The market leader in eventing stopwatches has enlisted an advanced event rider to help develop its latest range.

Optimum Time’s “big, yellow stopwatches”, established in 1996 by Tim and Tracey Hawkins for sailing and eventing, have helped many elite riders win top titles. But eventer Becky Woolven (pictured above, wearing new pink stopwatch) felt the original version was lacking a couple of important functions. Her suggestions will feature on the new range.

“It was very difficult to hear the bleeps which signal your minute markers when you’re galloping on a windy day,” said Becky, 24. “I thought the watches should also vibrate so that riders have a better chance of knowing their timing without constantly looking down at their watch.”

Becky also helped develop a 30sec countdown to assist those riders whose horses are tricky in the startbox.

Becky, who has a first-class degree in international equine and agricultural business management from the Royal Agricultural College, contacted Optimum Time on spec with her ideas.

Tim Hawkins said that although they had already considered a few improvements, Becky’s suggestions — as a competitor — convinced him to make the changes. She tested the new functions at events last season.

“She also persuaded us that we should be offering our watches in more than 1 colour, so we now have 7 to choose from,” said Tim, who will also be sponsoring Becky and her string of horses this season.

For information, visit www.optimumtime.com

RRP: £94.95