Don Pasco Dances to the Tune

Keen to keep her dressage horse Don Pasco in competition shape, owner Joanna McIntosh Sim was looking for a feed to keep his waistline in check.

Having fed products from the TopSpec range for more than 13 years, Joanna was keen to find out more about the Performance Lite Feed Balancer when it was launched last year as Don Pasco is a good-doer who keeps weight on easily.

Known as Percy at home, Joanna has owned the 11-year-old since he was 18-months-old and they are now competing at Inter I together.

A former event rider and show jumper, Joanna then turned to dressage and looked to buy youngsters with dressage breeding to produce and compete.

Explains Joanna: “I have three horses that are British Bred Warmbloods and all are very good-doers.

“I started them all on TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer as youngsters before moving them on to TopSpec Stud Lite Feed Balancer and finally TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer.

“When Performance Lite Feed Balancer was launched I spoke to one of the nutrition team and felt it would be the perfect choice. It is designed for horses that are good-doers in medium to hard work that do not require any extra muscle development or topline.

“Percy now gets a handful of chop and the balancer and looks in fantastic condition. He carries weight and can really live on fresh air but I know he is getting everything he needs with the balancer.

“My husband is a farrier and always comments how strong and healthy the horses’ hooves are too.

“I also find the feed to be very economic and their coats also look superb. We will soon be out and about competing again and I have kept Percy ticking over so he is ready to take to the dressage arena again.

“It is great to be looking forward to some competitions with a chilled and competition fit Percy.”

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Summer Offer – TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer – 25% OFF!

Is your horse or pony a good-doer or prone to carrying too much weight?

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer is ideal for horses that are overweight when fed as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

It is available from participating retailers throughout August, and whilst promotional stocks last – with 25% OFF providing a fantastic saving.

Lite Feed Balancer is a ‘Non-Heating’, cereal-grain-free formula; with low levels of starch and sugar, and a considered level of protein to help maintain muscle function but avoid promoting body condition.

It is very important that this group of horses and ponies receive their full requirement of vitamins and minerals. Lite Feed Balancer allows them to receive all the micronutrients required to balance the diet of horses in light to medium work in a small amount of exceptionally low-calorie feed.

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer will help maintain excellent health whilst greatly improving hoof quality and promoting a supple skin and an exceptionally shiny coat. It is so palatable that it can be fed on its own, or with a little TopChop Lite.

Long term trials have shown that horses and ponies on restricted/poor grazing do not gain any additional weight when fed Lite Feed Balancer. It can also be used very successfully as part of a calorie-controlled diet when weight loss is required.

Lite Feed Balancer is suitable for horses and ponies that have recovered from laminitis providing they are not obese. TopSpec nutritionists recommend TopSpec AntiLam is fed to horses and ponies at serious risk of laminitis, being treated for or recovering from laminitis, to provide a higher level of nutritional support.

TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer – Normal RRP – 15kg £22.50, Offer price £16.85.

For further information please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit

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TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer Now Available in 15kg Size

TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer is now available in a 15kg sack – more convenient for most horse owners.

The easy to handle 15kg size is the same great price per kg as the original 20kg sack.

The new smaller bag provides a 30 day supply for a 500kg horse and works in well with the quantity lasting a month and the price being ‘wage-pattern-friendly’.

The same brilliant specification throughout both size sacks, TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer is a very palatable ‘Non-Heating’ pelleted feed that is formulated without cereal grains and is low in sugar and starch.

It contains many supplements combined with good quality protein to promote muscle development and topline. The supplements include a top-specification broad-spectrum supplement and specialised supplements including a superb hoof supplement, generous levels of anti-oxidants and sophisticated digestive aids.

This superb specification allows horses to utilise far more nutrients from the forage and straights in their diet, which usually means that their hard feed intake can be reduced with many resulting benefits. A complete specification is freely available.

Comprehensive Feed Balancer is a very flexible, nutrient-rich feed designed to balance the rations of most horses and ponies simply by adjusting the rate at which it is fed and the products it is fed with.

When Comprehensive Feed Balancer is fed there is therefore often no need to add any further supplements, other than salt and/or electrolytes for sweating horses. The addition of a broad-spectrum supplement, blood tonics, yeast supplements, vitamin E and selenium anti-oxidants, a hoof supplement, immune support, a bone supplement and metabolic support, is a totally unnecessary expense, ineffective and potentially harmful.

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William Reaches for the Top

Based in Northumberland, 10 miles south of Corbridge, 20-year-old William is a man on a mission, determined to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport.

He takes up the story:

“I come from a three generation family who have all shown. My grandparents on my mother’s side used to show in hand, and my mother competed successfully in Small Hunter classes.

“On my father’s side, his parents produced show horses and dad competed at HOYS in both flat classes and workers so I’ve followed on from that! 

“I’ve already been lucky to have some great horses and for this year I have two main workers to ride and compete in Silver Lough and Kildalton Heiress. Both are 15.2hh, pure Irish Draught and eight-years-old.

“Silver Lough has achieved just about everything, he has been champion at the Royal International Horse Show, won the Intermediate Workers at Royal Windsor two years in a row as well as winning the Lightweight Horse workers there last year.

“He has also been on the BSPS England team three times and last year competed on the international team in Wales. He was fifth at the Horse of the Year Show in the Cuddy sponsored  Working Hunter of the Year and Intermediate Gold Cup winner at the BSPS Championships.  We are a great partnership and he has really helped me make a name for myself in the sport.

“Kildalton Heiress competed successfully in Novice Horse Working Hunter and Intermediate classes last year and she is also a brilliant hunter. She is a beautiful mare with one hell of a jump so I’m very excited to be getting her out this year! 

“I also have my faithful coloured horse Constellation who I have owned for nine years. He used to be my Intermediate Worker until he injured himself in a HOYS qualifier. He had qualified for the Royal International Horse Show as a horse worker and Intermediate beforehand but after his injury, I decided to hog him and 12 months on we stood Amateur Coloured Champion at the RIHS when I was 18 and before I became a professional.

“Keeping the horses in the very best condition is so important in the showing world and I like them to be in good shape but also fit and ready to compete.  I have been very lucky to be sponsored by TopSpec since 2016 and the feed really makes a difference.  The range really provides everything I need and I am a huge fan of TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer, TopChop Grass and TopSpec Turbo.

“Silver Lough looks great for this time of the year and has already had a win taking the Working Hunter Championship at BSPS Area 3B at Bishop Burton – he’s just a star!

“Finally, there is Sligo Better Value. He used to compete in horse workers but the judges thought he was too much like an event horse so after jumping 11 HOYS qualifiers clear in one year, I decided to event him instead.  So far, he has a clean record of double clears and we have been competing at BE Novice level. He also took me round the Ledbury Hunt Golden Button Challenge last year which was massive! I’m 6ft 1in and there wasn’t one hedge smaller than me!

“I really enjoy being out on the show circuit and have a couple of favourites being the Royal Highland and the Great Yorkshire Show. My father used to be a farmer so I love the agricultural side of the shows and there is always such a huge crowd around the rings at both of them. 

“When I’m not out competing I hunt regularly with the Tynedale and try to get out twice a week if possible. I like to get my show horses hunting to let them have some fun after the showing season and they really do love it. However this season I’ve barely been out due to the weather. 

“In my spare time I like to for the gym as I think being fit for riding is very important and I don’t know why but for some strange reason I’d love to get into pottery and ice skating but sadly there isn’t anything local. 

“I try to keep a real life balance between horses and other activities and one of my biggest achievement in life so far is raising over £3,600 for cancer charities. I first raised over £2,200 when I hunted side saddle on Constellation – I know, bonkers! I then grew my hair for two years donating over 12inches of hair as well as more than £1,400 too for the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. 

“Looking to the future I would love to win the Intermediate and Working Hunter of the Year at HOYS. I’ve always dreamed about galloping down the centre line under the spotlight and this season I aim to qualify both of my working hunters for HOYS and RIHS in both classes.

“On the eventing front I am aiming for 2* level with my eventer Sligo Better Value and I would love to do some plaited coloured and possibly some side-saddle classes with my coloured horse Constellation. I am also hoping to event Silver Lough a bit too which is exciting for the future.”

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Van Olst Horses Join Team TopSpec

Anne and Gertjan Van Olst are now feeding their competition horses on TopSpec. Lottie Fry who is based with Van Olst Horses has been feeding TopSpec for more than six years including her 2019 U25 champion ride Dark Legend.

Following outstanding results in the FEI World Cup Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music qualifiers with the 11-year-old stallion Everdale, Lottie is hoping for a place in the GB team for this year.

TopSpec is well known for its range of top specification feed balancers and quality horse feeds and is delighted to continue its commitment in the world of dressage.

Said TopSpec Managing Director, Katy Mickle: “We are excited to be working closely with Van Olst Horses, as we continue to develop our export business.

“It has been exciting to watch Lottie grow and develop into the rider she is today, and it has been fantastic to work closely with the whole team at Van Olst Horses developing individual feed plans for all of their competition horses.”

Anne competed at five Olympic Games and has been a huge support to Lottie as her trainer and mentor.

Said Anne: “At Van Olst Horses we aim for the best. In TopSpec we have a top partner. Their quality food and expertise is a great help in getting our horses in top shape to achieve our targets.” And did you know that you can put a photo of your pet on personalised items like apparel or accessories which just looks amazing!

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TopSpec Support Bransby Horses with Weighbridge

AN appeal by the team at Bransby Horses, following a difficult year which saw nearly half of their land under water, has led to TopSpec donating a brand new weighbridge to the charity.

In January the rescue and welfare team had to move 42 horses and ponies to the new Barlings site at Langworth as part of the crisis management plan in response to the flooding. Another 16 horses and ponies followed in February. This was made possible because of the fast and reliable work made by a Horse arena construction services company.

Barlings, which was acquired by the charity in 2018, was still under development which meant the pressure was on to quickly prepare for the arrival of the horses and ponies that urgently needed transferring.

Portable weighbridges allow for accurate weight monitoring which is essential for planning feed regimes, monitoring health and also to ensure correct dosage of medication.

The team were delighted when TopSpec stepped in and offered to provide this vital piece of equipment for the new site.

Stef Leversedge, Assistant Farm Manager at the Bransby Horses’ Barlings site said: “After the flooding in November 2019, we urgently needed to use this additional site we purchased in 2018, as a temporary home for some of our horses and ponies.

“At the moment, we have about 60 at Barlings and whilst we have some of what we need to offer the same quality of care we do at our main Bransby Horses site, there are still a few things which we are looking for.

“When TopSpec donated a weighbridge to us, we were blown away by this generous gift. We would have had to have paid thousands of pounds for this, but they were so kind to offer it to us without cost, saving the charity a significant amount of money.

“This weighbridge means we can effectively monitor the weight of our horses, manage diets correctly, ensure medication dosage is correct and that wormers are being administered right. A huge thank you to TopSpec for this gift; it means the world to us!”

Added TopSpec Nutrition Director, Nicola Tyler: “When we heard about the difficult time Bransby Horses had faced due to the adverse weather we were happy to step in and provide the weighbridge.

“The information gained for each horse and pony when they are weighed is vital for working out a correct feed regime for them to keep them in the best of health whatever their age or condition.”

Bransby Horses has been using TopSpec feed for a number of years and work closely with the company’s team of vets and nutritionists, especially when a rescued horse has challenging dietary needs. The correct nutrition is crucial for recovery.

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TopSpec Win Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award for Eleventh Time

THE team at leading horse feed company, TopSpec, is celebrating after scooping the Stubbs England Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award at the BETA Business Awards for an unprecedented eleventh time.

The awards were a glittering affair as the trade gathered to celebrate and reward those who had made outstanding contributions to the equestrian industry.

These prestigious accolades were presented to winning individuals and companies during the annual BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham.

Awarded for outstanding personalised customer service, the North Yorkshire based business now has five qualified members in the team, including two experienced equine vets, available to answer the multiple award-winning helpline and provide nutritional advice.

Judges praised TopSpec for the “clear, precise information given, with details about local suppliers to follow up with after the call”.

TopSpec Nutrition Director, Nicola Tyler said: “We are very grateful to everyone who nominated us and to the judges for choosing TopSpec again.  The award is something we never take for granted and our aim is always to provide the very best advice and management from our experienced team of nutritionists and vets.

“Welfare, performance and cost-effectiveness are always key in our minds when giving advice.”

The awards presented at the hugely successful Gala Dinner are highly sought after throughout the industry and the remarkable eleventh win for TopSpec was met with a huge round of applause from those attending.

Picture Caption: Left to right, TopSpec Regional Director Suzi Law, Veterinary Nutrition Director Anna Welch, Events Manager Laura Jennings and Regional Director Corrie Green, receive the Stubbs England ‘Nutritional Helpline of the Year’ Award at the BETA International Business Awards.


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Veteran Phoebe’s on Fantastic Form

Full time student, Emily Hancock, has a great partnership with her grey mare, 17-year-old Phoebe.

A Dutch Warmblood, Phoebe is a former show jumper and they have been together for just over a year.

The pair now enjoy a variety of activities including cross-country, dressage, fun rides, jumping and hacking.

They also recently affiliated in showing with the Veteran Horse Society and enjoy competing in their classes.

At 17-years-old, Emily was keen to ensure Phoebe diet was suitable for her age and activity and has followed a specific feeding plan designed the help of the team at TopSpec.

Phoebe is maintained on TopSpec Senior Lite Feed Balancer and TopChop Lite over the summer months as she is a good doer and can be hot to ride.

Said Emily: “Phoebe is such a special horse and a pleasure to ride; she is very forward though, so I use ‘Non-Heating’ products from the TopSpec range, including TopSpec CoolCondition Cubes over the winter when she needs a bit extra in the colder weather.”

Emily is in her final year at Hartpury College studying Bioveterinary Science and is looking forward to starting vet school next year.

“I feel very lucky to have Phoebe by my side whilst I am studying; we have so much fun together,” added Emily.

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British Riding Clubs TopSpec Dressage to Music Championships 2019

This year’s BRC TopSpec Dressage to Music Championships was a great success,

with almost 230 junior and senior riders qualifying to take part at Bury Farm Equestrian Village in Buckinghamshire.

These Championships allow competitors to ride from Prelim level up to our unique ‘Pick A Test’ class, which caters for those more experienced combinations wishing to compete at Medium and Advanced Medium level at a Championship. The judges were so impressed with the overall standard of horses and riders, and how most of them had western leather bridles for better control, with some fabulous music and elaborate floorplans demonstrated by the competitors over the weekend.

“It was a fantastic three days of competition and it was wonderful to see so many horses and riders enjoying themselves while competing for the top awards.” said Katy Mickle of TopSpec who are now in their third year of sponsoring these BRC Dressage to Music Championships.

The championships began on Friday with the Pick A Test, which consists of competitors riding either a Medium or Advanced Medium test.

The overall individual title was eventually awarded to Susan Lanz riding her beautiful, homebred mare Wellshead Foxtrot, scoring 69.33 percent. Susan, from West Somerset RC, rode her test to music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Susan said: “Thank you very much, we had a great time, everyone was most helpful and friendly, I was thrilled with my lovely mare who tried so hard for me.”

Cotswold Edge RC member April Joynson riding her 12 year old, striking, skewbald gelding Bryntegllwynau Rocky Robin won the Elementary class with the highest score of the weekend, an impressive score of 75.87 percent. Meon RC riders Pippa Griffin riding Tolkien’s Trilogy and Kerry Tyrell riding Himoons Spellbound took home the Pairs championship title with a score of 69.7 percent, 0.1 percent ahead of the Ludlow & District RC pair Natalie Canning riding Archfield Romeo and Izzy Harris riding Croston.

Said Pippa: “This championship has such a supportive atmosphere, other clubs in nearby stables were unbelievably kind, we cheered each other on and went to watch each other- even though we hadn’t met until that day! It is such a great environment, all the buzz of a big competition in a friendly atmosphere.”

Tina Kazmi from Solihull RC riding Colour Me Aftersock won the Senior Novice with Points title, with an impressive score of 73.48 percent.

Tina said this about her test: “I love riding to music and Shedley loves his music too. We have to keep tweaking the floor plan slightly as he pre-empts the movements, knowing his music so well. This was the first time I rode the canter element in a test as I only devised it in my head on the Thursday night! I knew I needed to take a chance and it worked.”

Tendring Hundred RC junior riders Chloe Mason riding Glowan Dewi and Lucy Hinde riding Rhuban Prince took home the Novice Pairs championship title with a score of 75.24 percent. Their test included dramatic music from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Tess Hinde, Lucy’s mum said: “They were the only juniors in a class of 19 pairs and rode their two ponies Nebo and Freddie whilst wearing their revamped old school blazers! The girls have been practicing hard for the champs and their ponies love riding together, despite watching the test many times the real thing made both mummies cry, we were so proud! We would like to thank all the BRC team who make these Championships possible, I think we have attended most of them this year and thoroughly enjoy them all!”

One championship title was not enough for Meon RC rider Kerry Tyrrell riding Himoons Spellbook as they also took home the Senior Novice 0 Points title with another great score of 74.30 percent. Riding to music from the film Mission Impossible. With second place being awarded to White Rose RC rider Sophie Webb riding Glynawen Magic Star ending on a finishing score of 73.19 percent.

The Junior Prelim Dressage title went home to Warwickshire Hunt RC rider Megan Field riding her stunning, chestnut pony Gwithian Gallant, floating across the arena to Sia’s Chandelier, finishing on a score of 73.19 percent.

Megan added: “I had the most amazing day and I am so pleased to win, it is only the second time we have ridden to music! I love the music and it really suits my pony Freddie. I have owned Freddie for a year and a half and we have achieved so much in this time. He is only six years old and has exceeded my expectations already! We love dressage and he is a fantastic jumper too. Sadly I have outgrown him now and so this is our last year together, I wish he could grow with me too.”

There was an extremely close battle for the Junior Novice Dressage title, with first to go, Wessex Gold RC rider Morgan Kent riding Janet Stares magnificent, ten year old Dutch, chestnut gelding Kolsteins Don Amigo taking home the win with a score of 73.33 percent, riding to music from The Greatest Showman.

This year also saw the return of the Direct Entry Dressage classes, (which do not require any prior qualifications). Due to the increase in popularity of these classes, the classes this year were extended to include; Warm Up, Veteran Horse and Veteran Rider (at two levels), Cob Type Mixed, Retrained Racehorse, Cob Type, Native Type and Coloured.

“Once again we had a fabulous three days of competition; welcoming back our sponsor TopSpec. Another big thank you must go to our wonderful BRC judges and volunteers who without them these championships would simply not be possible,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC Manager.

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Victoria and Benito Dorato Dance to Success

LINCOLNSHIRE-based Victoria Maw and and her own six-year-old Benito Dorato topped a highly competitive Novice Gold with 73.29% at the British Dressage National Championships.

The TopSpec sponsored rider joined a line-up that oozed class and the standard proved high as the top ten each rode to plus 70% scores.

Speaking about her test with the home-produced Benny an elated Victoria said: “I was really pleased, he had really good balance the whole way through and he felt so fluent. It just went really nicely!

“He stayed nicely connected the whole way, there were no major mistakes perhaps just a small loss of balance in the second medium trot just before the canter transition.

“His party piece is the medium canter,” she continued, “There are so many layers, you put your leg on and he keeps going up the gears – you feel like a kid in a sweet shop riding him!”

Benny has been owned by Victoria from the age of just three days old, after she purchased him as a foal in Germany.

He spent three years growing up in his home country before moving back to the Lincolnshire based rider who’s sympathetically produced him with a varied approach to working: “He likes jumping, and he does a bit of everything at home. He hacks, goes on the treadmill – he does a little bit of everything to keep him happy!”

Victoria has been supported by TopSpec for many years and with her favourite products including TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer, TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support and TopSpec Digestive Aid.

A Rider and BDCC Level 3 coach Victoria brought a winning mind-set to her test to help focus her performance: “It helps to take away the pressure and be realistic about the results. Anything above the goals set are a bonus.  He’s been producing consistent scores but I was still a bit shocked to get that score. He’s not seen anything like this, he was so confident today and when he went inside those boards he did everything I asked, it was such a nice feeling.”

Victoria paid credit to long-time coach Tracy Woodhead who warmed her up for today’s test describing the day as an emotional occasion, “I was on edge the whole time waiting for the class to finish!

“It’s a very special place to compete,” Victoria added about her trip to Stoneleigh, “You don’t get to compete here for regular shows so it’s a big occasion to ride in that arena for the National Championships.”


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