“Capstone Horse Feeds is a creation born out of my passion and love of horses.
I was born and raised in Mauritius. My father trained racehorses as a hobby and I started riding from an early age participating in show jumping. I left the island to attend university in the UK. After obtaining a Degree as an Automotive and Aeronautical Engineer, I was offered a position in South Africa.
Soon after arriving in SA, I got involved in horse racing as an amateur jockey winning quite a few races over both flat and jumps and was also granted an amateur owner/trainer licence from the SA Jockey Club. I bought a horse I had won on riding in the amateur ranks as I thought that he was good enough to win in the professional arena. His name was Gold Turban and he won a stakes race for me at Turffontein in 1976 which was my first win as an owner/trainer.
As my involvement training racehorses became more intense and time consuming, I was torn between making a successful career in the corporate world versus my passion for horses and racing. I had made rapid progress in the corporate world and was offered a significant promotion which entailed moving to France with my family. Ultimately, it was my passion for the equine athlete that won the day. In 1978 I resigned from the company, applied for a professional trainer’s licence and started a new adventure in life.
My passion and hobby of being with horses became my job and I never looked back. I went up the trainer’s ranks quite quickly and featured in the top ten in the SA national trainers log for twenty-five years or so. In 2011, I gave up my SA trainers licence and returned to Mauritius where I have been training horses since.
Through the years I have always strived to obtain the best and most effective feed for my horses.
In the 70’s feeding competition horses was less scientific and more of an art. Very little research had been done regarding equine nutrition compared to other sporting disciplines such as cycling and athletics. Being an engineer by profession, my quest for scientific knowledge of how to best feed a racehorse grew, and over the years this interest grew even more and I became interested in how best to feed horses in the various disciplines and stages of their life. There was no doubt in my mind that there had to be a better way.
In the 80’s the feeding of racehorses began evolving, especially overseas. I was fortunate to visit many countries where I met many great horsemen, trainers and vets. I always made a point of learning as much as I could from the best of them as to how they fed their horses gaining invaluable knowledge. I successfully mimicked these new methods as I became exposed to them and my horses always looked well, taking their workouts and races better with shorter recovery time.
As the 90’s approached, I visited a number of overseas horse feed manufacturers, where great inroads were being made in developing feeds. A range of new ingredients such as barley, sorghum, soya, sunflower, beet pulp and oils were being added to horse feeds, with vitamins and minerals and these feeds were being successfully commercialised. This new trend had not yet reached SA and the feeds that were available in SA were nowhere near as good or complete.
Raising young horses in these countries was also becoming more scientific. Inherent problems, and the causes thereof, were being identified through a better understanding of the effect of feed intake. The feeding of the broodmare to the weanling, foal, yearling, to the 2 year old, right through to old horses, was now becoming a science. Again this trend had not yet reached SA and there was no local horse feed of such high international standards and recognition.
This gap in the local market prompted my conception of Capstone Horse Feeds (“Capstone”) as ‘a superior range of horse feeds’. I knew it would require the highest quality standard of raw materials and the scientific and technical know-how in formulating these feeds incorporating the latest global research and technology.
The most prominent horse nutrition experts in the world are Kentucky Equine Research (“KER”). I was very fortunate when KER agreed and committed to help me realise my dream.
Capstone owes an enormous amount of gratitude to Dr Joe Pagan and Dr Peter Huntington in particular, without whose collaboration Capstone would not be the success it is today.
My brief to KER was to formulate the best feed possible for the various segments of the South African equine market, using the best possible ingredients irrespective of their costs. In 2004 Capstone was launched.” – Ricky Maingard, Owner of Capstone Horse Feeds.