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17th June, 2019.

It will be inspirational, says Princess Anne.

The Princess Royal has officially opened the first National Training Centre for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

HRH Princess Anne is president of the charity and a patron of the new Warwickshire centre which will train and inspire the charity’s volunteers and coaches from almost 500 RDA centres across the UK.

The RDA’s new home is based at the Lowlands Equestrian Centre, in Shrewley, which already provides riding opportunities to 100 disabled children and adults – a number set to double in the coming months.

During her visit, Princess Anne spoke to riders and presented rosettes. “RDA has built a world-class reputation on the strength of its expertise, coaching and horsemanship,” she said. “These are strengths that must remain at the heart of everything we do in the coming years.”

RDA helps 25,000 disabled children and adults and has 18,000 coaches and volunteers.

Para-dressage multi-medallist Sophie Christiansen, another patron of the new centre, says her life was transformed by learning to ride with RDA

“I was lucky enough to be taught by a series of inspirational coaches, without whom I would never have discovered a talent for riding,” she said.

“RDA could see my potential as a young athlete and supported me every step of the way to the Paralympics. However, ‘achievement’ does not have to mean a gold medal.

“It could be teaching a rider to sit up straight so they can go on to live independently or to be able to communicate to others to help on the journey to employment. Coaches can change lives.”

The new centre has stables and grazing for 20 horses, indoor and outdoor arenas and training and conference facilities.

This year marks the RDA’s 50th anniversary.


17th June, 2019.

Retailer’s “exceptional” work is rewarded.

Naylors Equestrian’s store in Wardle, Cheshire won a retailer display competition organised by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) as part of its 2019 Safety Week.

Assistant manager Kirsty Lowndes and her team created a series of striking displays promoting rider safety and highlighting the campaign’s message that safety garments should be correctly fitted, fastened and up to standard.

“We focused predominantly on hi-viz, riding hats and body protectors, using products, posters, literature and plenty of BETA Safety Week branding,” explained Kirsty. “Customers asked us lots of questions, we saw an increase in safety garment fittings and lots of riders popped into the store with their own riding hats and body protectors for checking.”

Naylors Equestrian wins a certificate and a luxury BETA gift hamper. Highly commended awards went to Hacketts Saddlery of Blackpool, and Mole Avon Trading, of Axminster, Devon.

Said BETA’s executive director Claire Williams. “Thank you to all retailers who did such a marvellous job of creating fun and thought-provoking in-store displays, and many congratulations to the team at Naylors whose work was exceptional.”


17th June, 2019.

Auction of memorabilia to mark 150th anniversary of first game to be played in England.

Photographs of Prince Charles and Winston Churchill playing polo and illustrations of the sport by E.H. Shepard (of Winnie-the-Pooh fame) will come under the hammer in a polo themed auction later this month.

The sale of more than 200 lots also includes a Walt Disney cartoon from 1936 titled Mickey's Polo Team.

Run by sport memorabilia specialist Graham Budd Auctions, it coincides with the 150th anniversary of the first polo game played in England.

The timed internet auction (on begins on Saturday, 29 June and ends on Monday, 15 July.


17th June, 2019.

New factory set to increase production and create jobs.

I’Anson Brothers, home of British Horse Feeds, is to build a new 23,000 sq ft factory at Dalton New Bridge, near Thirsk in Yorkshire.

The ultramodern, energy efficient facility will have an initial 150,000 tonne capacity per year – with two production lines producing over 30 tonnes per hour.

I’Anson’s headquarters, plus the manufacture of micronized feeds, specialty rations, horse feeds and its own label service, will remain in Masham, North Yorkshire, where the business was founded in 1900. The new factory will concentrate on bulk farm feeds.

British Horse Feeds covers Speedi-Beet, Fibre-Beet and The Golden Paste Company, maker of TurmerAid supplement.

I’Anson currently employs 80 people, with the new factory initially creating ten additional jobs. The company says it will also allow it to grow its existing network of local producers, farmers and suppliers from whom it buys a large proportion of its raw materials for manufacture.

Exports are set to expand too. I’Anson already sells to 40 countries worldwide.

“For the last 60 years, we have been based at our Masham mill and have continually invested in new technology to increase production volumes and our efficiency,” said Chris I’Anson, chairman and managing director.

“However, the physical limitations of the site mean we have reached production capacity, constraining our ability to grow.”

I’Anson won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation for its patented Speedi-Beet product.

The company also supports the local community. I’Anson helps fund night-vision goggles to enable the Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopters to fly after dark.


12th June, 2019.

… and can choose to stay on site or go home.

Traders exhibiting at Bolesworth, which is now completely closed to the public, will all get a full refund, ETN has been assured.

Although the competitions are going ahead on the Cheshire venue’s all-weather surfaces, heavy rain and flooding caused organisers to close the entire four-day show to spectators and shoppers.

“All trade stand holders have been offered the option to leave the site if they wish, or stay,” Clare Walkeden of Bolesworth International told ETN.

“Regardless of their decision, we are offering a full refund to recognise the support and effort that has gone into their attendance at the show.

“For those leaving, we will shortly be starting a coordinated exercise to ensure they can leave site safely.”


12th June, 2019.

International fixture set to run competitions - without spectators or shoppers.

Bolesworth International Horse Show is closed to the public today and tomorrow (12/13 June) due to heavy rain and local flooding.

Organisers at the Cheshire venue were today offering visitors refunds or free admission on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

ETN has asked about where the lack of visitors and shoppers leaves trade stand holders at the show. We have been told a statement will be issued later.

Earlier this morning, Bolesworth organisers said: “Despite taking proactive measures throughout the build-up and overnight, we are not able to open the show to the public today.

“We have significant water standing on site and also on the roads surrounding, and so have taken the decision that movement on site is not possible for safety purposes.”


12th June, 2019.

ETN diarist and show trader Guy Roper reports from last weekend’s Bramham horse trials (6 – 9 June).

“I like Brammers. It’s always got a good feel to it. Small enough to be friendly and give an opportunity for chats with chums who at Badders would be half a mile away; big enough to attract the crowds and the ‘Riders of Renown’ that help to pull them in.

It’s an event that almost defines the appeal of the horse trials circuit. The balance of the different elements of competition, shopportunity and a day out is what built this side of the equestrian industry, and the generations raised on it. It’s part of the social calendar as well as the sporting year.

You have to understand, though, that it’s in Yorkshire. This means that there are some special considerations to be borne in mind when you book a stand. Mostly the weather. When it’s good, it’s very, very good and when it’s bad, it’s pretty awful.

I was reflecting on this during late-night shopping on Friday - or rather as I stared out at the steady rain during the period set aside for keeping me from my dinner after the punters had voted with their feet.

To be fair, last year’s late-night shopping slot was a perfect summer evening for relaxing with a chilled drink and chatting with friends. That sort of expresses my issue with the late-night shopping idea. Yes, it can work; but last year it mostly didn’t because it was too hot, this year because it was pouring with rain and too cold.

It means a 12 hour day for me and the hired help, with all the extra costs that entails. It also means a less than 12 hour break between trading days by the time you have packed up, and got off site if you need to, eaten, sorted yourself, come back, restocked, fettled the stand and opened up again to catch the early punters’ passing pound. It may be a draw for some, but I question its overall value.

This year, it gave me time to watch the rain which came in at precisely 4 o’clock - exactly the right time to make those there leave and deter the evening crowd from turning up – and reflect on the mixed abilities one needs to run a tradestand.

Getting weary

Event organisers don’t quite realise that this might be a single generational thing, because it’s a bundle of talents that thrive in a particular environment. For sure, some will carry it on. Some, having grown up in the show circuit, will find new ways to make it work in an increasingly hostile trading environment. But at the moment, some of us are getting weary and the skills needed to make it stack up are becoming increasingly varied.

Indeed, in a quiet late-night shopping moment, I tried to come up with a show trader’s job description:

Diplomatic skills: how to explain nicely to the wall of damp people staring dejectedly at the rain, while sheltering under the front of your stand, that no-one can get in to look at the stock, and perhaps they might wish to go elsewhere.

Currency Trader: when at Brammers, recognising that the Yorkshire Pound is higher in value than the pound sterling which is used in other parts of the country. Yes, it looks the same, it feels the same and all the sizes and colours of the coins and notes are the same, but Yorkshire folk know that the Yorkshire Pound is worth more. This is why they expect more for each Yorkshire Pound they spend. They aren’t looking for a discount and they particularly don’t want any favours. It’s just the way it is, and you need to think about that with your pricing.

Astrologer: mostly the stock items will turn over at a predictable rate. But identifying the next trend, the new twist on a classic or staple item, or the completely left-field must-have thing is an almost occult ability. It’s the commercial equivalent of snakes and ladders. If you get it right, it’s a major win. If you get it wrong, then fewer sausages in the sausage casserole.

Navvy: or Labourer, or as Job Centre Plus probably has it “Non-Specialist Physical Operative”. Most of us have quite a physically demanding time during set-up and breakdown. At the time, you just do it; but servicing the stand - towing a roller drum of water up there to keep the kettle working - on a daily basis is quite hard work. Ok, it saves on the gym subscription but it’s probably not a balanced exercise.

Long Distance Lorry Driver: it doesn’t matter whether it’s an HGV or a van or an overloaded estate with a bulging trailer, we’ve all done it. If you are in this game, it’s most unlikely that you live at Badders or Brammers, so we have to get there, often late after the previous show, to set up and then get away ‘as soon as’ afterwards to go on to the next. It’s actually like doing two separate jobs, and it’s probably sometimes on the margins of responsibility, let alone legality. Eddie Stobart, eat your heart out for the hours we have to put in!

Yes, it’s a complicated and individual mix. Some chums thrive on the life, some just do it to earn a crust. I know I’ve enjoyed it, but I can’t predict what the future holds. I’m really not sure how much longer the squeeze between declining spend on the ground and rising costs at events leaves me with a viable margin.

In his foreword to this year’s guide to the event, Bramham director Nick Lane Fox encouraged punters to “patronise the tradestands”. I know he didn’t mean it like that, and the Bramham organisers don’t, but other events possibly need to “think on” as they say in these parts.

I, and a lot of other chums chatting the other night, already are. Do remember, Dear Organisers, that you are static and we are mobile. Our fixed costs can drive somewhere else. Yours are rooted like the trees on your estates. If you continue to put up the stand fees and reduce the disposable income of the punters by increasing admission prices and parking charges, then you will break a very delicate equation which for us makes the operation worthwhile.

That said, Brammers was Brammers, and for me and others it remains a “go back to”. Despite the weather, it was mostly acceptable trading. One or two chums did well. Some did unpredictably poorly but overall, I’ll give it another whirl.




10th June, 2019.

Gathering planned to mark the achievements of Charles Owen’s late chairman.

The family of Roy Burek are to welcome the trade, wider equestrian community, friends and colleagues to a celebration of his life.

Roy, died in April aged 61, was a pioneer in rider safety equipment.

A service will take place at 11am on Saturday, 6 July at St Giles’ Parish Church, Church Street, Wrexham LL13 8LS.

It will be followed by light refreshments at a venue to be confirmed.

The family requests emails to or calls to 01978 317769 before 17 June to confirm your interest in attending.


10th June, 2019.

Visitors can learn about safety standards, HR issues, worming, saddle fitting, social media and equine nutrition – and earn CPD points - during January’s show.

Top-class presentations are the hallmark of BETA International and some of the very best speakers and personalities in the business are preparing to take to the podium once again in 2020. Back by popular demand are:

Alastair Stewart – the ITV newscaster will take to the stage to host Talking Business, the edgy industry debate where key movers and shakers wrestle with the latest corporate, political and economic hot topics.

Amanda Chadwick – the HR expert from Croner brings her unique approach to deliver a fact-filled talk packed with advice and information for retail businesses.

Kay Hastilow – the master saddler with years of finely honed expertise hosts presentations on different aspects of saddle-fitting.

Michelle Goodall – the highly knowledgeable and influential social media expert explains how this medium can be used to boost business.

Kate Hore – the NAF senior nutritionist is back to explore ways in which diet can impact equine welfare and wellbeing in a seminar with CPD points.

Jim Wishart – the popular veterinary consultant will put equine and companion animal worming firmly in the spotlight for SQPs wishing to gain CPD points.

Claire Williams – BETA’s executive director provides an update on current safety standards.

These BETA International favourites will be joined by other leading speakers throughout the three days in the show’s Demonstration Arena, Seminar Theatre and The Spotlight.

“I don’t think you can ever have too much of a good thing,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “We know our visitors come along to the show to source new products and network, but they also relish the opportunity to learn things that they didn’t already know.

“They like to brush up on existing skills, take home some tips and advice, and generally be inspired by all they have seen and heard. Our great programme of presentations and seminars – some with CPD points – ticks the boxes every time. When visitors told us that these people and what they have to say made a huge difference to them and their businesses, we listened and were delighted when the speakers accepted our invitation to return for the 2020 show.”

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


10th June, 2019.

This month sees the final ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month named.

Caroline Wilde has received June’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month award.

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

Caroline was nominated by Lisa Menet of Amerigo Saddles, plus some happy clients.

“Caroline is a qualified equine body worker, so a saddle fitting with her is a whole horse evaluation,” says Lisa.

“Nothing is too much trouble for Caroline. Her customer care is second to none and she’s always open to new ideas and improving her technical knowledge of the horse and products available to benefit her clients.”

Kellie Cowan, a client, says: “Caroline demonstrated in-depth knowledge, time and great compassion when we were struggling with intermittent problems with our jumping pony.

“She assessed and reassessed our pony’s shape and movement and guided us through her findings before altering our current saddle to a perfect fit. She eliminated all the issues the ill-fitting saddle caused, culminating in a happy pony and owner.”

Another client, Liz Langford, says Caroline went above and beyond to fit her mare.

“By the time I met Caroline, we had tried 18 saddles and we were giving up hope of ever finding a suitable one. After two hours of trying four different makes and styles, Caroline measured up and got to work. We haven’t looked back since.”

Originally from Yorkshire, Caroline was a metallurgist who has studied quantum physics. However, she’d always loved horses and in particular show jumping.

Another passion is leather, and Caroline began making bridles for show jumpers, Welsh pony stallions, handbags and dog harnesses. She also took saddles apart and reflocked her own.

Regular training with her horse at John Whitaker’s yard evolved into working for John Whitaker International on the company’s HOYS stand. Caroline was then taken on as a sales representative, was promoted to business development manager and, she says, “fell in love with the industry along the way.”

While with John Whitaker International, Caroline trained in Italy with Prestige Italia Saddles to become a saddle fitter. She also took the SMS Introductory Saddle Fitting course.

Now based in Herefordshire, and having been in the saddle fitting business for over 20 years, Caroline is an SMS Qualified Saddle Fitter. “I love my work as every day is so varied,” she says.

“To keep on top of the game, I constantly train throughout Europe and I am always on the lookout for innovative products.”

New award

A new ETN/SMS awards series begins in the July issue.

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

The new award succeeds the saddle fitter 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.


3rd June, 2019.

“I love the sense of adventure,” says Tom MacGuinness after his victory.

Tom MacGuinness, the 67-year-old founder of Horseware, has won his first FEI CEI-3* 160km (100-mile) contest.

He rode his 11-year-old chestnut gelding Horseware Sasha D'Aillais at just over 18km per hour to take the victory at the King’s Forest in Suffolk on Saturday (1 June).

The pair completed ahead of Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton (JM Bucefala) and Omar Blanco Rodrigo (Twyst Maison Blanche).

Tom MacGuinness also owns Horseware HLM Iguazu, ridden by Martin McNamara to win the CEI-2* competition - the first time Irish riders have won an FEI endurance double.

Tom said of his 160km winning ride: “This horse is amazing, I’m very happy with how he went.

“He is just so generous. I didn’t have to dig into the well at all - he was just on the bridle and there was a lot more left in him which is exciting. After this he will have two weeks relaxing in the field and then come back into work with lots of walking out before he begins his training again.

“We will aim to do an 80km ride and then if we feel he is fit and ready to go, we will be at the European Championships [at Euston Park, Suffolk, in August].”

Tom also hopes to field an Irish team in the Nations Cup at the same event.

“I thought I would give endurance a go and initially I thought I would find it boring, but the more I discovered, it is anything but,” he said.

“I play polo but I am not born to it like I am to endurance. I love every aspect of it – the sense of adventure of riding one horse into the unknown and the real team side of things behind the horse and crewing.”


3rd June, 2019.

The public got up close and personal to saddlery skills in action.

In a new move, this year’s Hertfordshire County Show (25/26 May) ran a saddlery competition.

Classes held in the show’s Saddlery Marquee were well supported by members of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

Not only was there keen competition, but saddlers demonstrated and explained their work to visitors.

“Bridle fitting was especially brought to the forefront, with many equestrians wanting to be higher placed in the show ring and to get a better performance from their horses,” reported competitor and Abbey England scholarship holder Lucy Cushley.

“Saddle fitting of course is a hot topic, with many horsey and non-horsey people very interested in what was inside a saddle and how materials can make a difference.”

Show visitors also viewed and asked questions about military saddlery from the Household Cavalry, as well as side-saddles. While the SMS and Capel Manor College were on hand to offer advice about careers in saddlery.

“It was a great way to educate and engage with consumers,” added Lucy.

The competitions were sponsored by Abbey England, Cribbs Carriage Masters and Patrick Burns, and judged Frances Roche and Karen Schlotter.

The results were:

Class One: Dog Lead

1st: Michelle Bogaerd

2nd: Ruby Knight

3rd: Charlotte Chessman

Class Two: Headcollar

1st: Andy Hawkins

2nd: Tara Griffin

3rd: Gudrun Gadegaard

Special: Molly Grout

Class Three: Leather Box or Container

1st: Line Hansen

2nd: James Adair

3rd: Lucy Ellis

Special: Jeanette Hutchinson and Zöe Hurst

Class Four: Harness Bridle

1st: Sam Belasco

2nd: Gudrun Gadegaard

3rd: Tara Griffin

Best in Show: Sam Belasco for his Harness Bridle


3rd June, 2019.

Nominations invited for important equestrian accolade.

Organisers of the National Equine Forum are inviting nominations for the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2020.

They particularly want to hear about exceptional but as yet unrecognised people or bodies within the equine sector.

Sir Colin was the founding chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for 20 years until his death in 2012. The award was introduced the following year in his memory.

Any individual or organisation from any equestrian field is eligible, as long as their outstanding qualities have not been formally acknowledged elsewhere.

Previous winners include equine sector stalwart Gordon Wesley (2019), farrier Dr Simon Curtis (2018), fire and rescue pioneer Jim Green (2017), Sue Martin, who runs Trent Park Equestrian Centre in London (2016), Paul Greeves former Executive Director and Keeper of the General Stud Book at Weatherbys (2015), Dr Andrew Waller on behalf of The Animal Health Trust (AHT) Infectious Disease Group (2014) and Martin Clunes on behalf of UK Equine Welfare Charities (2013).

To submit a nomination please read the checklist on the website and write, in no more than 100 words, why you believe your chosen candidate should be considered for the award. The NEF Sir Colin Spedding Award Committee will produce a shortlist of nominations, from which the winner will be selected. Multiple nominations for the same person will not carry additional merit and the decision will be final. The winner will be invited to attend the next National Equine Forum, where the Award will be formally presented.

Visit or email your nomination to Closing date midday on 31 July 2019.

The 28th National Equine Forum will take place on Thursday 5th March 2020. The event is run by a committee reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry and has as its president HRH The Princess Royal.


3rd June, 2019.

Appointees take part in polo and showjumping in their spare time.

David Hopkins and Annabel Twiddy have joined Global Herbs’ sales team.

David, the supplements company’s new eastern area sales manager, is originally from Dublin. He has worked in the equestrian industry for the past five years and in sales since he was 17.

While working for Horseware Ireland, he was a Sales Rep of the Year finalist at the 2017 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards.

A lifelong rider, David has hunted, competed in showjumping and showing, and worked in the Thoroughbred breeding industry in Ireland, America and Australia. Nowadays he concentrates on polo. A former Player of the Year with the Suffolk Polo Club, he has retrained a racehorse as a polo pony.

Annabel Twiddy has become Global Herbs’ area sales manager in the west.

Her previous career has covered sales in the banking industry and running a distribution company. She’s also managed her own competition yard and run a breeding programme.

Annabel began showjumping when she was ten, and now competes up to 1.40m on her horse Maggie.


3rd June, 2019.

A horse is heading to the famous Manchester TV studio this week.

In a first for TV’s Dragons’ Den, a horse and two dogs will be part of a pitch for business support.

The company and product involved are a closely guarded secret until after filming on Thursday.

However, sources have told ETN that taking equine and canine companions into the ‘Den’ has never been done before.

We are also reassured that the lift which appears to deliver contestants to face the ‘Dragons’ is in fact only pretend.

The episode is due to air this summer.


28th May, 2019.

Congratulations for putting Britain on the podium!

Kathy Stringer, part of the Equine Productions team who were filming at BETA International 2019, has won a bronze medal at the world duathlon championships.

The competition, held in Pontevedra, Spain, involved a 10km run, 40km bike ride and a 5km run.

“Never did I think I’d win a bronze,” Kathy told ETN. “It was pretty surreal standing on the podium holding up the Union Jack.”

Kathy’s medal means she automatically qualifies for the 2020 championships in Almere, Holland. “I’ll be going for gold next time,” she added.

• Video footage from BETA International 2019 can be seen at


28th May, 2019.

New recruit has worked in the equestrian trade for 12 years.

James Palmer has been appointed business development manager by flax seed supplement specialist PureFlax.

James, who’s been involved with the equestrian and pet product sectors for almost 12 years, is working with PureFlax on an agency basis.

“We’re thrilled to have James on board to help drive the brand forward,” said Grace Liddle, director of Yorkshire based PureFlax. “Our business is in an exciting stage of growth.”

James was previously sales manager for the BETA International trade exhibition.

“I’m delighted to be joining the PureFlax team,” he said. “PureFlax oil for horses and dogs is an excellent product, sold at a sensible price and I look forward to working with all of the brand’s customers.”


28th May, 2019.

Popular figure served stores across East Anglia.

John Self died peacefully on Saturday, 11 May after a short spell in hospital. He was in his early 60s.

John was a popular sales agent in the country leisure sector across East Anglia. Among the brands he represented was Grubs boots.

“We worked with John for 20 years. He was great to work with and will be very much missed,” said David Foster of the footwear supplier.

John had been a well-respected sales agent based in the east of England for many years.

“He was extremely lucky to have many of his customers as personal friends, and he will be sadly missed by us all,” said a spokesman for his family.

“We would like to thank everybody for their kind words and support, it is very much appreciated.”


28th May, 2019.

Celebrations at the organisation that plays a key role in developing equestrian safety equipment.

SATRA – the test house that works with riding hat and body protector manufacturers – marked its centenary with a visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester last week.

The Duke unveiled an outdoor sculpture at the body’s Northamptonshire base. The artwork by Martyn Steele is designed to represent 100 years of research and testing.

The royal party along with local dignitaries and guests toured SATRA’s testing laboratories. They watched demonstrations of the machines and test methods that play a role in helping manufacturers create safer, better performing products.

Formed in 1919, SATRA was initially involved in the footwear industry before branching out into areas as diverse as furniture and personal protective equipment.

SATRA’s highlights include helping develop the assault boot worn by Edmond Hillary and the British Expedition team for the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953.

And its work on an innovation that reduced the time needed to make a pair of shoes from weeks to hours earnt SATRA the Queen’s Award to Industry in 1969.

The organisation now has technical facilities in Europe and China.


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.


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: