As horse breeders and trainers - think team roping and barrel racing horses - Justin and Abigail Freter weren’t happy with what they were seeing in the horses they were training.

Justin says, “We train horses to be athletes and of course that means they work very hard. It makes it tough to keep their weight up, and we didn’t like the way the way the manes and tails looked on the horses we were training. So I started looking for alternatives in terms of feed.

“I got on the internet and came across Hay-Rite in Weatherford that produces pure hay cubes and pellets. I talked to Jim Willey, the owner, for about an hour on the phone and was convinced this is what we needed to bring the horses we train, including our own horses, up to the level of health we wanted."

He says they tried out Hay-Rite feed and it did exactly what they wanted it to do and they decided they wanted to get the word out to other people in the equine community. Ultimately they figured the best way to do that was through a feed store, and they opened Cross Performance Feeds on Oct. 31.

When asked how the business is doing, Justin replied, “So far the response has been great, better than we really expected, to be honest. That’s really good because while I will still do some training, what I really want to do full time is run Cross Performance Feeds and train and sell our own horses. And I’m not really interested in entering roping competitions now.”

Abigail, on the other hand, is still interested in barrels but is taking a little time off right now. She recently hired on as the receptionist at Stephenville Equine Sports Medicine, and says, “I don’t have any competitions I’m getting ready for right now, but I still love barrel racing. I’ll get back to it pretty soon.” 

Justin pointed us to the site to learn more about the feed and there we learned that there are two very important features horse owners will love:

• It’s 100 percent noxious-weed free, and

• It’s 100 percent beetle free.

From the website: “Hay-Rite alfalfa is grown on high desert farms located in southern Utah. It’s always sun-cured, chopped and cubed in the field, the ‘Superior Way’ to make cubes.

The site also says, “HAY-RITE cubes are 100% Natural with NO dyes, chemicals, mold retardants, preservatives or flavorings added; only sun-cured WESTERN alfalfa enriched with Bentonite minerals to increase absorption of nutrients, detox the digestive system and improve cube quality.”

“Anyone who’s been around horses knows they can have a lot of digestive problems and if they’re not getting the right feed, they can get ulcers, or colic for example. In our experience your horse is never going to have digestive problems on Hay-Rite,” Justin says.

Justin is from Wisconsin, by the way, and Abigail is originally from Washington State, but Stephenville became home about four years ago and they love it here.

“This is such a great town, especially for people like us who have rodeo backgrounds and who both work in the equine field. Hey, it’s the Cowboy Capital of the World, and that’s about as good as it gets for us,” Justin says with a grin.

You’ll find Cross Performance Feeds on the South Loop a few doors down from H&R Block. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Questions? Call Justin at 254-485-5805.