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Are breeding equines getting adequate omegas?

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Thinking ahead of the 2022 breeding season .... ? Be aware of the value of providing NATURAL supplemental omegas for breeding stock. According to research from Colorado State University and Texas A&M, dietary lipids play a beneficial role in stallion fertility, broodmare health as well as immuno-support in foals.

We know that flaxseed is the richest source of Omega-3's in the plant world. It contains both Omega-3 & Omega-6 in the correct ratios (4:1) as well as 3 essential amino acids (Lysine, Methionine & Threonine) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a proven natural 'anti-inflammatory'.

Supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids is shown to improve sperm quality significantly and highlighted a three-fold increase in semen DHA, correlating with higher sperm survivability & motility ( Brinsko SP.2003). This research suggests that for breeding stallions, a high ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats is correlated with better sperm quality and increased fertility.

Maintaining fertility in top stallions through their performance & breeding careers can make a significant difference to their covering 'value'. The National Stud of Ireland consistently provides

wholefood supplementation of Omega-3 & 6 (year round) by adding Champion Roasted Flaxseed from Belmont Equine Products 'top dressed' on their daily food ration. Highly palatable, the immensely valuable stallions get optimal fatty lipids from a 100% pure & natural source.

Dr. Philip Mc Manus, Equine Veterinarian & renowned breeder of Connemara Ponies (CP) based in Galway, Ireland is also an advocate of providing supplemental omegas to his Grade A International Show jumping stallion, SILVER SHADOW (CP). Having excelled at the highest levels of competition himself, he is now producing 1.30mt athletic competition ponies. His progeny include: DOON LADDIE (CP), CUL BAN MISTRESS (CP), WILDWOOD SILVER (CP) and MERVUE LAD (CP). According to McManus, “Irish oats and Belmont Equine Products Champion Oat Balancer® and Champion Roasted Flaxseed is all we give Silver Shadow, our Connemara stallion. His condition is outstanding. It's also ideal for brood mares & foals”

It goes without saying that a healthy mother increases the likely hood of a healthy foal. With this in mind,The development of the brain, eyes and neural tissue of the foal utilizes most of the mares Omega-3 supply, an essential fatty acid intrinsic to the development of quality proteins is available in the mares body. Research has shown that adequate supply of Omega-3's during gestation leads to stronger tissue development, better defense mechanism against bacterial invasion and increased survivability of the fetus. Throughout pregnancy and during the first months of feeding, adding flaxseed, a 100% natural, ‘wholefood’ to the mares diet supports in utero development and produces richer colostrum (where natural fatty acids are directly transferred) to boost the immune system of the new born foal. Results from University of Florida and Kansas State University show that Omega-3 supplementation gives foals an advantage in early immune response to infections (Warren L 2003; King S. 2008).

"We have been using Champion Roasted Flaxseed from Belmont Equine Products for 5 years on broodmares & sales stock and I believe it is an excellent product!" - Jackie Norris of Jockey Hall Stud.

Author: Dr. Richard. J. McCormick, M.V.B, Dip.Eq.St, M.R.C.V.S. Licensed Veterinarian (Kentucky, USA, Ireland & United Kingdom). Contact @ or

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