Australian horse gut health pioneer Poseidon enters US market

Australian horse gut health pioneer Poseidon enters US market

Photo: Poseidon Animal Health, via Facebook.

From its origins as a husband and wife applying their pharmaceutical and health backgrounds to help their own ailing horse, Poseidon Animal Health has grown to become a leader in equine gut health supplements in Australia and New Zealand, and is now looking to apply the same formula further afield.

Co-founder and CEO Peter Lord tells Business News Australia that 80 per cent of the Wollongong-based company's sales are in Australia, with the remainder split between New Zealand, Asia and the UAE.

But he believes that with the current push into the US market, the share of export will likely rise to around 50 per cent within two years.

After experiencing 85 per cent sales growth across domestic and export markets over the past year, Poseidon has now officially launched in the US with stateside manufacturing, distribution, sales, customer service and veterinary expert support. 

"We see the opportunity to mirror our success in the USA where we know consumer demand is high, due to the volume of enquiries and product requests from US customers we already receive," Lord explains.

Poseidon Animal Health co-founders Peter Lord (left) and Linda Goldspink-Lord (right).
Poseidon Animal Health co-founders Peter Lord (left) and Linda Goldspink-Lord (right).

 

Lord, a former CEO of Nature Vet which was acquired by Ceva Animal Health in 2010, describes the horse microbiome as the "forgotten space" in veterinary research when he and his wife Linda Goldspink-Lord embarked on the project without any intention to turn their findings into a business.

"The journey began through trying to fix an ailment in one of our own horses," he says.

"It was a combination of her understanding of gut health and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and along with an equine nutritionist coming up with a formulation that could do something to manage the microbiome within the hind gut of this particular horse.

"We trialled and it worked. You could see the changes in the horse almost instantly - every day it was putting on weight, the coat started to change, the behaviour started to change."

After witnessing such outstanding results, Goldspink-Lord decided to try the same formulations on some other horses they owned, which yielded the same healthy transformations.

"And from there Poseidon came to fruition," says Lord.

"We were probably the pioneers within the space in Australia. We dedicated ourselves to be a company that specialises in gut health, and that has allowed us to gain a far greater knowledge, do a lot more research and expand our range.

"If you look at the animal food chain, most money and research goes into production animals – the cattle, the sheep, pig and chicken markets, they’re far more advanced around digestive health."

The company formally launched in 2017, crossing the Tasman two years later into the New Zealand market. Its digestion and inflammation range of products are now stocked in 400 retailers across the two countries, and in 2021 it also expanded its offering into canine health as a category that has grown ever since.

"On the back of our canine, we’ll then roll out into the cat and feline space. Through export, we’re working with our distributors in the Middle East around looking at a camel range," he says.

Poseidon's head US veterinarian, Dr Erin Roddy.
Poseidon's head US veterinarian, Dr Erin Roddy.

 

The company's evidence-based equine range is recommended by leading veterinarians, retailers, horse breeders and equine professionals, and the plan is to use the same multi-channel strategy in the USA.

"The good thing for us is we know who our customer base is and the markets we want to be in," he says.

"We’re state-specific in terms of our targets – we’ll be around Florida, the New England area, Tennessee and Kentucky, California, and Texas. They're large populations, and the clientele is similar in terms of the horse disciplines that we deal with here.

"The US equine industry contributes $122 billion to the US economy, and the market is 10 times the size of Australia and New Zealand combined, totalling over 7 million horses."

He says the company's success to date has been built on providing education to horse and dog owners who ultimately want to learn more about how they can support their animals to live healthier lives. 

"We’ll use the same approach in the US, hosting educational webinars with equine experts and having a presence at established equine events, so that we can help US horse owners better understand the gut and digestive health of their animals," adds Lord.

"Poseidon Animal Health products are used by equestrians at all levels, from Olympians, international show jumpers and Grand Prix dressage riders, to breeders, pony club riders and happy hackers. We’re excited to help horses across various disciplines throughout the USA."

The company has also onboarded a head veterinarian in the US, Dr Erin Roddy.

"Research has identified that poor gut health can play a major role in contributing to many health ailments in horses and dogs, so we believe true health comes from supporting strong digestive and gut health," Dr Roddy says.

"Wellness from within starts with effective digestive supplements, backed by science."

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