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Anti-fly hats fly off the shelves

Strasbourg Foire Européenne is buzzing as Annie’s fly-proof horse bonnets prove popular

ONE OF the surprise successes of the Strasbourg European Fair has been an exhibitor selling ... hand-knitted fly-proof bonnets for horses.

The hats are Annie Ettlinger’s entry for the fair’s Concours Lépine inventors’ competition and so far her stall has been snowed under with people wanting to buy one for their “aunt, uncle, cousin, son or daughter” she said.

One of the key selling points is that Annie, from Schwindratzheim, Bas-Rhin, is able to personalise the bonnets so that they match the horse’s saddle blanket and she said that was the original reason for knitting the first hat.

She said her daughter started riding ponies seven years ago but could never get an anti-fly bonnet to match the blanket. The bonnets protect the horse’s ears, which are particularly susceptible to fly attack.

Each bonnet and saddle blanket is unique and they take between six and seven hours to make. Annie started as an auto-entrepreneur to sell them through her online shop, AE Créations.

Elsewhere in the inventors’ competition, the Foire Européenne also has a kitchen that folds up into in a one-metre square space. Jean-Luc Sifferlin from Mundolsheim developed the kitchen, which is fully equipped with sink, oven, hotplate, fridge and cupboards.

When opened up the “C=1m2” kitchen measures 2.5m long and needs just a single plug to work. It has already won the public Grand Prix de l’Innovation 2014 at the Concours Lépine in Paris.

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