The whole search for a new, better stud all started when the mother of one of my apprentices asked why studs were so difficult to use. I replied that I didn’t really know and promised that I would look into it and see what I could find out.
The first thing was to check the patent register and find out when they were first invented. I was quite surprised to find out that the threaded stud was patented in 1918 and has remained unchanged ever since.
I had a chat with one of my ex-apprentices, Tom Smith who qualified about 12 years ago and he was having problems with one of his customers who regularly cross-threaded studs and so stripped the threads. This meant that the studs would often come loose and fall out.
Tom was very frustrated and also wanted to find a solution. We decided to put our heads together and come up with a solution that would be better than the present system.
It was a lot more difficult than we anticipated. We tried everything that we could think of and came up with several weird and wonderful ideas. Some fell by the wayside before we had even tested them and some fell at the first hurdle when we did.
Others, we discovered had already been patented and then we found out that two other companies had introduced their studs onto the market in the last few years.
Both had solved one problem, which was the fact that both these new versions were much easier to put in that the old threaded studs. However, neither would stay in during heavy work, so they solved one problem but created another.
We needed something that would be easier to use and do the job while the horse engaged in whatever activity it was used for.
I realised that the threaded stud must be a good design because it had stood the test of time and thought that what we needed was a threaded stud that could not be cross-threaded. Sounded easy. Surely with modern technology, that could be achieved. Nearly every country in the world uses a British Standard Whitworth ( BSW ) thread but it is fundamentally flawed because its design has a sharp thread that will cut a new track if put in skewed. Our thread has a flat top and bottom to it which means that it cannot cut a new one and has to go in straight.
We subjected the new stud to rigorous testing, including torque tests and field tests where it performed better than we could have imagined. Various equine disciplines were used including cross-country, polo and polocrosse. One polocrosse player, who is also a farrier told me that he had only lost two studs during the whole season.........both he had dropped in the grass and couldn’t find them again!
We now have six different sizes for the coming season and are very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. We have two European eventers, one European show jumper and the King’s Troop all using our studs as well as many other riders who use them in local competitions. Nobody who has used them has gone back to the old BSW system. Anybody who would like more information can find it here