To anyone visiting the Texas Rose Horse Park during the 2014 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, do not — I repeat, DO NOT — miss the trade fair in the large indoor arena. From big-name EN sponsors to independent or family-owned vendors, this year’s trade fair hosts a variety of shopping options for you to ogle, fondle, drool over, try on and take home with you after the show.
I am spending much of my time in the trade fair
impulse buying working at the Smart Tie booth, so allow me to take you on a multi-part tour of the many companies and products gathered at the AECs!
When it comes to style, C4 Belts are where it’s at. From their ridiculous amount of color customization options and lifetime guarantee, to the company’s charitable giving and earth-friendly design, it’s no wonder that riders everywhere have become obsessed with these amazing belts. What better way to show off your colors AND support a great cause? I nabbed a gray belt and a sky blue belt yesterday and am tempted to go back to find my favorite color combinations, red with a black buckle!
Okay, how hilarious are these T-shirts? Chinch made an executive decision, and forced me to raid Exceptional Equestrian‘s stock of these shirts, which are soft and lightweight and basically the best thing ever. Want to show people why they don’t want to mess with equestrians (or, alternately, why they might like messing around with equestrians)? You know you want to. The power of Chinch compels you.
Unff. I’m a sucker for breeches. The vendors along the outside edge of the arena have awesome selections of riding clothes, such as Ovation, Noble Outfitters, FITS and more. The beautiful designs on Animals to Wear shirts and jackets are always popular, and the huge VTO Saddlery booth has some unbeatable deals on sale breeches and tops.
The Bridle Suite of Texas is another mobile store featuring popular brands of clothing. Whether you’re looking for high-quality yet affordable riding gear or something fashionable and fun to wear any day, the AEC trade fair has a wide variety of options to choose from.
In addition to the many riding fashion options, the Trade Fair is also host to many companies that are devoted to outfitting your horse with high-quality customized tack. Take HPF Designs, based in Kaufman, Texas. They offer custom browband designs with hand-dyed, cut, vegetable-tanned leather in a variety of colors and shapes. The colorful beadwork is stunning, offering everything from simple and classic to bright and bold.
If you’re looking for an investment that’ll bring you countless years of happy rides and happy horses, Devoucoux and CWD are happy to help. The technology and comfort of these saddles are world-renowned, and just check out that custom orange piping in the back — how cool is that?
From helmets to air vests and everything in between, the Trade Fair features several vendors specializing in safety gear. You can find Point Two air vests, Kan Teq protective riding vests, Charles Owen helmets, a contest featuring Ride Safe LLC medical bracelets and much more. Whether you’re just researching your next purchase or are ready to make a purchase, this is a great place to find your essential safety gear.
Stay tuned for Part 4: Dogs of the AECs!