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21st May, 2018.

A supplier demonstrates its commitment to the trade by returning as sponsor of the New Product Gallery at BETA International 2019.

Shires Equestrian is to sponsor the New Product Gallery at BETA International for a sixth consecutive year.

Designed to highlight the very latest lines, launches and brands, this popular showcase sits at the heart of the show, where it is a must-see feature for all visiting retailers in need of inspiration and ideas.

Shires’ joint managing director Marcus Cridland said: “The updated New Product Gallery gave us a fantastic opportunity to reinforce our brand at BETA International 2018. It remains a real focal point at the show and continues to draw footfall from visitors.

“Times are changing in our industry and it is essential that Shires is in front of both the retailer and consumer as much as possible. The New Product Gallery continues to be a part of our plans to improve and develop our family of brands and we are delighted to support this feature once again in 2019.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “It is fantastic to have Shires Equestrian back on board once again. They are a great company to work with and we are really looking forward to joining forces with Marcus and his team to deliver a first-class visitor experience where cutting-edge design and product development takes a leading role.”

Shires Equestrian joins the trade fair’s fellow supporters, official media partner Equestrian Trade News, visitor bags sponsor Hy, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, official clothing supplier Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January. For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


21st May, 2018.

Recycling should be taken more seriously by the equestrian community, says retailer who’s running a refills scheme.

A Berkshire retailer’s refill service for fly repellents aims to reduce the number of plastic bottles that get thrown away.

Mel Jones, who owns and runs Thatcham based Threshers Barn Equestrian, buys the biggest available containers from her suppliers, then refills customers’ existing smaller bottles.

So far, she is offering the service on three leading brands.

“All I needed to set it up was a funnel and a measuring jug,” said Mel, who typically charges £14.99 to refill a fly repellent bottle that originally cost £19.99.

“I’m still making a margin and charging VAT – and my customers are saving £5 each time they get a re-fill. Over a summer that could buy them a nice new fly rug.”

Customers are encouraged to bring the original bottle for refilling as this contains important information such as ingredients and advice about patch testing and accidental spills.

Mel says she thought up the scheme while reading ETN May issue. “The editor’s comment talked about how much plastic waste the equestrian industry is generating - and something suddenly pinged into my head.”

Now Threshers Barn Equestrian plans to extend its refill service to mane and tail sprays and shampoos. And Mel hopes others in the industry will do their bit too.

“I visit many large livery yards, and I’ve rarely seen a recycling bin. Everyone just chucks everything into a bag and someone takes it home to put in their general rubbish.

“Mind you, manufacturers could make their recycling labelling on products a lot clearer. Sometimes it’s tiny – and are people really going to try to find it at 7pm on a winter’s evening at the yard just as it’s starting to snow and the horses need feeding? No, they’ll just put it into any old bin.”

The equestrian industry “needs to look at itself” according to Mel who says the message is an important one to spread as everyone involved loves the countryside and animals.

“I’m no eco-warrior,” she added. “But it makes common sense to try to do something.”

Threshers Barn Equestrian would be pleased to hear from manufacturers who can offer larger, retailer-only containers of horse care products suitable for re-fills.


18th May, 2018.

The parent company of a horse feed brand is voted a ‘great place to work’.

Mars UK, owner of Spillers and Winergy feed brands, has been ranked as the eighth ‘Best Large Workplace’ in the UK by the Great Place to Work Institute.

It’s the third year in a row that Mars UK has been named in the rankings, the company having risen from 10th last year and 13th in 2016.

The listing is based on the results of an employee survey as well as an audit of people programmes, processes and culture.

Milton Keynes based Mars Horsecare offers its staff make-a-difference initiatives, dog-friendly offices and a discount store for its products.

“We produce great teams, enabling us to deliver the best products but our biggest vote of thanks has to go to all the horses we serve, who enrich and enhance our lives every day,” said Luke Saunders, Spillers and Winergy brand manager.


18th May, 2018.

The rural retailer’s administrators announce redundancies but find buyers for some stores.

More than 200 Countrywide staff have lost their jobs.

Administrators said the redundancies were “unavoidable” as they began closing stores this week.

However, buyers have been found for 14 former Countrywide branches saving 169 jobs.

These include the stores in Taunton and Cirencester which a new company, Wychanger Ltd, has agreed to purchase.

Wychanger Ltd has been set up by Roy and Jeanette Male, partners in retailer Wychanger Barton, and Peter Smith, former CEO of Musto Ltd.

A total of 208 people have been made redundant at Countrywide’s headquarters in Evesham, the Defford logistics centre and stores said to have no prospect of sale as going concerns.

“All affected staff have been informed and will be paid up to and including their last day of employment,” said David Pike, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.

Wynnstay has agreed to acquire the business and assets of eight stores in the south-west for a £0.8m, adjusted for stock valuation. It brings the total number of Wynnstay Country Stores to 60 outlets.

The stores Wynnstay has acquired are Bridgnorth, Crewkerne, Dartington, Helston, Otterham, Thame, Raglan and Wadebridge.

Administrators said they are hopeful of achieving four further sales from the remaining trading leasehold stores. The buyer is rumoured to be Mole Valley Farmers whose initial offer for all 48 Countrywide stores was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).


14th May, 2018.

Production to continue at popular saddlepad brand’s Somerset factory.

Griffin NuuMed has been acquired by Vale Brothers.

The deal will initially see NuuMed products continue to be made at the company’s factory in Somerset.

Griffin NuuMed – famous for its use of British wool in UK manufactured saddlepads – was set to close at the end of this month (May).

As Vale Brothers stepped in, NuuMed’s managing director Rosie Pocock said she was pleased the brand has a new home in the UK.

“With the combination of the skills among the NuuMed workforce and the benefits of being under the umbrella of a larger company, I can see the brand going from strength to strength,” she added.

Griffin NuuMed, founded by Mrs Pocock’s late husband Ian Pocock 28 years ago, joins Vale Brothers’ portfolio of British brands including E Jeffries, Brady Bags, KBF99, Thermatex and Harry Dabbs.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the brand continue to develop and prosper alongside our other UK brands,” said Peter Wilkes, managing director of Vale Brothers.

Under its new ownership, NuuMed will continue to produce own label lines for customers in addition to providing its made-to-measure and embroidery services.


14th May, 2018.

Consumer complaints prompt advertising watchdog to issue a reminder.

Retailers must be clear about any charges that apply when delivering products to consumers, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has warned.

The watchdog says it receives “a fair number” of complaints regarding the issue which can add to Internet shoppers’ costs.

A snapshot of the ASA’s advice to retailers who advertise products for home delivery is as follows:

• If you’re advertising prices for products, you need to state your delivery charges. It’s misleading to omit them.

• Delivery costs are considered ‘material information’ ie. information that will affect a consumer’s decision about whether or not to purchase the product. So, if a product is priced at £169, but there’s an additional charge of £25 for postage, it must be clearly stated – and not hidden in lots of terms and conditions.

• If the consumer cannot obtain the product without paying the delivery charges, then the cost should be included in the price of the product.

• If the consumer can obtain the product another way, such as collect it themselves or from a store, then it may be acceptable to make clear that charges apply for delivery and to include the cost in a sufficiently prominent footnote. However, the ASA is likely to look unfavourably on retailers that rely on a very limited number of collection points as the reason for placing applicable delivery charges in a footnote.

• If charges apply per order, it’s acceptable to make clear that these charges apply and state the cost prominently. In the case of an e-commerce website, it may be acceptable to state the relevant charges on a separate page, provided this page is clearly linked or signposted from the stated price for the product.

• Delivery charges that are only revealed during the checkout process or after the customer has made a transactional decision are likely to break the rules.

• Occasionally, retailers may not know how much an item will cost to post to someone – perhaps because the item is particularly large or heavy, or they may be using a third party for their delivery. In this case, you need to make clear on the product pages that delivery charges are applicable, and be transparent about how those charges will be calculated.

• Make it clear upfront if you can’t offer delivery at all to some locations.

• Don’t get into hot water over ambiguous claims for ‘UK delivery’ or ‘UK mainland delivery’. The ASA says consumers often complain that the Isle of Wight is excluded or there is an extra charge to deliver to Northern Ireland despite both being part of the UK. The same goes for the Scottish Highlands - even when ‘mainland’ delivery is offered. The ASA advice is that it doesn’t matter where you deliver to, as long as you make sufficiently clear in your headline claim(s) which areas are included and excluded, and qualify this with how much it will cost to deliver to the excluded areas.

• If a minimum spend applies for free delivery, this must be made explicitly clear in the headline claim eg. ‘free delivery on orders over £40’. But if retailers aren’t able to offer this for all postcodes, this too must also be made clear in the headline claim.


11th May, 2018.

Sponsor returns to support the show’s popular networking area.

Equine supplement specialist NAF is to sponsor BETA International's Champagne Bar for the second time in a three-year deal that runs until 2020.

The NAF Five Star Champagne Bar is a popular place for friends and business colleagues to meet and network over a glass of bubbly.

“We’ve established a great relationship with NAF during its time as sponsor,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Before our new agreement, the company had already sponsored the area in our 2016 and 2017 shows, and commitment of this sort is a huge endorsement of the trade fair and its strength as a business platform on the world stage.”

Linda Porter, NAF sales and marketing director, added: “BETA International puts on an excellent trade fair and it proves to be a great platform for us as we look towards not only further investing in the UK market, but continuing to develop our international markets. The NAF Five Star Champagne Bar is an excellent way for us to showcase our brand as the experienced, trustworthy choice for retailers and their riders, owners and horses alike.”

NAF joins fellow sponsors Equestrian Trade News, Hy, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

BETA International is the world’s leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products.

The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January. For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International.


10th May, 2018.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from Badminton.

We needed a break but we got a bank holiday instead.

I’m not sure how many of the peeling punters happily burning in Saturday’s sunshine realised how close to cancellation the event had been earlier in the week. If the forecast weather had arrived, there would have been no Badders ‘18.

Thanks are due to the organising team for having the courage to stick with it; though they must have had a few qualms on Wednesday in the gale-driven downpours.

I, for one, was very pleased it went ahead even though trading across the five days was at best mixed. Few admitted to having had a good show, apart from the food retailers who had a ball, or several, and sold them minced in a frenzied sausage boom which fuelled all the Saturday and Sunday barbecues.

It seemed to me that everyone fled after the showjumping and went off to enjoy the weather.

Talking to other traders at the first great reunion of the year brought home how bad the situation had got.

This winter has had the longest tail of any in recent times, and the resulting disruption to the sporting calendar leading to cancelled events has been devastating for the trade.

Stories abounded of the chaos that has characterised the first few months of the season. One chum told of only getting half a day’s trading out of three events. Another got so fed up with setting up in obviously poor conditions, only to be told after hours of work that the event was cancelled, that they simply took to parking on the last bit of tarmac and refusing to budge until they were sure it wouldn’t go ahead.

Yes, it’s frustrating for organisers, competitors and all involved. But the lack of refunds on stand fees and the last minute cancellations after you’ve paid for the diesel and the accommodation are having a crippling effect on the tradestand community.

We’re caught in the middle, and it’s not a good place to be right now. Even regular customers often whip out a mobile and show me the price they can get on the Internet.

“Can you match it?” Well no, actually, because I don’t operate from my garage and I carry stock you can take away with you today.

Trouble is, retail has changed and it’s changing faster with each passing iPhone model. But the business model of the events isn’t taking account of this.

We’re always told how important we are in the overall offer of the shows. But this is not reflected in the ever-narrowing space between the rising pitch fees and the inflating admission prices which reduce the punters’ spending power.

None of us are afraid of hard work - you wouldn’t last five minutes in this game if you were - but there comes a point at which the risk isn’t worth the reward. You can see the result of that in most high streets.

I’m not sure who sets the rules with regard to the contracts and charges at most events. All I know is they get tighter and higher each year, and often charges suddenly come in for things previously in the bundle.

Change is something I take as part of the landscape of life. But I worry that a combination of inertia and indifference is killing one of the vital parts of the complex mix of the show circuit. There is a disconnect between the organisers and the rest of us that wasn’t there before - and in this year’s difficult trading climate it’s becoming very marked.

Badminton’s organisers might like think what Worcester Way and Deer Park Drive would look like lined with charity shops. And no, my bet is the high street landlords up and down the country didn’t think that would happen either....

I’m glad that Badders went ahead and my fervent hope is that the weather will improve and we can trade our way back from this bad beginning.

But the present model isn’t helping - we are partners in these ventures, not clients. If that isn’t recognised in the future, the future will look very different.



1st May, 2018.

The acquisition will give the new owner more reach in the south-west.

Wynnstay has agreed with the administrators of Countrywide to acquire the business and assets of eight stores in the south-west.

The total initial consideration of £0.8m will be payable in cash on completion, and adjusted for stock valuation.

Five of the stores are located in Devon and Cornwall. The remainder are in Shropshire, Monmouthshire and Oxfordshire.

The acquisition brings the total number of Wynnstay Country Stores to 60 outlets.

Ken Greetham, Wynnstay’s chief executive officer, commented: "We are very pleased to have acquired eight country stores previously operated by Countrywide Famers.

“Their addition increases our footprint in both our existing trading heartland, and in the south-west of England, in particular giving us an increased profile in Cornwall and Devon.”

The stores Wynnstay has acquired from Countrywide’s administrators are Bridgnorth, Crewkerne, Dartington, Helston, Otterham, Thame, Raglan and Wadebridge.


1st May, 2018.

Company cuts ties with its long-time distributor.

Blue Chip is to start supplying retail and wholesale customers directly from the end of this month (30 May).

“Dodson & Horrell have been our distributor for seven years, but we need to take back ownership of our sales and get closer to the trade who are the life blood of our business,” said Blue Chip founder Clare Blaskey.

The company is also launching new “can’t miss it” packaging and product sizes, she added.

In addition, Blue Chip is planning more marketing with “exciting offers and promotions”, according to managing director Steve Davis who has been with the company for six months.

“By supplying the trade direct, we can keep our prices competitive while offering a very low minimum order value, and free delivery, all helping to maximise trade margins,” he told ETN.


1st May, 2018.

The upcoming National Equine Health Survey is set to provide the industry with valuable statistics.

Horse owners are urged to take part in the latest National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) being held this month (21 – 28 May).

“You can do it online quickly, easily and anonymously - so there are no excuses,” say the organisers.

Owners should visit to register and receive an email reminder nearer the time.

NEHS is run by the charity Blue Cross, in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). The snapshot survey reflects the health of the nation’s horses during a specific week so that diseases and problems can be identified, prioritised and addressed.

Over the past seven years, NEHS has become one of the UK’s most important endemic disease monitoring initiatives. Data is compared year on year to identify trends which become valuable benchmarks.

Last year 5,235 people returned records for 15,433 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. The top five disease syndromes recorded in 2017 were:

1. Skin diseases 31.1% compared to 25.5% in 2016 (17.2% in 2015, 18.3% in 2014, 14.6% in 2013 and 15.2% in 2010-12). Sweet itch and mud fever were the most frequently reported individual syndromes within this category and made up 6.1% of all returns (6.8% in 2016).

2. Lameness (including laminitis) 23.4% compared to 32.9% in 2016, (24.4% in 2015, 21% in 2014, 19.2% in 2013 and 12.9% in 2010-12). Overall, as in previous years, if laminitis is excluded from the analysis, lameness due to problems in the limbs proximal to the foot was more common than problems in the foot.

3. Metabolic diseases 8.1% with PPID (‘Equine Cushing’s disease’) accounting for 73.4% of this figure, consistent with previous NEHS findings.

4. Eye problems 7.6% with ocular discharge (weepy eye) accounting for 54.2% of all ocular syndromes recorded.

5. Gastrointestinal problems 7.5% with gastric ulcers accounting for 39% of this figure and 3% all syndromes recorded (2.7% in 2016).


1st May, 2018.

With time running out until GDPR comes into force this month (25 May), many businesses remain unprepared. In fact, a recent survey of readiness made for dismal reading - so here’s a useful update for ETN readers…

The collection and use of personal data is a daily occurrence for retail businesses.

Personal data is processed when, for example, a consumer logs in to their online account, makes a purchase online, or is sent promotional material by the retailer.

Personal data can be, and is increasingly, used by bricks and mortar and online retailers to try and stay ahead of their competitors by tailoring their offers and promotions to their customers.

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which has been designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data, will come into force on 25 May 2018.

A key principle of the GDPR is greater transparency as to how businesses are using personal data, with substantial fines for failure to comply. The maximum fine under the GDPR is 20 million euro or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

However, despite the GDPR being on the horizon for the past two years, according to a recent survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses just 8% of small enterprises are ready. One in three respondents had not started preparing while a further third said that they were in only the “early stages” of planning.

While the requirements of the GDPR may seem insurmountable to some, it should be treated as an opportunity to step back and review all data processing practices.

Furthermore, by being transparent about data practices and communicating to customers and potential customers how and why personal data is used, retailers can earn greater creditability.

What should retailers and brands therefore be doing as a priority?

• Undertake a compliance audit to understand the data processes and procedures currently in place, including the way that personal data is used by the business, and how long personal data is retained.

• Conduct a gap analysis in order to work out what compliance steps are needed going forwards.

Common areas which should be considered include:

o Preparing, or updating, website privacy policies, to reflect the GDPR requirements in respect of personal data collected from customers or potential customers through a website. This is because the GDPR is prescriptive as to the information to be provided to an individual when their personal data is collected.

However, be wary at simply “adapting” a privacy policy used by another brand. At best, this will amount to copyright infringement and theft. At worst, you will not know whether the policy complies generally with the GDPR, or specifically with the GDPR in respect of the personal data processed by your business. This will result in copyright infringement, theft, and a failure to comply with the GDPR!

o Preparing, or updating, data protection clauses in employment contracts in respect of personal data collected from employees, as well as internal policies and procedures on data protection, communications monitory, privacy and data retention in respect of personal data handled by employees.

o Reviewing and updating contracts with third party data processors which process personal data on your behalf. For example, courier companies which process certain customer personal data in the fulfilment of orders, or payroll providers which process employee personal data. Again, the GDPR has specific requirements as to what needs to be included in such contracts.

o Considering international data transfer processes for international businesses.

o Determining whether to appoint a data protection officer.

The clock is ticking down to 25 May. The GDPR may require significant changes for many businesses, some of which will require substantial lead time. With the threat of hefty fines, compliance should be treated as a high priority.

However, the Information Commission has been at pains to emphasise that 25 May 2018 will not usher in an era of punitive action against small businesses, stating that “We have always preferred the carrot to the stick. We will use fines and serious sanctions only as a last resort. Our first resort is education and support.”

In view of this, perhaps of greater immediate concern to retailers and brands for a failure to comply with the GDPR should be the potential damage to brand reputation.

• About the author: Laura Monro is an associate at Fox Williams LLP (;


30th April, 2018.

Eight charities heard they had benefitted from generous donations during an awards luncheon in London last week.

SEIB Insurance Brokers has presented a cheque for £50,000 to the British Horse Society (BHS).

The donation was a highlight of the insurer’s inaugural Charity Awards luncheon in London last week (23 April).

“I have been at the helm of SEIB for over 50 years and it is with great pride that we are able to make this grant of £50,000 to the BHS to help equine welfare across the UK,” said SEIB’s chief executive officer Barry Fehler.

The money will go toward the BHS’s Healthcare on Tour project which delivers critical equine welfare across the UK.

When SEIB announced it was giving away thousands of pounds to charity, its customers were invited to vote for which charity deserved the top grant of £50,000.

Each of the final eight charities left the awards luncheon with some remuneration.

Runners up, the South Essex Wildlife Hospital received £1,000, and in third place, World Horse Welfare received a cheque for £900.

The other finalists were Welsh Pony Rescue and Rehoming, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, Riding for the Disabled and Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

SEIB, an independent broker, is owned by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group that is in turn owned by the charity Allchurches Trust.

Next year SEIB Insurance Brokers will give away £100,000 to charity.


21st April, 2018.

The recipient is the only business of its kind to achieve the accolade.

Fairfax Saddles has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of innovation.

The company’s achievement was announced today – HM The Queen’s 92nd birthday.

Queen’s Awards, considered to be the UK’s highest business awards, are given by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Less than 50 companies win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category each year. Fairfax Saddles is believed to be the only saddlery company to receive one.

The Walsall based company produces performance-enhancing girths, saddles and bridles, plus a new breastplate, backed by research and published, peer-reviewed papers.

“Innovation based on rigorous research and testing has become something of an addiction for us”, said managing director Rupert Fairfax. “After all, it’s better to know something than just having to rely on guess-work”.

Recipients of Queen’s Awards are invited to attend a royal reception during the summer.


23rd April, 2018.

This annual show’s organisers will be easy to spot in their smart branded gear.

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.”

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

BETA International 2019 takes place on 20 – 22 January at the NEC, Birmingham. Find out more about exhibiting and visiting at

To get involved with official BEA International 2019 previews in ETN, contact Beth Crow on 01937 582111 or email


20th April, 2018.

Scottish retailer and safety specialist wins an award.

Amanda Burrows of Doune, Stirlingshire based A2B Equestrian is the latest Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.

“Known for her fitting expertise and fantastic selection of helmets, Amanda always goes the extra mile to ensure that everyone leaves with a helmet they love,” said the judges.

A2B Equestrian recently opened a new safety centre where customers can take advantage of one-to-one in-store riding hat and body protector fittings.


20th April, 2018.

The Yorkshire based company is supporting up-and-coming talent at its local event.

British Horse Feeds has agreed title sponsorship of this year’s Under 25 CCI3* competition at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials.

Bramham’s under 25 section has helped launch the career of many leading names such as Zara Phillips, Piggy French and Tom McEwen, who all took the coveted title.

British Horse Feeds’ backing of the competition is an extension of its Bramham sponsorship

“As one of our most local events, we have enjoyed supporting it for a number of years now and we are excited to support this prestigious young riders section,” said Will I’Anson of British Horse Feeds.

“We hope the British Horse Feeds Under 25 CCI3* at Bramham International will continue to help produce and recognise some of the best up-and-coming event riders in the sport.”

Event founder, George Lane Fox was keen to help young riders develop. Originating in 1983, the class was for 18 to 21 year olds before becoming the National Under 25 Championships in 2002.

Said Nick Pritchard, event director: “It's fantastic news that British Horse Feeds are extending their sponsorship to cover the Under 25 section.

“It’s also great to have support from another Yorkshire company to continue the family and heritage feel of Bramham. Will and his team have been great partners and we're looking forward to working even more closely with them to make the British Horse Feeds Under 25 CCI3* 2018 our best ever.”

British Horse Feeds also sponsors the Fibre-Beet Horse Inspection Area and the Speedi-Beet Double Feat cross country fence at the event.


17th April, 2018.

Griffin NuuMed set to switch off the machines at its Somerset factory after 28 years’ production.

Specialist saddlepad manufacturer Griffin NuuMed – famed for its use of British wool - is to close its factory at the end of May.

Managing director Rosie Pocock told ETN she has no plans for the business or NuuMed brand, but wouldn't rule out expressions of interest.

Mrs Pocock cited the challenges of “a very flooded saddlepad marketplace” for the decision to call it a day. Although the business retains a strong customer base.

“It’s been sticking to our guns as a British manufacturer using British wool - able to fulfil bespoke orders as well as our many regular lines - that’s kept us going,” she added.

Griffin NuuMed products’ longevity may also have played a hand in their demise, Mrs Pocock admitted. “You could say we’ve been penalised for making something of good quality.”

Consumer demand for fashionable products ‘now’ was another issue for a manufacturing business that sometimes had lead times for raw materials, she added.

Mrs Pocock paid tribute to the 14 strong “super team” at Griffin NuuMed.

“It’s been a great little business for a long time and many of the production team have been with us for many years.”

Griffin NuuMed will be trading at Badminton as usual. And the company will endeavour to complete as many orders as possible before switching off the machines on 31 May.

The 14 people who work at Griffin NuuMed’s Bridgwater factory look set to lose their jobs.


17th April, 2018.

Late night deliveries are needed to satisfy after dark shopping habits, says new study.

As consumers shop online late into the night, experts predict this year will see 24-hour home deliveries enabling retailers to cash in on the so called ‘vampire economy’.

One in three Brits admit to shopping after 10pm. Yet retailers and delivery companies have been slow to respond to a corresponding demand for night-time deliveries, says ParcelHero.

2018 will finally see the dawn of late night deliveries, predicts a new study by the e-commerce delivery expert.

“[This] will be the year vampire economy deliveries finally take flight,” says ParcelHero’s David Jinks.

“The new witching hour is not midnight, but 10.18pm. That’s the peak time for nocturnal purchases according to Barclaycard.

“But 10pm is also the time Amazon Prime Now, Argos and Tesco Now deliveries pack up for the night. Clearly there’s a gap between what consumers want, and what delivery options are now actually available.”

One in ten customers are still ordering things up to 3am with pharmacy items a popular choice, suggesting horse owners might be shopping for care and health products.

“These night owl consumers are prepared to pay handsomely for such late night deliveries. Retailers need to wake up to the potential opportunities for increased sales,” adds Mr Jinks.

“Night time deliveries can reduce daytime congestion and pollution. And our new study reveals logistics companies are fast developing ‘quiet delivery’ techniques that mean delivering items at night doesn’t need to disturb neighbours, thanks to quieter vans, using lowered voices, quiet cages and racks and ‘hush hush’ reversing alarms.”

Most couriers offer standard overnight delivery. Parcels are driven through the night to be at a local distribution centre ready for final delivery from 8am.

“There’s no reason why some of these journeys can’t link up with a ‘last mile’ delivery to customers, rather than then be held waiting in the warehouse,” said Mr Jinks.

“One obvious difficulty with 24-hour deliveries is finding the drivers willing to work such unsocial hours. These concerns are very similar to the objections retailers faced when Sunday opening hours were first introduced in 1994.

“But in the era of the gig economy, many people are choosing to work the hours that suit their lives; and the opportunity to earn a higher rate for night-time work is one that quite a number of delivery drivers would seize.”

For consumers, meanwhile, night-time deliveries could prove a vital life line – and potentially profitable for retailers.

The study into demand for 24-hour deliveries can be read in full at


17th April, 2018.

The nineteen year old will attend a ceremony in the palace gardens next month.

Maisie Rutter, a member of equine bedding brand easibed’s sales team, has an appointment at Buckingham Palace next month (May).

Nineteen-year-old Maisie will be presented with her certificate and brooch for achieving her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at a ceremony in the palace gardens.

It took Maisie 18 months to complete the award programme including volunteering and three expeditions.

Her final challenge involved walking 60 miles over four days in the Lake District, spending one night in a wild camp and two others in ‘basic’ campsites.

Maisie described her experience of the world’s leading youth achievement award as “the best in my life so far.”


17th April, 2018.

Re-live the atmosphere and meet the people behind the scenes via this video from January’s trade fair.

BETA International 2018 organisers have released a short film of the event.

With interviews, action clips and reaction, it’s a great way to re-visit the atmosphere of the show held at the NEC, Birmingham in January.

Sponsors, members of the press and organising team lend their opinions; while some famous faces can be spotted too.

BETA International returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 20-22 January, 2019.

View the video from this year’s show at


17th April, 2018.

The British Equestrian Trade Association's inaugural BETA Safety Week is winning support from the equestrian industry across the world.

Next Saturday (28 April) marks the start of the first BETA Safety Week.

Retail and manufacturing members have joined the trade association’s campaign which sets out to raise awareness of rider safety.

BETA Safety Week runs from 28 April to 6 May.

More than 90 retailers and several riding hat, body protector and hi-viz companies have joined their counterparts from across mainland Europe and the United States to promote the importance of safety gear and equipment that is correctly fitted and fastened, and up to standard.

All participating BETA retail members are listed on the trade association's website and will receive an array of free Safety Week merchandise, including hat bags, bunting, window decals, exterior banners, selfie boards for customers and sponsored rider photos, and a range of social media assets.

They will also benefit from a range of activities and support from manufacturing members – including some re-stocking discounts when they order new safety garments and equipment to replace those sold during the event.

“The trade's reaction to our Safety Week initiative has been absolutely incredible,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “The amount of support received has completely exceeded all our expectations and we couldn't be more pleased.

“We decided to introduce the scheme because there was nothing else quite like it and it certainly ticks all the boxes for driving home the importance of fit-for-purpose safety clothing for riders – just in time for the season ahead – while directing higher volumes of footfall to our retailers and increased sales for them and their suppliers.”

The wider equestrian community has also lent its backing to BETA Safety Week, with organisations such as British Eventing, the Pony Club, British Horse Society, British Riding Clubs, Association of British Riding Schools and Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund coming on board.

Supporting riders include William Fox-Pitt, Charlotte Dujardin, Nick Skelton, Piggy French, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Sophie Wells and jockeys Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein, aka Wocket Woy & The Pwoducer.

An extensive BETA Safety Week social media campaign has been running since last month, with supporters using the campaign's #BETASafetyWeek18 hashtag.

Many consumers have been taking part in BETA's competition to win Safety Week goody bags and a £100 voucher to spend on a new riding hat or body protector.


9th April, 2018.

New sales and business development manager is a former international show jumping groom.

Equine supplements manufacturer and distributor Horse First has appointed Christine Campbell as sales and business development manager.

A Hartpury graduate with an honours degree in equine science, Christine previously worked in the veterinary supplement industry.

She’s also been a groom for Robert Maguire on the international show jumping circuit; and still competes with her five year old mare.

“I'm really pleased to be joining the team at Horse First,” said Christine. “The brand is going from strength to strength and I'm keen to start meeting our trade customers and working with them to improve and grow sales in this sector.”

Horse First founder Paddy Hughes said: “With her hands-on experience and knowledge, I’m confident our customers will find Christine of great assistance in the growing market for our products.”


6th April, 2018.

A supplements company is among the latest to join the BETA NOPS scheme.

Global Herbs says its recent BETA NOPS accreditation will give its trade and end user customers “continued confidence” in its products.

“Our herbal based products have been used effectively for 25 years,” said managing director Chris King.

“And as horse owners continue to be more stringent about what they’re feeding, we want to give them continued confidence in Global Herbs’ products. NOPS in particular gives them this assurance.”

Mr King added that achieving BETA NOPS status was “a fantastic achievement that we are very proud of.”

As well as joining the BETA NOPS scheme, Global Herbs achieved UFAS and FEMAS [feed industry assurance standards] accreditation earlier this year.

The BETA NOPS scheme was set up in 2009 to help reduce the risk of disqualification due to naturally occurring prohibited substances in horse feeds.

Compliant companies are entitled to use the BETA NOPS code logo on packaging.

More about the BETA NOPS scheme, NOPS and their sources, a list of participating companies and advice for stable yards about avoiding contamination can be found here


6th April, 2018.

Saddle-makers are invited to nominate saddle fitters who deserve to be in the spotlight.

The best saddle fitters are to be celebrated in a new ETN series.

The ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month, in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), will recognise saddle fitters whose good practise is making a difference to horses, riders and the saddlery industry.

The monthly series begins in ETN June issue.

The trade – saddle manufacturers and distributors – are 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. They can be based in the UK or overseas.

To nominate a saddle fitter (or more than one), please 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.


6th April, 2018.

Trying to find a particular product or need to know who’s behind a brand? This publication can help.

The 2018 Trade Suppliers Directory (TSD) lists more than 2,000 entries from manufacturers and suppliers in the UK and overseas.

Divided into 250 categories, the updated TSD features a handy show calendar and diary too.

After more than 30 years as the ultimate equestrian retailer’s reference guide, it’s invaluable for finding suppliers, brands and products – plus the contact details of those behind them.

The TSD is a sister publication of ETN, published by Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC) and part of the BETA Group.

Copies can be purchased by those working in the equestrian and related trades for £18 in the UK, £21.50 in Europe and £22.50 for the rest of the world.

Order online at or from Jennifer Dalton in the EMC office, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


3rd April, 2018.

And familiar face takes on new territory.

Ken Duncan, Shaws Equestrian’s agent for Scotland and the north of England, has retired.

He’s looking forward to spending more time with wife Helen and their family.

Ken worked with Monty Stuart-Monteith of Shaws Equestrian for more than 14 years, initially when Ken was UK sales director for Shock Absorber and they introduced the sports bras to the equestrian market.

Following Ken’s departure, Monty is now covering Scotland and the north.

Meanwhile agent Michael Darley joins the Shaws Equestrian sales team, taking over Monty’s areas south of Birmingham.

“It’s always sad to lose a member of such a close team,” said Monty, “but we wish Ken a long and happy retirement - and are looking forward to working with Michael.”


3rd April, 2018.

Riding hat and body protector brands teamed up with stockist to offer consumers discounts and safety advice.

Robinsons Equestrian offered 10% off Airowear body protectors and Charles Owen riding hats in the run-up to Easter.

The retailer ran the promotion during a series of in-store events across its Cannock, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Leeds and Basingstoke branches.

Experts from Airowear and Charles Owen were available to advise customers on finding the best fitting and most suitable safety equipment.

The 10% discount applied to all valid Airowear and Charles Owen purchases at each event.

Customers who purchased riding hats received a free hat bag each worth around £25. And those buying a body protector were given a £25 pair of touchscreen gloves for free.

The first ten customers at each store were treated to an extra-special secret goody bag. While everyone could enter a draw to win a £50 voucher to spend at Robinsons Equestrian at a later date.


3rd April, 2018.

Chosen distributor plans to expand yard equipment supplies.

JCB Paint has named Battles as its sole distributor to the UK equestrian sector from this month (April).

The animal friendly, flame retardant paint can be used on masonry, wood and metal surfaces.

JCB Paint is a trading name of JCB Paint Limited, an official licensee of JC Bamford Excavators Limited.

“We wanted to find a suitable partner that could help us penetrate this market and make JCB Paint the preferred choice for professional and amateur horse owners throughout the UK,” said Chris Honer, CEO of JCB Paint Limited.

Lincoln based Battles is looking after warehousing, delivery, sales and support of the paint.

“The health and safety of horses is paramount to our business and the attention to detail that has gone into the ingredients of JCB Paint to make it suitable for stable yards and safe for animals really impressed us,” said Richard Clarke, managing director of Battles.

“As we are looking to expand the yard equipment area of the business, it made perfect sense for us to add this to our product portfolio.”


3rd April, 2018.

The American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) hires a new team headed by an attorney.

King Management Group (KMG) has been appointed to run the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA).

Maryland based KMG was founded in 2012 by Steve and Jackie King. The company specialises in managing not-for-profit organisations.

Ms King, now AETA’s executive director, will liaise with the trade association’s board headed by president Sharon Perrin.

An attorney, Ms King has held executive roles with the American Veterinary Distributors Association (AVDA) and Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART).

Heather Lester has become AETA’s director of meetings and member services.

Also on the new team are association coordinator Casey Joseph and financial director Debbie Dacre.


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: