We enjoy the first Saturday of May here at LaBudde. We start checking into what horses have made the line up and what kind of lineage each horse comes from. We are by no means horse experts, but we thoroughly enjoy the fanfare and pageantry of Churchill Downs.
Why do we get so interested? Part of the excitement is because we help feed so many of the entries each season. Beet Pulp is a key ingredient in many race horse feed blends. We specially screen and prepare a product that is uniform in size to help make a quality feed that fuels these racing beauties.
Our streak continues this year as Justify pulled out a win in a very talented group of horses. He enjoyed a mix that includes Premium Screened Shreds marketed by LaBudde Group Inc. 8 of the last 10 Kentucky Derby Winners have be fed with feed blends that include Beet Pulp shreds.
Race horses and many other competitive animals are fed much like human athletes. Special diets are prepared for them to make sure they have the energy, protein, and minerals needed for recovering from races and building up muscles. Animal Nutrition has been studied at Universities around the world for a long time. As new byproducts are introduced, feed studies and trials are run at university farms to determine the nutrient value and what is the best inclusion rates for them.
Like human nutrition, it is always changing. New discoveries and advancements in science give us new paths to feeding animals. Gone are the days “a scoop of corn, and a slab of hay” for each cow at milking time. Now feed blends are a gourmet blend of regulated byproducts and home grown forages and corn to fuel a race horse or a dairy cow.
I have always joked with people that our cows ate better than we did at home. A nutritionist developed a formula or “casserole” for each cow of corn, protein blend, fat and mineral supplements, and a hay/silage mix. Race horses are handled with even more care. The blend needs to give them enough energy to perform, but not too much energy to make them founder or get sore feet.
Beet pulp is fantastic that way for horses. It provides a highly digestible feed, offering needed fiber and also a touch of energy. This helps fuel them around the last quarter mile into the home stretch at Churchill Downs while the mint julep fueled crowd cheers them on and continue this 144 year tradition.