Robyn Mauger figures she has the best job in the country as the South Island manager for Hygain and Mitavite – companies she describes as Australasia’s top equine feed brands.
“To have the knowledge and experience of both brands working together is really cool,” she says. “Mitavite has always been renowned for the quality of feeds it produces and Hygain is now starting to get more traction here in New Zealand.”
The strength of Hygain is their quality and manufacturing techniques with the extrusion and micronization of ingredients that make the brand a real standout. “It makes the grain 95% available to the animal,” says Robyn. “Grains are then digested into the small intestine, where they should be – otherwise the feed can just pass through the gut and the horse is not getting as much out of the feed as it could because the horse is working so hard to digest it. It is an expensive process but one our company prioritises because it is so important.”
During the micronizing process, the grain is heated using infrared heat until all the moisture is vaporized. This ruptures the endosperm of the grain, leading it to become soft and pliable, which reconfigures the start structure and enhances the digestibility and nutritional value of the feed.
As a racehorse owner/trainer, Robyn knows only too well the importance and benefit of good food. “I have seen a massive improvement in my horses since feeding them the Hygain range,” she says. Her good stayer Larrikin is currently out but she’s looking forward to him coming back in later in the year and is sure the best of him is yet to be seen. “My priority for any client is for them to have their own horses improve and perform to the best of their ability but unless you feed them the right stuff at the right level, it just won’t happen.”
She says those who work at Mitavite and Hygain like nothing more than helping clients. “We love it when they come and talk to us because we know our ranges really well and can find the right solution for each horse.”
Both brands were borne out of horse owners keen to feed their animals something better. Hygain’s Greg Manley developed his nutritionally balanced feed formulas that others soon wanted, while Mitavite came through Bob Lapointe who saw an opportunity to improve the performance of racehorses by improving the nutritional value and palatability of the horses’ diet.
The company are sponsors of the Six-Year-Old Series – a perfect fit according to Robyn. “These are the future stars coming through,” she says. “We hope if we can talk to their riders early in their careers and the horses are being fed all the right nutrition, they have a better chance of success going forward. A lot of them are off the track and starting new careers and as a company we are really keen to support the racing industry.”