Dr. Tom Shurlock has been a member of the Emerald Valley Team since 2003. Dr. Tom started working for British Horse Feeds in 1997. Armed with a BSc in Agricultural Biochemistry & Nutrition, and also a PhD in Animal Physiology & Nutrition, it was very clear from the get go, researching new developments in horse nutrition is Tom’s passion.
We met Dr. Tom in 2003, when our interest in finding natural low sugar/low starch feeds for horses struggling with metabolic issues led us to importing Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet, both made by British Horse Feeds in the UK. With these two horse feeds, we are able to help horse owners feed their horses less processed feeds that are non-GMO, and metabolic friendly.
It was only natural that Emerald Valley would seek Dr. Tom’s advice in the development of our bran free/corn free mashes in 2009. Bran mash has many myths to it, with one strong fact — it is a one hundred year old, out-of-date practice, that began when wheat middlings and the by-product of wheat where given to cattle and horses because it was cheap. And livestock would eat it. Horses were fed pounds of it, upsetting their calcium/phosphorus ratios, and later, linked to the commonly named disease “Big Head Syndrome”. Bran was essentially robbing the horse of the calcium in his bones and weakening the skeletal structure.
Under Dr. Tom’s guidance, we have brought to the equine marketplace, a nutritionally sound and healthy treat for horses, SuperMash, SavvyMash, SpookyMash, Geeky Mash and this season, SantaMash.
In 2014 Emerald Valley introduced, with Dr. Tom’s help, a horse and dog digestive supplement complete with prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes. Benegest PRO contains a full range of natural ingredients to maintain the whole gastrointestinal tract. We are always searching for new and creative natural solutions to improve your horse’s health. Research into new natural horse (and dog) health supplements are in the works for 2016.
In his spare time Dr. Tom is restoring a 17th Century farmhouse and likes walking, reading and has a keen interest in conservation. Dr. Tom lives in the Yorkshire Dales with his wife, two dogs, a cat and various reptiles. He has a daughter who is a radiographer and a son who is a vet.