With less than two-weeks to the start of the Longines Global Champions Tour 2018 our preparations are well under way.
This is the fourth year that Connolly’s RED MILLS have been the official feed and nutrition partner for the LGCT (Mexico, Miami and Shanghai) providing a consistent, quality supply of performance horse feed at each leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
The global availability of Connolly’s RED MILLS means that horses can stay on the same trusted diet for the duration of the competition.
In addition to the feed, this is the second year that our partner supplement company Foran Equine will be the official supplement partner, working with the LGCT team to ensure all horses receive the complete nutritional offering and care while on the tour.
We don’t just provide the feed and supplements, we also provide nutritional support. I’ll be there in Mexico to support the teams of grooms and riders as they settle the horses into their new environment.
In fact, our support starts much earlier, I have spent the last number of weeks contacting the competitors to make sure that we have everything they need at the venues.
Travelling can be a stressful time, not only do the horses’ have to fly to each event but they also must do three days in quarantine on arrival. Altitude must also be taken into consideration, the majority of horses will be travelling from low altitude levels to the high altitude in Mexico City, before returning back down to sea level to compete at Miami.
Following their time in quarantine they will have three exercise days, followed then by the three days of competition. There is then 2 weeks of recovery before they do it all again at the next destination.
It takes a huge amount of planning and organisation to ensure both the feed and nutritional supplements are waiting for the horses on their arrival. The supplement products available are suited to the environment of the event.
It takes 6 weeks from the time the order is placed to the arrival of the feed at the event. It is shipped via containers with a variety of product options, from high energy to low energy feeds. The innovative RED MILLS NFMS (nutrient fresh management system) packaging uses natural preservation to maintain perfect freshness in horse feed products for up to 12 months – vastly extending the shelf life of each product. This means that no matter where in the world you open a bag of Connolly’s RED MILLS feed, it will be as fresh as the day it was made here in Goresbridge, Ireland.
Our Export Team work hard to ensure the smooth delivery of all the feed and supplement products
- Ensuring clearance documents and necessary paper work are in place for each country
- Ensuring that the products arrive on time
- The feed is only allowed to arrive on-site 1 day before the event – precision timing is critical
It is vital that time is allowed for your horse to transition onto the feed before the event. I would advise a transition period of 2-3 weeks before travel. This then ensures that you are removing change of diet stress from an already stressful period for your horse.
- A change in diet is difficult for a horse. Always make changes in the diet ahead of travel. This will then remove the change of diet stress.
- Quarantine is a tough time for horses. They are only allowed to be hand walked. It would be best to have them on a low energy, slow release feed programme. Keep starch and energy levels low.
- Always allow free access to forage and water.
- Ensuring that your horse is drinking an adequate supply of water is important, therefore the use of electrolytes can be beneficial.
- During periods of stress such as flying and a busy show schedule the rate of oxidative stress in a horse is higher. The reduction of oxidative stress can be managed through effective supplementation of antioxidants. Foran Equines V.S.L., Vitamin E Supplement and Muscle Max contain powerful antioxidants which are particularly useful during these periods.