Derby House Evolution medium Detach-A-Neck turnout first look

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  • Derby House Evolution Medium Detach-A-Neck turnout


    • Fit:
    • Style:
    • Ease of use:


    • High quality at an affordable cost
    • Removable neck cover and leg straps
    • Strong outer fabric (1200D)
    • No need to reproof


    • It was a bit tight on my part-bred native mares so more suited to narrower types
    • Neck cover looks like it could let rain in


    Derby House

    Price as reviewed:


    Derby House Evolution Detach-A-Neck medium turnout first look

    Finding an affordable high quality medium weight turnout rug that can withstand a wet Scottish winter, while still providing some of my favourite features can be a difficult task, but the Derby House Evolution Detach-A-Neck medium turnout definitely caught my attention. I sometimes find with budget-friendly rugs you have to compromise on fastenings or denier but I was delighted to find this 1200D rug, costing £64.99, stood up with its more expensive competitors on first look.

    First and foremost one of the leading selling points for the Evolution is that it is made from recycled fabric – more than 110 plastic bottles to be precise – and is PFC free. PFCs are chemicals often used to make rugs waterproof, so finding a rug that is waterproof and environmentally friendly is a real bonus. The Evolution’s “Bionic Free Eco” waterproof coating provides the benefits of being “mud resistant”, “breathable”, “fast-drying” – and “resistant to washing”, meaning reproofing is not necessary, saving you money. The rug came in an eco-friendly reusable bag, and arrived in paper packaging, ticking even more sustainable boxes.

    The rug is a lovely Tide Blue Sea Green colour, which I thought was fun and nice to look at. It features double buckle and clip chest fastenings, shoulder gussets for freedom of movement, a generous tail flap, and adjustable leg straps. What I really like is that the leg straps can be removed for washing, which I haven’t found in many rugs in the past – plus I have one mare who can be a bit fussy with leg straps, so the option to remove them and use a fillet string is great for her.

    I especially like the clip chest fastenings, which I favour over buckles and find save me that valuable few minutes (especially when contending with cold hands!). The rug feels lovely and cosy with 200g of polyfill, but not too heavy to lift, plus the detachable neck offers great versatility, especially with such changeable temperatures.

    Double buckle and clip chest fastenings

    Removable elasticated leg straps

    I own two Connemara x Irish Sport Horse mares; one is 16hh and by an ISH stallion and the other is 15.2hh and by a Connemara stallion – they have different builds but both take size 6ft3 in rugs. The 6ft3in Evolution was too small for my 16hh mare who is wider in the chest than my 15.2hh, and would have benefited from going up a size. It fitted my 15.2hh much better, though I did note it was still a little tight in the chest so I think this rug would be suited to narrower types. In previous years I have used a Derby House turnout rug on a young gangly 17hh warmblood and found the brand suited her shape well.

    The neck cover was generous in size, although it did gape at the chest more than I’d like, and when grazing it stuck up slightly at the top of the neck so could potentially allow rain in. I will be keeping an eye out for any rubbing in the chest area with it being that little bit on the neat side, but I am looking forward to seeing how the PFC-free waterproof coating withstands a Scottish winter, and if the “mud-resistant” claim lives up to its name. Storm Barra has just arrived and is going to be the perfect first test.


    Initial thoughts – I really like the quality of this rug and think you’re getting some great features for an affordable price tag.

    View now at rideawaystore.com or amazon.co.uk

    What is a first look review?

    These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.

    Who tested these rugs?

    Becky Murray started freelance writing for Horse & Hound in 2016 alongside other equestrian titles, before joining the H&H news team in July 2018. During her time at H&H she has reported on a broad range of topics across the equestrian industry including welfare issues, veterinary studies, FEI Tribunal hearings, rider safety, and road safety campaigns. In 2019 she attended the national Strangles Symposium and the Scottish welfare conference.

    Becky was part of the home remote reporting team for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the European Showjumping Championships and has reported from Morris Equestrian, the Royal Highland Show and Blair Castle International Horse Trials. She also regularly contributes to the weekly H&H podcast.

    Based in north Scotland, Becky learnt to ride at the age of five. She got the showjumping bug with her 13.2hh older pony Phoenix, who used to particularly enjoy a chase-me-Charlie. She went on to compete in British Showjumping and riding club activities as a teenager with her pony Sparkle. After losing two horses in 2015 to illness and injury, Becky is now producing two Irish mares, Ruby and Chloe, and hopes to get back in the showjumping ring in the future. She also has two miniature Shetland sisters, Mootie and Poppet, who keep her on her toes.

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