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17th October, 2017.

Personalities from the worlds of sport and television are set to appear at BETA International 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham, on 21 – 23 January.

Eventing’s William Fox-Pitt and television personality Amanda Owen - the Yorkshire Shepherdess, will enthral and entertain visitors to BETA International in January.

Amanda and William will be in the Charles Owen Hub – the trade fair’s theatre stage - on Monday 22 January talking about their lives and careers.

William will share anecdotes and memories as he looks back on many years at the top of his sport. The father-of-four, who suffered serious head trauma in 2015 in a cross country fall, will chart his road to recovery and participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Amanda, a busy mother of nine children, will provide an insight into her life as a shepherdess on a 2,000-acre hill farm, Ravenseat, at the top of Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales.

The best-selling author appears on television shows The Dales, Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild and Countrywise.

“We are thrilled that William and Amanda are coming to the show,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “They are sure to be a real hit with our visitors and exhibitors.”

• Find out more about BETA International at


16th October, 2017.

Four finalists for the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Equine Thesis of the Year award have been named.

A quartet of undergraduates has made it to the finals of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Equine Thesis of the Year award have been announced.

The contest highlights students’ academic research, with entries received from 11 UK and Irish universities and colleges running equine-related degree courses.

The 2017 finalists are:
• Reaseheath College – Louise Swindells. Thesis: An Investigation into the Efficacy of Steaming Hay for Horses.
• The Royal Veterinary College – Rebecca Standen. Thesis: Stability of Equine Atypical Myopathy-Associated Toxins in Serums and Plant Tissues.
• University of Limerick – Sandra Hurley. Thesis: The Effect of Commercially Available Equine Influenza Vaccines on the Risk and Level of Virus Shedding; A Meta-Analysis.
• Warwickshire College – Lee Ann Imboden. Thesis: Investor Demographics and Psychographics in the Thoroughbred Yearling Market.

The students will present their theses to a judging panel during a reception at the Woodland Grange Hotel, near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on Sunday, 29 October.

The judging is open to the public and members of the academic community. Those wishing to attend should telephone BETA office beforehand on 01937 587062.

The winner and runner-up will be awarded a trophies and cash prizes.

The judges are: research consultant Dr Georgina Crossman, Equestrian Trade News editor Liz Benwell, independent nutritionist Dr Catherine Dunnett, and equine vet and author Karen Coumbe.

“The level of undergraduate work submitted has been of an extremely high calibre and really reflects the quality of study being carried out at our universities,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“Selecting the finalists is always tough, but our judges have done a fantastic job in narrowing the field down to the remaining four. We are all looking forward to hearing the presentations and wish each of the candidates the very best of luck.”


16th October, 2017.

Funding from the Rural Development Programme for England is helping a supplier launch two new products.

Silvermoor Haylage is to introduce two new products - Silvermoor Swingers and Treatsies - with the help of a Leader Programme grant from the Rural Development Programme for England.

The grant, worth a total of £76,140, amounts to 40% of the total project.

The Alnwick, Northumberland based company has been producing haylage since 1992.

Silvermoor Haylage is one of 12 businesses taking part in the inaugural Entrepreneurs’ Forum Scale-up Leader’s Academy.

The 50-hour programme, spread over 12 months, is designed for owners of high-growth companies who want to scale-up speedily through the programme’s workshops, coaching, mentoring and learning sessions.

Ralph Thompson, managing director of Silvermoor Haylage, said he was particularly proud of the new products.

“We’ve applied for a patent for Silvermoor Swingers as it will be the only hanging forage block on the market,” he said. “We have every confidence that it will help to take our company to the next step.”

Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, added: “We have a strong, diverse range of entrepreneurial businesses operating in the north-east, and it’s important that we have a system in place to support the growth ambitions of the region’s companies.

“The Scale-Up Leader’s Academy is the ideal way for entrepreneurs to come together with likeminded people who have the ambition to grow their business quickly. It helps them to identify and overcome the barriers to scaling-up and to build a clear plan that will allow them to achieve their vision and goals.”

The Rural Development Programme for England is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.

More information at


13th October, 2017.

All horses do droppings, even the equine stars of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). But help was at hand last week thanks to the new Red Gorilla brand.

A superior pooper-scooper has won a ringing endorsement from equestrian arena specialist Andrews Bowen.

Earlier this year, Faulks & Cox Ltd (FCL) acquired Speedskip. Having improved the registered design, the company is now marketing it as The Red Gorilla Big Tidee.

Last week at HOYS, Red Gorilla Big Tidees were used by the arena party in the Andrews Bowen International Arena throughout the show.

Now the arena supplier says it likes the product so much, it’s giving one away with every riding surface installed.

“We’re really pleased to recommend the Red Gorilla Big Tidee to promote maximum performance and longevity of arena surfaces,” said a spokesman for Andrews Bowen.

“Wow!” was the reaction from Katherine Tuckley, sales executive at FCL/Red Gorilla. “Could it get any better than that?

“Adding a long rake to the Tidee range has been welcomed with open arms by consumers.”

FCL is finalising the launch of its new Red Gorilla brand. Due to make its equestrian debut at BETA International (21 – 23 January), Red Gorilla will bring all the tubs and tools supplier’s brands under one umbrella.

• Find out in ETN how stockists are being catered for during the transition to Red Gorilla.


3rd October, 2017.

Troubled rural retailer says it’s in talks with a buyer for its stores.

Countrywide Farmers is making “encouraging progress” towards a sale of its retail stores to Mole Valley Farmers.

However in the light of other developments today, the Countrywide Board has suspended trading in its shares with immediate effect.

In April, Countrywide Farmers announced it was considering selling off its 53 Countrywide stores.

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

Announcing “exclusive discussions” with Mole Valley Farmers, Countrywide says it hopes to conclude negotiations by the end of this year.

“This represents an excellent opportunity to secure the future of the retail business with an established sector leading company for our customers and employees,” said Countrywide’s directors in a statement.

The company also confirmed today that it has completed the sale for £1 million of its 80% shareholding in MSF Welland Valley Feeds to the existing management team.

MSF Welland Valley Feeds comprises a single retail store based in Market Harborough which operates as a standalone business. Net proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Countrywide’s bank facilities.

Countrywide is also in the process of winding down and transferring its Turf and Amenity business to an alternative provider, enabling the Turf and Amenity team to continue to serve customers under new ownership.

Its LPG business continues to trade in line with expectations.


2nd October, 2017.

A new partnership aims to promote equine health and education.

Boehringer Ingelheim, said to be the world’s biggest equine health business, has joined forces with the FEI – the global governing body for horse sport - to promote equine health and education.

The new partnership, announced in Barcelona during last week’s Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final, is part of a three-year deal.

Under the arrangement, Boehringer Ingelheim becomes ‘FEI equine health partner’ and ‘FEI Campus partner’.

FEI Campus ( is an e-learning site which gives equestrians free access to experts. Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, will collaborate with the FEI on content.


2nd October, 2017.

Nominations have opened for the 2018 BETA/SEIB Retailer of the Year award.

The search is on to find the winners of the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA) 2018 SEIB Retailer of the Year awards.

Members of the public are invited to nominate a tack shop, saddlery, feed merchant or website offering exemplary service.

Nominations can be made online at or by completing a form in-store until the 24 November deadline.

This year, the award features a slightly different format from previous occasions, with two categories instead of four – Equestrian Retail Store and Online/Mail Order Retailer.

The award is sponsored by SEIB Insurance Brokers and celebrates the different faces of equestrian retailing throughout the UK. All aspects of good retailing practice are considered, including store displays, catalogues, websites, store layouts, presentation, cleanliness, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and delivery times.

Everyone who puts forward a retailer for the award – one of the 2018 BETA Business Awards – will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Collegiate leather saddle.

“The Retailer of the Year award is a fantastic way for SEIB to support equestrian retailers,” said the company's marketing manager, Nicolina Mackenzie. “They work extremely hard day in, day out, to provide an invaluable service to horse owners and riders, and we wanted to recognise and reward this.”

The award is open to all equestrian retailers – they do not have to be BETA members – and the winners will be announced during the BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Monday 22 January.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome back the SEIB Retailer of the Year for 2018,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “It is a great way to celebrate excellence in equestrian retailing, ensuring that customers can shop with confidence.”

• See the full list of 2018 BETA Business Awards and how to nominate in the October issue of ETN.


29th September, 2017.

Rider takes a break from her day job to scoop a top dressage title.

Abi Unwin, marketing manager at Zebra Products, became Preliminary Silver champion at the British Dressage National Championships earlier this month.

Competing at Stoneleigh Park, Abi clinched the national title riding Arleys Dun Deal (Drummer) with 73.51%. The six-year-old gelding is owned by Alison Unwin, Lisa Deauville and Diane Koziarski.

“I’m over the moon but also a little surprised as I didn’t expect it at all,” said Abi. “I would have been more than happy with a top ten placing so to win was just fantastic.”

Abi, who usually events, only began competing at regional championship level in dressage this year. But novice and elementary championships now look likely to be on her agenda.

Zebra Products is the UK distributor for a number of European brands including Amerigo, Bucas and Sprenger.


22nd September, 2017.

Organisers of the international fixture say they’ve “listened to feedback.”

This year’s Liverpool International Horse Show has a new layout for its trade stands.

Running Friday to Sunday, December 29 to 31 at the city’s Echo Arena, the show hosts top class show jumping and dressage plus shopping, entertainment and eateries.

For the first time this year, trade stands will be located in the venue’s Piazza entrance level as well as in the lower hall (Hall 2) next to the collecting ring and champagne bar.

“We’ve listened to feedback on the show and trade stand layout and have tried our best to accommodate everyone’s thoughts and ideas,” said show president Nina Barbour.

“Having trade stands on the Piazza will encourage visitors into the show and assist with the flow of spectators to all the trade stand locations.”

Hospitality for Christmas parties or business entertaining is available in the purpose-built platform at the head of the arena or in one of the VIP boxes.


22nd September, 2017.

Organisers have just announced some of the new names and returning exhibitors for the 2018 trade fair.

Brands to be seen at BETA International will include new names and some not seen at the show for a while.

For the first time in 12 years, Woof Wear is to exhibit. Westgate EFI (home of Mark Todd) and Elico Equestrian are back after a year’s break.

An eclectic mix of new exhibitors includes The Original Muck Boot Co, Walsall wholesaler Saddlery Trade Services and Omega Equine (from feed company Falcon).

Another newcomer is Busse Sportartikel with products for horse and rider designed in Germany.

A number of exhibitors who appeared at BETA International earlier this year will return with bigger stands in January 2018.

Musto has increased its stand size by almost 40%. Northants based leather and workshop tools supplier Tandy Leather will have a stand around 75% larger.

Stable hardware specialist A Perry is also set to occupy a much expanded stand at the show.

• To find out more about visiting or exhibiting at BETA International 2018, click onto


22nd September, 2017.

Manufacturing and warehousing are on the up at this hardware specialist’s West Midlands base.

HRH The Duke of Kent officially opened a 100,000 sq ft warehouse and factory at A Perry & Co (Hinges) yesterday (21 September).

The expansion gives A. Perry – best known in the equestrian trade for its stable hardware - warehousing capacity of more than 140,000 sq ft.

The Duke unveiled a plaque to mark a £4 million investment by the family-owned company.

• See a full report and picture in the October issue of ETN.


22nd September, 2017.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) has appointed a new president.

The SMS AGM at York Racecourse saw Sue Norton take up her presidency of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

Sue is well known as a retailer running C.H. Brown & Son Saddlery in Oxford. She also heads up the Saddle Doctors saddle fitting business with her husband Mike Norton.

Sue takes over from Ken Lyndon Dykes for whom she has been acting SMS president during Ken’s ill health. Chris Taylor becomes vice president.

“I am honoured and proud to be the new Society of Master Saddlers’ president,” said Sue.


21st September, 2017.

The founder of a countryside lifestyle brand has been shortlisted for a national award.

Marc Brown, creator of countryside label Sporting Hares, has made the regional finals of the 2017 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The 28 year old, who hails from mid-Wales, has been short-listed in the Young Entreprenur of the Year category. More than 1,000 businesses entered the awards nationally.

Now in its fifth year, previous award winners include David Buttress of Just Eat, Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company and Alexander Solomou of TheLADBible Group.

"This is a fantastic honour in reflection of the hard work we have put in to our brand,” said Marc Brown. "Entrepreneurship is a driving factor in the British economy, creating jobs and supporting regional infrastructures.”

Congratulating the short-listed entrants, Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship at NatWest said: "It’s clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”

Regional finals of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards take place in Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.


19th September, 2017.

Find out how to use merchandising, advertising and social media to commercial advantage at an event designed to ‘make a difference’ to your business.

A line-up of expert speakers has been engaged for the 2017 BETA Conference later this month (Monday, 30 October).

They will address topical, business related issues during the one day annual event at the Woodland Grange Hotel, near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

Speakers on this year’s theme of ‘making a difference’ are:

Tim Knight, of St James's Place Wealth Management, a FTSE 100 company, who gives an economic update.

Political commentator John Arnold who looks at Brexit.

M&C Saatchi account director Leanne Silman on the power of advertising.

International Paralympic dressage rider Bert Sheffield is the event's motivational guest speaker.

Biomedical engineer Tom Connor delivers an insight into ongoing research into rider concussion by University College Dublin.

Content marketing specialist Harvey Smith highlights the ways in which social media can be used to build business.

Visual Thinking’s Kirsty Kean shows how effective merchandising works

And Phil Stratton reveals why new data protection regulations are set to affect companies.

“The day provides an ideal opportunity for members to find out about the latest news and developments affecting our sector, and to hear pertinent presentations that are highly relevant to them,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“We hope that as many delegates as possible will attend this important annual event, which is perfect for everyone from retailers and manufacturers to distributors and university lecturers.”

The conference is open to BETA members at a cost of £45 plus VAT and non-members for £75 plus VAT. The AGM, held earlier in the day, is exclusively for BETA members.

The trade association is also offering an accommodation package – bed-and-breakfast and an evening meal with fellow BETA delegates the previous evening at a preferential rate. This is ideal for those who would like to attend the BETA Equine Thesis of the Year awards presentation, which takes place at the same venue on Sunday, 29 October.

• For more details or to book, contact Tina Hustler in the BETA office, telephone 01937 587062 or email

Click here for booking form


19th September, 2017.

Why companies yet to book for BETA International should make up their minds this week.

This Friday (22 September) is the final deadline to get the best stand locations at BETA International 2018.

Companies booking and paying a 10% deposit by the end of this week - and meeting the final balance deadline of 10 November - also secure a 5% rebate* on the net cost of their stands.

“All we need is an application form and a 10% deposit by Friday,” says James Palmer of BETA International.

“Stand allocation begins on Monday morning (25th September) and happens on a first come, first served basis.

“So for financial and stand location reasons, it definitely pays to book this week!”

There’s another reason not to delay booking a BETA International stand. The show at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January is already more than 85% sold.

To secure your stand, contact James Palmer on telephone +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

*Terms and conditions apply


14th September, 2017.

Fun and games will be had at the grand opening of a new equestrian superstore in Cheshire this weekend.

Hope Valley Saddlery officially opens its 18,000 sq ft superstore at Somerford Park Equestrian Centre (EC) in Cheshire on Saturday.

Proprietors Nigel and Judy Young are laying on fun and games, discounts and competitions from 10am on Saturday, 23 September. Everyone is welcome.

“It’s five times bigger than our other store [at Beaver Hall EC in Staffordshire],” Judy told ETN. “We tried to open quietly a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been inundated [with customers] already.”

Event rider Jonty Evans and Art, the horse he famously kept via a crowd-funding campaign, will be special guests at Hope Valley’s new store official opening.

Visitors can also have fun with goody bags, a photo booth linked to Instagram, a bouncy castle, bucking bronco and ice creams. Discounts can be won on the spin of a roulette wheel or by biting into cup-cakes.

“Our suppliers have been fantastic coming up with prizes and ideas for our fun and games theme,” said Judy.

Several big brands have taken in-store ‘shops’ within the new superstore. Pikeur, Schockemöhle and HV Polo are among those with merchandised booths.

The postcode for Hope Valley Saddlery at Somerford Park EC is CW12 4SW.


14th September, 2017.

A saddlery and accessories collection has a new UK and Ireland distributor.

United Sportsproducts Germany (USG) was appointed distributor of Tekna products to the UK and Irish trade earlier this month (1 September).

USG, a German based wholesaler, has distributed the brand to eight other European countries since 2008.

Tekna combines leather and synthetic materials in its range of saddles, girths, stirrup leathers, martingales and horse boots.

“Tekna is a global brand and USG has the largest amount of stock held by any distributor internationally,” Stefan Schwanbeck of USG told ETN.


11th September, 2017.

Merchandise to mark a much anticipated new equestrian themed movie is available from a leading supplier.

Retailers can cash in as My Little Pony: The Movie hits cinema screens across the globe next month (October).

Jenkinsons Equestrian has stocked up with themed merchandise in readiness for the animated film’s arrival.

Once the subject of a 1980s television series, the 2017 launch of My Little Pony: The Movie means the endearing characters now appeal to mums and daughters.

Indeed, Jenkinsons has merchandise for all ages, from stationery sets and toys for children to key rings and a My Little Pony retro mug for adults.

Find out more in Jenkinsons’ new catalogue, due to be mailed to the trade later this month (September).

Meanwhile, enjoy a preview of My Little Pony: The Movie here


11th September, 2017.

A Europe-wide distribution deal has been announced by a British company.

Abbey England is to represent Clayton Leather Group - including J&E Sedgwick - across Europe.

The new arrangement was announced at last week’s Spoga trade fair in Germany.

“We are delighted to see this prestigious brand added to the list of products, brands and services we offer,” said Richard Brown of Abbey England.

“We are looking forward to working with the team at Clayton Leather Group and to increase distribution throughout Europe.”

A specialist in leather and craft workshop supplies, Abbey England is to re-introduce saddlers’ pincers to its tool range from next month (October).


11th September, 2017.

This autumn sees a manager go to work for a different bedding company.

Peter Forster is joining bedding company Nedz as national sales manager.

Having worked in sales for many years, Peter was most recently with Bedmax Shavings for 16 years.

From a Northumberland farming family, Peter’s early career saw him working in racing. Among his achievements was breaking-in the 2001 Grand National winner Red Marauder.

Said Lisa Cooper, managing director of Nedz: “I’m very excited to have Peter join our team and help us grow the brand even more.”


11th September, 2017.

This award-winning employee has worked for a West Midlands retailer for more than 25 years.

Liz Harker of Solihull based Horse Sense has been named Helmet Fitter of the Month in a global award by Charles Owen.

“The award goes to Liz for her commitment to exceptional hat fitting and extensive product knowledge,” said Jasmine Wallace of the hat manufacturer.

Liz, who has worked for Horse Sense for more than 25 years, is also a qualified SMS (Society of Master Saddlers) saddle fitter and Airowear body protector fitter. She has two horses of her own.

“Liz is particularly patient and really perseveres when she’s fitting children with hats,” said a colleague. “She’s very good at working out different people’s head shapes and finding a hat to suit them.”

Jenn Crawford of Bahr Saddlery in Hornby, Ontario, Canada was the Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month runner-up.

She was rewarded for her “meticulous” hat fitting skills.


4th September, 2017.

A Norfolk based manufacturer is “taking back marketing control” of its equine range.

Barrier Animal Healthcare terminated its exclusive distribution agreement with wholesaler Battles last week (29 August).

Now the Norfolk based manufacturer is once again making its equine range of Barrier products available to all equestrian wholesalers and resellers.

“Exclusivity arrangements for the marketing of our equine range had not achieved the expected added value,” said Nigel Black, managing director of Barrier Animal Healthcare.

“As we approach our 30th anniversary celebrations, taking back marketing control over our equine product range will enable us to introduce new formulations providing a step change in how we can help horse owners to manage their pest and disease challenges more effectively.”

Barrier is also introducing a collection of BioBarrier pest control products for human, home and garden use.

Battles did not wish to comment.


4th September, 2017.

The sole UK wholesaler of a well-known horse care range has been unveiled.

Trilanco has become the exclusive UK wholesaler for Carr & Day & Martin, the Lancashire based company announced today (4 September).

Carr & Day & Martin, which manufactures premium horse care products, is also based in the north-west of England.

Under the deal, Trilanco will offer Carr & Day & Martin products to the trade in individual units.

Carr & Day & Martin, founded in 1765, is believed to be Britain’s oldest company involved in the manufacturing of horse care products.

In 2006, the company was acquired by The Tangerine Group.

Carr & Day & Martin products encompass four care categories: leather, coat, hoof and health care.


4th September, 2017.

A fresh brand joins an equine toys and treats specialist’s stable.

Talisker Bay, the company behind the Likit and Stud Muffins brands, has acquired Bizzy Bites stable toys.

Multi-functional Bizzy Bites comprise a robust framework housing a long-lasting lick.

“This is an exciting development for us,” says brand manager Lindsay Gall.

“Bizzy Bites will sit well alongside our other brands, being innovative, attractive and of high quality.”

Talisker Bay is already looking at ways to develop the Bizzy Bites range, added Lindsay.


4th September, 2017.

Retailers can wrap up their rug orders with a great discount deal on a best seller from a leading supplier.

Throughout September, Snowhill Trade Saddlery is offering trade customers a 25% discount off a popular winter weight rug.

The best-selling Rhinegold Aspen Outdoor Rug has a 1,000 denier, ripstop, waterproof, breathable outer with waxed stitching and taped seams for protection from the elements.

A breathable nylon lining keeps the horse’s coat smooth and helps alleviate rubbing.

With a snug, 350gsm Polyfill and full neck design, this cosy rug keeps horses warm when the weather gets bleak.

The Rhinegold Aspen Outdoor Rug is available in jet black with smart twin red/black bindings.

It’s a reliable, volume selling rug, says distributor Snowhill, with the added bonus of 25% off trade price for September.

“Our aim is to help retailers achieve sales while end users get great value for money,” says a Snowhill spokesman.

More details at or email for a trade application form.


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: