Spoga Horse 2022 - The Outstanding Return With New Concept

11 Aug 2022

Spoga Horse 2022 marked the outstanding return of the leading equestrian trade fair. It featured a strong participation result and debuted a new concept and appearance. Around 5,000 visitors from 73 countries attended the hybrid edition between 23.07.2022 and 25.07.2022. So did 329 exhibitors from 26 nations. The event featured many new additions and changes. As a foretaste, organisers presented several pre-fair events on 29.06.2022, 06.07.2022, 13.07.2022, and 20.07.2022.

Spoga Horse 2022 took place as a hybrid event. It comprised a face-to-face fair at Messe Cologne and a complementary digital platform. The live aspect of the event did not feature Covid-19 safety measures. This is due to the lifting of the domestic restrictions in April 2022. Attendees were encouraged to follow recommendations such as wearing medical masks. The removal of the measures occurred due to the improving pandemic situation.

The complementary digital platform was known as the spoga horse@home. It enabled participants to network and learn about the current trends. Exhibitors also could reach new target groups by presenting their wares. The support programme was also available as on-demand live streams. Attendees could also use the spoga horse app. The digital platform also served as the hosting location for several pre-fair events. These took place on various dates before the beginning of Spoga Horse 2022. The digital events were:

  • Successful collaboration with creators (29.06.2022)

Kristina Sehr, Siena Giebel and Marlene Harmann debated the opportunities and possibilities provided by online marketing. This included discussing focal themes and the current social trends.

  • The Equestrian art evolution (06.07.2022)

The lecture discussed the development of horses as models and motifs within works of art. It was presented by Barbara Rubitel, the PR specialist of the Horse polo art gallery. She discussed examples such as the first war horse illustration. She also discussed Romanticism and Impressionist artists who used thoroughbred races as inspiration. Completing the lecture was a debate on contemporary artists.

  • When tradition and innovation meet – what can start-ups teach established companies? (13.07.2022)

The exchange panel featured the founders of Horse Analytics, Equimus, Deckenpost, and L'Evoine. They discussed animal welfare, sustainability, training, and health management. They also debated whether equestrian sports are ready to replace traditions with innovative ideas.

  • How and why should sustainability be incorporated into the equestrian sports business model? (20.07.2022)

The panel discussion featured Mareike Gröwe as the speaker. It discussed the importance of sustainability as part of every company’s agenda. The analysis also featured advisory information on integrating sustainability into various processes.

  • The importance of social acceptance and aspiring talents for the future (20.07.2022)

The panel discussion debated society’s frequent criticism of equine handling. It also discussed counteracting the ongoing development towards the disappearance of the horse. This includes means to increase contact between children and horses.

Spoga Horse 2022 featured a central theme and five focal ones. The central topic was summarised via the maxim “Future in Motion”. The lead subject discussed megatrends such as digitalisation and sustainability. These were debated via various sub-events. Besides the central theme, Spoga Horse 2022 featured five focal ones. These were:

  • Increasing equestrian sport comfort via digital tools

Digitalisation affects the industry in two primary ways. These include the increasing importance of web presence and online trade for suppliers. They also feature the essentiality of digital technologies to enhance equestrian accessories. This includes apps that provide personal safety data storage. Another example is improving horse training by using Bluetooth-enabled apps or special software.

  • Sustainability and the equestrian sports

Sustainability is a megatrend of ever-increase importance for the industry. This is reflected in an increasing number of companies that create environmentally-friendly products. They incorporate various means, such as implementing recycled or natural materials. Examples include sustainably manufactured horse mounting aids, pads, and blankets.

  • Using innovative materials to better the health of and strengthen horses

Equestrian sports are among the most popular pastimes, especially during the pandemic. Simultaneously, high focus is placed on the health concerns of horses and riders. This is reflected in the trend of many products improving riding and the health of equines. Such include novel materials that better the well-being of the horse. Examples include anti-allergic plastic as a replacement for metal in bits.

  • Augmenting the riding experience while increasing safety via innovative protection methods

Safety is mandatory for all aspects of equestrian sports. This applies to both the rider and the horse. Improving security, as with many other industry aspects, is affected by novel technologies. Examples include the usage of injection moulding to create safer stirrups for children. Another instance is the usage of LED lamps to increase helmet safety. Another example is using novel surface coatings to improve rotational energy absorption. Some options reduce the possibility of horses throwing off riders.

  • The demand for new equestrian fashion

Trendy equestrian fashion that incorporates new development is receiving an ever-increasing demand. This includes the rider’s outfit having a modern appearance while supporting activities. This can be achieved by using novel materials that improve well-being. One example is the usage of stretchy and durable fabrics to increase wearing comfort. Using online configurators to create individualised riding outfits is also a trending instance.

The trade fair reflected the themes via various sub-events. Spoga Horse 2022 featured a new event concept, including a support programme that has an overarching theme. This enabled the trade fair to present current topics via special events. Among the changes created was the presentation of the Fashion Walk. The new POS Inspiration allowed dealers to gain inspiration for various theme worlds. The Marketing Village was another novel addition to the support programme. It allowed marketing and equine experts to network and present themselves. Completing the schedule were BARN.NET, Reitsport Branche Retailer Award and Creator Days.

The Marketing Village served as the networking location for marketing and equine experts. This included media companies, organisers, service providers, and agencies. It comprised a compact stand area, a Networking Area, and a digital product Showroom. Similar in intent was the novel BARN.NET. It enabled the networking between equine professionals and companies related to the industry. This included trainers, influencers, multipliers, decision-makers, service providers, and equine health experts. It was also an exclusive meeting location for brands, organisations, and marketing companies. During the sub-event, participants could establish contacts, including seeking cooperation partners. The POS Inspiration featured Karin Wahl, a professional expert and designer. They showcased effective display windows using simple methods and unusual product carriers. Wahl also provided detailed information to participants in implementing such approaches.

One of the central highlights of the event concept was the Boulevard of Innovations. It was the percentage area of the top 30 innovations to debut or premiere during Spoga Horse 2022. This, as mentioned, included the five TOP INNOVATION winners. The TOP INNOVATION Competition took place at the STAGE. It featured a professional jury comprising renowned experts. They assessed various innovations and determined the victorious based on specific criteria. The jury for the 2022 edition included the following experts:

  • The owners of Epplejeck, Jaqueline Freeke and Adam Postema
  • The founder and managing director of Fundis Reitsport GmbH, Stefan Fundis
  • Renowned founder, creator, author, and presenter Annica Hansen
  • The multiple award-winning western rider and horse trainer, Grischa Ludwig
  • The international para-dressage rider, Erin Orfod
  • Distinguished rider, author, creator, trick trainer, and entrepreneur Jesse Drent

The selection process featured assessing each submission based on eight criteria. The highest number of points per jury member is 100. Two of the norms featured double points – Innovation strategy and Overall concept. The remaining criteria featured a score of 10 points. The winners of the TOP INNOVATION Competition were:

  • NOVOSTABLE for their NOVOSTABLE Smart Cam One

The novel product comprises an intelligent camera system for 24/7 stable observation. It collects extensive data, including the unique option for behavioural change recognition. This is due to the one-of-a-kind system LANA, which features a self-learning AI. If unusual behaviour is detected, an SMS alarm to the specified contact person will be sent.

  • De Sutter Naturally for their Infinity product

The novel product is created using the innovative RECO material. RECO is 100% manufactured from recycled composite minerals. This provides an exclusive appearance while featuring high sustainability and robustness.

  • TEC Competence GmbH & Co. KG for their horse-shape platform

The novel product provides a solution for the perfect fitting of saddles. It is a mobile 3D scanner that analyses the shape of the equine’s back to produce an accurate FittingSet. This is a life-sized, tailor-made template for the creation of the saddle. This allows dealers and saddlers to create a vital part of the tack that will avoid back and gait issues.

  • The product Pivo Pod Active

It is a portable and AI-controlled smartphone holder that features a vast array of apps and accessories. These recognise humans and horses, thus enabling riders to film training sessions. The product also permits video distance learning by allowing riders to remain in contact with trainers. This is achieved via intelligent horse tracking and a fast 360-degree rotation. It ensures the constant following of each step and moment of the equine.

  • Estrelle Equestrian for their Cool Air Bandage & Leg Wraps

The novel product comprises an innovative mesh and 3D air cell solution. It promotes high comfort by ensuring high breathability and pressure reduction. This aids in reducing the risk of heat accumulation and thus prevents health issues. As a result, the health and well-being of the horse are improved. Additionally, the product is easy to care for and quite versatile.

As mentioned, the TOP INNOVATIONS took place at The Stage. This was the central location of the trade fair. It was the presentation site for various sub-events, including the Fashion Walk. The Stage was in Hall 7. It was the meeting and knowledge-sharing location for many participants. They gathered to discuss various topics and examine products. Among the debated subjects was “Digitalisation in the equestrian industry”. This occurred via diverse panels, including a session held by FEI. The sessions were available both live and on spoga horse@home. The Spoga Horse Fashion Walk presented the latest equestrian fashion collections. Various top exhibitors and brands presented these:

  • Freejump System
  • HKM Sports Equipment GmbH
  • LeMieux
  • Covalliero
  • Chriwen
  • Penelope
  • FULCOP Commerce GmbH via the brand eaSt
  • Waldhausen GmbH & Co. KG via the brand ELT brand
  • Equimus GmbH
  • EKKIA S.A.S via the theme equitheme brand
  • For Horses Srl

Spoga Horse 2022 also featured another novel competition – the Reitsport Branche Retailer Award. The Award featured two categories – Germany and Europe. It lauded the best sports retailers and was held on The Stage on 24.07.2022. The winners of the sub-event were:

  • Reitsport Matzen (Best Retailer Germany 2022 and Top Retailer Europe 2022)
  • Hogsta Ridsport from Sweden (Top Retailer Europe 2022)
  • Ruitersport Equidrôme from the Netherlands (Top Retailer Europe 2022
  • Selleria Faggin from Italy (Top Retailer Europe 2022)

Coinciding with and incorporated into the schedule were the Spoga Horse Creator Days. It enabled more than 70 creators and influencers to receive further training. The Creator Days featured a diverse support programme comprising keynotes and workshops. The keynotes and lectures featured in the schedule were:

  • Influencer campaigns from the perspective of equestrian industry companies
  • The importance of productive brand and influencer cooperation
  • How to create the perfect product staging?
  • Essential understandings from working with influencers during the building of the “RidersChoice” brand
  • Best practices and learnings about co-creation and influencer marketing
  • Using the capturing capabilities of smartphones to the maximum
  • Strategic selection criteria for influencers
  • Generation Z and TikTok marketing
  • Ten creative content ideas
  • Aligning the brand with influencers or athletes

One or more lead speakers discussed each of the sessions, such as:

  • Abby Newell
  • Michelle Holtmeyer
  • Laura Wolf
  • Dr. Maria Näther
  • Diana Wahl
  • Kira Jasperneite
  • Carolin Christmann
  • Janina Budde
  • Sina Giebel
  • Svenja Schwerdtner
  • Christian Kötter
  • Karin Wahl
  • Robin Maeter
  • Dimitrij Tarasenko
  • Annika Rettig
  • Jesse Drent

Spoga Horse 2022 signified the significant restart of the trade fair. It featured approximately 5,000 trade visitors from 73 countries. It also received 329 exhibitors from 26 countries. The intentionality rates for the edition were also quite notable. 77% of the exhibitors and 73% of the visitors represented a foreign country. Organisers have announced that they will proceed with 2023 one. A novel addition will be the inclusion of a start-up village.