KER 's Spring Conference for Feed Manufacturers offered two days of enjoyable, educational mixture of activities. Conference topics on the first day included: Recent Advances In Performance Horse Nutrition, Growth and Development of the Equine Athlete, Innovative Nutrition for the Breeding Farm, The Equine Veterinarian - Forming an Alliance, and Feeding the Elite Athlete. During the first day lunch, attendees were treated to a presentation by Meg Wade, Australian endurance riding champion. Sponsored by KER Australasia, Wade is the winner of multiple Tom Quility Gold Cup races as well as top-level competitions in New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and Europe.
The second day of activities started before sunrise with breakfast at the Keeneland Track Kitchen and a behind-the-scenes tour of the racetrack, barns, saddling paddock, and training track. Next, the attendees were treated to a tour of Fares Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding operation. A hands-on seminar on the importance of broodmare diets and foal nutriton to the young horse's healthy skeletal development was led by Dr. Larry Lawrence and Steve Caddel of Farmers Feed Mill. Meanwhile, Eileen Phethean led another hands-on seminar on KER's nutrition software and how to use the tools to provide feed management advice to clients. By mid-morning, both groups converged at the KER research farm for a series of lab sessions showcasing research techniques and recent research projects and examination of the central energy-generating components of feedstuffs used in nutrional management of breeding and growing horses. .
The conference wrapped-up with a box lunch at the farm and a choice of afternoon options: racing at Keeneland or attending a mini-symposium on "Care of the Dressage Horse for Maximum Performance" given by Hilary Clayton, an expert in equine exercise physiology, at the Kentucky Horse Park.
This conference represented a truly unique opportunity to network with feed manufacturers from all over the world as there were seventy participants from a dozen countries and as many states.