It’s not a light saber but may be the closest thing for horse riders: A new flashing horse crop has earned recognition at a major equestrian trade show in the UK.
The Gizahand LED whip was highly commended in the Safety and Security section of the British Equestrian Trade Association Innovation awards last week in Birmingham.
The 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. Various colours and sizes are available.
BETA judges said it was “a simple but clever idea that fulfils safety criteria. It could be expanded to different types of whip.”
The company also makes other safety products, including the HackCam Camera Gilet, a vest for riders or cyclists with a camera, and lights for wheelbarrows and walking frames.
The winner of the section was Rescuestuds, which fixes the problem when a stud won’t tighten, meaning the shoe does not have to be replaced. The judges said: “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.”
Rescuestuds were created by farrier Nigel Turner. He said the studs would tighten up into the loosest of stud holes and can also be fitted in to a new, fresh stud hole. “It has a unique slot that will enable you to tighten the stud with a coin or anything you have to hand, in case it loosens seconds before you enter your class or competition.”
An ergonomic long girth won the Saddlery and Tack section of the awards. The Long Micklem girth, from Horseware, is ergonomically shaped for minimum slippage and maximum elbow comfort. It was 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.
The judges said: “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.”
Horseware also won the general award section with its Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor, a device that provides temperature and humidity data, taking the guesswork out of choosing the correct blanket weight on any given day. The company was also commended in the rider clothing and footwear section for its HW Air Mk 2 jacket, a breathable single-layered, lightweight, cool-touch woven fabric with four-way stretch.
Awards were presented in eight categories, and seek to raise the profile of craftsmanship, design, technology and invention.
All entries 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.
COUNTRY CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR
Winner: 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.
FEED & SUPPLEMENTS
Winner: MS and TS 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.
Highly commended: 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.
Highly commended: Estride, 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.
HORSECARE EQUIPMENT & [Horse] CLOTHING
Winner: 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.
Highly Commended: 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.
Winner: 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.
RIDER CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR
Winner: 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.
SADDLERY & TACK
Highly commended: 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.