Industry First: Justin Boots Partners with AQHA to Create Unprecedented Collection

Western Boots

For the first time in equine history, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) places its highly regarded stamp of approval on a premium lifestyle collection of western footwear for men and women. By combining and employing advanced technology, 127 years of boot-making experience, and equestrian expertise that is second to none, Justin Boots and AQHA join forces to introduce the Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection: a footwear solution for the equestrian lifestyle consumer that offers the highest quality and most comfortable, fashionable and functional boots in the industry.

“The Justin brand shares values, heritage and history with AQHA as well as the desire to uphold strong relationships within the western and equine industries,” said Randy Watson, president and CEO, Justin Brands, Inc. “We are all in this together. The Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection is yet another example of Justin’s commitment to our western heritage, our consumers, our retailers and the industry as a whole.”

Justin Boots, the Official Boot of AQHA, has a long-standing relationship with the Association and is the first industry player to co-develop a product designed to satisfy the specific needs of both AQHA members and core western boot wearers. AQHA is an integral player in the equine industry and valued partner in the creation of a boot collection for any horseback rider. With nearly 350,000 members and approximately 1,200 new members each week, AQHA is the largest equine breed registry and membership association in the world.

“AQHA works hard to provide the finest programs, services and opportunities for our members and to be the leading resource organization in the equine industry,” said Bill Brewer, executive vice president, AQHA. “We believe specialty equine products of the highest quality are essential, which is why this partnership with Justin is such a good fit; no other brand could pull this off.”

The successful creation of a lifestyle boot collection that meets the needs of AQHA members and core Justin Boot wearers alike hinged on gaining a thorough understanding of their specific, and often conflicting, needs. Interviews, fit tests and focus groups with AQHA members, prominent equine competitors, and members of the equine community left Justin armed with the knowledge necessary to address the product attributes and capabilities required to meet the needs of the experienced equestrian.

The joint research by Justin Boots and AQHA showed consumers want boots with supreme and serviceable boot technology, comfort to outlast tough riding and working conditions that horse owners encounter, durability to maintain comfort and functionality for years, and style that is fashionable and distinguishable. The Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection answers consumers’ multifaceted needs through various and distinct product series each offering a specialized solution for the equestrian consumer.

“We embarked on this multi-year process with AQHA to research, test and validate a boot collection that would provide the best solution to satisfy the multi-faceted needs of AQHA members,” said Louis Russo, brand manager, Justin Boot Company. “Without the expertise of AQHA, a collection of this caliber wouldn’t have been possible.”

The Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection officially launches at the Denver International Western/English Apparel and Equipment Market in January 2007 with the Remuda Series leading the pack. For the horse and boot lover who knows what it means to ride in style, the Remuda Series offers a fashion-forward look for today’s equine consumer in need of a boot that can be seamlessly transitioned from the barn to the boardroom. Featuring all-leather outsoles with double-welt stitching, the Remuda Series is handcrafted in the USA and will be available in both exotic and working leathers, with a Tekno Crepe® option following soon. With a newly designed broad square toe, a heel platform and upper design details pulled from classic archived Justin patterns, the Remuda Series makes a bold statement as the most fashionable equine boot in the market.

Future series of the Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection will continue to launch through 2007 and will cater to distinct consumer needs. Each series boasts patented technology to assure comfort and preserve the quality, durability and versatility of the Justin Boots heritage and each boot incorporates the brand’s signature JFlex® Comfort System.

Justin’s AQHA Lifestyle Collection will support the American Quarter Horse Foundation – also a first – by donating a percentage of sales to the Foundation’s long list of youth scholarship programs. The Justin Boots AQHA Lifestyle Collection will retail from approximately $200 to $1,000.

Justin Brands, Inc., a recognized leader in western footwear, is a Berkshire-Hathaway corporation (NYSE: BRKa) and its divisions include Justin Boot Company, Tony Lama Company, Nocona Boot Company, Chippewa Shoe Company and Justin Original Workboots.

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