From an identification tag containing emergency details to solar lighting for stables, there were “some cracking products” named as winners of this year’s innovation awards at the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA) annual trade fair (22-24 February).
The 2015 awards — which celebrate new and exciting products launched in the past year — attracted a record 99 entries
A panel of judges — made up of Countrywide Farmers’ equine manager Sara Blackshaw, chairman of British Eventing’s Young Rider selection committee Alex Colquhoun, North Yorkshire vet John Sommerville and show rider and producer, Sophie Webster — selected the winners.
“The awards attracted such a vast number of entries this year that our judges had an exceptionally tough task in selecting the winners,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.
The winners of the 10 categories were:
Country fashion and footwear
Company: Ariat Europe
Product: Ariat Country Tall Boot Collection
This collection for men and women features new ATS Pro technology to ensure maximum stability with enhanced flexibility, the new Poron XRD smart rebound heel pad to provide extreme impact and high-traction Duratread outsoles.
Judges’ comments: These high-end boots, with many innovative features, are certainly worth the money. The quality and style are excellent, with nice seams and detail on the leather.
Feed and supplements
Company: The Herbal Horse and Pet
Product: Ultimate Mix
Probiotics, multivitamins and joint supplements are combined in one product.
Judges’ comments: This supplement is very appealing and smartly packaged, clearly aimed at the equestrian market. The principle behind the product is very good.
Company: Solar Technology International
Product: Solar Mate Solar Hub
This is the first easy-to-install solar lighting and power system designed for stables and agricultural buildings, giving good working light and allowing you to charge your phone in remote locations.
Judges’ comments: The low-cost product provides good lighting in a small equine area and is particularly useful if you don’t have electricity. We were also impressed by the 10-year warranty.
Horsecare equipement and (horse) clothing
Product: Sküp (pictured top)
This is the only food scoop on the market with teeth — designed to loosen compacted feed and making feeding your horse a quicker and easier process.
Judges’ comments: This is a truly innovative product at a very affordable price. We love the fact that it stands up on its own and can be held in different ways. The clearly visible measurement marks are also very useful.
Company: Animology/Pet Rebellion
Product: Woof food bowl
Two removable stainless-steel, dishwasher-friendly bowls sit in a shaped, high-gloss floor mount with rubber-grip feet in red, black and white colour options.
Judges’ comments: The design is innovative and attractive, and the product is well-made, cleanable and non-slip.
Company: Kastel Denmark
Product: Charlotte Collection shirt
This quarter-zip riding shirt is breathable and made in a UV-protective fabric with mesh sleeve panels to provide both a comfortable riding experience and fashion flair.
Judges’ comments: What makes this clever is the mesh sleeves and breathable strips on the arms.
Rider footwear and chaps
Company: Lorenzini Titanium
Made in Italy, these spurs combine the benefits of pure titanium with the elegance of European craftsmanship.
Judges’ comments: The spurs are made completely from titanium in a lovely Italian design with very good packaging. The company has further developed the design of spurs, bringing to the market something that is different.
Saddlery and tack
Company: Neue Schule
Product: Neue Schule Turtle Top bit
This is an innovative bit that has been designed for the overactive and busy mouth. The horse is prevented from lifting the side arms _— cannons — through the joint design, ensuring the bit comes into the desired optimum alignment and giving greater stability.
Judges’ comments: This well-crafted bit is fabulous. The well-researched innovation is in the alignment of the bit’s mouthpiece. Most bits are designed to sit on the horse’s mouth, whereas this product means that when pressure is put on the mouth it sits perfectly.
Safety and security
Product: USG SOS
This tag with an individual ID code attaches to USG body protectors and holds all the vital information needed in the event of an emergency .
Judges’ comments: This is a really sensible product that can help riders in all emergencies. We like the quantity of detail about riders and their horses that can be stored.
Technical outdoor clothing and footwear
Aimed at the country outdoor pursuits market, this jacket is breathable and waterproof, and has hand warmers, a detachable hood and an array of pockets inside and out.
Judges’ comments: This reasonably priced jacket is smart and well-fitting, and its brown trim gives a hint of European design. The five-year warranty is impressive.
The winners will be able to use the innovation awards logo in their marketing for the next twelve months.