Horse feed plan in place for World Equestrian Games

June 26, 2010

The regulation of imported horse feed has proven a challenge to organisers as the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games loom.

With about 700 horses from dozens of countries anticipated for the event, an elaborate plan has been formed to ensure there's as little disruption to their normal feeding programme as possible.

In the United States, federal agencies require that all products containing plant material be inspected prior to importation to make sure no viable seeds from foreign plants enter the country.

According to Kentucky Equine Research (KER) president Joe Pagan, PhD, because of this concern, teams will not be able to import their own hay or forage for the competition. KER, the designated vendor for horse feed and bedding at the 2010 Alltech WEG, will be providing hay for the horses. The timothy hay that will be available is the same product KER has provided to horses at the last four Olympic Games.

When it comes to concentrate feeds, riders will have a variety of options that will allow them to maintain their horses on the exact same feeds, or similar products produced within the United States.

As long as they have acquired the necessary permits from the USDA, riders who choose to import their horses' exact feeds can do so, as long as they have paperwork on file with the USDA/FDA.

For those that don't wish to import their own feeds, KER will provide custom feeds that mirror the products normally fed to these animals at home.

This process will ensure that the horses competing in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are able to focus on performing at their best, without having to compensate for a sudden change in feed.

In 2000, KER was tapped to be the official nutritionist of the United States Equestrian Federation and holds the same distinction for the Australian Equestrian Team.