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 a quality balanced mineral supplement for his own horses. Quality of ingredients was paramount; Canadian/North American sources were requested.
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 be made available and that it incorporate the levels of copper and zinc 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. Not originally intended as a “retail” products, Dr. Reed’s Supplements usage has grown now beyond its Island roots and has outlived his active Vet practice years. The formulations have been updated over the years to reflect current knowledge.
After the Dad in the photo above, another young fellow worked in our barn, way back then. Trevor Watkin was a very competent, caring, fun 15 year old whom we trusted entirely with the weekend care of our horses! His wonderful family lived just down the road.
He is still competent, fun, somewhat older! With his wife, Marnie, he has expanded this close-knit family, and with his brother Jason, is the co-founder of PURICA the Nutraceutical Medicine Company – now innovatively caring for the well being of animals – and of their owners too!
We are thrilled that as they furthur their animal health pursuits, they have chosen to furthur our legacy too! Their newest horse health product is DR. REED’s 3. It is based upon our Formula 2 recipe with some alterations as determined through consultation with/suggestions from “our” nutritionist, Equine Feeding Consultant, Shelagh NIblock, PAS. We like that our legacy continues in the hands of another strong, close family, just as it did in the beginning.
We thank you for years of trusting us to contribute to your horse’s well being. We refer you to PURICA for all your questions/observations.