“Equine 74 Gastric has proved to be a fitting addition to my existing food program – it’s easy to feed and the horses eat it really well”
Dutch rider Willem Greve has made a name for himself as one of the best in the world. Greve has ridden on several Nations Cup teams for his home country, as well as competing at the 2013 European Championships in Herning. This year Greve won the CSI4* Grand Prix in Amsterdam, and the CSI3* Grand Prix in Drachten – in addition to recording several other top results such as taking the bronze medal at the World Breeding Jumping Championships in Lanaken on the 5-year-old Formidable. As a result of his many great achievements on the 11-year-old Carambole N.O.P., Greve has now been taken into the Dutch Olympic Squad – and will do his best to get a spot on the orange team heading for Rio next year. Greve runs his own yard and business in Markelo, Netherlands – and his stable houses some impressive stallions like Carambole N.O.P. and Eldorado vd Zeshoek TN as well as promising talents competing on the youngster circuit. As to his approach to his horses and the sport, Greve’s philosophy is simple; “I always try to listen to my horses, and nothing else.”
The sport has developed a lot over the last years. How do the changes in the sport affect the horses?
Willem Greve: “There are a lot more shows now than before, and a lot more travelling for the horses – hence we demand more of our horses and there is more pressure for them. The classes at the international shows are more technical as well as more delicate than before and they are much faster than they used to be – so it takes a lot out of the horses. The horses have to be really careful and quick in every performance, and this definitely affects them and their stress levels.”
What are your personal experiences with the athletic performances of your horses and their stress levels?
Willem Greve: “It depends, and varies significantly from horse to horse – it is very individual. Most of my horses are quite unaffected, and show little sign of stress – but I do have a few younger mares that are a bit more delicate and sensitive. Thus they get stressed more easily than the other horses in my stable.”
What kind of symptoms does a horse show that make you think it may be under stress?
Willem Greve: “My mares that have suffered from stress become a bit more tight in the belly than usual, and show more sensitivity.”
The statistics say that 63% of all competition horses deal with stomach ulceration. What are your experiences?
Willem Greve: “Luckily, I have not had too many horses suffering from stomach ulceration. But, those few that have had problems really suffer from it and it definitely influences their performances.”
Why did you search for an alternative to omeprazole?
Willem Greve: “I did not really search for an alternative, it was more that I wanted to try Equine 74 Gastric. When I feed my horses, I try to have a good balance as to what they are fed and also try to feed many times a day – and Equine 74 Gastric seemed like it could be a very good addition to my existing food program.”
What I like about Equine 74 Gastric is that it comes in the form of small pellets. It is easy to feed, the horses eat it really well and it is less hazzle to give than other products aimed to help stomach ulceration. Also it is quite cost effective compared to other products on the market.”
When using Equine 74 Gastric for better acid protection for the stomach, did you recognise any other improvements as well? How fast did you recognise any changes?
Willem Greve: “In general I found the horses I used Equine 74 Gastric on, to be a bit more relaxed and easy going. I have used Equine 74 for the last six months, and changes appeared after approximately two to three months.”