Kim F Miller
In yachting parlance, a “staysail” is a sail attached to the lines that support the vessel’s mast. They capture wind and help propel the boat forward. It could be said that Haygain Steamed Hay serves the same role for the Grand Prix jumpers at Katie Dinan’s Staysail Farm in New York.
All of the horses she campaigns, along with those ridden by her coach, Swiss Olympic silver medalist Beat Mändli, are powered by steamed hay, including Beat’s partner in last weekend’s win of the $132,000 Prix de Penn National. The steaming process rids hay of breathable irritants without depleting nutrients, thus sustaining the respiratory health needed for a horse to sail over a sea of daunting obstacle
Twenty-five-year old Katie’s increasing success in the international arena parallels her ongoing determination to provide the very best for her horses. “We do everything we can for them in so many different ways.” Whether at home at their North Salem, New York farm, in Wellington, Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival or on tour in Europe, Staysail’s horses get Haygain Steamed Hay all the time.
“We don’t leave home without it,” says Katie. “Especially when we’re travelling, it’s so important that we know we can have clean, safe hay for our horses.”
The Staysail team first learned of hay steaming while researching ways to help a few horses with small, but persistent coughs. “We were looking for a way to fix that and Haygain came highly recommended,” Katie explains. “There were already a lot of top horsemen using it, so we bought one and we’ve never looked back.”
Beat Mändli, the 2000 Olympic team silver medalist and winner of the 2007 World Cup Finals, echoes Katie’s enthusiasm for steamed hay. “Travelling a lot, obviously you can’t always take your own hay and you don’t always know where it comes from.” Staysail usually has about 14 horses competing and they stay remarkably free of colds, coughs and illnesses. “I really think that’s a lot because of the steamed hay,” Beat says.
After a great start to the Indoors circuit at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Katie and Beat are targeting the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping league with stops at the Washington International this week and the National Horse Show in Kentucky. Ideally, the quest will take them to the Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden next spring. It would be Katie’s fifth Final and Beat’s ninth.
Katie’s top mounts are her relatively new mare Sydney Une Prince and Dougie Douglas. Beat’s top ride is Dsarie, the 10-year-old mare with whom he won last year’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington President’s Cup.
Katie was an accomplished teenage equestrian when she and her mom watched Beat win the 2007 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. After a top junior career, she focused on the Grand Prix ring and has risen to national prominence in the sport while also earning a degree from Harvard University two years ago. Beat began coaching Katie in 2014 and describes her as a hardworking horsewoman and terrific student.
Nothing is too much for her and she takes the sport and the horses’ well-being very seriously.” says Beat when speaking about Katie.
Katie and Beat’s belief in steamed hay is backed by extensive science. Haygain developed the process in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, England. It was conceived as an alternative to soaking hay to reduce respirable dust. Through numerous scientific, peer-reviewed and published studies, steaming with Haygain was proven to eliminate respirable dust particles and kill mold, bacteria, fungal spores and mites, while retaining the hay’s nutritional value. Increased palatability and adding water to the horse’s diets are additional benefits.
After their Indoors circuit run, Katie and Beat and their horses will next head south for the Winter Equestrian Festival early next year. Wherever the Staysail team is Haygain steamed hay will be there.
Haygain is committed to improving equine health through research and innovation in the respiratory and digestive health issues. Developed by riders, for riders, we understand the importance of clean forage in maintaining the overall well-being of the horse. Our hay steamers are recommended by many of the world’s leading riders, trainers and equine veterinarians.