A KELSO company won a national award on the day it was launched.
Animal bio-security company Trus-STEED was started by wife and mother, horse owner and former office administrator Denise Allan last year.
Speaking with a friend at a Kelso company which makes chlorine dioxide, Mrs Allan recognised there was a gap in the market and came up with Trus-STEED supplying bio-security products to the equine, pet and game bird industries.
Mrs Allan said: “Whether you have a horse, dog, rabbit, guinea pig, game birds or any animal, they are all at risk from serious diseases such as strangles, ringworm, mud fever, rotavirus, kennel cough, cryptosporidum, E-coli, giardia, algae, and many other serious and sometimes fatal diseases.”
The unique products, made in Kelso, are extremely effective in destroying bacteria, fungi, viruses and spores even when they are inactive, she said.
“Bacteria which are most often found in water and on surfaces in the form of a “biofilm” – millions of bacteria stuck together due to the polysaccharide glue that is secreted by themselves and is particularly difficult to penetrate. Unlike most biocides, chlorine dioxide can effectively penetrate biofilm to provide complete protection,” she explained.
The entrepreneur won the Johnston Press Local Business Acclerator award in the Borders earlier this year – “it was great, I was over the moon” – and her company won the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) innovation award 20011 for the best horse care product, the day Trus-STEED was launched at the BETA event in NEC in Birmingham in February last year.
“That was a major win for us, we were up against people who had been in the industry for years,” said Mrs Allan.
What makes Trus-STEED’s products different is that they are all anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and give protection against viruses and spores.
She said: “They are there to do a job as opposed to normal shampoos and products,” said Mrs Allan.
Commenting on her company’s meteoric first year she said: “It’s amazing, it’s really good, it’s gone much further than we expected in a short space of time.”
The reason for her speedy success? “People are more aware of disease and also diseases are more prevalent – we hear of more cases of strangles, for instance. People are aware they have to do something about it and they’re using our product which does what it says on the tin. But it’s getting the brand awareness out there that takes time.”
Her stable guard disinfectant is already being used by two bedding manufacturers to rid their products of fungi. And she launched a pet range last month.
“We’re hoping to take that much further,” said Mrs Allan.
The horse care range includes anti-bacterial shampoos, anti-bacterial no-rinse washes, water trough algae treatments, stable disinfectant, anti-bacterial rug wash and insect repellents.
The pet care products now include anti-bacterial shampoos, a kennel cleaner and algae treatment for pet water bottles.
The game bird industry can choose from water treatments, disinfectant, a coccidiosis killer and protection again viral infections.
Mrs Allan, who previously worked in admin in the firearms industry, is married to Steve, a manager in the firearms industry, and the couple have two children, Amberlie, 18 and studying to be a hairdresser, and Matthew, 14, at school.
The family have a six-year-old Border collie, Poppy, and Mrs Allan, who is the treasurer for the local branch of the British Horse Society, has a five-year-old black and white cob called Jake.
And of course, she uses Trus-STEED products on her animals.
For more information visit www.trus-steed.co.uk