The FH Mask twas originally created to support the Italian community, but its usage has since spread worldwide.
March 9, 2021 marks a year since Italy instituted its first nationwide quarantine to protect its community from an unprecedented pandemic. It was during that initial time of uncertainty that Andrea Piovan and Giovanna Novello, situated in their Veneto-region home, sparked an idea.
At first glance, an equestrian clothing company was not equipped to offer support on the front lines. But Piovan, with his chemical engineering background, sought out to gather the materials he knew could make a difference. Together, the husband-and-wife team began producing masks.
"We suddenly found ourselves in an emergency situation, and our first thought was to try to help people here to get through this," Piovan recalled. "We made the first masks and began giving them to the local schools and churches."
A parallel to the growth of their business, neither Piovan and Novello—nor the rest of the world—had any idea the role mask usage would come to hold in communities across the globe. TheFH Mask is now not only a common sight in Italy, but it has also made its way to horse shows worldwide.
"Having the experience making the right technical materials [for our clothing] led us to the creation of technical face masks that could serve the equestrian market," Piovan said.
Made from For Horses' tried and tested sport-friendly double-layer fabric, FH Masks are water repellent, breathable and hypo-allergenic. The technical, washable and reusable masks feature minimal stitching, comfortable ear loops, and a lightness of material that supports active and outdoor lifestyles.
"Our face masks have been clinically tested," Piovan said. "They are water repellent, so they resist all droplets, and they are breathable for all-day comfort when working and doing the sport."
In Italy, high performance equestrian sport immediately supported FH's efforts. Different branches of the Italian military sponsor equestrian athletes, and the Italian Air Force team chose to wear FH Masks at competitions. In October, Italy won its first ever FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ event at the Montemaggiore Estate, which is home to Italy’s Military Riding Centre.
"The Italian Air Force team chose to wear our masks, and that meant a lot—especially when then they won!" Piovan exclaimed. "The masks may not have caused them to win, but they stayed safe!"