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McLain Ward and HH Azur, or “Annie” as she’s affectionately known, are one of the most recognized show jumping pairs in the equestrian world. A tall mare with vast scope and incredible bravery, Annie has had an amazing career with McLain. The pair has a long list of successes including countless Grand Prix wins, a USA Team silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and an emotional win after five clear jumping rounds at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Omaha.
However, during the CHIO Aachen in July 2018, Annie tore a muscle in her side. This put her out of attending the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon that fall. While McLain’s other top mare, Clinta, stepped up to win USA Team Gold at the WEG, Annie had a restful fall so she could come back strong for the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. One of the products McLain and Lee McKeever, McLain’s barn manager for over 30 years, used to help Annie’s muscle tear was Velocity.
Velocity is an emulgel used to increase muscle performance, endurance, and recovery in the equine athlete. Velocity has been clinically proven to penetrate deep into the muscle, unlike other gel and liniment products which sit on the surface of the horse’s skin. Velocity increases the levels of Carnosine in the horse’s muscles by ~50% within 60 minutes of application.
Carnosine is a naturally occurring molecule found in high concentrations in the type IIx skeletal muscle fibers of the human and equine bodies. These muscles are used in explosive movements, like weight training and sprinting. During high-intensity exercise, hydrogen ions are produced and accumulate as part of the energy release process. As the pH in the muscles decreases, due to acid build up, performance decreases. Carnosine may well be the definitive buffering agent against the hydrogen protons. Carnosine helps to put out the burning fire in the equine athlete’s muscles that is felt before reaching failure and enhances muscular performance. Carnosine has been studied for decades in humans to enhance performance. Until recently, this research and technology have not been available for the equine athlete.
After a restful fall and the regular use of Velocity, Annie was back in shape for the 2019 WEF season. At the end of March, McLain and Annie culminated the winter circuit by competing in the final “Saturday Night Lights” $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* event and won. After a long road back from injury, Annie was back on top and stronger than ever. When asked about using Velocity, Lee McKeever says, “We saw a dramatic change in her recovery time and overall performance. That sold it for us. That’s the main thing at the end of the day, a product that actually works. You feel a difference in the horse, the muscle, the whole thing. You’ll see it for yourself if you use it.”
Velocity is produced by Velocity Animal Sciences Inc, a biotech firm focused on equine and animal wellness. Velocity is a novel, clinically proven emulgel that aids in muscle performance and recovery and is FEI Show Safe to use. For more information on Velocity, please visit: www.equinevelocity.com.