Telling your storiesfrom the stables to the fields

30 November,2017

Haygain bringing out the best in British equestrian industry

Haygain is certainly not horsing around! Founded in England in 2008, and having gone through a significant revamp in 2016, Haygain is celebrating a period of tremendous growth. Over the last six quarters the company has on a seasonally adjusted basis quadrupled its turnover.

Haygain now offers not just its increasingly well-known and trusted scientifically proven hay steamers, the cornerstone of the company, but also its patented slow feeder solution and its unique sealed, padded stable flooring system.

Haygain’s products are now offered via carefully selected distributors in over 25 countries, and this list keeps growing, placing the company rapidly on its way to becoming a fully global business.

The team at Haygain have done a tremendous job placing a very British company at the forefront globally of scientifically proven equine respiratory solutions, rapidly growing export sales for the equestrian industry, while adding local British jobs in the process.

Haygain’s popularity and success comes from a combination of continuously ongoing intense scientific research, delivering quality products that are easy to use, and excellent customer service.

Growth in the USA

Over the last Summer, Haygain purchased ComfortStall, which in cooperation with Ivy League stalwart Cornell University developed a unique padded and sealed stable flooring system that improves respiratory and musculoskeletal health. Importantly, this also allowed Haygain to bring “in house” distribution in the US, the world’s largest equine market.

In fact, the US is a core focus market for Haygain at the moment, and has already seen over 100% growth in sales of its steamers in the last 6 months. To this end, Haygain has recently added two additional staff members to the ComfortStall team.

Robb Thomas, who just joined this November as VP Sales, North America, after three decades of equine and veterinary sales and marketing, adds: “Haygain is the only proven way to eliminate respirable dust and significantly reduce airway inflammation. In fact, I believe that Haygain is the first truly unique and proven product to enter the US market in over a decade. We are very excited by the opportunities here in the US”.

Focused on scientific research

Originally co-developed with the Royal Agricultural University, the Haygain range of steamers is now backed by over fifteen scientific studies by scientists from a range of respected institutions in the US and Europe. Moreover, it is now accepted and endorsed by leading scientists focused on forage and internal veterinary medicine around the world.  

Haygain has now become yet another example of British innovation succeeding in the global marketplace.

For example, a paper published last year by Dr. Julie Dauvillier and Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck-Westergren, based in France and Belgium respectively, outlined that research amongst 482 horses showed that steaming hay with Haygain produces a 63% reduction in Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD). An important outcome of this study was finding that after analysing all the forage options (dry hay, soaked hay, haylage or Haygain steamed hay) hay steamed by Haygain not only had the lowest IAD risk but was the only method which significantly decreased the risk of IAD in horses.

Agroscope, Switzerlands centre of excellence for agricultural research has shown the benefits of steaming hay in a Haygain last for up to three days. The study showed that after steaming, aerobic mesophilic bacteria, moulds and yeasts decreased, and the values did not increase during the sampling period three days after steaming.

The results for soaked hay were very different. Microbial and bacterial contents increased sharply with increasing duration of soaking. In the soaked hay samples, in which the bacterial content was determined after three days, the feed was actually warm, had very high bacterial counts and were considered unsuitable to feed.

The wave of global endorsements for Haygain’s unique hay steamers culminated at the World Equine Airways Symposium where Haygain were praised for providing a practical solution for horse owners which consistently reduces respirable dust in the breathing zone.

Haygain do not rest on their laurels. Comments Becky James, Haygain’s Director, Technical Sales: “At all times, we are working with a whole host of institutions around the globe on furthering our knowledge of forage, the allergens it contains and the effects on the health of horses. Right now there are research programmes including longer term, advanced academic PhD projects underway at; Royal Agricultural University and University of Nottingham in England, Labéo Frank Duncombe laboratories in France, The University of Guelph in Canada and The University of Purdue in America. More knowledge, of course creates more questions that’s the nature of science, we are proud Haygain has been at the forefront of this area of research for 10 years now.”

All these links being forged around the world amongst scientists, with Haygain in the middle, place British scientists and a British company at the core of the global web of equine respiratory and forage knowledge. This is not just good for Haygain, but for the British equestrian trade in general. After all, this creates jobs, opportunities and ultimately improves the health and wellbeing of the animals at the heart of our industry – the horses.

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