Kate Dertell reviews the Earlwood Black Label Show Sets

Kate Dertell reviews the Earlwood Black Label Show Sets

Kate Dertell requires little introduction in Australian Showing and Dressage circles. As owner/manager of Future Farms and mother to Jessica Dertell, an elite young rider in her own right, Kate has a depth of experience and knowledge that can only be acquired from a lifetime in the equestrian industry.

Naturally, we are keen to share her valued opinions on one of Earlwood Equine’s most popular products – the Black Label Show Set.

We chat with Kate:


How long have you been using these rugs?

Future Farms have been using these rugs since they first came out, we actually had the very first ones to do the photos shoots of. (Images used in this article, courtesy of Kate and Future Farms.)

Do you keep this rug and hood set strictly for shows or do you use them at home as well?

We use these sets both for shows and for home use – especially for the harder to fit horses as they fit so well.

Do you prefer the gold or silver binding?

I personally prefer the gold binding as black and gold are our farm colours, however the silver looks amazing on as well.

Earlwood Black Label Show Set

What sort of horses do you use them on?

We use them on all our horses here at the farm – and we have a huge variety, from Arabians to Warmbloods and everything in between!

How do you find the rug fits?

These are one of the best fitting rugs we have used on our horses. The necks fit both the narrower/smaller horses as well as the big horses. They are one of the few rugs that I say have a “true size to fit” neck on them.

The rug is made from high-quality Cotton blend fabric. Are you satisfied with the material, in terms of breathability and durability?

The fabric is a great quality and easy to maintain.

After much wearing and washing, how would you describe the rug?  

The rugs are easy to wash and wear, and hold their colour and shape well.

Do you use the matching tail bag?

We use the matching tail bags for the show horses, they fit well and are a good length for the show horses to keep tails clean the night before a show.

Earlwood Black Label Show Set - Tail Bag

How does the tail bag assist with show preparation?

Once our horses are bathed and prepped for shows, we put the tail bags on. It keeps the tails clean and dry and keeps the shavings from their bedding out of them.

Do you prefer the Zipped Up or the Pull On Hood? Why?

I actually use both the zip up and pull on hoods. I like the pull on hoods for every day wear as there are less things for horses to break when playing in the paddock etc. They fit super well, and are a good length back to the rugs so don’t leave 'gaps' when the horses' heads are down and eating grass.

The elastic ties back to the D's on the rug well and is a good strong elastic so it doesn’t break and is easy to secure. I generally use the zip up hoods for shows as they are easier to get on and off without having to take everything else off the horse, or I also use them on young horses or horses that are scared of hoods going over their heads.

A distinctive feature of this rug set is that the rug and hood fabrics are not the same, unlike many show sets on the market. Do you like the fabric used for the hood? Why?

I like the material used in the hoods, as with all the Earlwood Hoods – it is a great easy wash and wear material with good stretch and they fit so well.

What is your favorite thing about the Black Label Show Sets?

We definitely love how well they fit such a vast array of different sized horses.

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