we can do a better job that what we are today.

“I like to think that the seminar was important to the trainers and grooms to get a better understanding about nutrition and the safety and handling of the horse. So, I think it was important and I hope that the participants appreciated and enjoyed it. I hope that it was beneficial for all,” Raub told the Supreme Racing Guide.

During one of his presentations Dr Raub, stressed the importance of nutrition for horses.

“Nutrition is so important to an athlete, it is also important to you and we on the human side are always talking about how important nutrition is for health and well-being, the same thing applies for the horse.

“If you are an athlete, a high-level athlete, nutrition can make or break your athletic career, there's no question about it, ,” said Raub, who was a director of research and new product development for the American horse business group of Land O' Lakes.

Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta attended the seminar and had this to say: “Very informative. Unfortunately, the problem is that most of the products that guest speaker, Dr Randel Raub spoke about are not available here in Jamaica. So, while the talk was very useful to the listener, to adequately apply his ideas, the products that are not available will have to become available. Separate and apart from that, the seminar was welcomed, and instructive in most areas he touched upon.”

For trainer Howard McLeod, the seminar was informative, while admitting that he learnt a lot from the presentations.

“I must say it was a very productive morning of information on horse care through nutrition and the production of it. On the nutrition side, it was good to know what goes into the system of the horse to make them competitive and healthy and to also keep them safe from colic by improper feeding quantities.

“The seminar was very clear on maintaining animal health by giving them adequate amounts by weights by knowing rather than by guesswork. It also gave strong pointers of steps to take with feeding the horse on the day he/she is scheduled to race.

“I cannot recall everything all that was said by Dr Raub but he was enlightening and prompted trainers to become more accurate on nutrition given by weight.

“It was also good not only to know the types of feed to give to the horse but also what went into its preparation and stressed the value of hay against feed to a horse's diet,” McLeod said.

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