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Rainy Grand National prompts new business idea

Last year’s Grand National was remembered for all the wrong reasons. But for one racegoer, that wet and windy day provided him with the “Eureka” moment to start a new business.

Stephen Collier grew so sick of being dripped on and poked in the eye by umbrellas at Aintree, that he went home and reinvented it — with sports fans in mind.

“It was pouring with rain, the wind was howling and I was struggling with my umbrella,” he said.

“I thought there had to be a better way.”

And so the “Rainshader” was born. Based on the design of a motorbike helmet, it sits low over the head, so it doesn’t block the view of those behind — or blow inside out or drip on other people.

“The basic design of the umbrella hasn’t changed for centuries,” said the Warwickshire-based entrepreneur.

“The time was ripe to make it more suitable to modern settings.”

And with forecasters warning the weather pattern that caused last summer’s washout is back, it might just be a very sensible investment.

The Rainshader costs £24.99 from www.rainshader.com.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (23 May 2013)

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