Attwood Equestrian Surfaces, Inc. Newsletter


A Day at Attwood sponsors training event with Charles De Kunffy 

As horsemen, we are always striving to be better at our craft. What better opportunity then to be a part of the Charles de Kunffy clinic being held at Yellowbird Farm. This Trainer’s Seminar blends classroom theory, lectures and riding sessions with all riding sessions being held in the Yellowbird dressage court which features Attwood Pinnacle footing.

We appreciate Team Tate’s passion for keeping Classical Dressage prevalent in today’s sport. #dressage #teamtate #charlesdekunfy#attwood #wellington Attwood Equestrian Surfaces is very pleased to be a sponsor of this learning experience.

Check out our page “A Day With Attwood” for more such stories!

Attwood’s Pinnacle Footing at Kansas State University

Attwood Equestrian Surfaces is elated to share the story behind our recent project in Manhattan, Kansas. This project was for the Kansas State University. They built a new Equine Performance Testing Center and the footing of choice was Attwood Equestrian Surfaces Pinnacle.

As the pictures depict, we had quite the challenge as the weather was below freezing and once the frost began to thaw it became a muddy mess. In addition, when we arrived we realized the base was not correct and is one of the reasons we prefer to do the base ourselves.

We had to correct the grade by bringing in more material and laser leveling it then compacting it with moisture to achieve necessary results as the base was not up to our standard to accept our Pinnacle footing. Despite all of these setbacks we completed the installation and the Architect, Contractor and the medical equine staff at KSU were very impressed.

We at Attwood, believe in hard work no matter what the challenges facing us and delivering results that make our clients happy!

This ultimate riding surface combines the latest in technology and our 20 years of equestrian arena footing experience. Pinnacle is engineered with premium materials to bring you the optimum in shear strength, minimal concussion and maximum viscoelastic rebound.

Pinnacle surfaces are formulated from high quality silica sand and fibres, and coated with viscoelastic polymer, to bring you the optimum in shear strength, shock absorption and maximum viscoelastic rebound. Pinnacle is laser graded to a uniform depth of four inches over a carefully graded compacted base.

  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Requires no watering
  • Dust free
  • Industry leading concussion reduction and rebound
  • More stable than wax to extremes of temperature
  • Customisable to suite jumping, dressage, racing.

Want to know more about Pinnacle Footing? Check out Attwood’s products page, head to our website.

Stay tuned for more such interesting stories!

Boyd Martin and William Fox-Pitt

When William Fox-Pitt got off the plane last week at the Augusta Regional Airport, he asked if he should have brought his tack?  “No worries” Boyd Martin’s got you covered.

Fox-Pitt was in town to teach a clinic at Stable View and compete in the Horse Trials as prep for the Wellington Showcase.  Fellow Olympian Boyd Martin, who calls Stable View home during the winter months, was kind enough to arrange through the generosity of his owners, to come up with not one but two rides for Fox-Pitt, Tura Lura and Steady Eddy.

The highlight of the week has certainly been watching Boyd and William Fox-Pitt prepare for their competitions together.  There was a great deal of camaraderie between the two greats and it was a real treat for the those lucky enough to be there to watch their training rides.

On the first day of the horse trials, the two international super stars competed in the Open Preliminary division. While both came with their “A” game, the best ride of the division came from Canadian Waylon Roberts, who wowed the judge for a 17.5 in the dressage.

After the horses trials were over, it was time to switch gears for the Wellington prep.  Several of Boyd’s owners gathered nightly at the covered arena to watch Boyd and William school the horses heading south to Florida for the showcase.  Shadow and Boyd were looking in prime form while William and “Eddie the Eagle” were looking quite elegant together.

One of the main reasons Boyd bases his operation at Stable View for the winter are the fantastic amenities for both horse and rider, and the footing. Stable View arenas have the same Attwood surfaces he trains on back home at Windurra USA.  Both he and Silva appreciate the consistency of the footing, and how much better their horses feel as a result.

William is also no stranger to Attwood footing. His first encounter was when he was teaching a clinic in 2013 at Morningside Farm in The Plains, Virginia. Having ridden on the surfaces at Great Meadow and now Stable View he commented, “If was imaging my most ideal footing, I think it would, in actuality, be Attwood. The horses love to work on it. It’s supportive with a little bit of movement, a little bit of scuff and the right amount of grip. I would recommend it.”

With the Wellington Showcase in the books, and the Boyd taking home the big check for the third year in a row, we have a whole season of exciting events to look forward to. Will we see William back to the US for more competitions? With competitions like the Showcase and Great Meadow offering outstanding venues and impressive prize money, it would not be too soon to say, “the British are coming, the British are coming.”

Lovely to watch the best riders in the world school in the Attwood arenas at Stable View, Boyd Martin and William Fox-Pitt. A great way to end a beautiful day at Aiken. Two of the world’s top olympians preparing for the Winter Horse Trials at Stable View.

Watch our latest video, featuring the top riders, here.

Also check out our other videos, with not just greetings from Boyd and Silva Martin but also on what makes good footing good by the man himself, Nick Attwood. Visit our website’s “A day with Attwood” section for more interesting videos.

What makes good footing good? The support of riders like this!

Footing Facts Feb 2017:

Equestrian Surface Academic Research

At Attwood Equestrian Surfaces we pride ourselves on our scientific expertise.  This is borne out of its people, and theritage at Attwood.  On the materials science side we have expertise up to PhD level, and we also have qualified engineers on the team (not to mention MBA level business expertise, but that is a different story).  Couple that with the almost 30 years we have been in business, and this makes for probably the most scientifically advanced equestrian surface company in the world.  We share some of this expertise with you via this Footing Facts series.  However a lot of what we know is very useful information and would be a great help to our competitors, so we can only share a small part on these pages.

Another place to find scientific knowledge on equestrian riding surfaces is in the academic literature, freely available, and often without charge.  Today there is a significant amount of research being conducted into equestrian surfaces, their properties and performance profile, and the effect a surface can have on the physiology of a horse.  However notable this is, it hides a disappointing fact that, in the past, there was little scientific research in the area, so an exercise of catch-up is being undertaken.  This lack of historical scientific knowledge led to some poor decisions being taken in the past, notably for instance the installation of a number of wax-based synthetic racetrack surfaces in the U.S.A.  from 2006, which performed badly and have since been removed.  This has led to synthetic surfaces receiving a bad name amongst many in the racing fraternity.

Equally, in the equestrian world, even today there is not a set of standards for riding surfaces, even for the highest level of competition.  However work is in hand to reverse this as the Fédération Equestre Internationale (F.E.I.) has recognised the gaping hole in understanding and is sponsoring research aimed at eventually deriving a set of international standards for equestrian riding surfaces.

So what research is going on today, and who is carrying it out?  There are a number of prominent academic groups around the world who are leading the way.  It is probably only right to mention first the group at University of Maine, led by Professor Mick Peterson.  This group has been researching riding surfaces for over 10 years, concentrating particularly on thoroughbred racing surfaces.  The group was kept very busy during the years of synthetic surface racetrack introductions in the U.S.A., their performance problems, and their eventual removal.  Of note was a paper highlighting the temperature variation at racetrack surface and the massive property changes of the wax coating which caused the changes in going, hence track times.   Possibly the greatest achievement of the group is their development of a biomechanical testing machine that mimics the striking of a fore-limb on a surface, with the simultaneous measurement of the forces involved and the response of the surface in terms of shock absorbency, shear strength, and rebound.

In the U.K., a newer research group has been formed by a number of researchers who were working independently, led by Dr Sarah-Jane Hobbs.  This group, known as Research and Consultancy in Equine Surfaces (RACES) has  built a biomechanical tester based on Prof. Peterson’s design, and have developed their own rotational torque tester that can measure grip in a surface.

Over in Sweden, Professor Lars Roepstorff at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala has for over 20 years carried out research into horse biomechanics, including more recent research into riding surfaces.  He follows in a long line of equine biomechanical engineering research at the university, dating back to 1970.

The F.E.I. is waking up to the fact thatthe interaction of surface with horse and rider is a poorly understood area and potentially has implications for horse and rider health and safety, and on competition credibility.  Consequently in 2010 they commissioned a group of world-leading researchers, including all of the aforementioned groups to produce a report aimed at understanding the interplay between riding surface and horse biomechanics.  This ‘White Paper’ was published in April 2014, and represents an authoritative summary of the current state of knowledge.  The goal is to eventually define a set of standards that a surface must adhere to based on reproducible test methods. This followed a similar report written by Peterson, Roepstorff and co-worker in 2012 on racing surfaces, outlining the current state-of-art, with a view to better understating what factors in a racing surface are most important for horse safety.  So far a set of standards for racing surfaces has not emerged.

Here at Attwood, we closely monitor the current research into surfaces and horse biomechanics, and have close contact and collaboration with many of the leading researchers in this area.  With our emphasis on scientific research, we believe we have the safest and best performing surfaces on the market today.

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