Carr & Day & Martin FlyGard Extra Strength Insect Repellent

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • Carr & Day & Martin Extra Strength insect repellent


    • Performance:
    • Ease of use:
    • Value:
    • Long lasting:


    • Functional and effective sprayer
    • Coats the body evenly
    • Contains DEET
    • Durable bottle
    • Multiple sizes available
    • Good value for money


    • Needed reapplication after sweating
    • Wouldn't last more than an hour on a hot day


    Carr & Day & Martin

    Price as reviewed:

    £16.75 for 500ml

    Carr & Day & Martin FlyGard Extra Strength

    I tested the Carr & Day & Martin FlyGard Extra Strength Insect Repellent during the month of June on a Fell pony who was being ridden most days out hacking in Cumbria. There were plenty of flies, mainly smaller flies as horse fly/cleg season hadn’t fully begun, so the repellent needed to deter all types of pests and insects.

    Manufacturers Carr & Day & Martin are well-known in the equestrian industry for their range of horse care products. They claim that their FlyGard Extra Strength Insect Repellent is a “proven, effective alternative to a natural-based repellent.”

    The formula is described as powerful, giving “maximum protection from midges and biting insects.” And while there are arguably stronger fly sprays on the market, it definitely did the job well and I could use it without worrying that it would irritate my pony. You need to strike the balance between protecting from flies, and protecting the skin, hair and coat.

    The solution contains the proven, researched active ingredient DEET, at an optimum level of 20%. DEET is an insect repellent that is used in products to prevent bites from insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas and small flying insects.

    The bottle was the first thing I noticed. It was very striking, giving a sleek, high-quality look, and it was smooth to hold.

    You can purchase the product in either 500ml or 1l sizes, so you can choose which suits your needs best. If you have multiple horses to spray then the 1l size would probably be best and more cost effective.

    This fly spray comes with instructions:

    Shake well and spray liberally onto the horse or apply with a cloth, taking care to avoid eyes and mucous membranes. If using for the first time, test on a small area of skin to establish suitability. Provides instant protection, apply twice daily for maximum protection.

    With this in mind, we applied the spray before a hack and again if the pony was turned out in the field later in the day.

    Out hacking, this spray was effective for about one hour while on the roads. The smaller flies stayed away for the majority of the ride, but the pony didn’t get particularly sweaty during June due to the weather. It is also worth noting that it was more effective than a friend’s spray. After about an hour of riding, flies did start to gather around the pony’s head, so perhaps this spray would be suitable for shorter hacks or for schooling sessions.

    I did wonder if this spray would be as effective against horse flies in the warmer weather as the smell of DEET wasn’t very prominent when it was applied, especially for a product labelled as extra-strength.

    Carr & Day & Martin Flyguard Extra Strength

    The sprayer ensured the liquid evenly covered the coat

    The sprayer on the bottle was brilliant; it was hard-wearing, robust and provided an even coating of liquid when sprayed onto the coat. It would survive being passed around on a working yard and would be fine to throw into the lorry without worry that it would leak or spill.

    It was good to use on the ponies, too, especially those who are not keen on sprayers. It was easy to apply and the mist was delicate enough so they did not fuss or bother when being sprayed up. This is important when you are working with young horses, as you don’t want to upset the apple cart before you’ve even mounted! 

    The price of £16.95 for a 500ml bottle meant this product would be on the more affordable end of the price scale. I would definitely purchase as a fly spray to use out hacking during spring and early summer.


    Does the job; an effective and very affordable fly spray containing DEET, suitable for hacks up to an hour in length, or for schooling sessions during warmer weather.

    Who tested this flyspray?

    Alex Robinson joined H&H in January 2018 as showing editor and features assistant. She graduated from University of Leeds in 2016 and has freelanced for specialist equestrian magazines, including The Native Pony Magazine and has contributed to the National Pony Society annual journal for the past few years.

    Born and raised in the Lake District, Alex has grown up on the show scene. She has qualified and competed ponies at the Royal InternationalHorse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Olympia and has extensive knowledge of current issues in the showing world and the horses, ponies and riders who compete. She has a rare insight into the sector that comes with riding amongst the best at top level. She has produced a variety of rides to the highest level and has a passion for bringing on youngsters through the ranks. She has several ponies, mainly natives of all types, on the yard and rides most days each week before work.

    At H&H Alex is responsible for the all aspects of showing coverage and is continuing to cement its place as the leading publication for both reports and current showing news. When not writing, she will be found competing her own ponies on the county show circuit.

    Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products

    You might also like:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits. 

    You may like...