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Case Study: Coolmore America

The great thing about the fans is they’re so quiet that the horses don’t get distracted, the people don’t get distracted. It’s a benefit for everybody. Adrian Mansergh-Wallace, Nomination Sales

The Gist

Problem

In the Thoroughbred breeding industry’s epicenter of Central Kentucky, sauna-like conditions made barns unbearable for stallions and their handlers.

Solution

Cooling airflow from Big Ass Fans’ Powerfoil X3.0 and Haiku fans transformed the breeding shed and stallion barns into comfortable, productive spaces.

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With bases in Ireland, Australia, and North America, Coolmore is one of the world’s premier Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. Coolmore America, located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, is home to a leading band of broodmares and a roster of 15 stallions, including Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify.

Since racehorse registries worldwide dictate that Thoroughbreds must be conceived through natural means, or “live cover,” the stallion and mare meet at farms like Coolmore America in large barns called breeding sheds. Here, experienced equine handlers and veterinarians work to ensure safe, efficient matings with the goal of producing the next generation of Thoroughbreds. The Northern Hemisphere breeding season runs from February through June, so in Kentucky’s horse country, temperatures rise considerably as the breeding season marches on.

“Obviously, the months of February and March in Kentucky are pretty cold,” Coolmore’s Adrian Mansergh-Wallace explained. “But from April, May, and June onwards, it gets very hot, especially when you’re dealing with two 1,000-pound animals in a breeding shed and four or five guys assisting with the breedings.”

In 2016, with temperatures soaring and horses and staff sweltering, Coolmore America decided enough was enough and looked to find a better solution.

“We had an extracting system, which sucked the air up through the breeding shed and out, but that moved very little air,” Mansergh-Wallace said. “We needed something for the space that moved an amount of air that made it more comfortable, and the only option was a Big Ass fan.”

Coolmore America installed two 16-foot Powerfoil X3.0 fans, one for each section of the breeding shed. Richard Barry, Coolmore’s stallion manager, said the fans immediately created more comfortable conditions for his human and equine crew. “The movement of air is such a blessing,” he said. “It really makes life comfortable for us. When it’s 88, 90 degrees out and you come into the breeding shed and it actually feels cool, it’s very nice.”

Mansergh-Wallace added: “The great thing about the fans is they’re so quiet that the horses don’t get distracted, the people don’t get distracted. It’s a benefit for everybody.”

When Coolmore saw how well the Powerfoil X3.0 fans worked in the breeding shed, they decided to install Haiku fans in each of the stallions’ private stalls. “The Haiku fans are silent, very efficient, and they move a lot of air,” Mansergh-Wallace said. “The stallions don’t get scared or startled by them.”

Far from being a distraction, the fans get perhaps their strongest endorsement from the horses themselves. According to Barry, after spending the morning in their paddocks, the stallions “are waiting for us at the gate; they want to come in and stand under their fan.”

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