Kelcie’s pulled out all the stops to ensure that their one-of-a-kind pumpkin spice horse treats check all the boxes!
Husband and wife horse enthusiasts Kevin and Mary Elizabeth Nairne had two of the key ingredients required to start a successful horse treat company – knowledge and passion. With her extensive experience in show jumping and his background in corporate sales, they identified an opportunity to introduce a high-quality treat aimed (initially) at the sport horse market. “Together we decided to develop a horse treat made from all-natural, healthy ingredients,” says Kevin. “We wanted it to be safe for competition, easy to handle, and most importantly – with a taste and texture horses would love!”
They set out to do their research – and didn’t cut a single corner. Kevin and Mary Elizabeth familiarized themselves with the market, and picked the brains of many knowledgeable horse caretakers, including Olympic and World Equestrian Games Show Jumping Gold Medallist Laura Kraut, who happens to be Mary Elizabeth’s sister!
It’s not just a treat, it’s a health product!
After gathering the data they needed, Kevin and Mary Elizabeth agreed on fifteen all-natural healthy ingredients. Because of its digestive qualities, pumpkin was chosen as the main ingredient, and bananas, turmeric and anise were added to increase the palatability. “Our goal was to be different from the rest of the market,” says Kevin. “There are many different types of treats available which claim to be healthy, however they often have molasses as a main constituent. This creates a high amount of sugar which is not good for the horse.”
They also factored in the ideal size and aroma. They wanted the treat to be hard so it wouldn’t crumble in the pocket, with a unique, bite-sized shape to promote chewing and increase saliva production – essential for buffering the stomach to support healthy digestion.
“We tested the product extensively with our own horses and those in other barns,” says Kevin. “The feedback from the tests were amazing – the horses adored the treat and were asking for more. We also identified that fussy eaters were also eating Kelcie’s and because of the low sugar content, they are also safe for horses with Cushing’s.”
The recipe took a full year to complete, and was officially launched – with great success – in June 2019 at the Upperville Horse Show in Middleburg, VA.
Where are they now?
Kevin and Mary Elizabeth are excited about what the future holds for their growing company. “Over the last two years, our sales have increased as equestrians have become aware of the benefits Kelcie’s Treats provide to their horses,” says Kevin. Mary Elizabeth and I set out to develop the ultimate horse treat for the happy, healthy horse. We’re proud to say that we’ve achieved that goal – and there are thousands of horses and owners across the continent who agree with us!”
Ready to try Kelcie’s Treats? Head to kelcies.com or visit your local feed store!