SPOTLIGHT ON | Polvin Fencing

23 Jan 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

A key feature of the track project at Ellerslie is the upgrade of our fencing oncourse to provide a safer experience for all. This will see an all-new running rail, as well as crowd fencing, installed before racing resumes in 2024.

The business elected to go with a fencing product known as Polvin fencing, so when Brent and Jackie Hanslo (who’s parents founded Polvin Fencing Systems) were over from Australia late in 2022, we grabbed a few minutes with them to learn more about this innovative solution.

Polvin’s post and rail product oncourse in Queensland



Tell us about Polvin fencing, what’s the key point of difference from other products on the market?

Polvin fencing is a PVC fencing solution that has many advantages over more traditional fencing products. It is safer for animals, requires minimal maintenance, is attractive and satisfies the growing demand for environmental sustainability.

I had read that Polvin fencing is safer for horses – can you tell us why?

PVC is far more flexible than wood and steel and has a much higher tensile strength than wood. This means that the risk of injury to a horse upon collision with the fence is substantially reduced. Common injuries to horses resulting from fence collisions are broken bones associated with an inflexible steel fence, cuts and tears from a splintered timber fence and entanglement with a wire fence.

A PVC fence substantially reduces these risks as it is much more resilient to impact and will flex upon collision without breaking. Should the impact be quite heavy, the rails are designed to “pop out” further preventing injury risk. Our PVC product allows for minimal damage and it’s safer for riders too – there’s no sharp edges and they too get the benefit of breakaway technology.

Example of the Polvin double barrier rail

Polvin fencing was originally developed for equestrian pursuits – where did this identification of a need come from?

The founders of the company were actually looking for safe fencing for their own property. PVC manufacturing was already the family business and when they looked overseas they saw that PVC fencing was starting to be widely used in the USA and Europe but there wasn’t a comparable product in Australia. They did consider importing the product but found that the high UV in Australia meant overseas formulations didn’t stand up to the environment so they diversified their business and turned their hand to producing their own product that was superior to the rest of the world.

Did you start with paddock fencing/arenas? Or was the racing industry a key driver of your business and its success?

The racing industry is key part of our business model. We actually started with post and rail fencing at Flemington, then after a consultation process with them diversified to the mesh fencing for crowd control to ensure crowd and horse safety. Subsequent to that, we branched out into the production of our running rail product from a design provided by the Club and one of their partners. Flemington is still a key client of ours to this day and we’re proud of the work we’ve done there.

With regards to Ellerslie, oncourse you will see both our crowd mesh product and the Mawsafe running rail.

Polvin mesh crowd fencing


I read you’ve installed over 400,000 metres of running rail and other fencing at racecourses throughout Australia and around the world. You’ve mentioned your fences are oncourse at Flemington – where else might our readers have come across your product?

Our product is also oncourse at Randwick, Rosehill and Caulfield, in fact most VIC courses have some Polvin fencing or a Mawsafe running rail.

To learn more about Racing Victoria’s plastic running rail project, click here.

The Mawsafe running rail is also already oncourse at 5 or 6 tracks in New Zealand including Cambridge.

Your statement regarding paddock fencing is that Polvin post and rail fencing is designed to flex and return to its original shape should a horse lean on it. Its soft, moulded shape does not pose a risk to the physical well-being of your animals. Is this true when used as a running rail as well? Any changes to the running rail product vs. the post and rail?

All of our PVC equestrian products are made from the same formula and the only difference is the shape. The running rail has its own features including the innovative kick out post/uprights. Each upright has a pivotal connection to the rail and a slip free connection to the base plate. The design allows the upright to swing away should a fallen rider hit it. Upon impact, several uprights can slip free without losing the integrity of the railing. The rail’s metal base is below ground level – another safety first – so neither horse nor jockey are in danger of striking steel at high speed.


Now aesthetics, whilst obviously not as important as the safety benefits, are another key part of Polvin fencing. Can you take us through the durability and longevity of this product?

PVC fencing is low maintenance (no painting!), has very high UV resistance and comes with a 50 year warranty. Aside from the occasional clean, it requires zero maintenance and will never rot, warp, flake or peel like its wooden counterpart. Can’t ask for more than that!

Thank you to Brent and Jackie Hanslo for giving up some of their valuable time whilst in New Zealand. To learn more about Polvin Fencing, you can visit their website here.

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