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Triple Crown Woes

Two years ago Gem and Pete moved to the first barn where I had freedom to pick my own feed. The owner fed a grain I didn’t feel was a good fit for the Dynamic Duo and so I went on an epic research binge reading dozens of articles and speaking with the top nutritionists in the sport of endurance trying to understand what I was looking for in a feed. I wrote a big post about it on my old blog and if anyone is interested I can dig up the link. It is less pertinent to eventing where the demands are different and the horse requires more short term energy versus the long sustained energy of endurance, but the basics still remain true.

After all that research I landed on Triple Crown and began Gem on senior first then switched to complete when the senior just wasn’t giving her enough energy on our long conditioning rides. She is now back on senior due to her reduced work load. Pete has been on Lite since the start.

I love this feed. Or rather I loved this feed, but more on that in a bit. Both horses responded really well to the diet with blossoming shiny coats, strong hoof growth and enough energy for their individual life styles. The only issue I had was access. The only place around here that carries it is a feed store about 10 minutes from that barn which was easy at the time I boarded there. Now it is a 45 minute trip to get there and the only day I can do it is on Saturday. The feed was worth it though and at the amount we feed I can stock up and buy 6 bags total (3 of each) and be good for a long time.

Except….

Triple Crown Senior now sucks.

About a month ago Triple Crown announced that its East Coast mill and distributor, Southern States, would no longer be making it and that Purina bought the recipe. There was a lot of chatter and apparently a lot of people hate Purina, but I didn’t get worked up about it since they promised their fixed ingredients would remain the same.

Well, they lied.

Last weekend I made the trek to get my grain and all seemed ok until I opened the bag at home and out poured a rock hard dried out mess that is basically inedible.

Ok…maybe it was just one bad bag.

Nope. The other is the same and when I took to the internet I saw similar complaints across the board with TC replying that they are aware of the issue and that reps in the field were working on fixing the issue with the local mills. Same recipe and quality my butt. TC hammered the nail into their own coffin when they told people that they have found that getting on your knees on the unopened bag will break up the food.

Um…no thanks. I don’t want a grain that I need to beat up in order to feed my horses.

Of course this now leaves me with what to do. There is a Tractor Supply 1/4 mile from my work and I need to see what all they offer. I know they carry Purina (TC originally stated that the change to Purina would open doors to more suppliers but then yesterday said that they won’t ever be offered at TSC so um??) but I’m not big on jumping to that. There are a ton of endurance riders in the upper levels of the sport that love Purina Ultium and swear by it and there are a few options similar in texture to the TC Senior, but I hate that they don’t post ingredients online.

Southern States is now making a Horse Pro Elite feed that mimics the Triple Crown products they used to make and my feed store gave me a sample. It was moist and pretty much identical to the Senior I used to get. However if I’m going to change I might as well try to change to something only 5 minutes away versus 45 minutes.

Anyway all that to say buyer beware with the new Triple Crown products being made by Purina. The Lite seemed unchanged in texture at least, but both my bags of Senior were awful and that seems to be the new norm for now at least. Back to the drawing board for me regarding feed options.

12 thoughts on “Triple Crown Woes

  1. Same issue here with the TC Senior. I switched P to that during his ulcer treatment this summer and the results were fantastic. But a month ago, the BO showed me the difference between the new bags she had bought and the old, and I immediately contacted TC about it. Same response- the new mills are trying to get the milling process down correctly, but ingredients are the same. At her request I sent her a sample of the new bag, and the feedlot #s and she sent me some free bag coupons. But I just opened a bag at War Horse and literally had to put both hands and squish food around just so I could scoop it out. BO and I are going to talk about switching to ProElite, since I’ve been hearing their Sr. is basically the same as the old TC Sr.

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  2. I fed Purina Ultium for years both Carlos and Ramone got it and if Dante wasn’t a part of the barn feed program (he gets Strategy) he’d be getting Ultium too. I love feeding it in conjunction with Renew Gold keep the horses fat, shiny, healthy and best of all not hot! You can always text me if you want to discuss it more 🙂

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  3. Ugh I hate it when something I love and use gets changed or becomes unavailable. Like. It was working just fine, why change it?? Good luck figuring out what to feed

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  4. I have a long-standing vendetta against Purina because they won’t list ingredients neither online nor on their bags: whereas Triple Crown’s was fixed ingredient, which meant ingredients would stay the same even if it meant increasing the cost per bag, Purina’s formulas are fixed price, which means that they will vary ingredients however they need to (aka more cheap fillers when necessary) in order to keep the price of the bags the same. No thank you.

    I currently feed Southern States’s Legends brand, specifically the CarbCare line. They are pelleted, so not the same texture as TC’s Senior, but both mares have done great on it this past year. Lily gets CarbCare Performance and Gracie gets CarbCare Balancer, which is meant to be fed in small amounts just like TC Lite. Both make a nice mash with added warm water.

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    1. That’s been my issue with Purina as well. Who knows what is in the bag? I really like the textured feed that the Senior and Complete are and Gem seems to approve as well. Southern States is now making their own version of Triple Crown and while it appears the same I haven’t been able to find their ingredient list either most likely because it is super new. I will do some research into the Carbcare line and see if it will work for us. I’m so bummed that TC changed so much as it was a really great feed for my needs

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  5. Thanks for posting this. I love TCS, my horse has thrived on it, and am suspicious of Purina as well.

    I have gotten bags of TCS this year that had been super compressed on the pallet in transit to the local distributor, and were almost a solid mass when I picked them up. However, once I opened the bags the mass loosened up like usual.

    I did some sleuthing on the COTH forum and saw that a representative of Triple Crown is a poster there. They posted this info:

    “Oct. 13, 2017, 04:07 PM

    I am a representative of Triple Crown Feed and wanted to leave this message for everyone on the East coast hearing about the new changes happening with Triple Crown, please check out this FAQ if you haven’t seen it yet: http://bit.ly/2fMZtA8 Triple Crown is happy to answer any questions you have so you have the correct information you are looking for. 800-451-9916 or email info@triplecrownfeed.com or PM me.”

    I went to the FAQ link and was encouraged by the info there. There is a list of the mills in the SE producing TCS so you could also communicate directly with them if you have concerns. (sorry for the novel)

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    1. I’ve had a similar experience with hard packed bags that loosen once opened and was fine with that. Heck by the time I got to the bottom of my container especially in the winter a lot of the times it would be pretty hard packed. Again though it would loosen. These last two bags the grain itself was dried out and hard as a brick. Even after breaking up the big mass the individual pieces were dried and Gem refused to eat it without me adding water. She is not a picky eater at all. I’ve seen several others with the same issues and when I reached out to TC they asked for the bag lot number and then told me it’s a known issue they are trying to fix. It just tells me that the recipe is not the same as it was before the change as I never had this issue before

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