Europe’s top trailer maker is in the running for an international innovation award for its cutting-edge design
The trailblazing brand has been nominated in the Vehicles and Trailers category of the Equitana Innovation Award 2019 for the new awning that can be attached to its new HBX horseboxes, enabling equestrians to shelter from the elements during events and shows with the opportunity of overnight accommodation.
Specially designed for IWT and manufactured by Kampa, the awning can be inflated in less than 15 minutes with the option of a host of comfort extras including cushioned carpet and inner tent with sleeping space for two.
Ifor Williams Trailers is set to showcase the product at the Equitana Innovationspreis 2019 – an exhibition being held in Essen, Germany, between March 9 and 17, which believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Alongside nominees in 11 categories, IWT will be judged by a panel of experts throughout the nine-day show before the winners are announced.
Simon Johnson, IWT’s national account manager for European Sales, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for this prestigious award.
“This is a very important show, reported to be the most important of its kind in the world, and we will obviously be there alongside all the main competitors in Europe including the domestic market leaders in Germany. It really is the perfect platform to unveil our horseboxes and pioneering accessories to the German public.
“The most significant point about our entry is that it is the first time an awning has been associated with a horsebox, certainly in Europe. We have taken technology from the camping industry and created a highly practical accessory that will assist equestrians in all weather.
“In this respect it is very innovative and it gives us an opportunity to sell a unique feature that our competitors currently do not have. In such a competitive market any advantage or unique selling point is most welcome.”
The Equitana Innovation Award is one of the most coveted awards in the European equestrian sports market. It celebrates creative and helpful product developments which make everyday life easier for horse owners, riders and breeders and competition is strong across the international entries.
Winners are nominated and selected by an eight-member jury comprising practical professionals, researchers and trade journalists. The awards, presented in collaboration with the German equestrian business magazine Pferdebetrieb, give winners an international platform to champion their designs.
IWT unveiled the new awning upon the launch of its new flagship HBX and HBE horsebox trailers to great fanfare last autumn. The horseboxes have been added to the overall range which also includes the market-leading HB trailers and the Eventa which also has living accommodation.
The body of the HBX is constructed from aluminium, making it lightweight and easy to tow while also highly durable. IWT has fitted as standard an awning rail between the roof and the glazing.
Weighing around 20kg, the awning is available in two sizes, one to fit the HBX511 and another to fit both the HBX 506 and the HBX 403 and can be ordered to fit either the left-hand or right-hand side of the trailer. It is erected by inflating seven air poles from one inflation point, either manually or using an electric pump, and is foldable to allow easy storage in the accompanying carry bag.
Among optional accessories is a mesh panel kit which fits into the window to provide shade and keep insects out while still allowing airflow through to the awning and an inner tent for two providing a cost-effective alternative to hotels while away from home.
Simon Johnson added: “The idea came from Carole Williams, who has headed the strategic development of the business over the last decade.
“She picked up on the idea as part of her development of the Business in a Box concept, as a way of enhancing the useable footprint of the company’s range of mobile commercial solutions.
“Carole felt that the new rapid deployment technology used in Air-Pole awnings would offer equestrians a quick and easily erectable shelter.
“Whilst the HBX horsebox was running through its four-year design and development phase and to ensure that the product could withstand the rigours of mother nature, Carole arranged for an awning to be deployed on a caravan on the windswept Llyn Peninsula where 60-70 mph winds are not uncommon.”
Carole Williams said: “Having weathered many a storm over multiple seasons we were convinced that the air-pole awning idea would prove to be a valuable addition to the accessories available for the new range of horseboxes.
“As soon as the first set of awnings were commissioned and attached to our prototype horseboxes it was incredible to see just how much extra space the awning provided.”
“I am delighted to see the fruition of all the hard work involved by all, and the recognition being bestowed on it and our Business by making the shortlist for the Innovation Award at Equitana”
“We launched the horsebox to the German public in Hannover in December however, this is the first time the German public will have seen the awning. We hope it will be well-received.”
IWT’s stand at this year’s exhibition is its biggest yet at 320sqm. The firm, which has a brand new £5m factory in Sandycroft, Flintshire, and other manufacturing sites in Cynwyd, Corwen and on Deeside Industrial Estate, employing more than 500 people, plans to display two awnings during the event, one with the HBX511 and another accompanying the HBX506, alongside the full range of optional accessories.