All horses benefit from having a strong, healthy immune system. That’s important for horses of all ages, but it’s especially important for pregnant mares and their newborn foals.
AQHA breeder Nancy Sue Ryan stumbled on the benefits of supporting a healthy immune system through digestive health with the mares in her breeding program. She found that promoting good digestive health – including good nutrient absorption – can mean a healthy immune system, and stronger, healthier mares that produce all-important colostrum rich in immunoglobulin (IgG).
Feeding SUCCEED for Mare Health at Show Stop Farm
In order to get an in-the-barn perspective, we spoke with Nancy Sue, an NSBA Hall of Fame Rider, AQHA hunter-under-saddle trainer, breeder, and judge who has won several World Championships, and her daughter, Courtney Suzanne Ryan.
Nancy Sue runs a large-scale breeding operation in Nocona, Texas. Show Stop Farm is one of the top hunter-under-saddle breeding farms in the country, having bred more than 55 Congress and World Champions or Reserve Champions. Nancy Sue is a SUCCEED sponsored trainer, and has been using SUCCEED on her show horses for six years. A few years ago, she decided to try her broodmares on it.
According to her daughter Courtney, an AQHA competitor and breeding expert in her own right, the broodmares “really bloomed. Our broodmares live outside until just prior to foaling, but their coats shined like show horses,” she says. “You could just tell that they were getting all of the nutrients they needed from their feed and from SUCCEED—and we hadn’t changed anything else except to add SUCCEED.”
The Benefit of SUCCEED on Mare Colostrum
When it came time to deliver the first round of babies, the Ryans noticed something else: these mares were also producing an excellent quality colostrum just prior to foaling.
Colostrum is a form of milk produced by all mammals in late pregnancy. Colostrum contains antibodies, including IgG, which are essential for establishing the immune health of the newborn, protecting it from disease. High levels of colostrum IgG are vital for a newborn foal’s health. Strong colostrum IgG levels in mares mean healthier foals with robust immune systems: a win-win result for any breeder or trainer.
Professional breeding farms like Show Stop routinely test the levels of antibodies in the blood to be sure a mare is producing high-quality colostrum IgG, as foals must ingest it within a few hours for maximum immunity benefits. Mares having their digestive health and wellness supported by SUCCEED had beneficial colostrum IgG levels.
Research Supports Show Stop’s Hands-On Results
More information about SUCCEED and colostrum production came out later that year in the 2006 study by Franklin L. Pellegrini, DVM, and Scott Carter, PhD. This clinical trial showed that SUCCEED did in fact support IgG levels in mares’ colostrum if added to their dietary program for 90 days prior to foaling. Research shows that mares with healthy immune systems produce high-quality colostrum. Pellegrini concluded that the effects of SUCCEED on mares’ immune systems and digestive systems promoted colostrum production with healthy levels of IgG.
Veterinarians may read the complete study in the SUCCEED Veterinary Center.
How SUCCEED Benefits Show Stop Farm’s Breeding Program
This year’s group of two-year-olds is the first full crop of foals whose dams were taking SUCCEED. Nancy Sue Ryan says it’s “the biggest and strongest foal crop we’ve ever started.” She also notes that they vaccinate regularly and take good care of their horses, but says she feels SUCCEED has made a big difference in the success of Show Stop Farm’s breeding program.
The research from Pellegrini and Carter’s study supports Nancy Sue’s theory. Previous efforts to support a mare’s immunity with vitamins, minerals or stimulatory compounds have interfered with the horse’s overall health. In addition to beta glucan, a constituent of the oat flour in SUCCEED known to support immune health, SUCCEED ingredients provide a balanced, natural approach that focuses on nutrition and overall wellness. A healthy digestive tract enhances horses’ physical performance, and body condition by making sure horses can absorb the nutrients they need for overall health.
For more information about using SUCCEED as part of a breeding program or with individual broodmares, contact Freedom Health, or try it with your mares risk-free for 60 days by taking the SUCCEED Challenge.