Equine nutrition - a guided tour

Date published: 18 January 2019

At the beginning of October we had the opportunity to visit the Bluegrass Horse Feeds mill in Eglish, Co. Tyrone.

CAFRE Enniskillen Campus Level 2 students with representatives from Bluegrass pictured at their mill in Eglish, Co. Tyrone.

On our arrival we were greeted by Ashley Neely, a past student of CAFRE, who is the sales and marketing administrator at Bluegrass Horse Feeds. Ashley then introduced us to Kenneth Irwin who is the Managing Director of Bluegrass Horse Feeds and Irwin's Feeds. Mr Irwin welcomed us with open arms to tour his factory. During our tour Mr Irwin gave us an in-depth account of his family’s mill from the time it opened, processing oats for people to eat following the potato famine to one of the top horse feed producers in Ireland.

We were lucky to have a detailed tour around the whole mill learning about how the grains are brought in, washed, cooked and eventually bagged in a mix or turned into cubes. The process of a grain becoming a product was incredibly precise to make sure every product that left the mill was nothing short of perfect. We got to see how devoted the Bluegrass team are to their work, producing nutritional sound products for use all over the world.

We also got to sit down and watch a presentation by Ashley and we learned that Bluegrass works very closely with one of the world's leading research centres in equine nutrition, Kentucky Equine Research (KER). It was great to learn that Bluegrass spend so much time coming up with ideas for feeds then working alongside KER to make sure that it is the best possible product for horses and ponies.

Our class found the trip to Bluegrass very valuable as it helped us learn more about nutrition and horses’ diets as part of our module, “Principles of Feeding and Watering Horses.”

We are very grateful for Bluegrass allowing us to have this experience as we have taken a great amount of information and knowledge from the visit.

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