Meet Dr Dave Reed, founder of Dr. Reed’s Supplements for horses.
Dave’s interest in horses quite likely stems from the stories of a grandfather who drove herds of horses from the Dakotas to the Alberta foothills at the turn of the century, and from lessons as a young kid on summer holidays, with Mrs. Parker, in Okanagan Mission!
As a teen he had the opportunity to work with a bachelor uncle who farmed those foothills, on grandfather’s ranch, with teams of heavy horses.
Wendy’s earliest horsey moments included group riding lessons with Mrs. Carley, on Willows race track and weekend rides with her Dad on Willows Beach! Her grandfather Percy Fox was instrumental in establishing the sport of racing on Vancouver Island.
Dave spent most of his 30 year veterinary career working in what eventually became exclusively his equine practice on Vancouver Island, and recreationally he enjoyed the participation of Wendy and their 2 daughters in his passion. Together they raised and showed Arabians, opting for bloodlines which produced good-sized athletic horses which eventually led them to Russian, Polish and Dutch-bred horses. To have been able to produce a few horses who exuded Arabian type, while being appreciated by horsemen who recognized the signature of a good light horse in any breed, was a great pleasure.
At that same time Dave’s clients were increasingly choosing European bloodlines – Dutch Warmbloods, Trakheners, Hanoverians, Arabians. These horses produced foals which grew rapidly and necessitated an alteration in the prevailing “North American” manner of feeding. The director of the Janow Podlaski stud in Poland chastised at a seminar in Alberta – “you are feeding too much energy to these horses, and too much alfalfa!” He encouraged feeding of local hay.
However, on Vancouver Island it was a big problem to find a consistent source of quality local hay, Dave enlisted the help of a nutritionist at Ritchie-Smith Feeds to create basic, balanced mineral supplement for his own horses.
Armed with the experience of feeding this supplement to his own horses he then recognized situations with client’s horses where he felt “his” supplement would be of value. In the early 90’s, Shannon Oldham, equine nutritional expert and now a successful international dressage competitor, was using our original topdress and suggested that a pelleted form should be made available and that it should incorporate the levels of copper, zinc and manganese that current research was showing contributed to the reduction of developmental bone disorders when fed to pregnant mares. And so she created the recipe for Formula 2 pellets for us; the powdered product became known as Formula 1. These were not originally intended as a “retail” products; the use of Dr. Reed’s Supplements has grown now beyond its Island roots – and has outlived his active Vet practice years.
Dr. Reed’s Supplements for horses are now manufactured in Chilliwack, BC, at Hi-Pro Feeds, (trouw nutrition Canada Inc.) which is BC’s only HACCP recognized feed mill. HACCP is a proactive program monitoring safety in production – preventing problems rather than “catching” them.
These supplements are also CFIA registered which ensures the ingredients are evaluated, approved and labeled correctly according to established standards. This registration approves a defined, set recipe. All alterations/updates must be reapproved which is a time consuming process. CFIA is not concerned about the cost variances from time to time of ingredients – so it is quite impossible to “least cost” a recipe, to keep prices down/margins up, as is possible with unregistered products.