A US-based equestrian footing company is among the semi-finalists in the Global Water Partnership’s Water ChangeMaker Awards, which aims to building climate resilience by changing water decisions.
ArenaMend environmental specialist Alex Carr said the company’s environmentally-safe, dust-free, and waterless ArenaGreen Footing saved “millions of gallons a year in water”, something which had not been effectively done in the horse industry. Its footing offers a non-synthetic, temperature resistant, non-oil-based additive that eliminates irrigation or water usage while improving consistency and traction in new or existing arenas. It is 99% bio-renewable.
“We’re not only trying to promote a greener product we’re trying to make a change in the equestrian industry,” Carr says.
Carr said ArenaGreen Footing had made the second cut for the awards, to be presented in support of the UNFCCC Resilience Frontiers Initiative, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland later this year.
It was a high school science project that drew Carr, from Wellington, Florida, into the industry. She says that her project converting cooking oil into biodiesel taught her how one of the byproducts, glycerin, is a natural dust suppressant. “So, I called my dad and suggested adding it in arenas. That sparked the idea for a waterless, dust-free footing that was environmentally safe.”
Carr has extensive environmental training in the US and overseas includes studying water quality in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and elephant conservation, eco-tourism and coral reef degradation in Thailand.
She said that Europe was more advanced in water regulation than the United States, and it would be “amazing” to get European recognition. “There’s still a lot of change that has to take place in our horse industry, between high levels of emissions from transporting horses, to more recycling at horse shows, and better water conservation.”
ArenaGreen can be consistently produced anywhere in the world, and ArenaMend, LLC has 10 manufacturing sites across France, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Denmark and five in the United States. It is the only footing that delivers a consistently effective performance surface that can be maintained with or without water, making it an ideal choice for arid and tropical climates. ArenaGreen has been installed at The Palm Beach Masters Series CSI5* and CSI2* at Deeridge Farm and is the preferred footing of Olympic Show Jumping Gold medalist, Ben Maher. NARG (North American Riders Group) gave ArenaGreen its highest US score on its 2020 Winter Sports rankings.
ArenaGreen Footing now faces the semi-finals of the Global Water Partnership’s Water ChangeMaker Awards, and the hope of an invitation to join this year’s Alumni Group of Water ChangeMaker finalists or Hall of Fame winners; each finalist will be invited to the UN Climate Change Conference.