The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), located in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World, is a premier reschooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability using the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® developed by MMSC Director Susanna Thomas so they can go on and be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The MMSC is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday (9 to 2) and proud to offer myriad educational opportunities for learning about and interacting with this remarkable horse–The Thoroughbred–America’s equine sports vehicle.

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A 2010, 16.1hh bay gelding by Indian Charlie out of Beaucette, Regiment aka “Reggie” has the mind, conformation, and talent to go far in eventing, maybe even to the top levels.  Think “Eagle Scout” in an Olympic swimmer’s body. Reggie could be turning heads in a couple years in the eventing world in the right hands with the right training and showing program. 

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“Our goal,” says Director Susanna Thomas, “is to figure out who a horse is inherently, what its ‘horsenality’ is like, to strengthen its weaknesses, to heal its wounds, whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual, to ‘find out what the horse wants to be when it grows up,’ and then to find the perfect person to adopt it. That is our purpose, our privilege and our passion here at the MMSC.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center offers two general Internship Positions in the Spring, Fall and Summer semesters for current college students.  To apply, applicants must be college students in good standing with their current University and have a dedicated interest in learning.

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With limited pasture space, a high volume of horses in various body conditions, and short amount of time to transition them from the racetrack to a new career, nutrition is paramount to us at the MMSC.  At the same time, as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization (and a young one at that), so of course is cost. How do you resolve the impossible conflicting needs of providing top-notch feed at bargain prices? How and where do you compromise?

This spring, in search of answers, the MMSC decided to do a 60-day feeding trial. During that time, the herd was split into two control groups each on a different type of feed from different companies. All height, weight, and body score conditions were recorded at the beginning of the trial, checked every week, and all changes noted.

The feed that made the most dramatic difference in that two-month time period was SafeChoice Perform from Nutrena. SafeChoice Perform is a high fat, pelleted feed with highly bio-available amino acids and trace minerals, along with pre- and pro-biotics, the benefits of which are documented extensively through up to date scientific information. The results were very positive and in some cases, truly dramatic.  All the horses in that group grew shiny, soft hair coats, had improved top lines, and a noticeable change in muscle definition. For the most part, horses seemed calmer as well and had improved focus during training, no doubt because the feed is touted for delivering a long term sustainable energy source.

The results of the trial were impressive considering that all horses came from different farm management styles before coming to the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center. Superior feed does come at a higher cost, however.  Offsetting this, Nutrena has an attractive rebate system and offers great support. For example, they send a nutrition consultant to the MMSC every two weeks to provide nutritional recommendations for every horse. Another attractive feature is the widespread availability of Nutrena feeds. MMSC can put all adopters in touch with their local Nutrena distributor everywhere in the United States should they wish to continue on their products. Finally, the SafeChoice Perform is such a well thought out blended feed that need for supplements is reduced.  For all of these reasons, in addition to the foremost one in our minds—the horses looked better, the value of Nutrena feeds far outweighed the additional expense per bag.

To learn more about Nutrena please visit www.nutrenaworld.com

MMSC Barn Manager Catherine Flowers and Director Susanna Thomas with Rob Martin, a Consumer Marketing Consultant for Nutrena

MMSC Barn Manager Catherine Flowers and Director Susanna Thomas with Rob Martin, a Consumer Marketing Consultant for Nutrena