A record number of entries challenged for the prestigious annual Horse & Hound BETA New Product Awards at the National Exhibition in Birmingham on Sunday night (18 February, 2001).

Judges were asked to select the winner and runners-up in six categories – saddlery and tack, feed and veterinary, safety and security, rider clothing, horse care and equipment and reader’s favourite online product (a new category this year).

Saddlery and tack

Winner: Supracor Equestrian Products’ Cool Grip Saddle Pad.

A performance saddle pad for equine athletes which offers a stiffer front section for maximum shock in wither area for jumping.

Available in regular or long lengths.

Cost at around £150

Judged by former royal national hunt jockey Bill Smith, who described the winning product as: “Good value with a 30-day trial period and two-year warranty.”

Highly commended: Thorowgood’s Airoform Girth

Cost at around £19.95 (GP), £17.95 (dressage).

Highly commended Armadillo Products Ltd’s Invotec Competition Boots

Cost at around £36.95 – £46.95

Feed and veterinary

Winner: Equine America’s Lamigard

Judged by show producer David Tatlow who summed up: “Laminitis is a serious problem in the equine world. This is a product I would buy and use as I’m confident it would work.”

Highly commended: Equi-Sure Ltd’s Flexible Magnet.

Cost at around £39.99

Highly commended: Goodrich Stabling’s VAACS (Ventilation & Air Cleaning System

Cost from around £195

Safety and security

Winner: Raddery Equine’s High Visibility Bridle

Bridlewear in synthetic webbing finished with high visibility tapes to provide safety on the road.

Judged by leading showing expert Stuart Hollings who summed up: “An excellent design whose reflective qualities allows it to be seen up to 300m away with the added value that it can be used as a headcollar too.”

cost at around £26

Highly commended: Air O Wear’s Troxel Capriole Helmet

Cost at around £32.50

Highly commended: Eyecatchers’ Boett Martingale Reflector

Cost at around £16.50

Rider clothing

Winner: SMD Group Ltd’s Ariat Crowne Field Boot

Supple calf leather upper with sleek styling and stirrup sensitive sole.

Cost at around £390

Judged by show producer Gilly Tatlow who summed up: ” Comfortable, hard-wearing and with a choice of six calf sizes for every foot size, these will be a popular choice in footwear this season.

Highly commended: Georg Schumacher’s Iceland jacket

Cost at around £200

Highly commended: Zebra Products Ltd’s Resolution Bay Stretch Shirt

Cost at around £34.99

Horse care products and equipment

Winner: Matchmakers International Ltd’s Masta Turnout rug

waterproof turnout rug which is also breathable. The flexi neck design allows the horse maximum freedom to stretch.

Judged by show jumping rider/trainers Graham and Tina Fletcher, who summed up: “Great value and an innovative design with Neoprene between the body of the rug and the neck which allows for freedom of movement and durability.”

Cost at around £94.95

Highly commended: Samnet Ltd’s Rag-Fork

Cost at around £22

John Whitaker International Ltd’s Self Tapping Studs

Cost at around £2.50

Readers’ favourite Online Product

Voted for by the users of Horse & Hound Online, the outright winner was Dublin’s cosy Kew jodhpurs from Weatherbeeta.

Site editor Barbara Young summed up: “Well deserved winners, these good looking jodhpurs are a must for riding throughout the season and are excellent value.”Cost at around £24.99