Tom Foran and Daphne Thompson, the power couple behind Foran Performance Horses in Burbank, California, both grew up right in the city of Los Angeles. But that didn’t stop either one from spending every possible minute they could with horses while they were young.
Tom’s father was the Hollywood actor and singer Dick Foran, an excellent horseman who parlayed his love of horses into a career acting in westerns. Dick Foran bought Tom a horse at a ranch close to the city where Tom often watched the stock horses work. Tom spent his younger years trying his best to make his own little horse run, spin and slide.
Years later, when Tom graduated from the University of Southern California, he found that there still wasn’t much else he wanted to do except train reining horses — so after learning the ropes working for other trainers, he opened his own business in 1999. Now he trains, competes, judges and does clinics for horse people ranging from beginners to World Champions.
Daphne, who describes herself as “horse-crazy since birth,” competed in hunter-jumpers until her early twenties, when she says she found herself getting curious about other disciplines. Then she “met Tom, we got engaged, and now I rein,” she says with a laugh. Despite only having about three years of experience under her belt, Daphne (who also still shows hunter-jumpers) is currently ranked one of the top 20 professionals in the National Reining Horse Association. “I basically had to relearn much of what I knew about riding when I started reining — but at least I had plenty of show pen experience, so I was able to find a balance where the two disciplines complement each other nicely,” she says.
Together, Tom and Daphne offer a well-balanced, cross-discipline approach to clients based out of the 88-acre Los Angeles Equestrian Center, situated next to Disney and Warner Brothers in Burbank. They also keep a full barn at their home, where they stand 6 studs and a large band of accompanying broodmares and babies.
“California has historically been a strong place for breeding, with lots of Hall of Fame horses coming from here,” Daphne says. “Due to the price of property in California, that industry has kind of tapered off. We’re excited to help bring that back.”
Introducing SUCCEED into the Foran Performance Program
In 2015, Daphne took on a new project: rescuing an off-the-track thoroughbred. “He looked just awful,” she says. “He had a terrible hair coat, and we couldn’t keep weight on him, no matter how much we fed him.” Then Dr. Otto Stanislaw, a vet in Arizona, recommended SUCCEED.
“So we started giving him SUCCEED, and it helped a bunch with his hair coat and his weight, where really nothing else had been working,” Daphne says. “We wanted to see if it would work on another horse — and that one just blossomed also. It also seems to make edgy horses a lot quieter; or, if they’re already nice horses, it just makes them a little happier.”
“Not that we’re saying SUCCEED has a sedentary effect — but if horses have digestive challenges and you ask them to perform at a high level, they’re going to have anxiety,” Tom adds. “If they can digest the food, their guts are quieter and they feel better overall.”
SUCCEED for Healthier, Happier Horses
These days, Tom and Daphne’s entire show string is on SUCCEED, as are a few of the broodmares and young ones that need a little extra boost.
“SUCCEED has done wonders for our horses,” Tom says. “Not only has it greatly helped improve the performance of several of our horses, but everyplace we go, at least one person comments on how good they look. The comment is usually, ‘Man, your horses look so big, strong, and healthy — what do you feed them?’”
“And honestly, we don’t have a sophisticated nutrition program,” he says. “It’s just alfalfa cubes, rice bran, a few vitamin supplements and SUCCEED — but we feel SUCCEED helps our horses get the most nutrition out of what we feed them.”
Tom and Daphne feed SUCCEED in paste format on a daily basis. They also try to prioritize forage whenever possible, in keeping with Tom’s philosophy on keeping things simple. Tom shares:
We’re big believers in SUCCEED. I learned early on that when you’re in a very high-end competitive sport, any little advantage you can get, you should take — whether that means the best vet, great conditioning, or simply having your silver polished a little shinier than everyone else’s. We pay attention to every detail, and that includes monitoring what goes into our horses’ mouths. We need our athletes to be at the top of their game, and since they can’t talk to us, it’s up to us to support them.
“We ask a lot of our horses,” adds Daphne. “Feeding SUCCEED is our way of giving back to them.”