ETN is the trade fair’s one and only media partner. The official BETA International 2016 preview appears in Equestrian Trade News (ETN) January issue. To get involved, contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 or email

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.”

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 2017 issue of ETN. For details, speak to Nicki Lewis on +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

For information about exhibiting at next year’s show, contact James Palmer, 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 2017 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 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: