The coveted BETA Innovation Awards were keenly contested at the recent BETA international trade fair in Birmingham. Here is the low down the products that caught the judges eyes.
Winner in the rider clothing category was the Ariat Ultralight Spring Buck and Terrain Chap Riding System. This new casual boot and chap combination has been designed with endurance riders in mind but its stylish appearance is set to apply to riders from all disciplines. The lightweight, flexible, breathable boots are made from durable full grain leather with air mesh uppers. They are designed to be worn with the Ariat Terrain chap, which combines nubuck leather on the inside of the leg for extra grip with breathable air mesh on the outside. For more details visit: www.ariat.com
Highly commended in this section was Toggis Snowdown Over Trousers, which designed to keep you warm and dry in the worst of weathers, from the brands Extreme range. Visit: www.toggi.com
Saddlery and Tack
Winner of the saddlery and tack award was the Sci Girth from Equine Performance Products. This girth has been developed following extensive research into the negative effects on performance caused by an over-tight girth. The girth is constructed of two layers of neoprene laminated together to give the ideal stretch characteristics to suit the chest motion of horses during intense exercise. The girth is available in dressage, show jumping and racing styles. For more information visit www.scigirth.com.au
Runner-up in this category was the Professionals Choice Sports Medicine Boots Elite, for the ultimate in support for your horses legs. Available in all good tack shops.
Safety and Security
Anyone who has experienced problems with using studs during the competition season will be delighted that SupaStuds was the winner of the Safety and Security section. Designed to be completely self-cleaning, these new studs are being marketed as easier, faster and safer to use than any other stud on the market. They are tougher than tungsten, vitually rust free and most important of all, they do not require the stud holes to be tapped out before being inserted. For more information visit www.supastuds.com
The Kelowna Equestrian Ground Pole Holder, which is designed to prevent lightweight poles from being knocked out of position when used as trotting or placing poles, was highly commended.
Winner of the best miscellaneous product was the Stadium Rhino Runna. Designed to fit around a flexible rubber skip, this fold-up wheelbarrow has a brightly coloured metal frame, into which the skip can be placed. It appears ideal for use at overnight shows, when it may not be practical to take a standard wheelbarrow with you. Visit: www.stadium-ventilation.co.uk
Fyna-lite was a runner-up in the other section of the BETA innovation awards, with its new Fyna-Lite Rubber Matting fork, which has interlinked tines to remove the risk of the fork catching on the matting and becoming bent out of shape. Visit www.fynalite.co.uk
Horse Care & Equipment
Winner of the best new horsecare product was the Silver Interactive Sweet Itch Fly Sheet from FAL Pro. The rug incorporates X-Static, a textile fibre that has a layer of pure silver permanently bonded to its surface. According to the manufacturer, the Silver Interactive layer offers the additional natural therapeutic benefits of Silver, which include repelling microbial and fungal infections, promoting effective circulation and healing and reducing allergic reactions in sensitive horses. Matching fly mask available for purchase separately. Visit www.falpro.com
Runner-up in this section was the Horseware Ireland Rambo Flybuster Protector, which is made from a patented fabric, which promises to be tough, durable, soft, protective, UV reflective and breathable. The rug can be wrapped close to the horse to prevent annoying insects coming into contact with the horses skin. For more information visit: www.horseware.com
Feed & Veterinary
Winner of the feed and veterinary product prize, and the overall most innovative product at BETA, was the Westgate Worm Count Kit. First featured on HHO in October 2004, the kit provides everything you need to send a worm count sample off for diagnosis. Read our review >> Visit: www.westgatelabs.co.uk
Highly commended in this category was Blue Chips new Lami-Light forage balancer. If your horse or pony is overweight, prone to laminitis or has poor hoof quality, Lami-Light helps to provide the right nutritional balance, claims the manufacturer. Visit: www.bluechipfeed.com