Photo: A show jumping arena will always have brightly coloured jump poles and colourful wings advertising sponsors
PHOTOS: CLIVE & BRIAN ROBERTSON
AN award-winning design by Clive Robertson, CEO of Rotoflo Holdings, has taken South Africa’s horse-riding circuit by storm – with around 5 000 units sold to date.
The success story began when Robertson tried to source cavalettis for his grandchildren’s horse-riding lessons. The commonly available, local and imported units were expensive, poorly designed and also poorly finished.
Cavalettis are small jumps, originally made of wood, used for basic horse training. Most consist of rails that are about 10cm wide and 3m long. The rails are inserted into fixed standards, usually made in an "X" shape, that commonly are designed to be placed at one of three preset heights ranging from a few centimetres off the ground to a maximum of about 46 to 61cm.
So Robertson decided to rise to the challenge and design his own.
“I wanted something a bit different, with more than one single purpose. So I set about getting design ideas from Nico Hickley of Hickley Tool and Die,” he says. “The idea was to be able to interlock the units together, allowing walls and various shapes to be built.”
The Lego Block concept was considered but was not suitable for windy conditions. Nico came up with the ‘dovetail’ interlocking concept which worked very well. Simple design features were applied, like big radii, a well-polished mould for good gloss finish; excellent mould split lines and a discreet venting hole.
The mould was CNC-machined out of solid aluminium. Once the CNC programme was loaded, it took only a few days to complete the mould. The RotoVetti is rotomoulded from LLDPE rotomoulding powder in several bright colours.
“A show jumping arena will always have brightly coloured jump poles and colourful wings advertising sponsors, often plants and small shrubs are also added. All these are designed to challenge the horse and rider,” Robertson explains.
The RotoVetti was entered in the Association of Rotomoulders of SA (ARMSA), Annual Design Competition and achieved 2nd place, thanks to the simple application of design techniques and its practical approach to manufacture. It more than adequately serves its purpose, looks good and is lightweight, weighing in at just 1.4kg. It’s rounded corners, positive interlocking pins and colourful options ensure an affordable, simple, safe and lightweight product that can be quickly and easily assembled and taken down.
“To freshen up or improve an existing product it sometimes only takes simple design features to make it look very different and more pleasing!” comments Robertson.
The RotoVetti’s components ensure safe riding conditions for horse and rider as they can be used to build the cavaletti walls and wings easily, obstacles can be colour co-ordinated and even branded, if necessary.
“Our RotoVetti does far more than the common cavaletti; its allows units to be interlinked to become almost a ‘brick’ for building walls and pillars, or just locking them together on the ground. RotoVetti allows interlinking on all surfaces, creating different heights and levels,” he explains.
Since October 2017 the approximately 5 000 units sold to date are serving to establish the RotoVetti as a market leader.