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

Remember you heard it here first...


18th April, 2017.

British Dressage (BD) has confirmed NAF as the new headline sponsor of its youth teams for riders under 21.

The Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Children on Horses squads will ride under the Team NAF banner throughout the season, culminating at their European Championships in July and August.

The three year deal was announced at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury in Gloucestershire last week.

The show marked the seventh anniversary of NAF’s sponsorship of the sport’s largest championship fixture.

The Monmouthshire based supplements manufacturer has also become one of the sport’s official partners, alongside Shearwater Insurance and Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Top dressage riders such as Laura Tomlinson, Maria Eilberg and Fiona Bigwood have emerged from youth teams and gone on to win senior medals.

NAF also supports Bobby Hayler, Alice Oppenheimer and Phoebe Peters, who’ve competed at the youth European Championships.

NAF’s new support will go towards a year-round programme dedicated to nurturing future talent.

A training schedule including participation in nominated competitions will lead to the production of four squads to compete as Team NAF for Great Britain.

The first opportunity for Team NAF to sport the team colours will be at the forthcoming CDIO3* for Ponies, Juniors and Young Riders at Saumur in France, later this month (27 – 30 April).

Said Jason Brautigam, BD chief executive: “NAF is a brand which has a long association with dressage and this extension to cover our stars of the future is a mark of their commitment to long, lasting partnerships and supporting talent development.”

NAF chairman Richard Cleeve added: “It’s of paramount importance to cultivate the talent of the future to ensure the success and longevity of the sport.

“My father was a great supporter of developing young riders and I know he would be delighted too.”


18th April, 2017.

New Amazon Cash makes it possible to shop online with ‘real’ money.

Only available in America so far, it’s designed to appeal to those without bank accounts or debit/credit cards.

Up to 27% of US consumers – the so called ‘unbanked’ – are regular cash customers, according to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

Amazon Cash works by customers receiving a barcode via email.

They can then hand over cash in participating stores to ‘top-up’ their online accounts with between $15 and $500 per transaction.

Alternatively, customers can print the barcode and take it to a store on paper.

Payment is placed onto the account and consumers are able to purchase items from the Amazon store immediately.

Amazon Cash is free to use. It will soon be available in 10,000 locations in major US cities, according to the company.

There is no report of the system arriving in the UK, yet.


18th April, 2017.

Charles Owen has recalled its Limited Edition 4Star Cross Country Helmet with Chrome Buckle.

The Wrexham based manufacturer says the move is due to the potential for extreme corrosion of the chrome buckle, which may result in buckle failure.

“This recall impacts this model in sizes 54 (0½), 55 (1) and 56 (1½),” said a spokesman for Charles Owen.

“Information regarding the helmet model can be found on the product satin, guarantee card or user instructions.”

Consumers are advised to cease use of the affected helmets immediately.

They are invited to contact either the shop they purchased the helmet from or Charles Owen directly in order to receive a replacement or full refund.

Consumers and retailers can contact Charles Owen on 01978 317769 or email for more information about replacement and refunds.


18th April, 2017.

TopSpec has appointed Jodi Finucane to the role of graduate equine nutritionist.

Originally from County Limerick in Ireland, Jodi studied for a B.Sc (Hons) in agricultural science at University College Dublin.

Having ridden all her life, she is a racing enthusiast with a special interest in breeding and producing youngsters.

Before joining TopSpec, Jodi worked for Hickstead based Irish showjumper Shane Breen and for Camas Park Stud in County Tipperary assisting with sales prepping, stud office duties and in the racing yard.

She has worked a breeding season at the Aga Khan Studs in Kildare too.


10th April, 2017.

Countrywide Farmers is considering selling off its 53 Countrywide stores.

The news follows the closure of 14 of the group’s retail outlets in February.

Last week, Countrywide Farmers reported a loss after tax of £9.9 million for the year ending 30 November 2016.

Countrywide Farmers’ directors described it as a “disappointing trading performance” following a period of change and investment, most notably in IT systems.

Discussions with its bank have been “positive”, says the Countrywide board, with funding agreed to support the company for the foreseeable future.

PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) has been asked to explore a potential sale of the Countrywide retail business comprising 53 stores supported by field sales and back office teams.

Countrywide says it does not expect its Rural Energy LPG or Turf and Amenity business to be affected.


10th April, 2017.

Carrie Newman has joined Spillers’ national sales team as regional sales manager (north).

Carrie has been recruited by the feed company after two years working for Carr & Day & Martin. Before that she was in equestrian retail.

As well as working full time, Carrie is in the final year of a BA degree in equine studies. She’s also planning to show jump her horse Zander this season.

Describing working for Spillers as her “dream job”, Carrie added: “I’m really excited to get out and meet all my customers to see what we can achieve this year.”


6th April, 2017.

Would you like to see your sponsored dressage rider or brand ambassador compete at an international show?

The offer is open to all companies who contribute to the 1000 Club which is supporting International Dressage at Hickstead on 27 – 30 of July.

Already top riders including Carl Hester have chipped in to help the show that was cancelled last year due to a financial shortfall.

For 2017, donors of £1,000 will receive VIP access for two to the show, various other perks plus entry to a pick your own class. This means riders of any level can compete at the international fixture.

“We’ve already had generous support from riders,” said Dressage at Hickstead director Dane Rawlins.

“And we think this is a great opportunity for companies to give their sponsored riders the chance of a lifetime to ride at an international show - as well as great exposure for their brands.”

Find out more at


6th April, 2017.

Farm & Stable Supplies LLP has been awarded a Royal Warrant for equine supplies to HM The Queen.

The wholesaler of equine and veterinary products heard the news earlier this week.

“We feel honoured and are thrilled after supplying the royal stables and Household Cavalry for 40 odd years,” director John Newton told ETN.

Farm & Stable LLP was founded in 1975. Today it has an £8 million turnover and bases in Hampshire, Cheshire, Northern Ireland and Germany.


5th April, 2017.

You can relive the vibrant atmosphere of BETA International 2017 via a newly released film.

With personality appearances and action from around the show, there are also interviews with exhibitors, visitors and the organising team.

BETA International has also announced that Equestrian Trade News (ETN) is to continue as its media partner for the 2018 show at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January.

“ETN is the only title to publish an official BETA International preview, complete with exhibitors’ list and show floorplan,” said editor Liz Benwell.

“We’re also first to deliver the latest BETA International news throughout the year.”

• Watch the BETA International 2017 video here.

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

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


3rd April, 2017.

Dr Rosie Naylor, a vet specialising in equine internal medicine, has been appointed by Virbac (UK and Ireland) as equine technical manager.

Virbac manufactures Equimax and Eraquell wormer brands.

Rosie is developing the company’s equine product portfolio and providing technical support and services to Virbac’s equine customers.

An equine vet for 11 years, in 2008 Rosie undertook a residency in equine internal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College.

She went on to investigate the effect of amino acid supplements on building muscle mass in the horse.

Rosie joins Virbac from Newmarket Equine Hospital where she was a consultant in equine medicine.

“I’m looking forward to putting my clinical expertise and veterinary experience to good use in a new environment,” she said.


3rd April, 2017.

Twickenham Stadium will host riding as well as rugby this Saturday (8 April).

Visitors to Bath Rugby's The Clash, a fun-filled family event, are being invited to try different sports activities – including riding two mechanical horses.

The Take up the Reins campaign’s RoboCob and Henry will be tacked up ready to ride in the West Fan Village in the Have a Go at Equestrian area.

Devised by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and supported by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), Take up the Reins encourages equestrian participation among people of all ages and backgrounds.

Everyone who rides receives a goody bag with a booklet about taking up riding, a £10 Equine Taster Experience voucher to put towards a riding session and a coupon to exchange for a free pair of riding gloves when buying a first pair of jodhpurs and boots.

The Take up the Reins team and instructors from the Park Lane Stables riding school, Teddington will be on hand to help would-be riders.

A rugby match between Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers in Twickenham Stadium follows the family fun.


3rd April, 2017.

The company that owns the Velcro trademark has acquired a minority stake in pet products supplier Petface.

Velcro Companies says the deal will add to its capabilities to develop innovative products.

The global company has manufacturing interests in the US, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and China, plus sales offices around the world.

Hertfordshire based Petface distributes more than 3,000 products for dogs, cats, small pets and wild birds.

The existing Petface management team will remain in place. Financial terms were are undisclosed.

"This new shared venture with Petface represents another strategic step in building our presence in growth markets,” said Mark Sater of Velcro Companies.

“And we are enthusiastic about the significant further potential for Petface to develop and deliver innovative products and expand globally.”

The arrangement will also benefit from strong consumer awareness of the Velcro brand, he added.

Petface CEO Peter Johnson commented: “We are looking forward to working with [Velcro Companies’] development teams… both businesses are dedicated to the details that make products functional, durable and easy to use.

“This significant investment aligns the business and gives Petface the perfect platform to grow internationally."

Established in 2011, Petface supplies large retailers, independent pet specialists and garden centres.

Velcro Companies has a 50 year history in fastening solutions.

It owns more than 400 active patents and numerous trademarks, including the Velcro trademark which is registered throughout the world.


24th March, 2017.

Pawsecco Wine - a drink to be enjoyed by dogs, cats and their owners - was among the winners of New Products Awards at last week’s PATS Sandown 2017 pet trade show.

A team of pet retail experts judged more than 200 entries. The award winners were chosen for their product innovation, design, quality, packaging and value for money.

The winners were:

Winner: ZiwiPeak Air Dried Cat Food
Entered by: Natural Pet Products
Judges’ comments: This unique product brings air-dried food into the cat category – in line with the dog food market. The packaging is innovative and incorporates a special window so that customers can see the contents.

Winner: Pure Buffalo Chew
Entered by: Loving Pets UK
Judges’ comments: Everything about this product is good – good re-sealable packing, good value and good natural ingredients.

Winner: Drive Harness
Entered by: EzyDog
Judges’ comments: With car safety for pets high on everyone’s agenda with law changes in the pipeline, this dog harness was a unanimous winner. This well thought-out product incorporates good padding for comfort and safety.

Winner: Super Suet Starter Pack
Entered by: Unipet International
Judges’ comments: A great value product that is well packaged, making it attractive to the customer. It will also help to encourage more people to feed the birds in their garden.

Winner: SnuggleSafe I’ll Eat My Hat
Entered by: SnuggleSafe
Judges’ comments: It’s a fun product that will sell in big numbers because of its ‘pocket-money’ pricing.

Winner: WildWash Flea and Bug Spray with Horsetail, Eucalyptus and Nettle
Entered by: WildWash
Judges’ comments: The thought and development that went into this product is impressive, with ingredients being ethically sourced from four continents.

Winner: Dirty Dogs Have All The Fun Shampoo Range
Entered by: House of Paws
Judges’ comments: Stand-out packaging and a great price point will make this product fly off the shelves.

Winner: Pawsecco Wine For Dogs and Cats
Entered by: Woof & Brew
Judges’ comments: This product has a great price point, the ingredients are natural, and it looks like a gift. It caters for both cats and dogs, and can even be drunk by pet owners.


24th March, 2017.

Are you - or one of your staff or customers - Neue Schule’s Next Top Jockey?

The bitting company is running a social media based competition to win a year’s sponsorship contract.

Open to riders or drivers in all disciplines, at all levels and of all ages, amateur or professional, the winner will receive Neue Schule products, expert bitting advice and media exposure.

To enter the initial stage of the competition, equestrians should post a picture of themselves and their horse on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and caption the image in less than 100 words.

For entries to be considered, @NSbits must be tagged and mentioned and the hashtag #NSNextTopJockey used.

“Neue Schule is proud to have a fantastic team of sponsored riders and ambassadors, from Olympic eventers, to grass-roots dressage riders, right through to movie star stunt riders,” said company founder Heather Hyde.

“The Next Top Jockey competition is a great opportunity for someone who shares our ethos to join our team and get some extra support to help achieve their goals, no matter how big or small those might be.”

For more information on how to enter, visit Neue Schule on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Neue Schule is the main sponsor of BETA International.


24th March, 2017.

As drones and driverless vans do more deliveries, cyber-highwaymen are set to steal £1billion of items every year.

“Autonomous deliveries are already happening,” says David Jinks of online parcel broker ParcelHero.

“Amazon drones have delivered in Cambridgeshire, droids have carried food and goods in London and driverless vans are operating in Greenwich.

“But as technology takes over, a new generation of cyber-criminals will be bent on stealing from these automated machines.”

The last recorded traditional highwayman rode into the sunset in 1831. But experts say it’s likely 21st century Dick Turpins will soon be preying on retailers’ deliveries.

“UK internet retail sales are now worth over £133 billion a year,” adds David Jinks.

“If these deliveries become largely automated and just 1% of items are waylaid using new technology, that’s over £1bn of goods stolen a year.

“The traditional highwayman was reliant on a speedy horse to intercept the mail coach. But Black Bess will be replaced by scrambling and jamming equipment – or even pirate drones - intercepting or diverting deliveries.”


24th March, 2017.

A Wellington boot company - which made its debut at BETA International in January - is in line to receive a five figure award.

Rudds Wellies is a finalist in Devon’s Fast Track to Growth programme which recognises rapidly emerging firms in the county.

Backed by Devon County Council, the scheme’s overall winner will gain £20,000 worth of business support for the rest of 2017.

Rudds non-split riding wellies were launched at the end of last year by the company’s founder, Rachel Rudd.

“Being listed as a finalist is very exciting for us,” said Rachel. “As a new business, the support the programme provides would be hugely valuable, should we win. But even to be recognised is a real plus for us.”

Fast Track to Growth organiser Dan Pritchard said: “Rudds Wellies really impressed the judges. It’s a great brand with ambitious plans.”


13th March, 2017.

Online retailer Dressage Deluxe is to close later this year.

The business, which specialises in upmarket brands for dressage enthusiasts, was founded nine years ago by Alison Nye-Warden.

Dressage Deluxe had a high profile as former title sponsor of the British Dressage National Championships and has supported a number of riders and competitions.

The catalysts for closure, ETN understands, are Alison’s health and the recent departure of the business’s manager.

Alison was on holiday when ETN tried to contact her. Assistant Brea Sargent said she was unsure whether the Dressage Deluxe business or brand were on the market.

A closing down sale is currently underway.


13th March, 2017.

Olympic dressage silver medallist Spencer Wilton officially opened the new Fairfax Saddles factory in Walsall last week (9th March).

Fairfax Saddles now employs 120 people and has more than tripled in size over the last decade.

“The growth of the brand means we need extra space and we always wanted to open a separate factory, solely dedicated to Fairfax products,” said managing director Rupert Fairfax.

“We continue to manufacture Kent & Masters and Thorowgood products in our existing factories, just down the road.”

Fairfax Performance Bridles are also made in the new factory.

• Read the full story in the April issue of ETN.


13th March, 2017.

More than 72% of BETA International’s commercial space for next year’s show is already booked following last week's ‘early bird’ deposit deadline.

Large, established brands to small start-up businesses are set to take their places at the NEC, Birmingham for BETA International 2018 on 21 to 23 January.

Returning exhibitors include A Perry & Co, Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles from Australia, Danish Design Pet Products, Fits Riding from the US, Horse & Countryside magazine and Musto.

Platinum Agencies and The Golden Paste Company will be back with bigger stands.

Completely new signings include Busse Sportartikel & Co of Germany, Cheval & Rider Wear of Pakistan, Benz Equestrian of India plus the UK’s Saddlery Trade Services of Walsall and Thomas Grey.

“We are extremely pleased that so many companies booked ahead of the deposit deadline,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

“It’s a fantastic endorsement of the trade fair as the ultimate industry buying event and the number one business platform for developing domestic and overseas markets.”

Following the high early uptake, stands remain available from £1,038 plus VAT in a selection of high-profile locations, added James.

“BETA International offers the perfect and cost-effective solution for companies seeking to secure a foothold in a global market.”

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

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


10th March, 2017.

Westgate EFI (WEFI) has engaged safety expert Paul Varnsverry to handle standards, testing and quality-related matters for its Gatehouse and Rodney Powell brands.

WEFI, a distributor, is the parent company of Design Headwear Limited which provides the technical expertise behind Gatehouse helmets and Rodney Powell body protectors.

Mr Varnsverry is technical director of the PVA-PPE Group, a company specialising in helping manufacturers develop, test and certify protective clothing.

A former chairman of various standards committees, he was convenor of the European Standards committee responsible for the equestrian body protector standard: EN 13158.

Over 20 years, Mr Varnsverry has worked with manufacturers of equestrian body protection, sports protection and motorcycle clothing as well as police riot equipment and head protection.

“It’s a privilege to work with the Gatehouse and Rodney Powell brands”, he said.

“Products like the HS1 jockey skull are icons of the equestrian world and to be associated with their continuing development and the safety of past, current and future customers of the brands is an exciting prospect.”

• ETN looks at the latest developments in equestrian safety gear in our April issue.


6th March, 2017.

UK companies are missing out on up to £27 billion of sales by prioritising the millennial market over baby boomers.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of businesses focus their efforts on younger people, according to research by The Institute of Customer Service (ICS).

And that bias means firms are forfeiting a large chunk of the so called silver pound - said (by the Office For National Statistics) to be worth up to £43 billion a year.

A greater focus on the older market would be more lucrative for businesses across a number of sectors, say researchers.

Yet they found that British companies have a long way to go to meet baby boomers’ needs. Almost half (49%) of over 50s claim they have stopped buying products because of bad service and one in five say that “employees lack the skills to meet my needs.”

Asked what influences their spending, millennials and baby boomers are driven by trust (53% and 55% respectively). They are also equally likely to purchase based on recommendation.

Both place high importance on clear communication from staff and good complaint handling, and equal emphasis on courteousness and respect for customers.

However, baby boomer spending is significantly swayed by excellent service, with 48% citing this as the most important factor influencing their spend, compared with 24% of millennials.

When it comes to contacting businesses, both generations like email.

Baby boomers expect to be able to contact companies through telephone (84%) or face to face contact (55%), with little expectation to make contact through apps (6%) and social media (8%).

Millennials favour a multi-channel approach, with the majority expecting contact to be possible through all modes of communication.

However, 30% of business leaders have not considered providing different styles of customer service to different ages.

“Baby boomers are sending out a clear message to British boardrooms,” says Jo Causon of ICS.

“They will spend money if service standards are improved and if they believe that they matter to an organisation.”

• A recent study by Nielsen revealed 50% of the population is over 50 with these baby boomers having control of over 70% of all disposable income.


6th March, 2017.

The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show is to have a new layout for 2017.

Organisers are also offering 10% off stand space for bookings taken before 31 March.

The show runs from Wednesday to Sunday, 14 to 18 June at Bolesworth Castle near Chester with international show jumping and dressage plus family entertainment and shopping.

Visitors will be taken through the trade stand village as they enter and leave the showground, say organisers.

“We’re really excited about the new design which will provide good viewing for all visitors and plenty of footfall for the trade stand holders,” said show president Nina Barbour.

Scott Rowley is overseeing Bolesworth’s trade stands having taken over from event co-ordinator Howard Blythe.


6th March, 2017.

Shop assistants can claim a free shirt for themselves when they sell ten to customers.

The incentive scheme was announced last week by active-wear brand Kastel.

To claim their free shirt, each retail assistant needs to send receipts as proof of their sales, with their name written on them, to UK distributor Zebra Products. They can then pick any shirt from Kastel’s range.

“Your team will really look the part. It’s also a great opportunity to generate some healthy competition,” says Zebra Products.


6th March, 2017.

The chief executive of BASC, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, has been dismissed for gross misconduct.

Richard Ali was sacked following the publication last week (2 March) by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) of a summary of an independent investigation undertaken by an external law firm.

Mr Ali was suspended on full pay on 26 May 2016 following concerns raised by BASC’s elected council – to whom the chief executive is accountable – regarding employment issues at the association.

Mr Ali was dismissed without notice after an internal disciplinary hearing on 19 December 2016 for conduct which amounted to gross misconduct and which, it was concluded, irretrievably undermined the relationship of trust and confidence in him.

That decision was upheld following an appeal hearing on February 24, 2017. The disciplinary hearings considered 43 allegations against Mr Ali.

In particular, Mr Ali was accused of misusing association funds to support an unauthorised internal investigation, using investigations as a means to bully and control employees and also displaying culpable negligence which placed the association at risk.

Following Mr Ali’s suspension, BASC’s council commissioned an independent investigation by specialist employment lawyers Chambers O’Neill to review a number of staffing and employment issues. Their report was reviewed in turn by leading employment barrister Sean Jones QC.

John Thornley, vice chairman of BASC, said: “BASC is a responsible employer with a duty of care to our staff and the responsibility to protect the use of members’ subscriptions.

“An exhaustive and thorough investigation took place. As a result of the subsequent report, disciplinary hearings were held in relation to a series of allegations involving the bullying of staff, failure to follow the association’s policies, intimidation, misuse of the association’s funds and dishonesty.”

Peter Glenser, chairman of BASC, said: “It has been a difficult time, but the association is now satisfied it has taken proportionate, legal action to put matters right. We are still constrained by certain legal obligations about what we can say publicly, but our members should be assured that due process has been followed and a full report will be presented at the AGM [in June].

“The association will now commence the search for a new chief executive.”

Richard Ali was appointed chief executive of BASC in October 2012.


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: