It’s in the bag: Hallway Feeds feeding Keeneland’s yearling sale millionaires

Who feeds the 7-figure horses sold at Keeneland's September Yearling Sale?


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – 42 inches, 120 pounds; that’s the average thoroughbred foal.

Fast forward 16-18 months.  The Keeneland September Yearling Sale.  62 inches tall, pushing 1,200 pounds.

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That’s eating your Wheaties…or maybe more like a combination of Hallway Feeds.

“As we raise the horses on the farms here in Central Kentucky, there’s a certain diet we use for the mares, the foals; then as they’re weaned, and turn into short yearlings, they’re probably going to stay on a similar diet.” – Anthony Koch, Hallway Feeds Sales & Marketing Manager

(horse sounds)

“But when we start talking about the sales and preparing a yearling for the sales, we’re going to move to a little different ration for those horses…probably use a little more fat, fiber…try to get the coat, the body condition we’re looking for on these yearlings to make them look a little more athletic.” – Koch

“And so we tailor the feed rations to what we want the horse to look like.  Then possibly the last 30 to 60 days before the sale, we could look at putting a little bit more starch back into the mix to get that muscle tone they’re looking for.” – Koch

Two main ingredients: beet pulp and oil…weight goes up, body condition increases and cleans the coat.  Corn, oats or barley can bring out the muscular tone.  There’s a science when you’re asking for and commanding top dollar come auction time; you want your investment to look irresistible to buyers.

‘Where you goin’?  Somebody shut the door!  Get that man in here.  Don’t you walk away!”  – Keeneland auctioneer.

“If your horses are bred to win, make sure they’re fed to win.” – Koch

“So we’re very excited about the success of our customers already at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.  In fact, on the first day, our customers sold 5 of the 6 highest priced horse including the number one horse from Woods Edge for $2.2 million.” – Koch

Feeding the sport’s elite.  Hallway has the formula down pat…good product, good service and continued improvement.  Like these fancy new baggers.  A 2-week overhaul process.

“We had to do it.  We’re a family-owned operation.  We’re open Monday-Friday from 8-5 and that gives our team here, our family, time to be with their families.  So we needed to find a way to put more production into our existing production hours.” – Koch

Out with old.

(Sounds of machines operating)

In with the new.

(more machine sound)

The upgrade taking the production line from 11 bags per minute to 16 1/2 when it’s humming.

(machine sounds)

Change through the years…from one pellet mill to two…from 8-inch pipe to 12-inch.  From a slower-automation to what you’re seeing here…it all adds up to a mindset.


Hallway Feeds, feeding racing’s most expensive horses.

(horse neigh)

It may not be the most exciting two minutes in the sport.

“All rise for Justify!  The Kentucky Derby was never in doubt.” – KY Derby track PA

But it’s how we get there.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at