Royal Champion

By Selena Frederick and Jackie McFarland

A Supplement is Reborn
With the competitive supplement industry, what is next for Royal Champion?

“It’s a classic product with an unparalleled history. And it’s experiencing a well-deserved reintroduction into the market,” explained company owner Tomas Harlan.

A pioneer from its inception, Royal Champion horse supplements introduced the concept of full supplementation 37 years ago into a market that had not seen anything quite like it. According to Harlan, not only is Royal Champion’s history unique, but most importantly the formulas are one of a kind, with a combination of ingredients not found in any other product. These two factors play an essential role in how RC differentiates itself from that of its many competitors.

The History of RC
At the appointment of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Dr. Trevor M. Cook developed the formulas for the Royal Family of England and for many years the products were used only by this elite group and exclusive clients in the British equestrian community. In 1990, Dr. Cook was released to sell the products commercially and brought RC to the US. Dianna DeCastro, a well-known figure on the California race circuit, had used the formulas on her own horses to great success and approached Dr. Cook for a potential partnership. From that meeting, she acquired the worldwide rights to the formulas and Dr. Cook stayed on in a research and product development capacity.

In 1995, Ms. DeCastro brought Royal Champion to the hunter/jumper and polo markets. Her marketing efforts targeted the top-level competition horses, riders, trainers and owners. After only a few months, Royal Champion saw an increase in its clientele from gains in this new market. Momentum of the product was gaining rapidly until 1999 when Ms. DeCastro was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident. The next seven years were a difficult period for the sustainability of Royal Champion as Ms. DeCastro struggled through multiple surgeries and a long recovery. Interestingly, some of the more passionate clients actually took initiative to get the product manufactured, packaged and shipped to themselves during that time period. These clients remain loyal to Royal Champion to this day.

Enter Tomas Harlan. As an acquaintance of Ms. DeCastro’s, Harlan was approached about the company in terms of ownership and after nine months of research, he ‘fell in love’ with the product. “While I had a background with horses from childhood, I didn’t realize what a strong impact a supplement could make. When I saw the results this product achieved, and heard from owners about how their horses simply ‘felt’ different with improvements in temperament, recovery and stamina, I knew that Royal Champion was something special.” In the end of 2008 Harlan purchased the company and since then has been actively reestablishing the brand on multiple levels, from local to global efforts.

RC Now and In the Future
In the short period since the change of ownership, RC’s reintroduction to the horse industry is well underway. Listening to and analyzing customer feedback, the staff at RC took into account what people value when making a decision about supplements for their horse, which led to the development of two new updates to the current complete vitamin and mineral formula, as well as a new complete joint formula for release later this summer.

The strategy is to “update the new line, continue moving the product throughout the US, continue to learn from customer feedback, and introduce the product to the equine market worldwide,” commented Harlan, who is in the midst of securing distribution in key foreign markets.

With the global market on the horizon and the continued success in the United States, RC supports top riders in several disciplines. The Royal Champion team of riders includes Hap Hansen, Joie Gatlin, Tom Foran, and Marco Bernal amongst several others. Their list of sponsored riders is constantly growing, as they keep their eyes on the next generation of up and coming talent in all disciplines.

Royal Champion has been consistently involved in supporting the world of show jumping, especially in Southern California. As the title sponsor of the $50,000 Royal Champion Grand Prix during the Blenheim Spring Classic II, and many more events throughout the season, the staff at Royal Champion continues to “connect with our customers and provide a top of the line formula to meet their horse’s nutritional needs. That is what Royal Champion is all about.”

  For more information about Royal Champion products, please visit

Sponsor Stories: Royal Champion

By Erin Gilmore

Royal Choices for Horses
Choosing which supplement to give your horse is a little like walking down the grocery aisle at Costco; the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming.

But when looking at the history and reliance of Royal Champion supplements, the choice suddenly becomes simple. Thirty-five years after its inception, the company that has its roots in the racing industry is still going strong.
Royal Champion Supplements
Dr. Trevor Cook, Royal Nutritionist to England’s Queen Elizabeth II, developed Royal Champion in the early ‘70s. Since then, the product has evolved into a line of supplements whose specific benefits range from hoof strength, muscle conditioning to coat shine. In 1992, racing trainer Dianna DiCastro bought the worldwide rights to Royal Champion and extended its reach across the pond to the California racing community, and later the hunter/jumper market.

Fed in powder form over grain or bran, Royal Champion can be given all year round, and benefits horses both in training and off. Considered a multi-purpose supplement, Royal Champion provides hoof and joint support, making it a popular alternative to feeding a handful of different supplements. Joie Gatlin and Odyssey

The high levels of vitamins A and D, and macro and micro-minerals in Royal Champion give it broad-reaching benefits that affect the whole horse. Without exception, Joie Gatlin, of Joie Gatlin-Morley Abey Show Jumping in San Juan Capistrano, puts all new horses that come into her barn onto the Royal Champion program.

“Whenever we have new horses come into the barn, we put them on it,” Gatlin comments. “Once we’ve had them on the product after 30 days we always see a difference in their energy and their coat.”

Joie uses Royal Champion with her entire string of horses. “It’s been a staple in my feeding regiment for fifteen years,” says Gatlin. “From my grand prix horses to the amateurs, all of my horses are on it. I think it can rival any other products of its kind out there.”

The benefits of recovery are a key factor for Joie and other users of Royal Champion. While the Premium and Premium Plus supplements replace any inconsistencies that might surface in a horse’s daily hay ration, the nutritional benefits also help going grand prix or high-level performance horses recover quicker after an intense workout. Hap Hansen is another longtime user of Royal Champion, and attests to the significant difference in his horses’ coats, condition and quick recovery time after a tough round.

Riders that use Royal Champion prove with their performances that they’ve literally found a winning formula for their horses; at the 2010 HITS Desert Circuit, Gatlin won the March 6th $50,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix with Camaron Hills Quick Dollar. Olympian Guy Thomas followed in fifth place with Carino. But on March 14th, during the concluding class of the circuit, Thomas scored his biggest finish of the season, coming in second in the $300,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert with his longtime partner Peterbilt.

Thomas’ trainers and parents, Butch and Lu Thomas, have made Royal Champion part of their program since 1998. As coaches of the North American Young Riders team and directors of a multi-facility training program, they use Royal Champion vitamins in their stables. “We run a very busy business, and are on the road at least 25 weeks of the year,” says Guy. “Royal Champion helps our horses stay in condition and deal with the stress of travel so I can depend on them in the ring. It will always be part of our supplement program.”

So when shopping for supplements, perhaps the above accolades will help you make a decision to try Royal Champion. In 30 days or less you may see a difference in your horse’s performance.