JeffreyDrown Minnesota
Jeffrey Drown

Jeffrey Drown Talks About Thoroughbreds

 Jeffrey Drown loves to talk about horses, specifically his newest Thoroughbred, Structor, he and his business partner, Don Rachel, purchased last year.  Jeffrey’s hobby has always been to breed and raise thoroughbreds.  “It’s a big passion of mine for as long as I can remember,” he adds.  Here, he talks about what makes Thoroughbreds the special breed they are.

Many people I talk to don’t realize Thoroughbred is actually a breed, he begins.  Thoroughbred can also mean “purebred,” but in the equine industry, it usually refers to the breed itself.  The Thoroughbred has certainly been a long-time favorite of racing enthusiasts.  They are considered “hot-blooded” horses that are known for their spirit and intelligence as well as speed and agility. “Structor is especially smart,” he adds, “which gives him a unique personality we just love.”

The history of the Thoroughbred horse is interesting,  Jeffrey Drown says.  In fact, every Thoroughbred today can be traced back to one of three stallions first imported to England in the 17th and 18th centuries.  “That’s when the native mares were crossbred with Oriental stallions of Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman descent,” he says, and then later, they were imported to America.

This crossbreeding created horses that were faster than other horses, Jeffrey adds.  Typically weighing about 1,000 pounds at maturity, Thoroughbreds are usually brown, chestnut, gray, or black and about 16 hands high,  Jeffrey Drown says. They have sleek, athletic bodies that make them the best breed for racing. Their back legs are usually long, he adds, which help them run faster.  Even though they are generally muscular and powerful horses, they always move with ease and grace, Jeffrey says.  They are considered the ultimate ride, he adds, with a smooth yet powerful gait. 

“We call them fast and furious,” he says with a smile, since they are some of the fastest animals in the world.  “They win more races than any other breed, but they’re not just racehorses,” Jeffrey adds. Many are used for shows and are excellent jumpers.  They are also the primary breed used in dressage, which is the sport in which a horse does delicate maneuvers almost like a dance, while the rider sits almost motionless,  Jeffrey Drown says.

One interesting fact,  Jeffrey Drown says, is that all Thoroughbreds celebrate the same birthday, regardless of their actual date of birth.  In the northern hemisphere, we say the horse is one year older on each January 1st.  That means a horse born in November would be one-year old as of the first of the year.  This helps to categorize them better for racing purposes, he adds, and explains why most breeders try to have their horses born as soon after the first of the year as they can – it just allows extra time for training prior to racing them.  

Jeffrey Drown and his partner, Don Rachel, are the owners of Structor, a 2-year-old thoroughbred horse purchased last year for $850,000.   Structor has won three major races so far, including the coveted 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner with a purse of $1 million.  Jeffrey is the owner of Lyon Contracting, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota.   

Jeffrey Drown

Jeffrey Drown Talks About Nutrition for Racing Horses

To keep and maintain a thoroughbred horse’s excellent health takes much coordination and lots of planning.  A proper, balanced diet is one of the most important things you can give your horse.  With so many options available today, figuring out the best combinations to feed your thoroughbred can be daunting at best.  At worst, it can cost you millions in lost purses and awards that would have otherwise been yours.  Here, Jeffrey Drown talks about his horse, Structor, and what goes into the creation of this million-dollar racehorse’s well-balanced diet. 

Jeffrey Drown says to create a plan for the proper diet consists of several steps. The first thing he looks at is the horse’s health.  “Each one is different, just like each person is different,” he says.  He says one thing to consider is the condition of the horse’s teeth, for example.  “A horse that can’t chew properly might have trouble digesting food,” he explains. Intestinal parasites are another indication when planning the horse’s diet.  A veterinarian will do a fecal examination and blood work to ensure the horse is in the best health possible.  Jeffrey says another thing most people don’t think about is to make sure there aren’t too many biting insects flying around your horse as he tries to eat.  Otherwise, he may give up eating all he wants because it’s just too much trouble.  “I’m pretty fortunate not to have these issues with Structor,” he adds.  “We’ve got a great manager, trainer, and vet, so between all of us, he’s pretty well taken care of.”  

Jeffrey Drown says next to consider is the type of horse you’re dealing with. For example, a retired horse will have different feeding needs and routines from a younger horse.  “Thoroughbreds tend to have high metabolisms and will require more food than other horses,” Jeffrey says.  Just like with humans, proper combinations of protein and fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals are needed to create the perfect health for each horse.  Most professional trainers agree that the general rule of thumb is that a horse that weighs 1000 pounds needs about 2% or more of its body weight in forage to stay healthy and avoid colic.  This is equivalent to about 20 pounds of quality hay a day.  Other nutrients are also needed to prevent injury, heal muscle, and maintain top health.  For this reason, top trainers use about 15 pounds of hay and the remainder in quality feed concentrate.  Some prefer to give their horse pelleted feed of extra nutrients since it’s easily digestible. 

“You are what you eat,” says Jeffrey Drown, “and that’s true for racing horses as well.”  He says endurance horses need more fat than ones that don’t race.  “This is to help give them the energy for racing,” he adds.  Hay can be given right up until competition as it buffers against stomach acid, and the sugars and starches will give the horse a boost in short-term energy.  In any event, Jeffrey says measuring your horse periodically with a weight tape can give you a good estimate of your horse’s weight. 

Jeffrey Drown and his partner, Don Rachel, are the owners of Structor, a 2-year-old thoroughbred horse purchased last year for $850,000.   Structor has won three major races so far, including the coveted 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner with a purse of $1 million.  Jeffrey is the owner of Lyon Contracting, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota.