Double H Farm is well known for its outstanding jumpers. How did you come to put your horses on a whole food diet?
Quentin: Last season, we had a horse that was suffering from severe stomach ulcers. Our veterinarian, Dr. Tim Ober, suggested that we should try to feed the horse a whole foods diet. After seeing the great turn around in that horse’s condition, we decided to switch all of our horses to BioStar’s whole food program. Beyond the terrific results that whole foods offered that horse, we really liked the idea of removing unnecessary and potentially harmful additives from our horses diet.
You work closely with Dr. Ober. What kind of feedback has he given you on how your horses are doing on whole foods?
Quentin: Recently, Dr. Ober came to do a check up on all of our horses before the new competition season gets underway. He remarked that all of our horses looked to be in “fantastic condition” and that all of the horses at our stable along with others who are on a whole food diet have, in his opinion, improved since starting their regimen.
What differences have you noticed since changing to whole food and BioStar?
Quentin: As far as general appearance all of our horses – foals to grand prix horses – look fantastic. They are well muscled with shiny coats and happy dispositions. We have found that our horses seem to recover better from strenuous work, have a more even energy and increased stamina levels from day to day. Also, the horses that have specific health issues have a BioStar program that is more fine tuned and have noticibly benefited from the change in diet.
Was it difficult to change your horses from commercial feed to whole food?
Quentin: We found that the transition from commercial feed to whole foods was very simple and easy for our horses. We were able to get all of the feed from our local feed store and because the whole foods are so easily palatable for the horses, we did not worry about them having a bad reaction to the new feed. Tigger Montague, of BioStar EQ was extremely helpful in figuring out an individual feed program for each horse and supplied us with everything we needed.
Your horse, Night Train, has been a top performer. Can you tell us a little about him and some of his successes in 2009?
Quentin: Night Train is a ten year old French bred Zangersheide gelding by Calvaro Z, out of Hermione Rouge, who is by Papillion Rouge. In 2009 Night Train won the $125,000 Hits on the Hudson Grand Prix, the $75,000 World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix of Tampa and the $25,000 Grand Prix of Old Salem. He was second in the Nations Cup in Wellington (representing Ireland), third in the $200,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix and third in the CSI*** Grand Prix of Vidauban. France. He qualified and competed in the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, as well as the European Championships. He was one of only two horses to jump a double clear round in the Nations Cup of Falsterbo, Sweden, helping the Irish team win the Nations Cup.
He sounds like a fierce competitor!
Quentin: To make up for his small size, Night Train has a bit of a cocky attitude. He is not difficult or mean spirited, but he expects to be the boss and will let you know if he feels like he is not getting his way. Whether in the field or in the show ring, he is all business.
We’ve heard about some of the organic farming initiatives undertaken at your farm in Connecticut. Can you tell us more about how this came to be and what this means to you?
Quentin: From approximately 1965 to 2000, our farm in Ridgefield, CT was an organic dairy farm who’s owners were very committed to maintaining a ecological friendly and environmentally sustainable property. When we moved to the farm in 2005, we wanted to continue that legacy by choosing to use environmentally friendly products and practices in our barn and on our property as a whole. We truly believe this is the best way to preserve and maintain the integrity and health of the land as well as the animals and humans living on it.
How does whole food and BioStar fit into the maintenance and preparation of a top athlete like Night Train?
Quentin: We really like that the whole food and BioStar program is a long term full body health regiment – not a quick fix treatment. Night Train’s diet has been tuned to keep him at a high level of fitness so that on important show days all we have to do is give him a few extra Optimum bars and Star Maker before he shows, and a few extra Tum-Ease and StarLyte after. It is a simple program, but it seems to be very effective even for a horse at the top level of the sport.
What would you say to other riders or barns considering making a switch to whole food?
Quentin: We are very happy with the decision to switch our horses to whole foods and BioStar. We all feel that our horses are healthier, happier and better prepared to do what we ask of them. We would invite anyone who is considering switching their horses to a whole foods program to stop by Double H Farm, or visit us at the Double H website and see for themselves the difference that BioStar can make.
ABOUT QUENTIN JUDGE
Quentin, 24, originally from Chicago IL, is now a resident of Ridgefield, CT and Wellington, FL. He has spent his junior and professional career working for various professionals, developing young horses and learning the trade. In 2006, he moved to Valkenswaard, The Netherlands to work for the renowned Stal Tops stable. Upon returning to the USA, he worked for a year under Margie Goldstein-Engle, showing the young horses from Hidden Creek Farm, winning the champion and reserve championship in the 2008 young horse futurity. 2010 will be Quentin’s first season with a full string of show horses, all of which will be benefiting from a whole foods program!
ABOUT CAYCE HARRISON
Cayce, 27, is a resident of Ridgefield, CT and Wellington, FL, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She had a successfull junior career winning such accolades as Small Junior Hunter horse of the year, North American Young Rider individual gold medalist and top placing in the Nation’s equitation championships. She graduated to the Amateur Owner and Grand Prix ranks, receiving top placings on National and International Grand Prix on her top mount “Coeur” and also being awarded the Maxine R Beard award, given to young grand prix riders who show promise of representing their country internationally. Outside of the horse world, Cayce enjoys photography and spending time with her two dogs.