“OVERALL SAFET Y OF OUR FAVOURITE SPORT!”
Reitsport Branche 01/ 2022
EEBA founding member EKKIA S.A.S., France, est. in 1967, full-range supplier in the equestrian sports trade. We spoke with Monique van Dooren-Westerdaal, COO, & Board Member at EEBA.
What current conditions in the equestrian market motivated you to become a founding member of EEBA?
There are several reasons to support the EEBA, but I would like to pick out one specific example: As an internationally operating full-range supplier in the equestrian sports trade, we see on a daily basis how differently the topic of safety in equestrian sports is dealt with in Europe. On the one hand, there is a lack of uniform norms and standards for safety products, but on the other hand, consumers also behave differently. For example, while safety airbags are already very popular in some countries, elsewhere people are still promoting the use of safety vests per se. A great deal of educational work will be needed in the coming years to increase the overall safety of our favourite sport and, at the same time, to allay potential newcomers’ concerns about safety. This is a very important aspect, especially for parents who have no connection to equestrian sports themselves and whose children are interested in equestrian sports! In general, our industry is facing profound changes. On the one hand, there are legal requirements, such as dealing with the Supply Chain Act or the Waste Ordinance. These changes are important and forward-looking and will have a significant impact on the management of our companies. But they are also not always easy to understand and implement from one moment to the next. On the other hand, we must face the growing demands of consumers regarding the origin and sustainable manufacturing processes of our products. At the same time, however, we lack market information that is collected throughout Europe according to uniform criteria. The extent of the gaps in this area is particularly noticeable to career changers who join us from other industries…
What are your expectations towards EEBA?
I am convinced that we will best master the exemplary challenges mentioned and many of the other future challenges if we move closer together as an industry, exchange more ideas and develop joint solutions for the future. This starts with the fundamental promotion of the equestrian sport’s reputation and goes on to the development of uniform product standards and the desire to be a competent contact for the public and politicians as a strong industry association. Our voice should be heard and we want to actively contribute to a positive development!