Hartpury research helps HRP’s revolutionary new product to clinch top innovation award


Research carried out by Hartpury lecturers has played its part in a new saddle pad winning a national innovation award.

The study led by Senior Equestrian Sports Science lecturer, Victoria Lewis, and conducted at Hartpury University Centre, compared the pressure exerted on a horse’s back in a variety of ridden gaits using HRP Equestrian’s ‘Wing’ saddle pads compared to conventional square saddle pads.

Lucy Dumbell, Hartpury’s Associate Dean: Quality and Standards, was also part of the research team, with consultancy provided by Scientific and Equine Consultant, Dr David Marlin and third year BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science student, Poppy Stallard-Pearson.

The research team were able to provide scientific evidence that this revolutionary new product significantly reduced the pressure exerted on a horse’s back when being ridden, backing up the findings of HRP Equestrian’s CEO and the inventor of the Wing Saddle Pad, Helen Ross.

The Hartpury team’s study played a part in the new ‘WING’ saddle pad winning the recent prestigious BETA Innovation Awards 2016, Saddlery and Tack, up against a range of exciting new products. HRP launched the new ‘wing’ saddle pads at the BETA event at the NEC, Birmingham. The judges’ comments included: “It is lovely to see a scientifically-based, broad-appeal product in so many styles.”

Victoria said: Our study showed that there was significantly less pressure exerted on a horse’s back when standing, walking, trotting and cantering when using the winged design saddle pad compared to a conventional saddle pad.

“In fact, the results showed that there was no pressure at all behind the saddle over the lumbar spine during trot and canter using the ‘Wing’ saddle. It was fantastic to see the product win such a major award and the study we conducted recognised as important in providing more scientific evidence that this new design can reduce pressure on a horse’s back.”

Dr David Marlin added: “Many horses can suffer rubbing over the spine due to saddle pads, leading to hair loss, hair discolouration, increased sensitivity and infection and a saddle pad that eliminates rubbing caused by pressure in this area could prove very popular.”

You can find out more about HRP Equestrian’s new ‘Wing’ saddle pad and order online at http://www.hrpequestrian.com/

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