As a key player in the equestrian industry and with our ear fixed firmly to the ground, ETN strives to be first with the latest industry news. Our online news feed keeps you up-to-speed with a wide range of breaking stories and issues.

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22nd May, 2019.

Experienced appointee to uphold the late Roy Burek’s legacy.

Ricky Hone has been appointed managing director of Charles Owen with immediate effect.

He takes up the role with the equestrian safety equipment manufacturer following last month’s untimely death of its chairman Roy Burek.

Ricky joined Charles Owen in 1982, quickly progressing to operations director. He worked alongside Roy throughout his career.

As managing director, Ricky is to focus on Charles Owen’s global activities alongside Roy’s son and the new company chairman, Owen Burek.

“Ricky has the company and its values within his DNA,” said Owen.

“His appointment reinforces my father’s remarkable legacy and ensures that Charles Owen is well-positioned to continue growing and saving lives worldwide.”

Acknowledging the “fantastic team” at Charles Owen, Ricky added: “With their support, I look forward to continuing Roy’s passion of making horse riding, in all its forms, ever safer.

“Over the year ahead, we have a number of exciting new products to be launched, all manufactured in our factory in North Wales.”


22nd May, 2019.

ETN has had a make-over.

A bright, new Equestrian Trade News (ETN) will drop onto equestrian retailers’ doormats next week

Now in its 40th year of publication, the monthly magazine has been given a fresh design by its new printers, Leeds based Resource.

“When readers open ETN’s June issue, they’ll find their favourite, familiar content – but with a spruced-up look,” says editor Liz Benwell.

“The move to new printers also means we can deliver ETN to readers faster.”

The switch to new designers and printers also opens up new opportunities – from the tactile to the technical - to ETN advertisers. For details, speak to Beth Crow on 01937 582111 email

ETN is part of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Group. Profits from its publication are used to fund the trade association’s work for the benefit of members and the wider industry. ETN is the official media partner of BETA International.


22nd May, 2019.

Savings and best stand positions available to companies committing before 30 September.

Companies wishing to exhibit at BETA International can benefit from significant savings of around 3 per cent per square metre thanks to the show’s new early booking rate. To qualify for the reduced rate, stand application forms must be submitted, along with a 10 per cent, non-refundable deposit, by 30 September 2019.*

“Supporting the industry is really important to us and the special rate is a great way to show our commitment while offering companies a fantastic incentive to sign up for 2020,” said BETA International sales manager Darren Mottershead. “Exhibiting on this powerful international platform is a fantastic opportunity for all companies wishing to take full advantage of this global business, buying and networking event.”

Meeting the early booking deadline also puts companies first in line when it comes to securing the most sought-after locations in the show’s three large halls when stand allocation begins.

BETA International 2020 will take place from 19 to 21 January at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. It is the leading trade show for the equestrian, country, pet and giftware sectors. For further information about exhibiting, contact Darren Mottershead, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

*Terms and conditions apply


22nd May, 2019.

This week marks 12 months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) arrived on 25 May with much uncertainty. So what have we learnt?

This time last year, GDPR was the hot topic of conversation as its introduction promised to impact nearly every organisation across Europe, says Julia Seary, partner at Roythornes Solicitors.

The regulation was introduced to strengthen personal data privacy laws in light of technological advancements and put all European organisations on an equal footing in terms of compliance requirements.

In a heavily data-driven world, GDPR was an attempt to update the law in response to the volume, variety and speed of personal data production and its global circulation.

Now that the dust has settled, how is the regulation working in practice.

Overall, it appears that significant enforcement activity is minimal, but that’s not to say investigations aren’t taking place behind the scenes.

There have been more than 50,000 data breach notifications across Europe since GDPR came into force and here in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has received more than 8,000 notifications of data breaches since the end of May 2018.

The largest GDPR fine issued to date has been the €50 million against Google by the French data privacy regulator for lack of transparency, inadequate information, and lack of valid consent in relation to its use of personal data for the purposes of personalising advertisements.

A maximum fine of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover - whichever figure is greater – can be imposed on businesses which do not conform with the updated regulation.

Lack of consent

It appears that transparency and consent (or the alleged lack of them) remains the most popular ICO complaint, particularly relating to the level of detail that people expect to receive. We therefore advise businesses to revisit their privacy policy in order to make content as specific as possible.

The use of data subject rights is becoming another business issue. GDPR grants individuals more extensive rights regarding their personal data which has generated a culture of individuals making repeated and extensive subject access requests (i.e. requesting emails going back many years), often simply to cause annoyance, waste time and incur costs for the data controller.

Immediately following 25 May 2018, there was a surge in erasure requests as individuals sought to clean up their online privacy and security. This seems to have slowed down in recent months – perhaps due to the realisation that the right to request erasure is subject to business requirements, rather than an absolute right to have all information deleted.

Finally, the last emerging data protection trend and a potentially concerning development is the increase in class action-style litigation and so-called ‘data protection ambulance chasers’.

Some claimant law firms are attempting to build business off the back of data breaches – even if the breach gives rise to little risk of damage.

In order to avoid business impact and interruption, organisations should review and update data privacy documents, implement GDPR training, and assess all data flow and transfers.

More information from


13th May, 2019.

Promotion finishes at the end of this month.

A Spring promotion on Sprenger stirrups is underway from UK distributor Zebra Products.

When trade customers buy 20 pairs of stirrups, they get two extra pairs free.

“The stirrups must be in the same order and of same style,” says Simon Middleton of Zebra Products. “But they can be across the sizes in our joint stirrups which include System 4, Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups.”

The offer is available until the end of May.

• Suppliers: If you have special offers running, or promotions of genuine benefit to retailers, do let us know at ETN. Email with details and expiry date.


13th May, 2019.

Same-day 24/7 fulfilment is the future of e-commerce, say experts.

One of four consumers would be happy to pay at least £3 extra for 24/7 deliveries, according to new research by ParcelHero.

“Next-day deliveries are really yesterday’s news,” says David Jinks of the home delivery expert.

“Where the battle for [consumers’ spending] is really taking us is 24-hour, night and day deliveries.”

While UK online retailers may baulk at the suggestion, David adds that 24/7 deliveries are already commonplace in areas of China.

“Increasingly in e-commerce, where China - and in particular Alibaba – leads, the West follows. And already Alibaba-owned Hema supermarkets in Beijing and Shanghai offer a round-the-clock 30-minute delivery service that has proven highly popular with nocturnal shoppers.”

Already, one in ten consumers are still ordering things up to 3am.

“In a society increasingly used to instant gratification, shoppers see items they must have right now – and night owl consumers are prepared to pay handsomely for late-night deliveries.

“Retailers need to wake up to the potential opportunities for increased sales and better margins,” says David.

“Amazon spent an eye-watering $61.7 billion on logistics last year, that’s 26.5% of its net sales, because it knows deliveries are a marketing tool, rather than just a necessary evil.

“That’s why our research shows 78% of logistics companies expect to provide same-day deliveries by 2023. For many shoppers night-time deliveries could prove a vital life line, and certainly win new sales.”

Read the full study on the demand for 24-hour deliveries at


13th May, 2019.

International and online are growth areas, says new appointee.

Nick Jones, who ran Asda’s George clothing brand, is to join Joules as chief executive officer (CEO).

Nick (46) has worked in retail for 25 years, with Marks & Spencer on his CV. He’s also a director of Oakham School.

He’s due to start with Joules before the end of the year, following a handover from current CEO Colin Porter who’s moving to Moss Bros.

Looking ahead to his new role, Nick said: “Whilst the [Joules] business and brand has achieved fantastic growth over recent years, I share the board's view that there are tremendous growth opportunities ahead, driven, in particular, by further international expansion and online growth.”


13th May, 2019.

An appearance at an international trade fair opened doors for inventor.

Taking a stand at BETA International 2019 delivered a small British company a deal with a Dutch distributor.

Amanda Lennox developed Ultimate Muzzle as a horse friendly way to restrict grass intake.

“Equine obesity is on the up, but attitudes towards grazing muzzles vary,” she said. “I decided to produce a new style after discovering there is very little choice, particularly if you have a big horse that needs weight management.”

Amanda reports that exhibiting at BETA International earlier this year attracted “plenty of interest with retailers both in the UK and overseas.”

Dutch retailer Hofman Animal Care, whose wholesale arm Holland Animal Care had a stand at the show, “quickly placed an order.”

BETA International 2020 is at the NEC, Birmingham on 19 – 21 January. Find out more at


7th May, 2019.

ETN diarist and show trader Guy Roper on clouds and losses at last weekend’s Badminton horse trials.

Some shows are noted for their levels of theft, so you take appropriate measures. But this was an unusual one….

During the early stages of set-up, on a site with only two entrances both of which were locked, a popular chum lost tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of high-end stock overnight (ETN Newsletter, 30 April).

A Sprinter van-load of the latest ranges of premium items could apparently pootle through ‘security’ and disappear.

The whole debacle goes to the heart of the increasingly asymmetric relationship between show organisers and traders. Where was ‘Security’? More and more, it begs the question ‘what do we traders get for what we pay?’

Under a cloud

Badders started under a cloud. Actually, three. There was the blatant and unimpeded theft already mentioned, the rain which dampened the end of Wednesday’s trading, and news of the deaths of several chums during the quiet season.

It makes you think. The show circuit is a community. Truth to tell, for about half the year during the show season, we traders see each other and share experiences more than we do with people at home.

Badders is the first chance to catch up, and that’s why the untimely death of respected individuals such as Ian Blackburn from Hide Park Leather Co and Roy Burek from Charles Owen cast such a shadow over the start of this year’s event.

It was also sad to hear about some other chums who have given up the struggle after last year’s trading desert.

Bit of a racquet

As to the event, well it was Badminton. A bit up and down, a bit back and forth, no visible net but, with the stand fees and the fact that a stand can be looted on a closed site without the organisers appearing overly concerned, a bit of a racquet.

After last year’s heatwave, which saw punters too hot to shop, this year was perfect trading weather. And it went pretty well - despite the uncanny ability of the Gloucestershire skies to open at exactly the wrong moment sending punters heading determinedly to the car parks rather than pausing to follow up on the shopportunities they’d spotted earlier in the day.

Mercifully, the WiFi worked OK most of the time. It’s taken a while, but it looks as if the organisers have finally realised that decent internet connections are as essential to the conduct of modern business as running water and electricity are to the smooth running of the event itself.

The few glitches early on were rapidly sorted by a posse of BT Openreach vans which corralled the temporary mast and apparently sorted the problem.

The CBQ (carrier bag quotient - the internationally recognised standard for evaluating trading at equestrian events) was actually pretty good. Most chums were there or thereabouts with last year’s figures, some even bordering on “actually quite worthwhile”.

Passing pound

One or two had a cracker of a show, breaking previous totals on both Friday and Saturday.

Increasingly, it proves the point that you have to be agile - either in the offer or the merchandising. Some punters will come and find you year on year, but more and more you have to tempt the passing pound from the passing pocket.

People come to Badders for a day out. Part of that is the buzz they get from buying, even if it’s something they could have bought from their usual retailer. One local tack shop proprietor had a bit of a moan to me saying that they saw their regulars happily buying standard kit at higher prices than they offered. Frustrated didn’t cover their feelings. Making the experience special is where the margin lies.

Badders often sets the tone for the coming season. Let’s hope that the albeit slim improvement in the trading climate continues.

Let’s also take time to appreciate chums who are no longer with us for whatever reason and celebrate their part in our community and the times we spent together.




7th May, 2019.

His original rug patterns are still in production today.

Philip White, a founding member of Shires Equestrian’s manufacturing business, has died. He passed away peacefully aged 95.

Known as Phil, he was Shires’ founder Malcolm Ainge’s father-in-law.

Phil developed Shires’ manufacturing operation first in Pershore, Worcs and then in Bromyard, Herefordshire.

He designed the original patterns for the rugs Shires still manufactures. And, thanks to his vision, they have received many accolades for their good fit over the years.

A family man and a keen lawn bowler, Phil retired 35 years ago but retained a lively interest in the business. Today, three of his grandchildren work with Shires.

“Phil will be sadly missed by his many friends and family,” said Malcolm Ainge. Shires Equestrian celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.


7th May, 2019.

Leather craft skills to be recognised and rewarded.

ETN is to launch a new awards series in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

Each month, ETN will feature a Bench Saddler of the Month – someone who upholds the highest standards of leather craft skills.

The idea was inspired by current SMS president Chris Taylor. He told ETN: “Being a bench saddler is not a job – it’s a way of life and a passion.

“Saddle fitting always seems to be in the lime-light, and quite rightly so. But I feel the bench saddler’s craft is sometimes forgotten. I would like to find a way to promote craft skills alongside saddle fitting.”

So, working in conjunction with the SMS, ETN is taking up Chris’s challenge to highlight the skills of leading bench saddlers and their careers to date.

This new award succeeds the ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month award which has run for just over a year and produced 14 worthy recipients.

How to nominate

Everyone is invited to nominate candidates for the ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month award. Nominees can be bench saddlers working in a factory or workshop setting, for an employer or self-employed. They can be based anywhere in the world.

To nominate a bench saddler (or more than one) email and tell us why this person deserves to be recognised. Please include the saddler’s name and where they work too.


30th April, 2019.

A trust to fund research into head injury is being set up to continue the late equestrian safety pioneer’s work.

Roy Burek’s family has pledged to continue his tireless work in equestrian safety.

The chairman of Charles Owen passed away on Saturday (27 April) in his sleep following a heart attack. He was 61 and had been working in America.

Cynthia Burek, Roy's sister and a Professor at the University of Chester, and his son Owen Burek – who is now running Charles Owen, have set up a trust fund in Roy’s name to enable his work into more research into head injuries and safety equipment.

Donations and tributes can be made here:


30th April, 2019.

Trade pays tribute to the man who devoted his life to making riding safer.

Roy Burek, equestrian safety pioneer and chairman of Charles Owen and Airowear, has died.

He passed away peacefully on Saturday (27 April) in his sleep following a heart attack. He was 61 and had been working in America.

The grandson of Charles Owen, Roy dedicated a lifetime’s work to making riding safer. He always gave generously and kindly of his time and knowledge when anyone – from international academics to Pony Club parents - needed his help.

Under Roy's direction, Charles Owen has become an important global brand in equestrian safety; it’s British made products exemplifying his innovation in design and research.

Roy was also instrumental in the development of international safety standards. And he was involved in research into the science of head injury, work that saw him honoured as a Professor at Cardiff University in 2017.

He supported equestrianism in many, varied ways too. Roy was an early advocate for Pony Racing, for example, the spring board for many of today’s top jockeys.

To the trade, he gave his time, energy and expertise unstintingly. Through Charles Owen’s sponsorship, Roy was a long-standing supporter of BETA International. At the trade fair, and while collaborating with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) to train retailers and riding organisations on rider safety gear, he believed education was the key to better protection.

No person or task was too insignificant for Roy’s considerable intellect to attend to with his trademark enthusiasm and encouragement. He could always be relied upon to provide an insightful and purposeful quote to the media.

The future

Roy’s son Owen Burek – the fourth generation of the family at Charles Owen - has increasingly been supporting his father with strategic decisions in recent years.

Owen is committed to building on the company's 108-year heritage whilst maintaining 'business as usual' for employees, retailers and customers. He is already working closely with senior management in both the UK and USA, including operations director Ricky Hone.

Cynthia Burek - Roy's sister and a Professor at the University of Chester - will be looking into establishing a trust to fund research into head injury to continue her brother's legacy and their grandfather's mission of Charles Owen being 'for a safer world'.


30th April, 2019.

It’s a bad start to the show season for this trader as more than £50,000 worth of stock is stolen on eve of the big event.

A £5,000 reward is offered for the safe return of stock stolen from Ayr Equestrian’s stand at Badminton.

Meanwhile proprietor Kevin Galbraith has called for better lighting and security in shows’ retail areas to deter further thefts.

Thieves broke into Ayr Equestrian’s stand overnight on Friday/Saturday (26/27 April), a night of heavy rain and high winds.

The retailer’s entire stock of Spring season Pikeur clothing, with a retail value of between £40,000 and £50,000, was taken; plus £1,500 worth of Racesafe body protectors.

“They were swift and they were organised,” Kevin told ETN. “The clothing was already on hangers and merchandised, so there must have been five or six of them to get it down and loaded into a van.”

Asked if he was insured, he added: “I have a loss adjuster coming, but I don’t hold out much hope.”

Due to the rough weather, alarms had been sounding during the night. But Ayr Equestrian’s appeared to have been disabled when discovered with its wires ripped out next morning.

Following a number of thefts from show stands in recent years, Kevin said event organisers need to consider better lighting of trading areas at night.

“If we’d had electricity and the lights had been on, we might have seen them,” he said. “Or better still, they may not have done it in the first place.”

A £5,000 reward is offered for the complete return of undamaged goods. The police have been informed; Kevin can be contacted on 07971780555.


30th April, 2019.

New pet show-within-a-show unveiled for BETA International 2020.

BETA International 2020 is to host a pet business and buying area.

Demonstrations of gundog training, dog agility and canine grooming are planned for the annual trade show (19 – 21 January, 2020) alongside incentives for pet companies to exhibit.

The new show-within-a-show acknowledges the UK’s nine million dogs, many of which are owned by horsey households.

Equestrian retailers planning to explore the pet and working dog sectors are set to benefit, say organisers.

“The initiative offers a fantastic opportunity for pet companies to reach out to new customers,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“The potential for diversification is huge and we are in a great position to bring buyers and suppliers together at a show with an established footfall of more than 3,000 ABC-audited visitors and world-class facilities at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

“Many of our attending buyers already appreciate the great margins available from pet ranges and invest accordingly. There are others who are keen to learn and understand what the pet sector can offer them.”

BETA International 2020 visitors can watch arena displays by gundog trainer Ricky Moloney. Other experts are to present dog agility and dog grooming.

There will be a Pet Product Gallery, with every exhibiting pet company given a free slot to showcase a chosen product.

Pet retailing themed seminars include worming for companion animals with Jim Wishart, and supplements for companion animals with Emma Farrell of NAF – both bringing CPD points.

“This is exactly what the industry needs,” said Philip Tyler, BETA International Trade Fair Committee chairman and executive chairman of the TopSpec Group, “and I speak from personal experience.

“When we exhibited at the 2019 show in January, it was one of our best to date, largely due to our pet range VetSpec. Around half of all visitors to our stand came to find out more about it.

“Retailers are looking for ways to evolve and grow their businesses, and diversification is a highly effective way for them to do this.”

BETA International 2020 runs from 19 to 21 January at the NEC, Birmingham, and caters for the equestrian, pet and country markets. If you would like further information about exhibiting at the show, please contact Darren Mottershead, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

• ETN is the official media partner of BETA International. To find out how to get involved with show previews, contact Beth Crow on +44 (0) 1937 582111 or email


29th April, 2019.

Too many American companies selling direct to the public, says proprietor.

The Western Department, the specialist retailer based in Shabbington, Buckinghamshire, has closed.

Janet Weston, the aptly named proprietor for 27 years, still has stock available for which she welcomes trade enquiries.

The business has served her well, says Janet who turns 71 next week.

“It’s taken me to the United States three times and I’ve really enjoyed doing the shows too,” she told ETN.

“I live on the premises, so I can still do some selling as a hobby shop when people need say a saddle fitting or a particular item.”

Customers traditionally travelled many miles to shop at The Western Department, she added, but internet sales have made inroads into her profits lately.

“It’s particularly the US companies who suddenly see no need to have agents or distributors and are selling to the public directly online,” she explained. “The same is happening with some German companies too.”

While it’s “mega” in Europe, Western riding hasn’t really taken off to the same extent in Britain, Janet added. “It’s not become as big as I thought it would. There are some big centres and international riders, it’s stayed rather niche.”

Janet started The Western Department after working for Fiona Tedman who ran Tedman Harness in the next village. It was originally, the latter’s Western department.

• Janet continues to distribute the Be Nice Halter. She can be contacted on 07767 687983.


29th April, 2019.

This month’s award winner started his business 40 years ago - from a converted library van.

David Sayer is May’s SMS/ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month.

The award, presented in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), recognises those whose good practise is making a difference to horses, riders and the saddlery industry.

David was nominated by Anna Bing of Saddlery Brands International.

“David has been saddle fitting for 40 years this September. He has hundreds of loyal clients, thanks to his attention to detail and the personal service he provides,” she told ETN.

“He recognises each horse and rider combination as truly unique, and spends a long time making sure the saddle solution he offers meets their individual needs. David explains each step of the process to his customers too, which gives them confidence. He is a true professional.”

A lifelong horseman, David was bitten by the saddlery bug after meeting industry stalwarts Robert McNabb and Steven Sturgess.

He started his business - Sayers of Yarm, in Yarm-on-Tees in the north-east of England - in 1979 with a modest £500.

David initially traded for a year from a converted library van before acquiring his first shop. By then, he’d converted the mobile shop into a show unit and was attending shows across the north-east too. The business grew, and he was soon providing everything for horse and rider.

When the SMS launched its Qualified Saddle Fitter course, David signed up and became qualified.

He later became the first saddler to be granted a licence from the National Wool Marketing Board to use 100% British lambswool in saddle panels.

• Read more about David Sayer, his career, and how he has diversified his business, in the May issue of ETN.


29th April, 2019.

A supplier is marking 30 years’ trading with a pledge to support retailers with discounts, merchandising and stock rotation support – and not competing online.

Support for the retail trade is at the heart of a new initiative from NAF.

The Premier Partnership Programme, introduced this month, comprises a performance boosting package for NAF stockists.

In a new booklet explaining the scheme, NAF describes its ongoing determination to sustain the retail market. “Our pledge is not to seek out business direct… but to grow our business with you [the trade],” says the supplements and care products supplier.

Highlights include bespoke promotions tailored to each retailer’s requirements, extra merchandising support, staff training, product advice, quarterly category management reviews and monthly visits focussing on stock rotation and management.

An increased discount programme, new branded clothing and a loyalty promotion also feature within NAF’s Premier Partnership Promotion.

Participating retailers will work with NAF’s team of area sales managers who are all experienced horse people as well as product and sales specialists.

NAF is BETA NOPS accredited, the official supplements supplier to Team GBR and supports Clean Sport. The company manufacturers at its own FEMAS, UFAS and GMP+ certified premises in Monmouth.

NAF’s scientific research projects have seen it co-operate with a number of academic bodies, most recently the Royal Agricultural University on a study using new Five Star Magic.

The product went on to win a BETA International 2019 Innovation Award this January.

For your copy of NAF’s Premier Partnership Programme guide, contact your area sales manager.


23rd April, 2019.

Scientists have confirmed that saddle fit and rider weight do affect horses’ performance and welfare.

Riders of inappropriate weight or size for the horse, especially when combined with an ill-fitting saddle, can cause temporary lameness, behavioural changes, back muscle tension and pain in the horse.

And what many saddle fitters already suspected is now being proved through research.

A series of presentations, also covering equine and rider asymmetry in relation to saddle fit, was presented by internationally renowned experts at the third Saddle Research Trust conference in December.

Now the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) has made the information from the event free to access. You can read it here science-in-brief online editorial.

See the June issue of ETN for a Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) accredited CPD feature for saddle fitters plus our invaluable saddle-makers’ directory.


23rd April, 2019.

The trade gets behind his bid to raise funds for charity.

Martin Balmer, managing director of wholesaler Trilanco, is due to run the London Marathon on Sunday (28 April).

He hopes to raise a tidy sum for the Alzheimer’s Society, and has already received many generous pledges from people in the equestrian and pet trades.

Martin has been in training since last August. His dedication to the cause meant he covered many miles on dark mornings through the winter.

“Having first-hand experience of a family member struggling with this awful problem [Alzheimer’s] made me realise that not enough is being done to raise funds for research,” he says.

To sponsor Martin, visit


23rd April, 2019.

Dates and venue announced for the show’s 42nd edition.

BETA International 2021 will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on 24 – 26 January.

The NEC has been home to the show since it moved there from Sandown Park in 1995. Before that, it travelled around.

BETA International celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year.

Last week, organisers announced they have signed up with the Birmingham venue for at least another two years.

The 2020 dates are 19 – 21 January.

The show will continue to run over three days, Sunday to Tuesday, in three halls (6,7 and 8) at the NEC.

BETA International is organised by Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), the commercial arm of the BETA Group. All profits from the show are returned to the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) to fund its work for the benefit of member companies.

ETN, also from the EMC stable, is the official media partner of BETA International.


16th April, 2019.

Horse & Country viewers can enjoy a sneak preview of the challenges facing competitors.

Badminton’s course-designer Eric Winter and top event rider Sam Watson provide an insight into this year’s cross country course in a preview show from Horse & Country.

Presented by Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, their course walk features in a programme to be shown first on Horse & Country’s streaming service on Thursday (18 April).

As well as discussing the serious business of tackling the world’s toughest track, Sam and Eric go in for plenty of banter. Drone footage is another good reason to watch on the countdown to the great event.

Badminton horse trials is on 1 – 5 May.


16th April, 2019.

A leading supplier is about to release its new catalogue.

Snowhill Trade Saddlery’s latest catalogue will be distributed to retailers with next month’s ETN.

The bumper publication, issue 22 from the leading supplier, is bolder and brighter than ever.

With a new layout and fresh lifestyle images, the glossy Snowhill catalogue is packed with new products, ideas and inspiration.

A copy is free for every retailer with ETN’s May issue.


15th April, 2019.

New recruit already well known to retailers in the south.

Kelly Johnson has joined Horslyx to support its customers in the south of England.

She previously covered a similar territory for Trilanco.

Kelly lives in Essex with her partner, three boys, three native ponies and Paddy the terrier.

She loves being outdoors and says she’s never happier than when she’s in her wellies.


15th April, 2019.

A married couple who have worked in the saddlery trade for three-quarters of a century between them are to retire.

Husband and wife John and Norma Hodson are retiring after clocking up 76 years in the saddlery trade between them.

John (Hoddy) and Norma have worked at Fairfax Saddles in Walsall since 2009. But they began their careers at Modern Saddlery. Hoddy (69) started as an apprentice saddle-maker in 1965, when he was 15, and Norma joined him there in 1987.

“Hoddy has been our chief saddle cutter for ten years, his expertise in saddle-making has been a real asset to us,” said Fairfax Saddles’ managing director Rupert Fairfax. “Norma’s range of skills have made her invaluable in the cutting, preparing and machining departments.

“They are a fantastic couple who have made a massive contribution to the Walsall saddlery trade. We wish them a happy and well-deserved retirement and will miss them both.”

Hoddy and Norma now plan to relax and take it easy.


8th April, 2019.

Exhibition to feature saddles, bridles and habits from as early as 1750.

Early examples of side saddles, plus those from major manufacturers Champion & Wilton and Owen, can be viewed at an exhibition to open later this month.

A Brief History of The Side Saddle, at the Museum of The Horse, Tuxford, Nottinghamshire, will be opened by Janet Senior, chairman of the Side Saddle Association, on 25 April. It runs until 10 July.

On show will be side saddles from 1750 to 1930, a selection of habits and other artefacts, plus pictures and prints. Bridles from the Victorian era as well as safety stirrups and whips are included.

Eight other rooms in the museum will be open during the exhibition.


8th April, 2019.

Small firm’s director convinces judges of product’s benefits to equine welfare.

Lincolnshire based Trickle Net has scooped a £10,000 prize in a competition during a business accelerator programme.

Business management consultant Greenborough Management invited ten small businesses to attend ten training sessions, before each pitching for the big prize.

Based near Lincoln, Trickle Net developed and manufactures a range of slow feeding nets.

“I tried to convey to the judges that we have a huge problem in equine welfare today with 50% of horses being overweight and at risk of laminitis,” said director Ellen Chapman.


8th April, 2019.

This month’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month has worked with some of the world’s top riders.

The winner of ETN’s saddle fitting honours for April is New Zealand based David Jones-Parry.

The award, presented in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), recognises those whose good practise is making a difference to horses, riders and the saddlery industry.

David was nominated by Ian Silman, chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), who commends him not only for his expertise in fitting, but also for his generosity with his knowledge.

“In a small market like New Zealand, David willingly trains others and shares his knowledge with those who are likely to become his competitors; yet he doesn’t hold back his enthusiasm,” says Ian.

“David was involved in the first joint SMS/BETA saddle fitting venture into the Antipodes; without his on-the-ground assistance it wouldn’t have been possible.”

David’s interest in saddle fitting was sparked by attending a lecture on the subject. Afterwards, he checked his wife’s dressage horse’s saddle, to discover there was much to learn.

While working in the UK, David qualified as an SMS Saddle Fitter and went on to work with legendary riders such as Isabell Werth and Beezie Madden.

Now back in his native New Zealand, he runs a small, boutique saddle fitting business.

Read more about David Jones-Parry’s fascinating career in ETN April issue.

How to nominate a saddle fitter

Everyone is invited to nominate saddle fitters they feel deserve to be named ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month. Candidates for the award must be SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters based in the UK or overseas.

To nominate a saddle fitter (or more than one), email and tell us why this person deserves to be put in the spotlight. Please include the saddle fitter’s name and business name too.


8th April, 2019.

New recruit has special interest in elite competition horses.

Louisa Taylor BVMedSci BVM BVS (Hons) MRCVS has joined Science Supplements as its new vet.

A University of Nottingham graduate, Louisa and has previously worked in general practice and with competition horses.

Her primary focus with the supplements supplier will be on research and development, nutritional advice and clinical trials.

“My aim is to become a leading expert in equine nutrition and elite performance,” she said. “I’m delighted to be joining a company that invests so much in the research and quality of its products.”


1st April, 2019.

Retailer steps in to ensure continuation of supply and services to customers.

Millbry Hill has opened an equestrian shop on the site of the former Ride-away store near York.

Ride-away’s owner Internet Fusion Group closed the outlet, which had traded since 1980, last month to go online only.

Opening the day after Ride-away closed (Monday, 25 March), Millbry Hill Sutton-on-the-Forest was last week selling feed and bedding to ensure continuation of supplies to local consumers.

Five former Ride-away employees have been taken on by Millbry Hill to staff the new shop, including Hayden Tuck who’s been appointed store manager.

A sale of clothing and equestrian items is planned from today (1 April), followed by an official opening and launch on 19 April and over the Easter weekend. By then, a comprehensive product range will be available.

Ultimately, Millbry Hill Sutton-on-the-Forest will stock equestrian and pet supplies plus country and equestrian clothing as offered in its other stores in Stokesley, Richmond and Whitby in North Yorkshire, and Whitehaven in Cumbria.

The company has had to move extremely fast as ETN understands plans were only put in place for the new store following the sudden announcement of Ride-away’s closure. Avoiding disruption for local consumers who rely on the store was Millbry Hill’s initial top priority.

“As a business, we still very much see the value of bricks and mortar retail stores,” said Serena Jones, retail director of Millbry Hill, part of the Armstrong Richardson group of businesses.

“Whilst our website is obviously an important part of our business, we strongly believe in offering the full customer experience - and our stores provide important services such as riding hat and body protector fitting, which cannot be replicated online.”

Free parking is available on site at Millbry Hill Sutton-on-the-Forest. The shop is open seven days a week.


1st April, 2019.

New product inspired by African safari.

Blue Chip Feed is launching a limited edition of its revolutionary new Super Concentrated Auto Clean Feed Balancer.

This time saving product does away with the need to groom a horse or pony; mud and stains will magically disappear.

When Blue Chip founder Clare Blaskey was on safari in Botswana a decade ago, she noticed that the zebras were in fantastic condition. Their coats gleamed and even after rolling in the dust or wading in mud at a watering hole, they were quickly pristine again.

Clare’s tracker explained that the zebras ate a plant known locally as Phepafatsa, which translated from their language Tswana, means ‘clean up’. He took Clare to watch the zebras eating the young shoots off the Phepafatsa plant which looked like rosemary, with dark blue flowers.

The tracker also told her that local women pound the plant’s roots to a paste and put it onto stained clothing, whereupon any mark vanishes.

Clare took a cutting of the plant and sent it to a friend who worked in research at Kew Gardens. He discovered that it was a variant of rosemary that he had not seen before and started to cultivate the herb.

For ten years, cultivation and trials on this magical plant continued until a sustainable crop could be produced. The trials on 100 horses and ponies of various types and colours proved to be 100% successful with no side effects. The product has been passed as competition legal.

Research has still not revealed exactly how this wonderful powerful herb is able to produce these self-cleaning properties. However, it has been found to have extremely high levels of vitamins A, P, R, I and L1.

At the time of going to press, only 500 tubs can be produced per month and these will be available only on subscription from
The full research papers are available at


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.
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