Germany equestrian magazine Cavallo has rated the Ifor Williams HB506 horse trailer as the best in class in its recent test.
The judges gave the HB506 from Ifor Williams Trailers their seal of approval after concluding it was the most comfortable, horse-friendly horsebox among the seven models they tested.
They used an old runway close to Stuttgart as the setting for the tests and placed two 500kg weights inside the trailer to replicate the weight of the horses. Sensors recorded the effect of the vibrations on the trailer whilst driving over bumps.
The judges were particularly impressed with the leaf spring suspension on the Ifor Williams trailer, which they said, “gives the horse a particularly comfortable ride” as well as “compensating for lateral rocking very well”.
The Ifor Williams horsebox also performed well in the noise level test where it was the second quietest of all of the horseboxes when towed at 50mph.
The HB 506 was recommended ahead of the Top Master, the flagship horsebox from the German manufacturer Böckmann, which had been named Trailer of the Year at Equitana 2009. Other German trailers tested included the Pegasus from Humbaur, the Nevada Alu from WM Meyer and the Compact from Thien. The French contenders were the Provan E by Fautras and Grand Confort Gold by Cheval Liberté.
Cavallo journalist John Mikisch said: “The editorial team sought to find the trailer in which horses suffer the least from stress in a comprehensive test.
“They tested the noise level inside the trailer and the extent to which unevenness in the road is transferred to a horse’s legs and body.
“In addition to these comfort categories, Cavallo tested the trailers’ stopping distances at 50kph and 80kph in order to assess how safe they are on the road.
“Overall the HB 506 is the winner with two second places for noise and shock absorbance as well as first place for lateral rocking in the three comfort categories.”
The judges concluded that horses were given a “particularly comfortable ride” in the Ifor Williams trailer made in Wales.
John Williams, Managing Director of Ifor Williams Trailers, was delighted with the result.
He said: “When we designed the new horsebox we applied the standards of top car manufacturers.
“We used the same test track as Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson to put the new trailer through its paces because we believe that horses deserve to have the best comfort levels when they’re on the road.
“Although the look and styling are contemporary, the heritage of the company that has been built on quality and durability is plain for all to see.”
Pictured: Peter Nesbitt, Ifor Williams Business Development Manager (right), with the Deputy First Minister of Wales, Ieuan Wyn Jones AM.