Dan Carr is a well-established footing entrepreneur who has been an active member of the Wellington community since 1993. Carr managed the Palm Beach Polo Club, worked on numerous golf courses and has been involved in various aspects of the horse industry for decades.
Carr, co-founder of ArenaMend, has dedicated the last 13 years to creating an arena footing that checks all the necessary boxes to meet the needs of both horses and riders. Through all of Carr’s years of experience, he noticed consistent issues in arenas all across the globe.
The first major problem he saw when installing arenas was how much water was needed for the footing to hold its integrity through each season. Carr aimed to find a solution in order to limit the amount of water used for arena maintenance. To tackle this, he decided to bring on another set of hands, his daughter and co-founder of ArenaMend, Alex Carr, who’s passion and background is in sustainability.
Using their combined knowledge, they began testing new footing materials. In 2019, they released their first product, which allowed them to fix some of the issues they saw in footing, and thus ArenaMend was born.
ArenaMend was founded to offer the equestrian industry first-in-class surface solutions with plastic-free, natural materials. In an industry saturated with synthetic, petroleum-based surface materials, ArenaMend is pioneering premium solutions that eliminate microplastic contamination and water usage without compromising on performance characteristics.
Sustainable innovation is at the core of ArenaMend’s forward-thinking products. Constantly striving, the company’s focus is to make all footing materials not just safe for the horse and human, but also the environment. In the last year, ArenaMend has saved more than 20 million gallons of water.
Through its collaboration with Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), ArenaMend via Noviun will eliminate millions of pounds of microplastic pollution from the ground, air and watershed. NFW is a material science innovation company giving industries plastic-free solutions to create responsibly.
Based in Peoria, Illinois, NFW invents and manufactures sustainable materials from nature, displacing petrochemical-based synthetics. Using only naturally circular ingredients to create high-performance, biobased textiles, foam, composites and more, NFW has been changing material reality for good since 2015.
Determined to find a plastic-free solution for its footing business, ArenaMend conducted exhaustive outreach and research to companies around the world to find the right fit. They chose to create Noviun with NFW, and together, they developed the first plastic-free solution for equestrian sand surfaces.
“Partnering with ArenaMend allows NFW to directly replace existing synthetic materials with more natural options, the core of our company mission,” said Steve Zika, president of NFW. “We are excited about this partnership and providing a climate-friendly, plastic-free option to this industry.”
With Noviun, energy efficiency is maximized by natural elastomers that reduce concussion and provide natural rebound for horses.
“Noviun offers a unique performance advantage over industry-standard waste polypropylene or synthetic tires. Our plastic-free, natural fiber blend gives sand surfaces both grip and absorption, providing confidence underfoot more like turf grass — horses’ natural and preferred riding surface,” Dan Carr explained. “The result is faster speeds, fewer injuries and quicker recovery.”
He said that Noviun is suitable for all sand types and environments and can be applied at a range of concentrations to meet the needs of every discipline.
ArenaMend has big goals for the future of the company and the arena footing industry as a whole.
“We want to continue to push the envelope,” Alex Carr said. “Our hope is that the industry continues to cater to the horse, rider and environment. We are a company unlike any other. Our goal is to help impact the industry and leave a lasting impression on our clients and the environment.”