Promotional Feature with Andrews Bowen
The surface you train on is one of the main factors for optimum performance and soundness of your horse. Andrews Bowen manufactures high quality surfaces for all types of use, whether it be a private arena, livery yard or competition centre. The Andrews Bowen team take into consideration the key elements needed to ensure each surface gives the right amount of cushion, stability and return needed for every horse; maximising performance while keeping the horses’ health as the utmost priority.
Andrews Bowen is continuously involved in research and development to ensure all surfaces throughout the company’s range meet the requirements of today’s equine athletes. Through the investigation of ground-surface composition, properties and the effects specific surfaces have on the horse’s way of going, Andrews Bowen surfaces have developed into the ideal footing for every arena and gallop track.
Andrews Bowen is able to offer a range of services from surface supply only to full arena and facility design and construction. As every yard is different, the team are specialists in fulfilling specific requirements to meet the demands of every client.
The company has installed a number of canter and gallop tracks for clients to use as part of a training regime to allow horses to differentiate from the usual ‘arena work’ while getting competition fit. Allowing variation within methods of training gives horses the variability required to keep their minds active and stop horses getting disinterested in their work. With the company’s indispensable experience, the values of keeping horses sound both mentally and physically are integrated into every project, allowing the creation of unique custom facilities.
As official surface supplier to HOYS, Hickstead’s All England Jumping Course, Somerford Park, Hartpury College, Bolesworth and many more, Andrews Bowen has gained an enviable reputation. One particularly outstanding build is the Bolesworth Castle International Arena. The Andrews Bowen team worked closely with Nina Barbour to provide a phenomenal competition arena, from design through to completion of the world-class facility, finished with a uniquely picturesque moat surrounding the arena.
One client of Andrews Bowen, Hickstead Showground, home to the famous Hickstead Derby, wanted to include an all-weather arena into the existing facilities the showground has to offer. As one of the premier equestrian venues in the world, Hickstead’s facilities are unrivalled in the UK. However, the Bunn Family, owners of Hickstead, wanted to protect themselves against any unforeseen bad weather during the shows held throughout the year.
Hickstead made the decision to have a new Andrews Bowen all-weather arena constructed with Andrews Bowen 2012 mix surface at the site of ring four. The existing grass arena was on a slight gradient which was removed and some great new features were added along with entrance and exit ramps. The features in the arena include a Devil’s Dyke, water splash and a bank, all of which can be incorporated into all of the prestigious shows held throughout the year.
Hickstead’s Lizzie Bunn said: “After previous years’ unseasonal weather, we felt we needed to put in another all-weather arena as an insurance against wet years. We have built it with many permanent features on the perimeter such as a water splash, a Devil’s Dyke, banks and steps so that it can also be used for derby or working hunter classes if the need arises.”
Alongside ring four, Andrews Bowen has previously resurfaced The Bunn Leisure Arena, a 100m x 50m fully boarded arena, along with the international 65m x 35m warm up arena.
Andrews Bowen is known best for being selected as the official surface supplier for the London Olympic Games in 2012. Being presented with one of the most difficult sites to transform into a world class venue, the team were faced with many difficulties associated with placing an arena on a National Heritage Site. However, the challenges presented led to Andrews Bowen to incorporate Equaflow into the design and also the development of the ‘2012 mix’” (there just needs to be a ‘ added after 2012 mix). FEI Secretary General, Ingmar De Vos, said: “The FEI are really happy with the footing and Equaflow system provided by Andrews Bowen.” From the success of the Olympic Games, Andrews Bowen has continuously moved forward in the world of equine surfaces, providing facilities for private clients through to five-star venues.
Surfaces have primarily been the target for enhancing shock absorption with specific surfaces playing a role in reducing the risk of lameness developing. Andrews Bowen’s approach to investigating surfaces help the team understand how current surfaces are performing, what affects their shock absorbing capacity and how they might design the surfaces of the future.