ETN is the trade fair’s one and only media partner. The official BETA International preview appears in Equestrian Trade News (ETN) January issue. To get involved, contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 or email

“Compare pricing and product to maximise margins”

“It’s the same every year”, “we get reps coming to the shop”, “I can’t afford the time away from the business”… The same old annual excuses get trotted out by BETA International no-shows. So ETN asked members of the trade fair committee to tell us why a visit is well worth the effort.

You won’t find anyone in our trade busier than two women who each head up a major retail operation. Yet they’ll both be dropping everything on 20 – 22 January to go to BETA International.

“I don’t understand why any retailer of any size doesn’t attend for at least one day,” says Sue Moxon of R & R Country.

“There’s so much under one roof and in a fantastic environment. There is always something new to see and learn, it’s great to catch up with the trade and chat to other retailers.

Being among the first to see the latest innovations is important to Serena Jones of Millbry Hill.

“What I enjoy most is seeing what the up and coming trends are and what new, innovative products are launching to the market,” she said.

“It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with a wide range of suppliers and other retailers.

Renowned saddle fitter and experienced retailer Ken Lyndon Dykes hasn’t missed many trade fairs during his long career. But his enthusiasm for BETA International remains undimmed.

“I’m constantly amazed at how quickly new products and materials can change within a very short time,” he explained. “And simply waiting for a rep to call round doesn’t even touch the tip. So go to the show!”

The chance to find out more about products and meet the people who’ve worked on them is why Sarfraz Mian, of the show’s main sponsor Neue Schule, recommends a visit.

“Of course, through the year we have regular contact with our stockists,” he said. “However, BETA International delivers a unique opportunity for our retailers to see the full spectrum of our products, discuss with the design team queries that have been raised by consumers and see new products we have in the pipeline before launch.”

Staying ahead of rival retailers is another reason to get along to the NEC, says Sarfraz

“The trade fair provides an excellent one-stop-shop for retailers looking to freshen up their offering to their customers and see product lines from diverse exhibitors that they are not currently stocking.”

Size doesn’t matter when considering whether BETA International is worth a visit, according to Marcus Cridland of Shires Equestrian Products.

“Retailers of all sizes should take at least one day to visit BETA International,” he said. “It’s the only opportunity in the year to see all the leading brands under one roof.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to compare product and pricing to maximise margins and offer customers the best products available. Many companies, including ourselves, offer all retailers show specials only available at BETA International.”

• The trade fair committee comprises representatives of the trade who contribute to and consult on the running of BETA International.

Retailers join innovation awards judging panel

Two retailers are among the experts who will be judging the BETA International 2019 Innovation Awards.

The annual accolades, which are sponsored by BETA International’s official media partner - ETN, are presented in eight categories.

Judging will take place behind closed doors on Sunday, 20 January. The judges are:

• Steve Hodgson – co-owner of retailer Nags Essentials, King's Lynn, Norfolk.
• Kathryn Jaquet – managing director of retailer RB Equestrian, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
• Catherine Rudenko – independent equine nutritionist of Equine Nutri Health
• Kay Hastilow – Master Saddler and SMS qualified saddle fitter.
• Liz Brown – equine vet specialising in performance horses.
• James Sommerville – Yorkshire-based international event rider.
“The Innovation Awards are highly prized throughout the industry, with the winning products going on to secure considerable acclaim,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“Our judges always have a mammoth task on their hands. All aspects of a product must be considered and no stone is left unturned. The awards are hugely important, that's why it's essential that we have the very best people to judge them.”

BETA International Innovation Awards are open to all exhibitors. They are presented in the following categories: Country Clothing & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horsecare Equipment & (Horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing & Footwear, Saddlery & Tack and Safety & Security.

The winners will be announced at The Charles Owen Spotlight – BETA International’s new theatre - on Sunday, 20 January.

Where do the profits go?

BETA International is a commercially successful show – and the profits it generates go back into our trade.

The trade fair is organised by Equestrian Managements Consultants (EMC Ltd), a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Group.

Profits from BETA International fund the trade association’s work – such as boosting British equestrian exports, promoting rider safety and developing feed assurance schemes.

ETN - BETA International’s official media partner - is published by EMC Ltd and therefore part of the BETA Group too.

“Supporting BETA International, as a visitor or an exhibitor, means supporting the equestrian trade,” said ETN editor Liz Benwell. “Going to the show gives a vote of confidence to your business and our whole industry.”

Look who’s talking!

Talking Business - BETA International’s live debate – will be back, hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart.

On the panel are:

• Philip Tyler - executive chairman of the TopSpec Group
• Martin Balmer - managing director of Trilanco
• Lisa Lemieux - director of Horse Health
• Doug Walker - president of the Weatherbeeta Group (North America and Europe)
• Kevin Galbraith - Ayr Equestrian
“This is the key gathering for the trade suppliers whom we equestrians rely on,” said Alastair. “They'll have tough questions in tough times. Join me as we shed light on what really matters to a vital industry.”

Talking Business is on Sunday, 20 January at The Charles Owen Spotlight.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Alastair back to the show and can't wait to hear the discussions unfold,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas. “They are always thought-provoking, truly inspiring and entertaining to boot, as Alastair expertly steers the panel through some really challenging issues.”

World champion and gold medallist share their secrets

Eventing’s world champion Ros Canter and international para-dressage rider Sophie Christiansen will talk about their gold medal winning careers.

Ros and Sophie will be interviewed in the show’s theatre, The Charles Owen Spotlight, on Monday 21 January.

All BETA International visitors and exhibitors can join the audience without leaving the exhibition halls.

Riding Allstar B, Ros won individual and team gold medals at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, earlier this year.

Sophie, a stalwart of the all-conquering British para-dressage team with eight gold medals to her name, returns to BETA International following her inspirational appearance at the 2018 show.

“We feel so privileged to have two female riders currently at the top of their game taking their place in The Charles Owen Spotlight at the trade fair,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

New showcase for great British saddlery

British saddlers’ skills will be showcased in a new initiative developed by BETA International and saddlery workshop supplier Abbey England.

The Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion, supported by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, will host some of the country's finest saddle makers.

“The Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion is a brilliant opportunity to see British saddlery at its best,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “This new feature will help to support the UK's historic saddlery industry at a time when Walsall is finding it difficult to attract new blood.

“It also allows companies that have not previously exhibited at BETA International – or those that have not done so for a while – to dip their toe back into a receptive and enthusiastic world market.”

Saddlery companies wishing to secure places in the Pavilion should not have had an independent presence at the show during the past three years. Abbey England will have its usual stand but will not appear in the Pavilion.

The area itself will house 11 British saddlery and leather suppliers, each on a stand of up to 6 square metres, with allocation carried out on a first come, first served basis. Five companies are already booked to appear.

Richard Brown, managing director of Abbey England, added: “The Saddlery Pavilion at BETA International has come about as it aligns with the Abbey England philosophy of supporting the British saddlery industry and the fantastic craftsmanship and skills available throughout Walsall and Britain as a whole.

“We need to shout about the fantastic skills, knowledge, history and heritage that we have to offer and be proud that British saddlery and our much-valued bench saddlers continue to produce such fantastic saddles and leather goods.”

Judge for yourself…

Trade fair visitors will have the chance to cast their votes to help decide who wins a top saddlery award.

Entries for the President’s Choice class at the 2019 Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) National Saddlery Competition will be displayed on the society’s stand during the show.

Each year, the current SMS president challenges saddlers to create items on a particular theme. So Chris Taylor has come up with the concept of entrants designing and making any leather item incorporating traditional hand-stitched box work techniques.

Entry is open to SMS members and their employees and must be their sole work. It will be judged on quality and craftsmanship as well as innovative design and features by a panel of experts once BETA International visitors have had their say.

Entries close on 16 January 2019. The National Saddlery Competition takes place at Saddlers’ Hall, London on Monday, 4 February.

Sponsor puts best foot forward

Footwear distributor Gardiner Bros & Co has stepped up to sponsor BETA International's Chill-Out Zone under its The Original Muck Boot Company brand.

This feature area, which allows visitors and exhibitors to relax during a busy day's business, provides a peaceful oasis within the halls, with trees, plants, comfortable seating, refreshments on sale and therapists offering a massage service.

“BETA International and its network of retailers is incredibly important to us,” said category brand manager Charlie Keyser. “We are delighted with the opportunity to sponsor the Chill-Out Zone and really looking forward to next year's show, where we hope to see lots of visitors on our stand or in the zone itself.”

Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas added: “It is such good news that Charlie and the Gardiner Bros team are offering their support.

“Our position as the world's number one trade show in our sector is in no small part down to the backing it receives from the industry.”

The Original Muck Boot Company joins fellow BETA International supporters official media partner ETN, The Spotlight sponsor Charles Owen, exhibitor bag sponsor Henson Franklyn, visitor bag sponsor Hy, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, New Product Gallery sponsor Shires Equestrian, official model horse supplier Stubbs England, official clothing supplier Toggi, Coffee Shop sponsor VetSpec and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Putting entertainment and education in The Spotlight

The Spotlight is BETA International’s new entertainment and education feature.

With a stage and large digital screens, The Spotlight will host celebrity interviews, the Talking Business debate with Alastair Stewart, seminars, award presentations, teach-ins and the Fashion Show.

Riding hat manufacturer Charles Owen is The Spotlight’s sponsor.

“We are proud to remain an integral part of the educational aspect of BETA International,” said Charles Owen chairman Roy Burek (pictured). “The Spotlight is an opportunity to showcase the latest in the equestrian industry and we are looking forward to sponsoring this innovative new part of the trade fair.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are thrilled that Charles Owen is to remain as one of the show's loyal supporters and extremely excited that the company will enjoy such close links with this vibrant new feature.

“I am confident that The Spotlight will be a big hit with many of our visitors and exhibitors, and play an important role in the trade fair as it continues to develop and move forward.”

There will be activity in The Spotlight during each of the show’s three days. With plenty of free seating, everyone at BETA International is welcome to come along and watch.

Dog food brand supports coffee shop

The BETA International Coffee Shop is to be supported by a premium complete dog food range for the first time in 2019.

TopSpec’s VetSpec brand is giving its support to the area where everyone stops for a cuppa and chat during the show.

VetSpec is a range of hypoallergenic, cereal grain-free, premium dog foods.

“As TopSpec Equine experienced a number of incredibly successful years as sponsor of this very same feature, we understand perfectly how effective supporting BETA International in this way can be,” said company managing director Philip Tyler.

“We are really excited about VetSpec's new range and very much looking forward to the opportunity to introduce it to the show's visitors. Sponsoring the Coffee Shop plays a key role in our marketing strategy and will be a powerful tool in helping to secure maximum traction for this new-to-the-market brand.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are thrilled to have Philip and the TopSpec and VetSpec teams on board. The company has been a loyal supporter of the trade fair for many years and both I and the rest of the organising team are really looking forward to joining forces once again.”

Model horses on parade

Equine mannequins will be back at BETA International, thanks to the show's official model horse supplier Stubbs England.

Perfect for highlighting the latest rugs and other products, the horses can be found in all corners of the halls, from the New Product Gallery to the Innovation Awards judging rooms and busy aisles.

“Stubbs England is delighted to support BETA International once again,” said managing director Chris Bradwell. “Our professional products perfectly partner the world's top trade fair and we are looking forward to showing all that is new and reliable in the stable equipment world.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added that the model horses are “a tremendous addition to the halls – and a valuable asset.

“They help us to maintain the show's polished, professional appearance and play a valuable role in highlighting the fantastic range of new equestrian products that are launched.”

A family-run stable and tack room equipment manufacturer, Stubbs England has been based in the same small Nottinghamshire village since 1836.

Today, it has more than 350 items in its tack room, stable, yard, field, shows, shops and warehouse collections. All products are made in England, built to last and tested in-house before being introduced to the market. The Bradwell family’s involvement with horses means they fully understand the working yard environment, and how to design products to suit it.

Sponsor scores a hat-trick

Design-and-build specialist Henson Franklyn is sponsoring the show’s exhibitor bags for the third year running.

These sturdy trade fair essentials are branded with the company's eye-catching logo and handed out to all exhibitors on arrival.

Said the company's managing director, Tim Henson: “Supporting BETA International makes complete sense to us. We continue to enjoy working with the trade fair team and, as so many of our clients exhibit here, it makes a perfect match for us.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We have really enjoyed working with Tim and the rest of the Henson Franklyn team. We are thrilled that they have opted to continue their sponsorship.”

We’re backing the show…

Henson Franklyn and Stubbs England joins fellow BETA International supporters ETN (official media partner), Hy, NAF, Shires Equestrian, Stubbs England, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Dithering about exhibiting? Read this first…

New stand options have been introduced for BETA International 2019.

Among them are fresh packages to make professionally designed stands more affordable.

The new packages reduce the time and money it takes to build a stand from scratch.

Organisers report that the show is already 85% sold. Companies already booked can switch onto the new formats.

“People often say to me that if they’re going to have a stand, they want to do it properly – and quite right too,” says James Palmer, sales manager.

“So we’ve come up with a way of enabling exhibitors to have really professional looking stands - with the hassle of build handled by us and all within a manageable budget.”

As well as the option to include stand creation in a booking for space, BETA International has deals for new, small and emerging companies, shell scheme stands and open space.

Exhibitors are automatically entered into the BETA International best stand awards. Entries for the fashion show, new product gallery and innovation awards are open to all companies that take stands.

The full BETA International stand options guide with prices can be downloaded at

Sponsor offers bags of support

Wholesaler Battles’ Hy brand is to sponsor the visitor bags for the fifth year in a row.

Sporting the Hy logo, the pink bags are handed to all trade fair visitors to carry promotional literature and samples gathered during the three-day show.

“We are really pleased to be supporting the show once again where Hy will be showcasing lots of new products,” said Battles’ commercial director Anna Dewey Clarke.

“We will put some great freebies inside the sponsored bags and there is also a competition to win an exciting collection of Hy products. Visitors just need to take their entry along to the Battles stand, G4.1.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “The visitor bags are a brilliant way to enhance the visitor experience and we are really pleased that Hy is playing such a key role.”

Hy joins the trade fair’s fellow supporters, official media partner ETN, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, New Product Gallery sponsor Shires Equestrian, official clothing supplier Toggi, Model horse supplier Stubbs England and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Making a difference to equine welfare

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas and press officer Deborah Hayward visit Hope Pastures to find out about the trade fair’s chosen charity and its new method of help-ing more equines in need.

Becoming the chosen charity for BETA International is a big deal for any organisation, so the fact that West Yorkshire-based equine welfare sanctuary Hope Pastures is stepping into this role for a second time shows just how very special it is.

It's not a large charity, by any means – nor does it want to be. Its main concern is simply to help improve the lives of as many horses and ponies as possible, and it has come up with great idea – a real breakthrough in equine rescue – to make this happen.

Breaking free from the traditional sanctuary model, Hope Pastures' team of eight staff and about 100 volunteers has helped over three times more animals in the first quarter of 2018 than it usually does.

“And we've done it without having to embark on massive building projects and ending up with increased overheads,” says charity trustee Kim Pengelly. “We can't take in every rescue, so we have put a welfare coordinator and team of volunteers in place to work with the community and local horse owners to identify animals in need, support them and, if necessary, find them caring and experienced new homes.

“The horses can then remain in their existing homes or are moved to new ones. Education has an important role, but we also provide help with things such as passports, micro-chipping and castration, as well as allocating spare donated rugs and feed.

“I believe that this model of equine welfare, where we effectively cut out the middle man, is truly revolutionary. The costs are significantly less and less time is spent in rehoming.”

When the community support route does not provide an effective solution, such as in situations with horses in extremely poor condition, Hope Pastures teams up with other sanctuaries to find space for them.

In addition to its community work, the charity continues to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome as many equines as funding allows.

Making a difference

Members of the Hope Pastures team are dedicated to making a difference and, for every £1 donated, they ensure that a massive 95p is spent directly on the animals. Funds are raised through the likes of pony parties, cakes and refreshments sold in the sanctuary's Visitor Centre café, and a large herd of woollen ponies created by volunteers who are a dab hand with a pair of knitting needles.

The sanctuary

Hope Pastures is located on the outskirts of Leeds on 16 acres of grassland rented from the city's university. Arterial roads run down both sides of the sanctuary, with traffic audible in all areas – not that this bothers the 27 equines on site, some of whom are enjoying a sleep in the sunshine when we visit. “Traffic is not an issue for our horses and ponies,” jokes Kim.

A bus service stops directly outside the front gates, bringing many families to the sanctuary for their regular fix of horses and countryside. With everything from pony days and tack sales to fêtes and school visits, there is always plenty of on-site activity.

Neat-as-a-pin yards with 24 stables, cheery pots of bedding plants and a beautifully tended garden greet visitors on arrival. The passion for equine welfare and desire to make a difference is palpable. These people care and they do the very best they can with whatever they have.

Chosen charity

Hope Pastures was the chosen charity at BETA International 2016 and will return in this role next January. During the show, it will raise the profile of its work and seek support from members of the equestrian industry.

How can you help?

• Supplies such as feed – with a low-sugar, low-starch formula – and bedding, including rubber matting, are expensive essentials, so any help with these would be much appreciated.
• Hay, haylage and straw is always in demand.
• Donations of equestrian equipment and supplies such as rugs, lotions and potions and first-aid products come in extremely handy.
• Funds raised to support costly veterinary fees help to tackle the charity's largest bills.
• Consider adopting or sponsoring an equine in need.
If you would like to support Hope Pastures with donations of products or funds, please get in touch with Kim Pengelly by emailing or telephone 0113 261 4344. Find out more at

Here’s to the first 40 shows!

Next year’s BETA International will see the show celebrate its ruby anniversary. ETN looks back over four decades at some memorable milestones.

1980 – The BETA Travelling Trade Fair was launched, with around 20 companies taking in ten UK venues during a two-week tour.

1982 – The BETA Travelling Trade Fair went international with appearances at many European shows.

1986 – The name changed to the BETA Trade Fair, the touring stopped and the show settled at Doncaster Racecourse, in South Yorkshire, and Sandown Park, in Surrey.

1989 – The trade fair finally became a once-a-year, one venue, three-day event at Sandown Park in March.

1990 – In line with an increase in overseas visitors and exhibitors, the show was renamed BETA International.

1995 – BETA International set up home at the NEC, Birmingham, where it remains to this day. In 2019, it will hold its 25th show there.

1999 – There was a royal visitor, the Duke of Edinburgh, following the Princess Royal two years earlier.

2000 – Merial began four years as main sponsor.

2001 – As BETA International closed, the first cases of foot-and-mouth hit the headlines in the national media.

2003 – The Innovation Awards were launched. Before this, they were known as New Product Awards.

2004 – Matchmakers International began a two-year main sponsorship.

2006 – Bedding brand easibed became main sponsor.

2007 – Nottinghamshire Police’s Mounted Section enthralled visitors with a crowd control demonstration. The unit has since been disbanded.

2008 – Abbey Saddlery & Crafts – now Abbey England – began a three-year main sponsorship.

2009 – Horse power returned to the demo arena thanks to the Thwaites Brewery dray horses.

2010 – Zara Phillips appeared in the Fashion Show wearing her Zara Phillips Collection clothing by Musto.

2011 – Doc Martin TV star Martin Clunes and horse whisperer Monty Roberts teamed up in the demo arena. Virbac returned as main sponsor.

2012 – Puppets from the hit West End show War Horse captivated everyone in the halls. London Olympics-bound riders Nicola Wilson, Natasha Baker, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mary King were interviewed.

2013 – Countryfile TV presenter Ellie Harrison, soap star Claire King and ITV News anchor Alastair Stewart were special guests.

2014 – Neue Schule began its long run as main sponsor.

2015 – Entrepreneur Deborah Meaden left the Dragons' Den and arrived as a celebrity guest of BETA International.

2016 – ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart returned to host a new industry discussion. Talking Business has grown in popularity over the past three years.

2017 – Jump jockeys and internet sensations Wocket Woy & The Producer rode into town for two days of madcap antics, including an appearance in the Fashion Show.

2018 – Yorkshire shepherdess Amanda Owen, eventing hero William Fox-Pitt and para-dressage rider Sophie Christiansen entertained visitors. While horsey hero Teddy the Shetland held court on the Neue Schule stand.

Organising team gets togged up

Finest Brands International (FBI) – home of the Toggi label – is to continue as BETA International's official clothing supplier for an eighth consecutive year.

As part of the agreement, the show’s organising team wears dual-branded garments from Toggi's country collections.

“FBI is one of our most loyal supporters,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas. “With their help, all members of the BETA International team – from those working behind the scenes to those liaising directly with exhibitors and visitors in the halls – always look incredibly smart and instantly recognisable while on duty.

Sarah-Jane Fedarb, managing director, of FBI, added: “We’re very proud that the hardworking BETA International team will be donning Toggi clothing and footwear for the 2019 trade fair. They do an outstanding job of running the event, for which the whole trade is very grateful.”

This year, female organising team members wore Toggi's checked Tattersall shirts and waxed Cambridge gilets, while men opted for Toggi checked Cresswell shirts and water-repellent Tiverton gilets.

• Other BETA International 2019 sponsors include official media partner ETN, champagne bar sponsor NAF, visitor bags supporter Hy and main sponsor Neue Schule.

“A frenetic but fruitful three days”

In January, Saddlery Trade Services (STS) exhibited at BETA International for the first time in its 44 year history. Paul Jeffery, of the Walsall based wholesaler, recounts the experience.

“Our first trip to BETA International is best described as frenetic. Our stand was busy throughout the three days with customers old and new. And the whole experience was an enjoyable one.

“Being part of the show for its entire duration created a sense of togetherness between ourselves, visiting retailers and the BETA International team. Nothing was too much trouble, help was always on hand and, from our point of view, the show was a real positive.

“Many of those who came onto our stand were surprised at the diversity and quality of our range. We received so many compliments over the three days. One big retailer even said: “Where have you been all this time?"

“Key products we had on display included our 2018 rug and fly rug ranges, in particular the Thermoflux cooler. Our new Signature Breeches attracted huge pre-orders too.

“Happy Mouth Bits [which STS Walsall distributes] and of course our English leatherwork were also big pluses for us. We took many pre-orders from UK customers but did not see as many international buyers as we were hoping to see.

“Everyone at STS Walsall would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who visited our stand. Many pre-orders have already been sent out with more arrivals imminent.

“We’ve definitely been very busy since the show and hope our service and products give retailers the confidence to continue to working with us.

“Thanks also go to Claire Thomas, James Palmer and the rest of the BETA International organising team for all their hard work and support. And to Dean Cox and the Red Gorilla team for their help before, during and after the show.

“Last of all, a huge thank you to ETN which supported us throughout our BETA International journey and helped raise our profile in the lead up to the show.”

A bizarre encounter

“You never know who you will meet at BETA International… In one unusual incident, a smartly dressed gentleman came onto the STS Walsall stand and began whispering to me as if he was undercover.

“I couldn’t hear him too well because of this. So there was moments of awkward silence as I tried to ascertain exactly what he was asking for… however I did hear him mention dressage, a radiator valve and men's underwear.

“I gave him a business card and he crept away almost on twinkle toes, agitated and looking over his shoulder as if he was being followed. It was one of the most bizarre three minutes of my life. We hope to see him again next year…

“We’ve got our stand number!”

Saddlery Trade Services will exhibit at BETA International 2018 for the first time in its 44 year history. So the countdown is well and truly underway for the Walsall wholesaler, as Paul Jeffery’s diary reveals.

5th October… We’re constantly checking the weather forecast so we can have a test run of erecting our stand on our car park. As a first time exhibitor there are so many things to consider and failure to prepare only results in one thing…

10th October… Warehouse manager David Harding has begun listing the merchandise we’ll exhibit at the show. The list is extensive and already we’re looking to trim it. Hindsight is a super thing; maybe we should have had a bigger stand?

11th October… One of our regular customers, Carol Hatto from Coach House Saddlery, asked us today what impression were we hoping make at BETA International. As someone who regularly exhibits at shows, she gave us some very interesting pointers about the importance of making a good first impression, staff uniform and how to deal with buyers’ queries. Our customers and dear friends have been so helpful.

12th October… So now, after Carol’s comments, everyone’s been debating what to wear when working at BETA International. Should we just be smart in own clothes as normal, get some polo shirts made up or maybe even branded STS jumpers? There’s no shortage of people to help us with embroidery if we need it.

13th October… We’ve received our stand details! We’re to be stand D7.1 - the location we wanted, and a total of 30 square metres. James Palmer from BETA International has been so helpful with everything. So now, armed with our stand number, we can begin our marketing campaign proper and let everyone know where we’ll be. Remember, that’s D7.1 next to our friends Faulks & Cox/Red Gorilla.

17th October… More new arrivals. This time it’s a set of rugs for 2018. Our Sheldon rugs have become really popular the last few years, so we’re very excited to exhibit new designs at BETA International.

23rd October… Stand build test planned, and subsequently rained off. Oh, the great British weather!

27th October… Today, the test run finally looked like happening. The weather was perfect, with no wind. We were all ready to go when, much to our surprise, a 40ft container of new products arrived. Test run cancelled. Again. But on a positive note, our new polo belt display stand has arrived.

30th October… One of our biggest concerns is lighting and how to effectively display our products. A quick email to Jackie Woolley, operations manager at BETA International, and within the hour we’d spoken to the show’s official lighting contractor and agreed our illuminations.

1st November… there are just over 80 days to go until the show opens, and pressure is mounting. I’ve already put aside the whole of my January workload specifically for BETA International preparation. The next things on the list to consider are furniture, printing, sales leaflets and show offers which will be in place for the duration of the show.

• For a full list of BETA International exhibitors, visit

Media savvy retailers rewarded

Main sponsor Neue Schule will announce the winner of its new Social Media Award at the show. The competition is designed to reward Neue Schule stockists’ excellence in the field.

There will be a presentation to the winning retailer on the Fashion Show stage on Sunday, 21 January.

Top prize is £500 RRP worth of Neue Schule products for their store, plus £500 worth of equestrian clothing and equipment for the member of staff responsible for the company's social media accounts.

“We introduced the competition after noticing the way in which retailers interact with their customers had evolved,” said Sarfraz Mian, CEO at Neue Schule. “Over the past few years, more and more of them are recognising the power and value of embracing social media as a route to communicate directly and immediately with customers.”

Why visiting the show has never been easier (or more enjoyable)

Exhibitors and visitors are invited to join the trade fair organising team, along with friends and colleagues, for free after-show drinks on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm at the Fashion Show stage.

Glasses of bubbly, soft drinks and canapés will be served.

“This is the first time we have held this event, which promises plenty of valuable networking and the opportunity to toast the successful first day of business,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“There is no need to book beforehand – simply come along on the day and take your place at this informal, friendly gathering over a drink and nibbles.”

Stress-free travel

Retailers visiting the show on Tuesday 23 January can ease their journeys with free coach travel. The return service operates from Exeter and Carlisle, with pick up points en route to and from the NEC, Birmingham.

Full timetables for this stress-free travel option - with no driving, parking or fuel costs - can be viewed at beta-int/visit/travel, where online bookings can also be also made.

Claire Thomas added: “This year, we opted to run the coach service on the last day of the show to tie in with Training Tuesday, a day dedicated to learning for retailers and their staff.”

● For further information about the coach service, contact trade fair operations manager Jackie Woolley, telephone 01937 582111 or email

Saddlers show their skills

Skill and craftsmanship will be showcased in the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) Saddlery Competitions on all three days of the show.

Apprentices and trainees will compete for a share of a £600 prize fund donated by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. The competitions are at the SMS stand (J11.1).

Sunday’s class is open to millennium and saddlery scheme apprentices making a cob-size pair of cheeks with hook studs. Competitors are Lucy Ellis (employed by Andy Wheals, The Saddle Man), Rachel Lok (Nutwell Saddlery), Rebecca Simmons (Pegaso Saddlery & Leatherwork) and Corrin King (S Milner & Son).

Monday’s class is for second-year students at Capel Manor College making a raised browband. Competitors are Satsuki Ishizuka, Chloe Rutherford, Vicki Andersen and Megan Webb.

On Tuesday, first-year students at Capel Manor College will make an item to be revealed on the day. Competitors are Gudrun-Kirstine Gadegaard Thuesen, Zoe Hurst, Bibiane Droog and Tara Griffin.

The President's Choice class of the society's National Saddlery Competition, with its theme of Boys’ Toys, will also be on display and open to judging by trade fair visitors.

● SMS members can claim three CPD points for attending the show and obtaining sign-off at the SMS stand. CPD is now compulsory for SMS qualified saddle fitters.

Toasting a sponsorship hat-trick

Equine supplement specialist NAF has signed to sponsor the Champagne Bar at BETA International for the next three years.

This high-profile feature is a great place for friends and business colleagues to meet for a glass of bubbly in relaxed surroundings.

“We are thrilled that NAF is to lend its backing to the Champagne Bar until 2020. The sponsorship is a fantastic endorsement of the trade fair's position as a world-class business platform and we are delighted to welcome the company back on board,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “We have already established a great relationship during its sponsorship of the feature in 2016 and 2017, and look forward to working with the NAF team once again – now and in the future.” NAF sales and marketing director Linda Porter added: “The sponsorship of the NAF Five Star Champagne Bar is the perfect opportunity for us to support BETA International once again. We look forward to meeting customers, friends and business partners from the UK and overseas at this unique event in the equestrian business calendar.”

NAF joins fellow sponsors Charles Owen and Airowear, Equithème, ETN, Henson Franklyn, Hy, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian, Stubbs, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

“This show brings people together…”

Saddlery Trade Services will exhibit at BETA International 2018 for the first time in its 44 year history. As preparations progress at the Walsall wholesaler, Paul Jeffery has been keeping a diary. As his latest instalment reveals, it’s all systems go with planning for the show at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 -23 January.

13th September… Publicity about our first appearance at BETA International has certainly not gone unnoticed. Today, friends and long-time suppliers from Korea and Japan respectively have confirmed they’ll be coming to see us at the show to demonstrate their support. That’s the thing about BETA International, it brings so many people together which is always a good thing.

19th September… The base for what will be our stand has arrived. So now we’re waiting for a dry day so that we can do a test run on our car park; the problem being that dry days are very few and far between in Walsall!

26th September… It’s been a record sales day for STS. The car park has been full all day and we’ve even run out of nibbles. It’s been so refreshing to hear so many of our retail customers talking positively about our presence at BETA International.

27th September… This morning we had a request from a new customer: “Have you got a bar on the stand?” To be fair, it’s not the first time we’ve been asked that… More food for thought.

29th September… Today my colleague Helen Oughton and I visited a number of local printing businesses to discuss merchandise. One of the items we need is a leaflet to give to visitors to our BETA International stand so that they can take advantage of the many offers we’ll have in place. While we were out, we popped into Ikea to top up on our display ideas.

2nd October… We’re delighted to hear that Saddlery Trade Services has been accepted as a member of BETA [the trade association] following a recent Council meeting. We can’t wait to start using some of the many benefits BETA membership delivers. We’re already planning to add BETA logos to our website and invoices.

3rd October… Another busy day with final orders and several big deliveries to be arranged for customers heading for HOYS this week. Excitingly, a number of new product samples – which we plan to unveil at BETA International - have begun to arrive.

NEXT MONTH: We’ll find out the exact location of our stand, so we can ramp up advertising and arranging appointments. We also hope to do a BETA International stand test run – so we’re praying for a dry day.

Innovation awards judges named

The judges of BETA International 2018 Innovation Awards – sponsored by ETN - have been revealed. They are:

• Clare MacLeod – independent consultant equine nutritionist.

• Michelle Miller – master saddler and harness maker, and owner of M Miller Saddlery.

• Tracey Morley Jewkes – managing director of Blacks Vets and natural dog grooming product company Born to Bark.

• Wendy Beal – retail manager at R&R Country's store in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

• Wendy Hofstee – vet and owner of equestrian holiday company Unicorn Trails.

• Allister Hood – celebrated show rider and producer, and winner of this year's HOYS Champion Cob on Our Cashel Blue.

“The Innovation Awards are an extremely important part of the show and have been the launch pad for many successful equestrian products,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Our judges play a crucial role in considering all aspects of the entries, including their commercial viability.

“Winning an award is a massive achievement for companies that have often invested heavily in the production of a product and we always make sure that we have the right people for the job.”

The Innovation Awards are judged in the following categories: Country Clothing & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Clothing Equipment & (Horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing & Footwear, Saddlery & Tack and Safety & Security.

Judging takes place on Sunday 21 January, with awards presented on the Fashion Show stage later that day as part of the show's awards ceremony.

Show factfile

• BETA International is the world's number one trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products.

• The 2018 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from 21 to 23 January.

• Visitor entry is free on pre-registration at

• ETN is BETA International’s media partner and publishes the only official show preview in our January issue.

To get involved, contact Beth Crow on 01937 582111 or email

Equestrian and country celebrities to appear

Eventing’s William Fox-Pitt and television personality Amanda Owen - the Yorkshire Shepherdess, are to appear at BETA International in January.

Both will be in the Charles Owen Hub on Monday 22 January talking about their lives and careers.

The first British rider to become eventing's world number one, William will share anecdotes and memories as he looks back on many years spent at the top of his sport. The father-of-four, who suffered serious head trauma in 2015 in a fall at Le Lion d'Angers, France, will chart his road to recovery and participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

William is a board director of the Eventing Riders Association and has written two books – Schooling for Success and his autobiography, What Will Be.

Amanda, a busy mother of nine children, will provide a fascinating and heart-warming insight into her life as a shepherdess on a remote, 2,000-acre hill farm, Ravenseat, at the top of Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales.

A best-selling author who appears on TV shows The Dales, Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild and Countrywise, Amanda will delight trade fair visitors with her wonderful photography and rural recollections of a life ruled by the seasons and animals.

“We are thrilled that William and Amanda are coming to the show,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “They are sure to be a real hit with our visitors and exhibitors.”

New training day is top of the class

Teach-ins, seminars and coach travel are all FREE

Information, advice and CPD points will be in plentiful supply at BETA International's new Training Tuesday – a day dedicated to learning for retailers and their staff.

Free seminars and teach-ins will take place in The Charles Owen Hub, with its large digital screen and comfortable seating, on Tuesday 23 January.

Sessions include:

• Redworms with Green Genes, an AMTRA-approved SQP seminar worth 10 CPD points, hosted by veterinary management consultant Jim Wishart.
• Is the Customer Always Right? A Brief Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, with the Trading Standards Institute’s Sylvia Rook.
• Equestrian Retail – Progress from Novice to Four Star, with David Gaule, of Citrus-Lime.
• Update on Safety Equipment Standards & Rules, with BETA's Claire Williams. This seminar counts towards the CPD face-to-face requirements of BETA-trained City & Guilds fitters and is worth five points.
• Saddle fitting, with Kay Hastilow.
• Visual merchandising, with Kirsty Kean, of Visual Thinking.
• Customer service, with Visual Thinking.
• Riding hats, with Roy Burek, of Charles Owen and Airowear.
• Bits and Bitting, with Heather Hyde, of Neue Schule.

To ensure that Training Tuesday is as accessible as possible, BETA International will be operating its complimentary return coach service on the day, with collection points en route to the NEC from across Britain.

“Training Tuesday is a really exciting initiative for BETA International,” says show organiser Claire Thomas. “It covers a fantastic array of specialist subjects to help equip those working in today's retail environment with appropriate – and much called for – skills and training.

“Where else could you harness such educational provision in one day and all under one roof? A day at BETA International learning from the very best in the business is priceless!”

Roll up for red hot debate

Talking Business – BETA International’s live industry debate – returns for a third year.

Hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart, representatives from the equestrian and commercial spheres will discuss topical issues. On the panel are:

• Philip Tyler, managing director of TopSpec Equine, a leading producer of feed balancers.
• Roy Burek, chairman of Charles Owen and Airowear.
• Jo Snell, chief executive of Bransby Horses, BETA International’s chosen charity.
• Kathryn James, managing director of NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions.
• Rhian Gibson, chief executive of the Pony Club.

“We have a fantastic line-up of panellists and we can't wait see them under the spotlight, wrestling with the latest industry conundrums,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

Talking Business takes place in The Charles Owen Hub on Sunday 21 January – the first day of the show.

The countdown has begun…

Saddlery Trade Services will exhibit at BETA International 2018 for the first time in its 44 year history. As preparations progress at the Walsall wholesaler, Paul Jeffery has been keeping a diary. As his first instalment reveals, it’s never too early to start planning for the show at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 -23 January.

21st July… We’ve created a dedicated BETA International room at our warehouse – and it’s fast filling up. Even the resident spider may have to seek alternative accommodation.

24th July… Our friends at Stubbs England have delivered a number of high quality display items. These will definitely give our stand the professional look we desire.

3rd August… The August issue of ETN has come out featuring an article about our debut at BETA International 2018. The response is amazing with customers new and old getting in touch to say they’re all planning to pop by the stand during the show.

7th August… More people have been reading ETN. Four large retail stores have applied for accounts and we’ve had numerous enquiries from start-up businesses. The show itself will no doubt bring many more new potential customers. It’s all very exciting.

9th August… Our stand has arrived. As a BETA International debutant, we’ve been given lots of useful advice by the show organisers and their official contractors. It’s all really helped with the planning. We’ve opted for a shell scheme this year and have purchased our own slat wall stand. Currently it’s stored in a safe place, but at some point we will have a trial run at constructing the stand.

14th August… News is spreading quickly. I’ve had three phone calls already this morning about the show. Some customers are even requesting drinks when they visit our stand. We hadn't actually planned on having a mini bar, so we may have to improvise!

16th August… I’ve been speaking to Red Gorilla rep Chris Birch about show location and what to expect over the three days.

17th August… A phone call with Stubbs’ managing director Chris Bradwell, a long standing friend and business colleague. Chris has been really supportive and given us some invaluable advice on how to maximise every aspect of our stand, in particular the lighting. Having won consecutive BETA International best stand awards, Chris was keen to share some of his ideas. One was to recreate our warehouse with racking on the stand, an extremely tempting proposition.

24th August… It’s refreshing to hear customers who visit our warehouse talking about how great it is that we are exhibiting at the show. Likewise Neil O Connell [who works at STS] has just taken a call from a new customer who said she had never heard of us - but will come to meet us on her first trip to BETA International.

25th August… We’ve started looking into producing our show booklet. Staff have been tasked with speaking to our suppliers to see if we can work together on some show promotions too. We’re also speaking to manufacturers in the UK and abroad about new samples to exhibit.

4th September… Our BETA International stand deposit has been paid - so it’s really happening! Even company director Dennis [Jeffery, Paul’s father who founded STS with the late Hugh Bayliss] is excited.

16th September… We’ve been mulling over how to present our British made products to best effect. Thankfully, Samantha Wilkinson - a local customer - has kindly offered to help us set up the day before the show opens. Sam’s shop, Diamond Equestrian, is very smartly laid out, so she will certainly add an element of creativity to our stand.

NEXT MONTH: Hopefully our stand’s exact position will be allocated so we can drum up even more interest. Then marketing and merchandise will be the focus.

Beware bogus callers

and why it’s reassuring that BETA International has its own hand-picked, official contractors

Exhibitors receiving suspected bogus sales calls in connection with the show should check with BETA International HQ, the show’s organisers have warned.

“Every exhibitor has been sent a copy of our bona fide contractor list with a warning about other third parties,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

The official contractor list is a useful resource for companies determined to make the most of their presence at the show. It includes contact details for providers of services from catering to filming, floral arrangements to support staff, mannequin hire to PR services.

Another key contractor, of course, is official media partner – ETN. “We have lots of plans to make exhibitors’ and visitors’ BETA International experience go with a swing,” says editor Liz Benwell.

• Find out more from Beth Crow on +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

New exhibitor services provider signed up

BETA International has teamed up with exhibition provider GES to deliver core exhibitor services at the 2018 show.

GES will provide shell-scheme stands, electrics, flooring, graphics and logistics to companies with a presence at the show, as well as design-and-build options for space-only exhibitors.

“We are extremely pleased that GES has joined us as we prepare for BETA International 2018,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas. “The company has extensive knowledge of the exhibition sector and plays an integral role at more than 3,000 trade and consumer events every year.

“GES's wide range of solutions, tailored to individual budgets, is extremely appealing to us, so we decided to welcome them on board as part of our remit to deliver a streamlined service and first-class resources to exhibitors.”

Jason Stead, managing director of GES UK, said it was a “huge honour” to work with BETA International.

My export journey

Since exhibiting the Skūp feed scoop at BETA International 2017, novice exporter Emma Lawton, has been keeping a diary for ETN. Here’s her story so far.

24th January... I’m so pleased I took the plunge and took a stand at BETA International this year. I met a number of international delegates including people from Canada, Australia and Belgium. However, I can’t get a fresh quote until the factory returns from the Chinese New Year holiday.

25th January… Canada have asked for samples, images and brochures for a trade show in Toronto.

9th February… The factory’s quote has arrived. For the first time, there’s a 3,000 minimum order quantity because I’ve asked for labels to be attached during production.

20th February… I’m pinching myself because I’ve received three positive responses from wholesalers I met at BETA International who each want to place orders of 1,000 units and are willing to pay up front. Quality control was raised, so I got the details of a company who can do it. However, in order to keep costs down, my new customers are happy for the factory to do its own checks.

19th April… Canada and Australia have both paid their invoices quickly but another payment [which will make the minimum order] was slow coming. To speed things up, Australia offered to double their order. So the order’s now in with the factory.

20th April… My new shipping agent won’t give me a credit agreement because I’m a sole trader. So I’ll have to pay any additional costs if the dimensions of the consignment change from the quote. I’m confident they won’t; anyway, Canada and Australia want to handle their own shipping.

22nd April… My first holiday in two years - ten days in a log cabin in Avignon. I’d hoped the goods would have sailed by now. I’ll just have to take my iPad to keep an eye on my emails.

2nd May… I have the option to pay the factory’s whole invoice once production has finished, but the exchange rate seems good at the moment so I’ll pay 50% up front to take advantage of that. But I’ll hang on to 50% for leverage if there are any problems.

8th May… The printers in China have struggled to source the materials for the labels but the samples have arrived. They’re fine and manufacturing can start. The Skūps are due to come off the production line on 25 May - that’s four months since BETA International!

22nd May… Except for the packing lists, the documents required for export are all based on the waybill [the official shipping paperwork that travels with a consignment detailing its origin, destination and goods descriptions] so cannot be created until the goods have been accepted for loading. I’ve ordered Certificates of Origin for all the shipments which will allow them to benefit from preferential duty rates.

25th May… The factory has received FOB [freight on board] cost lists from Canada and Australia that are more expensive than anticipated. The factory are trying to change the shipping terms and negotiate a better deal with the shipping agents.

I don’t understand why Canada and Australia are getting involved at this point. As I understand it, the factory is using their own shipping agent to transfer the goods from the factory to the port and onto the ship. That’s what FOB means, surely.

26th May… Each pallet has been loaded to utilise all the space in the 2m high shipping container. It transpires that the shipping agents impose a 1.7m height limit for goods coming into their warehouses and charge extra for anything exceeding this. The factory has unilaterally made the decision to split the pallets to avoid the height restriction. This will increase shipping costs but means the factory is not liable. Furthermore, the warehouse doesn’t have a fork lift truck driver after 1900hrs so if the consignment arrives after that, the delivery will have to wait until the next day when the port will be very busy with the Dragon Boat Festival.

29th May… my Belgian customer has decided to launch the Skūps at Spoga, Germany in September and has asked me to join them on the stand. What an amazing opportunity! Meanwhile, the Canadian shipping agent agrees to the factory’s request to split the costs and has charged my client. In turn, I agree to share these costs.

2nd June… The Australian shipment will sail on the 5th, the Canadian on the 9th and the Belgian one on 12th June. Australia won’t be able to take advantage of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement beneficial duty rates because they’ve changed their shipping agent at the last minute and will have to use a generalised certificate of origin.

5th July… The Skūps have arrived in Australia and my customers are very pleased with them. The first e-flyer has been sent out to their trade customers. It looks amazing.

7th July… The Belgian shipment has arrived. Because the courier lost the original bill of lading [legal title to the goods] in transit - I suspect it was something to do with the Petya cyber attack - they’ve effected a telex release.

16th July… The Canadian shipment is due today. The factory has asked me to share the additional freight costs they’ve incurred. I’ll pay the final invoice from China when all the goods have arrived safely and we have sorted out these extra charges.

1st August… New marketing flyers in French, Dutch and German are back from the printers. I’m really pleased with the fresh material and see it as an important step in our export journey.

• About the author: Emma Lawton is the founder of HūF Design.

From heart-break to happiness

Every year, BETA International supports a chosen charity. For 2018, it’s the turn of Lincolnshire based Bransby Horses. BETA International organiser Claire Thomas and press officer Deborah Hayward visited the charity’s Lincolnshire HQ as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

Bransby Horses is one of the UK's largest equine welfare charities, looking after horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in need. It was set up by Peter Hunt in 1968.

It currently cares for 400 equines on its 600-acre site – the highest number in the organisation's history - plus more than 350 in foster homes as part of Bransby's Friend for Life rehoming scheme.

The charity's Visitor Centre is an impressive sight, neat as a pin, with a well-stocked shop and café famed for its delicious home-made treats. It’s a magnet for horse lovers who arrive to meet the equine residents or take part in special activity days and fundraising initiatives held throughout the year.

Bransby's chief executive officer Jo Snell and marketing manager, Claire Hogarth gave us a guided tour. We passed paddocks of ponies, through yards and into stable blocks to meet some of the horses, each with their own, often heart-breaking story.

A chestnut gelding, chunky piebald cob and a cheeky Shetland stared out as us. It was hard to believe that these healthy horses were those pictured in emaciated “before” shots posted on the barn walls.

Only the charity's quarantine yard was out of bounds, to ensure that strict biosecurity procedures are not breached. Shortly after our visit, Bransby opened its state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit, with padded walls and cushioned rubber floors, for horses prone to collapse.

Keeping it going

It costs £4.2 million a year to run the charity, with money coming from public donations and fundraising activity. Legacies that make up 75% of Bransby's income.

It also relies on the kindness of volunteers who help care for the horses and run the centre.

Industry support

There are various ways in which the equestrian industry can help the charity. “Product donations are always welcome and new and used goods – big or small – are all gratefully received,” said Jo.

“We would also really appreciate the industry's help with our used postage stamp appeal, which raises a significant amount each year.*

“Several of our horses are out in commercial homes such as colleges and universities, alongside the many in private homes. We are so grateful to the hundreds of people who provide foster care, but many homes are still needed.”

*Used postage stamps can be sent to the charity: Stamp Appeal, Bransby Horses, Bransby, Lincoln LN1 2PH.

• For further information about Bransby Horses – including its rehoming and fund raising schemes – visit


Are you able to offer a new life for a horse or pony in need? Wish and Amethyst are two Bransby equines looking for a caring home.

WISH: This nine-year-old 13hh Welsh chestnut mare has been with the charity since 2013. She arrived in foal with a group of other mares, all in poor condition. Wish is shy and needs an experienced handler with time and patience to help build her confidence. She is happy to be stabled or kept in the field and is being rehomed as a companion pony to equines of a similar size and grazing needs.

AMETHYST: This 13-year-old grey Arab mare arrived last year via the RSPCA with four other Arabs. She was extremely underweight and had a significant worm burden and lice. Amethyst is a friendly, sweet mare who loves being groomed. She is good to stable and would thrive in an experienced home where she would excel at in-hand showing. Amethyst is being rehomed as a companion.

The countdown begins

As BETA International regulars know only too well, it’s never too early to prepare to make the most of visiting or exhibiting – especially as the dates are in January!

Exhibitors who promote their presence at BETA International inevitably have the most profitable of shows. ETN – BETA International’s official media partner – is keen to make that happen.

“The January 2018 issue of ETN is our flagship BETA International preview number,” says editor Liz Benwell. “But we will be building momentum towards the show within the pages of each issue well before that.”

All BETA International exhibitors are welcome to get involved with the many and varied opportunities ETN has to offer – some of which are free! Contact Beth Crow on telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email today.

Sponsors show their support

BETA International is run for the trade, by the trade. Organiser EMC Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Group. Meanwhile a number of big names from the equestrian and exhibition industries are backing the show this year.

• For a fifth year, French wholesaler Ekkia will support the fashion show. Famed for its striking choreography and foot-tapping soundtracks, BETA International’s country clothing and rider-wear catwalk showpiece is named after Ekkia's Equithème brand.

The Equithème Fashion Show is the first port of call for the trade fair's audience of industry buyers on the lookout for new stock.

“We’re thrilled that Ekkia has chosen to sponsor once again,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The company has a great reputation for quality garments and contemporary good looks that are also hallmarks of the fashion show.”

Ekkia director Eric Imiola added: “The Fashion Show at BETA International is the place to unveil our new collections to customers in a fun and modern way.”

• Design-and-build specialist Henson Franklyn returns as sponsor of the exhibitor bags for a second year running. The bags are handed out to exhibiting companies on arrival and are packed with a range of trade fair essentials, including the show's 2018 catalogue. Tim Henson, of Henson Franklyn, said: “Many of our clients exhibit at the trade fair and sponsoring it in this way allows us to offer wider support to the equestrian industry.

• Other BETA International supporters are Charles Owen/Airowear, ETN, Hy, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Hat-trick for sponsor

Schockemöhle Sports returns to BETA International in 2018 to sponsor the Coffee Shop under its TONICS footwear brand for a third consecutive year.

“BETA International offers us a fantastic opportunity to reach out to existing and potential customers throughout the world,” said Franz Schockemöhle, managing director of the German company.

“Over the past few years, the UK has grown to be one of our most important markets and the sponsorship presents the perfect opportunity to secure additional brand recognition before, during and after the show.”

The Schockemöhle Sports TONICS Coffee Shop offers a comfortable and relaxed meeting area for visitors and exhibitors.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Schockemöhle Sports back for another year of sponsorship,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “This highly respected company has exhibited at the show since 2010, leaving Franz and the rest of the Schockemöhle team in no doubt about the competitive edge that having a presence at BETA International can bring.”

Schockemöhle Sports joins fellow sponsors Battles (Hy brand), Charles Owen and Airowear, Ekkia (Equi-Thème), ETN, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Coming in from the cold

How Tricia Palmer Lewis’s BETA International debut became a winning one…

Cryochaps are ergonomically shaped ice wraps designed to aid equine recovery after exercise and rehabilitation after injury. For inventor Tricia Palmer Lewis, introducing them to the trade at BETA International 2017 was a first in many respects.

“I was quite amazed that so many retailers had earmarked my stand for a visit,” says Tricia, who took advantage of editorial in ETN to which all exhibitors are entitled.

“There were people from all around the world who showed interest and wanted to buy. I did not seem to sit down or stop talking throughout the entire three days. It was truly gratifying to see that I was causing such a stir among the trade, vets, farriers, media and physios.”

Before the show, Tricia had decided to use her first BETA International experience to test the response to Cryochaps. “There was no point in going into production in an entirely new industry without first getting feedback from people on the ground,” she explains.

All exhibitors are invited to enter products into one of the eight ETN sponsored BETA International Innovation Award categories, provided they have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

Tricia's Cryochaps fitted the bill perfectly, so she submitted them in the Horsecare Equipment & (Horse) Clothing category - and scooped the highly commended award!

“I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my entire life. I cried a lot, which was most embarrassing when I look back,” recalled Tricia.

“Everyone was amazingly kind and lots of people came up to congratulate me. The award gave me positivity that I had developed a good product and could go into business with a seal of approval.”

First shipment

It's been six months since Tricia stepped up on stage at BETA International to receive her prize. “Without the Innovation Award, Cryochaps wouldn’t exist, simple as that,” she says.

“From our first small shipment, half the stock sold in a week. Cryochaps were worn by horses competing at Badminton. People often comment that there’s nothing quite like it on the market. I’m slowly beginning to believe that this could be a success.”

Tricia has been getting to grips with the everyday trials of running a business. “Who'd have thought that banks charge you for putting money in? Then there’s learning how to update websites, do invoices, spreadsheets, print labels, set up trade accounts, buying labels and packaging…”

“Give it a go”

Tricia has booked a stand for BETA International 2018 and urges other start-ups and new businesses to give it a go.

“Exhibiting at the show will let you know if your product is going to be of interest or not,” she says. “Once you have that knowledge, the next step is getting it stocked by the trade.

“Things might be slow at first, but it's the same for any business – you just need to keep pushing on and never give up!”


Five months on from this year’s trade fair, ETN catches up with some of the overseas companies that are returning to exhibit at BETA International 2018.


Deerhunter had such a good trade fair that it’s set to return with a larger stand in January 2018. “We took many orders from existing clients and a number of new ones – and left the show with numerous leads to follow,” says Vanessa Leak, of the Danish clothing company.

Having a presence allowed Deerhunter to gather feedback on its range of proposed new products for next year's show. “We're really looking forward to bringing them to BETA International and plan to enter some of them in the Innovation Awards,” she adds. “The trade fair helps us to keep a high profile.”


BETA International offers great UK and international networking opportunities for many overseas companies including Waldhausen.

The 2017 show was particularly successful for the German company. “We were really pleased to find new customers and meet with existing ones,” says Esther Block of Waldhausen. “We hope to do the same next year. Spring shows are very important to us for highlighting our autumn/winter range.”


The high quality of international visitors is a major draw for HKM, which had customers from as far afield as Japan. “Reaching out to retailers worldwide is our strategy and visiting major trade shows around the world is the best way to keep in touch and showcase new products,” says HKM’s Pippa Hodgetts.

“Our aim for 2018 is to stay ahead and continue to follow our mantra of being 'young and different.”

Battles bags it!

Battles’ Hy brand returns as visitor bag sponsor for the 2018 show.

It’s the fourth year the wholesaler has lent its support via its range of essential products for horse and rider. The Hy logo will feature on bags handed out to visitors on arrival.

“We’re delighted to be supporting BETA International once again and really looking forward to showcasing lots of new Hy brand products,” said Battles’ commercial manager Anna Clarke.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We have always enjoyed a great working relationship with the Battles team and it's fantastic news that we are going to be joining forces once again.”

Other BETA International sponsors include ETN, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Shires supports new product showcase

Shires Equestrian will be back as sponsor of the New Product Gallery in 2018 – for a fifth consecutive year.

The display feature puts the latest lines, launches and brands in the spotlight and is considered a trade fair essential for visiting retailers seeking new stock, ideas and inspiration.

Shires joint managing director Marcus Cridland said: “The New Product Gallery is always a hive of activity and draws a continual flow from visitors and exhibitors alike who are keen to find out about the latest innovations. Shires enjoys being part of this focal point and we are pleased to remain involved for 2018.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “Shires has been a loyal supporter of the trade fair for many years. The synergy between this feature and Shires, with its exciting range of equestrian collections, works extremely well.”

“60% of leads converted to new business”

Danish Design brought pet products to BETA International 2017 – and left the show with new business and the Best Small Stand award.

“We were supplying a number of equestrian/country stores already and felt that exhibiting at BETA International for the first time would be a good way to attract the attention of other similar retailers with a view to gaining new business within that sector,” said national sales manager John Gauton.

“To our delight, a large number of positive business leads were generated. Of these, around 60% have already been converted into new business and others are still an ongoing process that we feel will come to fruition over the next few months.”

A recurring theme expressed by visitors to Danish Design’s award-winning stand was how many horse owners also have dogs – and how, therefore, its products were a natural add-on to their equestrian stock.

“Overall, the show was deemed to be very successful for us and we will be returning next year in the hope of further developing this area of our business,” John told ETN.

“I can’t wait to go again next year”

The Golden Paste Company made its BETA International debut in January and plans to return in 2018 with a bigger stand.

Being part of the show proved something of a watershed moment for the Yorkshire company which specialises in turmeric based products for horses, dogs and humans.

“Doing BETA International has given me focus, helped me decide on where I want our business to go and to understand my customers better,” founder Janine Kell told ETN.

This year, The Golden Paste Company exhibited in BETA International’s NewZone. The area appeals to new and emerging companies seeking cost-effective, entry level stand space. Next year, the company intends stepping up to a larger shell scheme stand.

“Go big or go home! That’s my motto,” said Janine. “BETA International went way beyond our expectations. We made some wonderful contacts and picked up some seriously large enquiries from overseas.

“We’ve since been supplying new customers in Ireland and Belgium and gained accounts with shops in the equestrian and dog markets.”

Janine was also keen to credit BETA International’s organising team for making The Golden Paste Company’s debut run smoothly.

“We’d never done anything like this before,” she confided. “But when I needed help, James [Palmer, sales manager] was there in a heartbeat.

“When the show opened we felt a little overwhelmed. But by the end we were loving it. It was lively, exciting and really well run. In terms of setting up and breaking down afterwards, it was so well organised.”

Janine says that being at BETA International has helped The Golden Paste Company establish itself as a credible major player on the industry’s compass.

“We’ve since become Trade members of BETA [the trade association] too,” she said. “We feel very proud to be part of a wonderful organisation.”

“We came away with orders, contacts and opportunities”

Proactive exhibitors notoriously reap big rewards at BETA International. And one that definitely made the most of January’s trade fair was lifestyle brand Annabel Brocks.

The company first exhibited in 2015, and this year moved to a new location close to the BETA International fashion show catwalk.

The stand itself had the look and feel of a luxury shop which invited visitors to look, touch and try on the brand’s trademark faux fur trimmed garments and head warmers.

“BETA International has been amazing for our brand,” said owner Annabel Brocks, pictured on her stand.

“It’s perfect for launching new products as well as networking. This year, it exceeded our expectations on all levels and we came away with orders, contacts, and a wonderful list of leads and opportunities.”

As a relatively new BETA International exhibitor, Annabel stressed how easy it is to get involved. “It’s very well run,” she said. “James [Palmer] and his team just make it all so easy for first-timers.”

BETA International puts the trade into positive mood

If they arrived at BETA International 2017 uncertain about the year ahead, exhibitors and retailers left the trade fair in optimistic mood.

Good quality buyers doing serious business and renewed confidence in the British equestrian industry’s global trading status were the themes over three days (22 – 24 January) at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Charles Owen Hub, a new feature for seminars, demonstrations and debate, was the most noticeable of a few subtle updates around the three connected halls in which nearly 280 exhibitors took stands.

Core equestrian wares dominated this year; with pet products and outdoor gear making significant inroads alongside the well-established riding, casual and country clothing elements. Across all sectors – with around 80 brand new exhibitors taking part - BETA International retained its famously friendly feel.

“It’s been an outstanding show with a very good profile of customer here in terms of small retailers to big international customers all finding something interesting among hundreds of new products,” said Philip Tyler, chairman of the BETA trade fair committee.

“And how positive everyone feels! We’re lucky to be living through interesting times. People who come here are the people who think long term and can see the opportunity.”

And as Leon Fynn of British-made tools supplier Fyna-Lite observed on the last afternoon: “I was a bit nervous after Brexit [was decided] but this has been a properly good show. I’ve done a lot of export business and have been taking actual orders from UK and international customers.”

As always, BETA International provided a great introduction for debutants such as Platinum, showing socks and accessories. “It’s been very pleasing and has opened up lots of contacts and customers for us,” said Chris Dovey.

While Tricia Palmer Lewis of Cryochaps said the show had been “awesome…I’ve been flat out and could never have experienced interest like this without BETA International.”

UK based bit specialist Neue Schule is to continue as main sponsor of BETA International until 2020. The new agreement, announced by BETA International organiser Claire Thomas, takes Neue Schule’s sponsorship to a record seven years.

“The trade fair delivers excellent UK and international exposure, and has brought results that have far exceeded our expectations,” said Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian. “I very much look forward to supporting the remarkable BETA International team in delivering the world's best equestrian trade fair.”

Almost 100 exhibitors came from outside the UK. “The show looks really good and we’re very happy with the organisation,” said Manfred Gelle of Gewa from Germany “I love this show. It gives you a sense of how big the industry is,” added Robert Kos of Swedish company Stierna Equestrian Sportswear who’d had “great feedback” from buyers from Estonia, Ireland and the UK by lunchtime on the first day.

“A brilliant show, and we’ve been much busier than we thought we’d be,” said Stephen Murphy at wholesaler Agrihealth. “Leovet has been flying and we’ve had export orders for Liveryman clippers from Sweden and the Middle East.”

At Alan Paine Country Collection, Kam Sahota reported “good footfall.” While Chloe Smith at laundry machine specialist was seeing “some really serious and good quality buyers.” The launch of a new shoe at Grubs Boots was one reason why this stand was “busy all day” according to David Foster.

“We’ve been full on throughout the show,” added Dean Cox at Faulks & Cox. “Some people were uncertain last autumn but now things are looking fantastic – this show has got us all buzzing.”

Emma Dyer had “a really productive show”. She also got a good view of the new Charles Owen Hub from her Equine Careers stand, and said: “It’s light and fresh, and lovely to have a change. The talks have been really informative and of a good variety.”

Returning to BETA International for a second year, Italian footwear brand Zamberlan had “an excellent show,” according to Chris Davison. “This year has already beaten last year,” he said, speaking mid-way through the second day.

At Dodson & Horrell, where new racehorse feed was launched, Suzy Broughton said there’d been “a good flow of people,” At another feed company Emerald Green Feeds, Peter Birchnall said it was “another very good BETA International.”

Long-standing exhibitor, Leslie Sutcliffe of LS Sales, summed up BETA International 2017 for many. “Business was good, the purchasing power was here – and Wocket Woy was hilarious!”

Indeed, while the inimitable jump jockey duo put smiles on many faces, so did the positive atmosphere that pervaded this year’s BETA International.

• See inside this issue of ETN for retailer reaction and the stories behind the people and the products at BETA International 2017

• BETA International returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January 2018. Find out more at

Be informed and entertained

Most visitors come to BETA International on the hunt for new products. But there are celebrity appearances, chances to learn and be entertained too. ETN looks ahead to some show highlights.

Wocket Woy

Jump jockeys and Saturday morning internet sensations Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein will share their story and bring their own brand of humour to the halls. The duo appears on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 January.

The Charles Owen Hub

This new business platform stages product demonstrations, seminars and Talking Business – the B2B discussion hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart (above). On the panel will be Martin Turley, MD of Ride-Away and Newtyle Trading Company; Nikki Newcombe, owner of Bliss of London; Liz Hopper, managing director of Matchmakers International; Sue Moxon, MD of R&R Country stores; and Tom MacGuinness, CEO of Horseware Ireland. Take your seats for Talking Business on Sunday, 22 January.

Listen, learn and earn CPD points

• A compulsory CPD module for SQPs, presented by AMTRA secretary-general Stephen Dawson. Worth eight points, it’s on Sunday 22 January and Tuesday 24 January.

• Retailers seeking inspiration for improving their stores will find a presentation from Kirsty Kean (above) and her colleagues from Visual Thinking invaluable. This visually led 30-minute session on the use of senses to drive sales in-store is on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 January.

• Sylvia Rook, of the Trading Standards Institute, will address the rights and obligations of consumers and traders when buying and selling goods.

• BETA executive director Claire Williams will conduct a CPD seminar worth five CPD points on rider safety for holders of the City & Guilds Fitting Protective Rider Safety Equipment qualification.

The Equi-Thème Fashion Show

See catwalk action amid music and lights from Ekkia, Finest Brands International, Tredstep Ireland, Albert Kerbl, Horseware Ireland, Musto, FITS Riding, Derriere Equestrian and Baleno.

Innovation Awards

The show's Innovation Awards, sponsored by ETN, celebrate craftsmanship, design, technology and invention in eight categories. All exhibitors are eligible to enter, provided a product has been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the trade fair. The 2017 judging panel includes safety expert Ken Law, Millbry Hill retail director Serena Jones, equine nutritionist Dr Teresa Hollands and retailer James Edwards of Acorn Saddlery. The awards will be presented on the Fashion Show stage on Monday 23 January - with all visitors and exhibitors invited to join the celebrations with a glass of bubbly and slice of BETA International cake.

New products

The New Product Gallery, sponsored by Shires Equestrian Products, is your first port of call. The area showcases the latest lines, launches and brands and sits at heart of the show.

Musto is back!

Musto is to exhibit at BETA International next month for the first time since 2010.

The company says its return is part of its strategy to promote equestrian and country clothing to the trade.

“Equestrian and country channels are a core pillar of growth for Musto and returning to BETA International will help to support the growth and investment we are providing to these collections,” said Emmie Brown, international marketing manager at Musto.

Musto will promote its Technical Equestrian and Country Lifestyle collections, selected shooting lines and its new Country Footwear ranges. It also plans to host a question-and-answer session with one of its equestrian ambassadors.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Musto back to BETA International,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “The brand's decision to return is a tremendous endorsement of the trade fair's strength and integral position in the equestrian industry. Musto is highly respected, with a rich heritage and a reputation for quality and technical excellence, and I'm sure that its garments and footwear are going to be of great interest and extremely popular with our visitors.”

More feed and supplement companies to exhibit

Big names in horse feed and supplements are booking stands.

The influx from the UK and overseas has pushed exhibitor numbers for this sector up 25% compared with the same time last year.

Newcomers include Coconoil for Pets, Immun-Ocean, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lickity Bits and Stiefel, Innopha GmbH. Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds and Simple System Horse Feeds are among those set to return.

“Although area sales managers do a great job out on the road, you can't beat the way that the show puts buyers in front of a phenomenal range of brands,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

“They can see and handle the products, chat to nutrition teams, find out exactly what's on offer, meet brand ambassadors and check out the best deals – some of them exclusive show offers.”

Already more than 35 exhibiting feed and supplement companies are due to exhibit from Ireland, Canada, United States, Germany and France as well as the UK.

They include Baillie Haylage, Bizzy Bites, Boehringer Ingelheim, Carr & Day & Martin, Coconoil for Pets, Country Haylage, Dodson & Horrell, Emerald Green Feeds, Equine America (UK), Finish Line Horse UK, Hilton Herbs, Honeychop Horse Feeds, Horse First, Horslyx, Immun-Ocean, Kevin Bacon’s, Likit, Life Data Labs, Lintbells, LubriSyn, Marstall Premium Horse Feeds, NAF, Nicety, Omega Alpha Equine, Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds, Simple System Horse Feeds, Stiefel, Innopha GmbH, Stud Muffins, TRM, TopSpec Equine, Thunderbrook Equestrian, Uncle Jimmy’s and Ungula Naturalis.

A sockin’ great trade fair first?

First-time exhibitor Platinum distributes what must be one of quirkiest products at the show – Storm Bloc socks with a lifetime guarantee!

Each pair comes with a promise that if a hole appears through wear, it can be returned with proof of purchase for a brand-new replacement.

The secret, says Platinum, lies in the anti-abrasion yarn used to make these socks which makes them 30 times more durable than most.

Platinum was formed in 2014 by friends Dave Wright and Chris Dovey. Both have represented brands at BETA International before.

In addition to Storm Bloc socks, Platinum exhibits the Seals country collection and launches its own range of lounge/nightwear with snug onesies, pyjamas, duvet covers and throws.

Sponsor says ‘hy’ to visitors

Battles’ Hy brand returns to BETA International 2017 as sponsor of the show's ‘welcome pack’ visitor bags for a third year.

The Hy range covers products for horse and rider. Battles, one of the UK’s longest-established equestrian wholesalers, has exhibited at BETA International for more than 35 years.

“We are extremely pleased to back BETA International once again,” said Battles’ commercial manager Anna Clarke.

“Hy is always very well received by retailers and we want to ensure that this fantastic collection of equestrian essentials remains in the spotlight. Sponsoring the show's visitor bags is a fantastic way to do this.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Hy to the show once again. Battles has exhibited at the trade fair since the very early days and we are thrilled that it has decided to support this initiative for another year.”

The sponsorship will see Hy-branded bags handed out to visitors on arrival at BETA International 2017.

Business hub hosts debate and displays

Charles Owen & Co. (Bow) Ltd is to sponsor The Hub at BETA International 2017.

This vibrant new feature will host product displays, celebrity interviews, retailer seminars and Talking Business, the trade fair's popular industry discussion hosted by TV newscaster Alastair Stewart.

The Charles Owen Hub, with its bright, contemporary staging and large overhead screens, will replace the show's Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena – sponsored by the riding hat manufacturer for the past four years – as part of a move to develop and enhance the trade fair's modern B2B environment.

“Supporting BETA International's building of this strong educational centre has been important to us from the very beginning,” said Charles Owen’s managing director Roy Burek.

“Education and shared innovation is key to our design and production process. We are thrilled to bring that focus to the forefront and this fantastic new feature is the perfect setting for us to engage with our retailers on an entirely new level. We are looking forward to sharing in the illuminating experiences that they will enjoy this year at The Charles Owen Hub.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are thrilled that Charles Owen has decided to continue its sponsorship. The Hub's clean, simple lines are great on the eye and its significant digital capability can only enhance the visitor experience.”

Charles Owen joins fellow BETA International supporters Battles, Ekkia, ETN, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Shires Equestrian, Schockemöhle Sports, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Free coaches hit the road again

BETA International is rolling out its free coach service for retailers once again, with return journeys available from Carlisle, Durham and Exeter to the NEC on Sunday 22 January – the first day of the 2017 show.

The service, with collection and drop-off points en route, provides a cost-effective and comfortable travel solution.

“Our complimentary coaches always prove extremely popular,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Making sure that a visit to the trade fair is as easy as possible remains a priority for us.”

The service, provided by Momentum Coach Hire, departs early from each location and arrives at the trade fair at about 9.30am.

Timetables for the three routes are on the BETA International website,, where bookings can also be made online. Demand is expected to be high, so reservations should be made as soon as possible.

All passengers will receive a goody bag from main sponsor Neue Schule.

ETN backs brilliant innovators

ETN is to sponsor the BETA International Innovation Awards for an eighth year.

The annual accolades reward products for thoughtful design, robust research and inspirational invention.

“ETN readers’ retail businesses thrive on ingenious ideas for new products, so we are thrilled to continue supporting the BETA International Innovation Awards,” said ETN editor, Liz Benwell.

“Winners can be assured of maximum publicity across the equestrian trade’s favourite monthly magazine and weekly e-newsletter.”

The Innovation Awards feature eight categories – Country Clothing & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horsecare Equipment & (horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing & Footwear, Saddlery & Tack and Safety & Security.

All BETA International exhibitors are eligible to submit products free of charge, provided that they have been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the show and did not appear at BETA International 2016.

Entries will be judged by a panel of industry representatives – each an expert in his or her own field – during the first day of BETA International 2017.

The awards will be presented to the winning companies during a ceremony on the Fashion Show stage on Monday, 23 January.

“We can think of no better sponsor of the Innovation Awards than ETN,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “As the leading equestrian trade title and official media partner for the show, the magazine plays a pivotal role in the industry it serves.”

Getting carried away…

Exhibition stand design and build specialist Henson Franklyn is to make its début as sponsor of the 2017 show’s exhibitor bags.

Widely regarded as trade fair essentials, the bags are handed out to companies on arrival by members of the organising team.

“BETA International enjoys a certain amount of synergy with our own business,” said Tim Henson, of Henson Franklyn. “Many of our clients exhibit at the trade fair and sponsoring it in this way allows us to offer support to the equestrian industry, which makes perfect sense for us.”

Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are extremely pleased that Henson Franklyn has agreed to sponsor the exhibitor bags. We have built up a fantastic relationship with the company over the years and are thrilled to welcome them aboard.”

French label sponsors fashion show

French equestrian wholesaler and manufacturer Ekkia is to return to BETA International to sponsor the Fashion Show for a fourth consecutive year.

This showcase of the latest country and rider clothing collections will be named after the company's flagship brand, Equi-Thème.

The Fashion Show puts the new season’s collections on the catwalk and attracts buyers searching for new stock.

“Ekkia's stylish and sophisticated ranges are the perfect match for this sponsorship and we are extremely pleased that the company has agreed to continue its support for another year,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“The Equi-Thème Fashion Show is undoubtedly one of our most popular features, with its contemporary playlist, professional choreography, dancing models and eye-catching scenes.”

Ekkia president Jean-François Vignion added: “Equi-Thème is proud to sponsor the Fashion Show at BETA International – the event of the year that should never be missed!”

Ekkia joins fellow BETA International supporters Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

Global newcomers book to exhibit

Booking for BETA International 2017 is brisk with a host of newcomers signing up from the UK and overseas.

Around 73% of stand space is already spoken for, say the organisers. A quarter (23%) has been booked by companies from outside the UK.

Many newcomers from around the world will be exhibiting at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January, too. Already, 24 companies that have never been seen at BETA International before have reserved stands.

They include Georgia in Dublin, pet products by Hunt & Wilson, Peter Horobin Saddlery from Australia, UK based HUF Design and German companies Stiefel, Innophia and Marstall.

With stand allocation due to begin in under six weeks’ time, organisers are urging interested parties to book without delay to secure the best possible stand location.

For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

Compulsory training for SQPs is free

BETA International 2017 is to host a compulsory CPD seminar for SQPs.

Entitled The Code of Practice – Keeping Yourself Compliant, the 45 minute seminar will be presented at BETA International by AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regularly Authority) secretary-general Stephen Dawson.

It’s worth six CPD points to participating SQPs and will take place on both Sunday 22 and Tuesday 24 January.

The seminar will cover key points from the SQP Code of Practice, highlight important elements in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and touch on compliance.

“We have worked extremely hard to develop our programme of seminars and presentations for 2017 and we are thrilled that BETA International is to offer a compulsory module,” said show organiser Claire Thomas.

“Scheduling the seminar on two separate days keeps things as easy as possible for SQPs. It allows them to plan their timetable so that they have plenty of time to take part in a session, do their buying and enjoy our extensive range of special features.”

The seminar is free and open to all visiting SQPs. No booking is required, but those wishing to take part should bring their SQP number to register on the day.

Four in a row for sponsor

Royal Warrant holder Shires Equestrian is to sponsor the New Product Gallery at BETA International for a fourth year.

The popular showcase, which highlights latest lines, brands and launches at the show, always proves a big hit with visiting retailers on a mission to track down new stock for their stores.

Shires sales and marketing director Marcus Cridland said: “Backing the British equestrian industry is vital to us and sponsoring the New Product Gallery for a fourth consecutive year is a great way for us to do this, as well as providing the perfect opportunity to connect with the retailers that are fundamental to our business.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “Shires and the trade fair share a long history. The company has exhibited since the early days and we are thrilled that Marcus and the rest of the team have decided to come aboard as sponsors once again.”

New names to exhibit

More than 70% of stand space at BETA International 2017 has already been taken by companies from the UK and overseas.

“With nine months to go until next year’s trade fair, things are continuing to gather momentum at an incredibly positive rate,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

“This puts us in a fantastic position and allows us to consolidate and shift up a gear as we move forward into the second half of the year.”

New faces set to appear at BETA International 2017 include Peter Horobin Saddlery, from Australia, Stiefel, Innopha GmbH, from Germany, Nacri Naturalis, from France, MIT Surgical, from Pakistan, and UK companies HUF Designs, Alice Reins and Horse Empire.

Neue Schule is the main sponsor of BETA International 2017.

Two chosen charities named

BETA International 2017 will support two chosen charities.

They are Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), which is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through the provision of horse riding and carriage driving.

And HorseBack UK, an organisation that was set up to help military personnel suffering from complex trauma, acute psychological injury and amputation through equine-assisted rehabilitation.

Both organisations will enjoy a powerful presence at the trade fair, where visitors and exhibitors can find out more about their work and discover ways in which they can support the organisations’ work.

“We are extremely pleased that RDA and HorseBack UK have agreed to become our chosen charities,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“They are each highly regarded and work closely with horses to help people with specific needs.

“The equestrian industry’s leading B2B show offers both charities the ideal opportunity to highlight their work to members of the trade.”

RDA chief executive Ed Bracher said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for BETA International.

“It’s a great way for us to raise awareness of our work among industry leaders and equestrian companies attending the event. We are very grateful to the show organisers for supporting us in this way.”

HorseBack UK operations manager Jay Hare said the charity was extremely excited to be selected.

“This partnership will allow us to reach a wider audience and raise much needed funds to continue our work,” he added.

“The charity’s horses have helped more than 500 individuals move forward with their lives over the past seven years. BETA International will allow our work to help those who have sacrificed so much for their country to continue.”

Show offers

Visit these stands and benefit from the show offers available. Download the Show offers here.

How to get involved

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International. So we’ll keep you posted with all pre-show developments on these pages in every issue.

Our bumper BETA International official preview appears in the January issue of ETN. For details, speak to Beth Crow on +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

For information about exhibiting at next year’s show, contact Darren Mottershead, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

Where and when


BETA International is the world’s leading equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product trade exhibition. The show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham in January.


The British Equestrian Trade Association – recognised as the official representative for the equestrian manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade.

BETA International – the world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, country clothing and pet product sectors.

British Equestrian Directory – an online directory with more than 10,000 contacts from the world of horse, pet and country.

Equestrian Trade News, East Wing, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AW.
Tel: +44 (0)1937 582111 Fax: +44(0)1937 582778 Email: