Belfast Telegraph

Horse shoe is lucky charm for equine entrepreneur

By Clare Weir

A Co Down company has developed a new product for the booming £4bn a year equine industry.

Graf Enterprises of Banbridge has produced StudSafe, a cover that protects the studded shoes of horses in transit before taking part in show jumping and eventing.

Mr Livingstone, a retired teacher who came up with the new product idea while helping his daughter, a vet, with her horses at equestrian events, took two years to perfect the design.

"When horses are competing on grass surfaces in show jumping or eventing, metal studs are fitted to the shoes to provide better grip," he said.

"This is usually done on arrival at the show as there is considerable risk of injury to the horse or others in transit, if travelling with pointed studs already fitted.

"StudSafe is a polymer cover that can be used to allow studs to be fitted to horseshoes before travelling when the horse is calm and relaxed, saving time at shows.

"It's also much safer for the handler."

Mr Livingstone used an Invest NI Innovation Voucher to seek advice and practical support from experts at Queen's University's CNC Machine Shop in Belfast to develop the mould tool which is required to make the protective polymer covers.

As horseshoes and studs are similar in all countries this product could have the potential to sell globally.