INNOVATION AWARDS

The brightest and very best new products were celebrated in the Innovation Awards – leading industry accolades – during BETA International 2018, at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday 21 January.

Sponsored by Equestrian Trade News magazine – the show's official media partner – the awards seek to raise the profile of craftsmanship, design, technology and invention. Every exhibitor is invited to enter products in the competition, provided they have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

All entries across the awards’ eight categories were considered by an independent judging panel made up of industry experts – independent equine nutritionist Clare MacLeod, managing director of Blacks Vets Tracey Morley Jewkes, retail manager of R&R Country's Melton Mowbray store Wendy Beal, showing rider and producer Oliver Hood, master saddler and harness maker Michelle Miller, who also owns M Miller Saddlery, and Unicorn Trails riding holiday company founder Wendy Hofstee.

“The standard of entries continues to grow year on year, which is incredibly encouraging and a fantastic endorsement of the industry, which is putting considerable sums of money into designing and developing genuinely new and innovative products and services,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “It was terribly exciting to see just who had won an award and we send our congratulations and best wishes to them all.”

The winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards are...

COUNTRY CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

 Winner

Company: Extremities

Product: Antares beanie

This fashionable-by-day beanie shows its real worth as daylight fades. The X Glo yarn in the design is 360° reflective when a light is shone on it in the dark.

Judges’ comments: “We think consumers will pay a premium for this good-quality product that is more stylish than traditional fluorescent headwear. Nice details include the fleece inner band.”

FEED & SUPPLEMENTS

 Winner

Company: MS & TJ Haylage

Product: Pure hay

This compressed rye grass hay maintains nutritional quality with good protein, energy and fibre for horses not best suited to haylage, in a market that offers very little bagged rye grass hay.

Judges’ comments: “The company has spotted a gap in the market and will increase demand for rye grass hay. It is ‘clean’ hay with good, strong packaging.”

 Highly commended

Company: Paskacheval

Product: Easy’Contact

This liquid product enhances the relaxation of the horse’s mouth when training or competing and improves the dialogue between the rider’s hand and horse’s mouth to obtain an elastic connection. It is particularly recommended for equines with a stiff mouth.

Judges’ comments: “Easy’Contact is a good-quality, non-messy product that is easy to apply, safe to use, looks good and should have wide market appeal.”

  GENERAL

 Winner

Company: Horseware Products

Product: Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor

This small monitor provides actual temperature and humidity data, and takes the guesswork out of choosing the correct blanket weight on any given day.

Judges’ comments: “We loved this product, which will have mass-market appeal and give equine owners peace of mind in knowing that their horse is warm enough.”

 Highly commended

Company: Stride Innovations

Product: Estride

This multi-functional fitness tracker measures training time, stride count, gait pattern, session regularity, horse stability, calorie burn and other data needed to improve riding and ensure a horse’s good health.

Judges’ comments: “Estride is a fantastically innovative product that brings benefits to both horse and rider, with a more accurate understanding of movement and potentially improved performance through better understanding.”

HORSECARE EQUIPMENT & [Horse] CLOTHING

 Winner

Company: Treehouse

Product: AeroChill cooling rug

The rug is designed to aid in cooling a horse, alleviating heat exhaustion and helping muscle recovery. It is made of a super-absorbent polymer fibre fabric that pulls heat from the horse and improves blood circulation.

Judges’ comments: “The science behind this product is admirable. It is very good quality, realistically priced, useful in all disciplines and comes in fantastic packaging.”

 Highly Commended

Company: Horseware Products

Product: Amigo Hero ACY Plus with air-conditioned yarn

This 900-denier fabric is air-blown, resulting in a tighter weave using less yarn and offering an incredibly durable, breathable and lightweight product.

Judges’ comments: “This is a great advancement in fabric technology, increasing horse comfort and satisfying consumer needs.”

  PET PRODUCTS

 Winner

Company: OSS Distribution

Product: Sticky Trap

This is a cheap, effective and eco-friendly glue that can be used as a fly trap to protect pets from small insects that can be irritating or harmful to them.

Judges’ comments: “The Sticky Trap has excellent commercial potential for retailers and boasts good labelling and packaging.”

  RIDER CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

 Winner

Company: Baleno

Product: Waterfield riding jacket

A jacket with Flexothene fabric, which is robust and practical, the Waterfield is waterproof, has back vents for saddle access and plenty of pockets to keep items dry.

Judges’ comments: “At last we have a riding jacket that is truly waterproof, stretchy and vented, as well as being stylish and flattering, at a great price, with mass-market appeal.”

Highly commended

Company: Horseware Products

Product: HW Air Mk 2 jacket

This competition jacket evolved from 3D mesh construction to single-layered, lightweight, cool-touch woven fabric with four-way stretch. The product is breathable and allows the rider good movement.

Judges’ comments: “The jacket didn’t jump out at us on the hanger, but it certainly had the wow factor when we tried it on. It is the lightest, super-stretchy and most comfortable competition jacket we have seen and we could barely feel we were wearing it.”

 SADDLERY & TACK 

Winner

Company: Horseware Products

Product: Long Micklem girth

Horseware has created a girth that is ergonomically shaped for minimum slippage and maximum elbow comfort, developed following research on saddled horses put through various paces to establish saddle movement and its effect on pressure points on the horse’s elbow.

Judges’ comments: “We have never seen anything like this before. It is a very interesting idea using the Martingale groove and offered at a great price point in the market.”

 Highly commended

Company: Horsekraft Equestrian

Product: Pic-ha pad

This harness is a pad with an interchangeable gullet that fits underneath a driving or long reining pad to create a perfect fit.

Judges’ comments: “Horsekraft has come up with a very innovative product that is easy to use and adjust, boasting great quality and craftsmanship.”

  SAFETY & SECURITY

 Winner

Company: Inivo Studs

Product: Rescuestuds

The rescue remedy for loose stud holes, Rescuestuds fixes the problem when a stud won’t tighten, avoiding the cost of replacing a shoe.

Judges’ comments: “What a great product idea, really nicely packaged! It offers a solution to a problem and everyone will use it in an emergency. Passion comes through in the innovation.”

 Highly commended

Company: Vale Brothers

Product: Gizahand LED whip

This whip with LED light is highly visible to road users and charged using a USB port providing constant light for 10 hours, flash mode for 14 and flashlight for 20.

Judges’ comments: “A simple but clever idea that fulfils safety criteria and offers a great margin to retailers. It could be expanded to different types of whip.”