The story of Kevin Bacon’s hoof dressing began on the shop floor of my general butcher's and pork butcher's business near Liège in the 1980s. I had just bought a mare with a clipped heel and was unable to find anything that would get the horn to grow back. A friend then suggested that I make my own hoof dressing, something that my trade made easier.
So, I then met with various farriers, veterinarians, and pharamcists to develop a “miracle cure” for dry, brittle hooves.
As a result, I developed a product made of animal fats, vegetable oils, and laurel extract (obtained by maceration) that truly penetrated the horn to keep moisture inside the hoof. The beneficial actions of laurel extract were not necessarily unknown at the time, but by doing the extraction myself I was able to check the concentrations of active ingredients that it contained.
Good results quickly followed. I started selling the hoof dressing in the environs until a friend sent some to the international show jumper Kevin Bacon, who was immediately convinced of its merits. I then asked him if he would agree to give his name to this hoof dressing.
That marked the start of my little business's expansion. I would work in my back room at the end of the day, turning out 200 kg batches of grease, once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week!
We then had to find wholesalers to distribute the hoof dressing to farriers and tack shops. After winning over the French market, we broke onto the English market. Our meeting with Billy Crothers, a leading name in farriery, was decisive. Today, more than 1200 farriers use and sell my products in the United Kingdom, whilst the figure rises to 4000 for Europe.
As the years went by, other products followed in the wake of the original hoof dressing...and the story continues.