5* international event rider converts competition yard to Miscanthus bedding

By Sophie Wilesmith

Hector Payne, 5* international event rider, has converted his own private competition yard over to Miscanthus to reduce dust in the stables, yet the bedding has brought about more unexpected benefits to his operations.

Hector explains that he’s tried everything from straw to shavings and wood pellets, but the Miscanthus really stood out on all fronts, especially in reducing dust. “In the summer the stables get dusty in the heat, to the point that the dust sticks to walls, even if you water it non-stop. Miscanthus is dust extracted and you can really tell the difference. We have not had an issue with excess dust since using it.

“We came across Terravesta Equine at Osberton Horse Trials and we were impressed after we used it at the event. Usually you are given two bales in each stable on arrival and this doesn’t cover what’s needed. But we only purchased one more bale for each stable over five days, which was impressive.”

Hector manages 19 horses in his competition yard near Andover, in Hampshire, and believes that Miscanthus bedding lasts longer and doesn’t produce a lot of waste. “It doesn’t stick to everything, so there is less wastage. It also rots down just as quickly as wood pellets.”

Mucking out 19 stables daily has its challenges, and Hector has a team of three, including himself to manage this on a daily basis. “We use 2 bales per stable per week when they’re stabled all winter, with a two-hour turnout.

“It’s worth pointing out that on a professional yard this is pretty good, because the horses are stabled overnight, they get mucked out at 8:00am each morning and 5:00pm each afternoon. Many smaller stables might say they use one bale per stable per week, but their horses are turned out for most of this time,” explains Hector.

“We’ve never had an issue with horses eating it, the prices are competitive and we’re sticking with Miscanthus now!”

Click here to give Miscanthus bedding a try