The innovation awards at BETA International – held at the NEC from 19-21 February – are always highly anticipated and this year was no exception.

The panel of judges included eventer Blyth Tait, Hartpury College equine event director Janet Plant, world champion farrier Steven Beane, Michael Peace of Think Equus, Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch director Danny Butler and Liz Benwell, editor of Equestrian Trade News.

“Finding a winner for each category is never an easy task, but this year proved especially challenging.” said Claire Thomas, of BETA International organiser, Equestrian Management Consultants.

“There was a high standard of entries across the board, demonstrating truly original design, significant levels of market research and quality manufacture.”

Feed and supplements innovation award winner was Racing Blue for its dietery supplement, Racing Blue Storm.

Described as an “exciting breakthrough in equine performance nutrition”, it contains sport patented beta-alanine to boost the horse’s innate ability to delay muscle fatigue through improved management of lactic acid.

“This supplement is truly innovative and backed by impressive research, including species specific trials,” said the judges. “Without a doubt, it is an extremely beneficial addition to the diet of all performance horses.”

Highly commeneded was Greenans Products Limited’s Smart Bunker – a vermin-proof feed storage solution that rotates feed to ensure freshness.

In the horsecare products and equipment category the winner was Horseware Products for Ice-Vibe – a neoprene boot which combines cold wraps and vibrating panels to deliver electronic cold circulation therapy.

The vibration increases circulation, combined with cold therapy to reduce inflammation, to offer safe and effective treatment as it allows blood flow to be maintained.

The judges said: “The overall presentation of this product was very appealing and it has years of research behind it. Not only does it deliver electronic cold circulation therapy, it can also be used without the cold wraps to boost circulation in the legs. A very versatile product for everyday use.”

Highly commended was Propress Equine Ltd’s Flexi-neb Equine Nebuliser – a portable equine nebulisation system that is silent and runs from a rechargeable battery. The flexible mask is comfortable for the horse and has the potential to deliver faster treatment.