We asked Kim Priori of Vitruvian Bloodstock to talk to us about their filly, Bridget who recently topped the 2020 Goffs UK Silver Yearling sale, from a 800gns (£840) foal purchase to a £12,000 yearling.
The yearling sales calendar may have been greatly truncated by Covid-19, but the approach that we take at Vitruvian Bloodstock to ensure we offer the best possible product, does not.
Feed is the single most pivotal aspect to a horse’s performance both on the racecourse, but also in preparation and performance within the sales ring.
Kimberley at Vitruvian Bloodstock purchased Bridget as a foal. Her pedigree dictated that she would be an mid 2yo maturing horse, as the daughter of War Command and out of a winning daughter of a leading sire of sprinters and prolific Thoroughbred stallion, Dark Angel.
Thoroughbreds have undergone generations of selective breeding, and are bred to withstand the demands of a training career. Flat racing, in particular, commences in their 2nd year of life, which predisposes them to maturing skeletally and mentally, in time with the juvenile career start they are bred for.
Despite her biological and familial propensity to come to hand as a 2 year old, all youngstock still require a sound nutritional plane to enjoy a varied but focused prep and address any nutritional gaps in their environment or disposition.
The dangers of overfeeding can produce deleterious consequences, namely the overloading of growth plates (the joints which must seal fully prior to undertaking exerting physical efforts) as well as the ‘overtopping’ that can make a horse appear to have too much condition and appear rather unsightly. Further, we sought a youngstock balancer for the initial stages of prep that would focus her in her daily work and not produce excitable behaviour, as is expected with a youngster and some starch-rich grain feeds.
Conversely, it was critical to include enough quality substrates, so that her condition and that her calorie intake was enough to meet the demands of adapting to her new home, being walked in-hand on a daily basis, undergoing general daily checks and the new stimuli that is standard at a busy hunter and competition yard, Squirrel Lodge Hunters and Livery.
Feed volume is another factor that we always consider with great care; it was crucial that she enjoyed enough quality forage aside from her grain and haylage rations. Oil (fat) supplementation by way of SPILLERS™ Alfalfa-Pro Fibre, imparts a calming yet focusing effect on horses, including the coat shine and condition. When all of the above is executed correctly, they are factors which are highly advantageous in distinguishing a horse in the sales ring.
Every horse is an individual and we soon addressed that Bridget would now benefit from the progression from the SPILLERS™ Gro N' Win™ Stud Balancer to SPILLERS™ Stud and Youngstock Mix, particularly as she took a little longer to come to hand in terms of putting on weight and condition, in tandem with the demands of an incremental workload and her forthcoming, varied 12-week sales prep programme.
As her prep progressed and so did her calorie intake and feed volume, we decided that we would increase the amounts of her Alfalfa-Pro Fibre intake across her already 4 x daily feeds. It already served as a quality protein in her forage ration alone (along with Stud and Youngstock Mix) to strengthen and increase her musculature, which will serve her enormously as a racehorse next Spring.
Alfalfa is often hailed as one of the 3 ‘superfibres’ of the equine forage diet. SPILLERS™ Alfalfa-Pro is a pleasantly-scented and palatable, soft short-chop fibre, that beats any of the other stalkier alternative brands we have sampled before.
At Vitruvian Bloodstock, we aim to prep our Thoroughbreds and our Sport Horse stock to be as sound as possible for their future careers; to nurture their individual characters and to feel that they tackle any task in which their masters ask of them, with full confidence and honesty - but above all, to thoroughly enjoy their work and being a horse! The SPILLERS Apple Treats were positively ordered by the pallet-load and given after work to reward her good work (essentially every day).
They are also an excellent bribe for encouraging Bridget and the rest of the yard to box and shoe!
After an extended season whereby our particular sale was delayed due to travel restrictions and further Covid ramifications, we were thrilled by her reception when selling day arrived. She showed and walked beautifully for all of her prospective purchasers, with regal outlook, as a result of the sound nutritional plane that Karon and the Spillers Thoroughbred team expertly advised us with.
Bridget received multiple and repeat inspections from an esteemed brace of trainers, bloodstock agents, auction and veterinary personnnel, with nearly all generously commenting on what an excellent preparation she had received, courtesy of our star Sarah Fuller at Squirrel Lodge Hunters and the SPILLERS™ horse feeds range.
Our filly proudly topped the 2020 Goffs UK Silver Yearling sale, from a 800gns (£840) foal purchase to a £12,000 yearling purchase by esteemed and Group-winning trainer Tony Coyle and owner Mr. David Bishop.
We thoroughly recommend and continue to feed SPILLERS™ for all our youngstock and sport horse feed requirements.
Thank you sincerely to our friend and Thoroughbred nutritionist Karon Brown, and the outstanding team.
Get in touch with your local Thoroughbred Nutritionist today:
Karon Brown (North & Scotland)
07860 955 719
Charlotte Mitchell (East)
07776 248 957
Kay Scriven (West & N.I)
07817 132 678