BETA – British Equine Trade Exhibition.
The place where new and modern meets traditional and classy.
There is something special with exhibitions, it’s the ultimate in glamour and glitz, BETA is no different. Everyone involved has great expectations on the trade and on viewing new products for the first time. I used to be one of the exhibitors, now the roles have changed. I am the one standing eagerly waiting for the doors to open. I’m more than excited to be here, I am keen to know whats new and what has stood the test of time.
The NEC were very well organised and all visitors were kitted out with a real snazzy lanyard to hold the entry tickets. This years sponsor of the event wasNeue Schule“> Neue Schule, a bitting company. Don’t let the name fool you! It sounds German but the company was actually founded by British Heather Hyde who originally ran a bit rental company. This set Heather up for creating new designs and using different materials to get the optimal connection between horse and rider.
Carr & Day & Martin
The first stand that caught my eye when the doors opened was the Carr & Day & Martin one. A tastefully designed creation with a firework of colour.
Among the products displayed, there are several that has stood the test of time. Almost like pieces of nostalgia that faithfully serves the keeper through the generations. Some of the products have indeed been regulars in my tack box, such as Ko – Cho – Line, Hoof oil, Neatsfoot compound to name a few. The treasure trove of traditional goodies has over the years been complemented by a range of equine care products equally trusted and surely the classics of the future. The new thing to me is the new spray bottles. Carr & Day & Martin won an innovation award at the BETA 2014 for these. They are called the Equimist 360 and gives an even spray instead of the spot spraying of the past.
If you are one of those glitzy, glammy unicorn loving humans who just loves a rainbow and some crystals wherever there’s an inch to spare; Elico is the brand for you. This was one of those stands that really made you happy, my daughter would certainly have loved it. She in one of those in the above named category, and yes why not! Make life a little more glamorous!!!
The Tapestry girth
I met a lovely inventor from Canada talking about the Tapestry girth, correctly used a very neat design. It is an elasticated girth with a neoprene pad for protection of the sternum / the breastbone of the horse. The elasticated panels were not just a straight piece of elastic, rather a woven design to further even out the pressure. This girth aught to be a good choice for cold backed horses as well as better comfort for your everyday ride.
Another simple but ever so clever design by the same inventor is the elasticated pretty neck strap. Having become more safety conscious with time this is something for my tack room. The strap had a piece of elastic inserted on the top inside, this makes it stand up from the neck and is thereby easier to get hold of in a sticky situation.
Both products are marketed by Shires in the UK.
Talking about Shires… Their stand was full to the brim with both exciting new products and oldie goldies. They too had a lovely selection of children’s (and life loving adults alike) hat covers with matching socks, backpacks, joddies etc. At an exhibition like BETA I must say I do appreciate brands I know from the past. Shires is one of those brands, it is everyday use quality products, often with a little twist.
One of the main events at BETA is the fashion show. All of whats new in equestrian and country clothing. I thoroughly enjoyed the show even though quite a few of the brands that I have come to connect with equestrianism were missing.
Something that definitely has come to stay are the pull on leggings / breeches. My favourites from last year has had some stiff competition. LeMieux is one of those companies that has been successful in gelling fashion and function. Small details that add classical flair.LeMieux breeches“> LeMieux also has tops in top modern functional materials, incredibly soft in a range of lovely colours that again gels perfectly within whats classic in equestrian fashion.
Montar and Covalliero
Both brands new to me, but did show a fabulous autumn collection ranging in colours from sand via brown to bright red. Both companies showes fresh cuts and classical style
Moving over to the Country clothing collection thinking that section should be truly British with BREXIT looming.. Not so much…. If you want to look truly British Country Chic – you should go French!!! Percussion clothing“>Percussion showed a truly amazing range of outdoors clothing, from a distance looking like wax jackets, but coming close and actually wearing them realising this is just something else! A lightweight, durable, waterproof material with a beautiful classical cut. A match made in heaven. This is definitely a must have for all hunters, country show goers, outdoorsy classic lovers. The kit comes complete with Wellingtons as well.
Back to reality
The fashion show was great but in real life things get dirty! To my delight one company, Rug Safe UK, had a whole stand dedicated to detergents of all kinds. They had really managed to make the stand look enticing with colour and lights.
The products are specialist products for different materials, re-proofers along with antibacterials and virucidals. The company had an award for the product in 2017 so it all looks very promising. These detergents fill a void in the market as a lot of the materials in rugs/ outdoors clothing etc are quite sensitive to the average detergent, yet there’s no denying that all equine stuff gets dirty. Looking forward to try these out!
Once all the rugs are clean it is time to get on with the horse. Apart from the myriad of brushes, and shampoos (one absolutely divine all natural one called Wildwash which I will get back to later), there was the HOT TAP from Hydrotherm.
HOT TAP is a portable water heater for washing your horse. It runs on electric so needs to either be plugged into the mains or to a generator. Perfect solution for all those cold winter meetings and hunts. Also a perfect solution for the smaller stable wanting to offer warm horse showers at home.
This is my other main interest. The complete explosion of new products has slowed down. The trendy herb is Turmeric, there were 3 stands focused on just that. However brilliant a herb Turmeric is I do find it alarming that Alternative medicine is so driven by trends.
Looking at the Horseware“>Horseware range, I note with interest that their health promoting range is getting bigger. Apart fromHorseware Ice Vibe“> ICE VIBE they now also have a range of IONIC products, containing tourmalin. Tourmalin is a crystal, which according to the Horseware website releases an electric charge, this will aid the body to raise the mood and fight pain. The IONIC range includes products for both horses and humans.
The Horseware healthcare range also includes Sportz-Vibe, a range of massage rugs. I am delighted to see that Horseware are introducing a range of Healthcare products. One thing I would love to see are heat inserts for the ICE VIBE boots. #horseware
I had a wonderful and very inspiring day at BETA. It was great to see whats new and see some known faces. I would have liked to see more known brands at BETA. The main topic of discussion was BREXIT and no doubt this put a little dampener on the whole event. No one knows what effect this will have on the trade of either goods or horses.