Claire Galer of Derriere Equestrian was kind enough to answer some questions about her profession.
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
The majority of the week! My husband is an Equine Veterinary Surgeon & I am an Equine Physiotherapist, come Equine Lingerie Entrepreneur! Our home is the base for our Equine Veterinary Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, we therefore live, eat & breath horses.
Our children have ponies, my husband rides his beautiful Warmblood Duke and I compete at Affiliated Dressage when time permits. However with the success & growth of Derriere Equestrian, I have temporarily hung up the competition boots!
What is it exactly that you do?
Having worked my entire career with horses as both Equine Nutritionist and Equine Physiotherapists, spanning 25 years, I now find my career has taken a different turn. Working with riders for many years, assessing rider performance, symmetry and much more brought about the advent of Derriere Equestrian.
Seeing a gap in the market globally for quality, effective, attractive underwear for horse riders was the first step. Development, design and bringing to market our product range was the next step. My position now and day to day work life sees me working as Managing Director of our International Equestrian Underwear Business and maintaining my role managing the Veterinary Clinic and HR within the team.
Day to day business life encompasses everything from: product development, design, figures, sales, marketing and leading our team forward to a successful future, with continued growth across the world. The work is primarily office based, however also requires travel to our production and design teams in Italy and Tunisia, supporting our retailers through staff training and exhibitions support. Our focus to our trade buyers sees the business exhibit at many International Trade Exhibitions, our key events being: SPOGA Horse twice a year at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, BETA International in the UK and AETA Trade Show in the USA. So business does involve a great deal of European and International travel.
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes without a doubt, Derriere Equestrian is more than full time and has a rapidly growing international team. We have a small office based team here in the UK at our HQ, a growing workforce through subcontracted work and Team Agents working with us in all European Countries and further afield Internationally.
There certainly are not enough hours in the day! After 2 years in design, prototyping and performance testing, we are delighted to be launching our Equestrians Sports Bra “The DE Sportief” at SPOGA Horse 4th – 6th September, the demand is high and we see our team expansion will continue as a result of this, so a busy launch period ahead.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
My career has followed a strong medical , veterinary and anatomical background; training as a Registered General Nurse, followed by studying for and graduating from my BSc(Hons) Equine Science Degree in 1997, then later completing my physio training.
Having worked for International Feed Company Dodson & Horrell for the foundations of my career, I was given a great taste for business, sales and marketing. My family are a strong business minded family, with many driven entrepreneurs! My mother worked as a dress designer for her entire career, so this has been a huge help to bring the creativity to the forefront with the Derriere Equestrian project.
Favourite horse memory?
At the age of 8 my family moved from Belfast in Northern Ireland to the countryside of Herefordshire, within a week our local farmer appeared down the drive leading a small chestnut pony on the end of some bailer twine. He handed said pony “Rosie” to my father and said “You now live in the country and should have a pony” This is where it all started and that memory will stay with me forever.
Future business goals are to see Derriere Equestrian continue to grow and support riders with our world leading Equestrian Apparel Garments. Our product range is expanding, our retailers growth has been so accelerated, the work is so rewarding. Our product range is set to roll out across all sporting disciplines. I am just so proud to have developed such a fantastic business model. On a personal level, future goals are many! High on the priority list is: time with my beautiful family and watching my children grow to live happy, successful, content lives.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
Achieving satisfaction in my work to support riders around the world, seeing the harmony between every horse and rider we work with #TwoHearts. Also, having designed and brought to market a revolutionary, innovative product that has changed so many riders’ lives for the better.