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Feeding fibre for performance

2.1.2017 - We've teamed up with Somerset-based Nuumed which manuactures fantastic saddle pads, among other things. You can read my second blog for them feeding fibre for performance, here.

Or take a look below. 


Feeding fibre for performance – written by Jeremy Scott

For a racehorse to perform to its ability its needs the right type of fuel and in the right quantities to allow for maximum effort.

In its natural state a horse, like most herbivores, will eat little and often, constantly nibbling away.

However, when a horse is in training, the energy intake, fed in the form of carbohydrates (grain) will increase and this will be fed as part of its daily ration – in our case four times a day at 6am, 12.30pm, 5pm and 11pm.

As a horse is a natural trickle feeder, it still needs to have constant access to roughage (hay/haylage) in order to keep its gut healthy.

At Holworthy Farm, our aim is to reproduce the way a horse naturally feeds are far as possible, while at the same upping the energy intake, so they are fed ad lib haylage or hay, depending on the horse.

A common problem in racing is that horses do not consume enough calories to maintain their optimal weight and they will self-limit their intake. With rigorous training schedules and the fact that some thoroughbreds expend a lot of nervous energy it can be a challenge to provide adequate nutrition to horses in training.

The key, and why feeding horses is so often referred to as an art, is getting the balance right between the energy you feed and the roughage. By feeding our horses four times they are presented with smaller meals and this can act as a stimulus and encourage them to eat.

Also, by keeping their stomachs healthy the number of horses with stomach ulcers  is reduced. That said, we do still have horses that have this problem. We scoped a few recently choosing those that we felt weren’t doing as well on their feed and others that had a nervous disposition. Interestingly, we had more cases of ulcers in the horses with a more nervous disposition than the fussy eaters.

Giving horses high energy feed on an empty stomach can increase the risk of stomach ulcers so in order to reduce this from occurring we will mix alfalfa with their first morning feed as an additional source of fibre. This will reduce the effect of acid on an empty stomach. Many racing yards will give a hard feed in the morning, then exercise and then provide roughage but we do not feel this is conducive to keeping them healthy inside.

We also adapt the feed according to the horse and overfeeding is almost worse than underfeeding because of the various associated problems. When we trained County Derry he would tie up so we worked closely with Spillers horse feeds to devise a diet that was high fibre (roughage) low starch (carbohydrate) as the grain increased his chance of tying up. 

Novice hurdle goes Ellen’s Way

1.1.2017 - Ellen’s Way’s win at Warwick in the 2m5f novice hurdle on New Year’s Eve was the perfect conclusion to 2016. I actually had a bet onher, something I very rarely do, as I considered she had plenty going for her as she wants soft ground anda trip. 

She looked beaten approaching the penultimate flight, but she’s a true stayer and rallied well under Nick Scholfield to get up by a head from Copper Kay.

After a tough race, we’re in no hurry to run her again quickly, and her future is very much over fences. 

Happy New Year - and weekend runners!

30.12.16 - We have a busy weekend with six runners split between Warwick tomorrow and Exeter on New Year’s Day.

At Warwick, Blue April (Matt Griffiths) runs in the Local Parking Security Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. He works beautifully at home but isn’t showing the same on the track as yet. Ellen’s Way (Nick Scholfield) goes in the LPS British Stallions Studs EBF Mares National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle where she steps up in trip after her run at Exeter two weeks ago where she was far from disgraced, finishing 14 lengths in seventh in a very competitive mares’ race. Moorlands Jack (Matt Griffiths) is in the LPS Handicap Chase. He’s won twice at the track before and is entitled to run his race. 

Day of Roses (Robert Hawker), Gonnabegood (Matt Griffiths) and Rescued Glory (Liam Heard) all run in Exeter’s Passage House Inn Topsham National Hunt Novices Hurdle on Sunday. It’s a competitive race with Neon Wolf an indication of the caliber of the race. Day of Roses makes his seasonal return having run at Exeter in February when he was seventh of 8 in a novice hurdle.

Gonnabegood has his third start over hurdles and we are hoping for a confidence giving round for Rescued Glory who fell last time out at Exeter in a 2m7f handicap hurdle when travelling well at the time. 

Chasing win for Kid Kalanisi

27.12.16 - Kid Kalanisi scored his first success over fences at Fontwell on Boxing Day in the Southern Cranes Access Handicap Chase. It was a super ride from Nick Scholfield who rode a patient race and delivered him after the last to win by half a length. We expect more to come now that he has opened his account over fences.

We have a busy few days coming up with plenty of entries at Taounton, Haydock Park, Warwick and Exeter.

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Jeremy Scott
Holworthy Farm
Brompton Regis

T: 01398 371414
M: 07709 279483

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