Kick on for Koalas, a fundraiser for relief efforts benefitting those affected and displaced by the devastating Australian bushfires, is underway today in Ocala at Barnstaple South. In addition to clinic opportunities from top riders who are donating their time, our friends at Haygain have donated a HG600 hay steamer to the cause.
The steamer up for grabs holds approximately a half-bale of hay, is easily portable, and retails for $1,749. Entries will be collected by event photographer Deborah Windsor on site, and the winner will be announced during closing ceremonies. The steamer will be shipped or can be delivered if the winner lives in the Ocala area.
Kick On for Koalas was instigated by Canadian Olympian and longtime hay steaming believer, Selena O’Hanlon. She is one of the top riders donating their time giving lessons; the roster of volunteer coaches also includes fellow steamers Lauren Kieffer and Buck Davidson, plus Lesley Grant-Law, Scott Keach and Dom Schramm.
Selena took a tip from the top in adding high temperature steamed hay to her horses’ routine. It came from Sir Mark Todd, the six-time New Zealand Olympian designated by the International Equestrian Federation as its “Rider of the 20th Century.”
Selena and her longtime top international partner Foxwood High were stabled at Todd’s base in England while prepping for the Badminton Horse Trials in 2014. Todd was one of the first to embrace Haygain steamed hay as a means to protect and improve equine respiratory health. It also adds water to the diet for improved digestive function and its good taste entices even picky eaters.
In the case of Foxwood High, aka “Woody,” he was initially fed haylage at Todd’s farm, but Selena noticed the big horse was not eating very much of it. His appetite improved significantly once he began steamed hay, and he stayed on it for the next three weeks before Badminton. That alone sold Selena and her mother, Morag, an extremely experienced horsewoman, on steaming’s benefits.
At their base, the Datta family’s 100-acre farm in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the O’Hanlons have seen steamed hay help all their horses. “Over time, we’ve had a few horses with allergies and Haygain steamed hay has made a big difference,” Selena reports. “We’ve seen a lot less coughing.”
Haygain high-temperature hay steaming was developed 11 years ago in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural University in the U.K. The process drastically reduces dust, mold, fungi and dust found in even top quality, most expensive hay. These breathable irritants are the main cause of Inflammatory Airway Disease. IAD and other conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum affect a surprising high percentage of active sporthorses, often without obvious symptoms. A recent study of 700-plus active sporthorses found that 88% of them had IAD, and that feeding Haygain Steamed Hay reduced the risk of IAD by 65%.
Visit “Kick On For Koalas eventing fundraising clinic” on Facebook for more information. See schedule below. For more information on Haygain, visit www.haygain.com. The host location is Barnstable South, in the Ocala area’s Moriston (10800 NW 145th Ave, Moriston, FL, 32668).