Olympic rider launches vegan tack range

A new range of vegan tack is to be launched next month by former US dressage rider and Olympic bronze medallist Robert Dover.

Robert has created the ROBERT-SQUARED range with partner and fellow rider Robert Ross.

Mr Dover said the inspiration for their products came from vehicle manufacturers Tesla and Mercedes, which are no longer offering real leather car interiors, instead switching to “luxury vegan” leather.

After hearing a news item about the manufacturers’ stance, he felt the same choice should be available to the equestrian industry.

To bring the products to market, the company has joined forces with Charlie Tota of Florida-based retailers The Dressage Connection, as well as craftsmen, artisans and manufacturers from around the world.

It is believed to be the first time a full line of “luxury vegan” tack for show jumpers, dressage horses, hunters and ponies has been created.

“ROBERT-SQUARED will offer products that look and feel like the finest leather and are crafted to the state of perfection that Dover and Ross are known for,” a statement from the company said.

The range will include saddles and bridles, halters, leads, riding boots and paddock boots as well as accessories such as gloves, belts, dog collars and leads.

“Robert and I are extremely proud to be incorporating our life-long experience as horsemen along with our passion for the ethical treatment of animals to create this amazing, top quality line of luxury vegan equestrian wares,” Mr Dover said.

Advantages of “vegan leather” include easy cleaning which requires only soap and water as well as no need for oil. The material is non-stretch and does not dry or crack like real leather, contributing to an increased lifespan, while still offering the appearance of traditional tack with all hand-stitching.

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ROBERT-SQUARED will use only eco-friendly materials and will also donate 10% of its annual profits to four charities: The Brooke Foundation; Animal Equality International; Danny and Ron’s Rescue and The Equestrian Aid Foundation.

The products will launch in Wellington, Florida, on 12 February.

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