Dressage superstar and Haygain company team up to share priorities on horse welfare.
Kim Miller | Equestrian Journalist
A lot has changed for Charlotte Dujardin since her career on the international dressage scene with Valegro made her a rare equestrian.
In 2013, The Olympic, World Equestrian Games, European and World Cup champion was awarded the OBE, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and later, in 2017, the CBE. Her autobiography, The Girl on the Dancing Horse, was met with rave reviews, and she met another of the world’s most famous horsewomen-Her Majesty the Queen of England.
What hasn’t changed? The roots of Charlotte’s success: talent, hard work and dedication to the welfare of her horses. This last point best explains the new partnership with Haygain.
“We are always looking for new ways to keep our horses comfortable, healthy, happy and performing at their best. The partnership with Haygain fits perfectly with our philosophy of horse breeding and management.”Charlotte Dujardin
Haygain’s high-temperature purification was introduced commercially in 2009, two years after Charlotte showed up at Carl’s stable in Newent, Gloucester. Two years later he rode his first Grand Prix riding Valegro, owned by Carl and Rudy Luard, whom he trained from a novice level.
The desire to improve equine respiratory health was the catalyst for the development of Haygain, whose research was carried out in collaboration with the Royal Agricultural University, UK. Purification by high-temperature steam reduces up to 99% of dust, mold, fungi, bacteria and other allergens present in even the highest quality hay. Together with the dust in the litter, these irritants are a major cause of equine asthma because they can infiltrate, irritate and inflame the lining of the upper respiratory tract and lungs.
Hay purification is now widely recognized as a solution to prevent respiratory problems that affect more than 80 percent of performance horses, often without showing obvious symptoms. Reducing allergens means reducing allergies, which are often linked to respiratory problems.
The top layer of ComfortStall, consisting of a single piece of flexible and durable rubber, is attached to the barn walls by HDPE anchor strips. These prevent urine from filtering downward and accumulating ammonia, which not only has an unpleasant odor but also becomes a hazard to humans and animals.
The PrecisionFoam™ orthopedic foam layer provides a wide “cushion” that protects orthopedic joint health, provides comfort for deep rest, and a soft, safe surface on which horses can easily lie down and stand up. ComfortStall is often compared to a gym mat because of its combination of elasticity, stability and traction, which stimulates blood flow and small, constant muscle movements. Ease of cleaning reduces the need for large amounts of bedding.
“We are beyond proud and excited to work with Charlotte and her team,” says Bee Richardson, Haygain’s vice president of marketing. “Her remarkable achievements are rooted in exceptional horse management. This is why Charlotte is such a positive and influential example for horse owners around the world.”
After a career of record-breaking scores and captivating performances, Valegro retired in 2016, earning celebrity status. Meanwhile, Charlotte continues to have several talented horses to continue her “services to horsemanship.” Together with Mount St. John Freestyle, the 2019 FEI World Cup champion, they are currently among the top candidates for a third Olympics in Tokyo 2021.
With Haygain on Charlotte’s team, the stage could be set for more records in the dressage world.