How Do They Feed All Those Olympic Horses?


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A stockpile of hay and other provisions next to one of the Olympic stables. Photo by Jennifer Bryant. 

It’s a question that a lot of you have asked. Imagine our surprise at learning that most of the hay and bedding at the 2012 London Olympic Games is sourced from the good old U.S.A. Specifically, from Kentucky Equine Research (KER) in Versailles, Ky., in the verdant “Thoroughbred nursery” greater-Lexington area.

Keen to learn more, we tracked down Dr. Joe D. Pagan, KER founder and president. Dr. Pagan holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. KER has served as equine-nutrition consultants for the past four Olympic Games and is the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s official equine nutritionist. Dr. Pagan responded to our questions via e-mail.

According to Dr. Pagan, KER began as the feed, hay, and bedding supplier for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. KER has gone on to provide the same service at each of the Olympics since then (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Hong Kong 2008)

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