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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.


28th February, 2017.

A retailer has been told to stop marketing diatomaceous earth based products for use as animal wormers.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) issued the instruction in an improvement notice to Diatom Retail Limited this week.

The government agency warned the Leicester based retailer that promoting diatomaceous earth based products as a wormer was contrary to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR).

Diatom Retail was told to remove from its marketing material all medicinal claims identified by VMD.

The retailer must also confirm in writing that no further attempts will be made to market its products for the purpose of worming animals without proper authorisation.

Diatom Retail advertises diatomaceous earth based products for pets, horses and humans. The company describes itself as the largest retail and trade distributor of diatomaceous earth in the UK and Europe.

According to Wikipedia, diatomaceous earth is an easily crumbled rock made from the fossilised remains of hard-shelled algae known as diatoms.


28th February, 2017.

As some City bankers face a 9 to 5 drinking ban, should you too be calling time on your employees’ alcohol consumption? And can you do so legally? Paul Kelly has the answers...

Given its reputation for excess, perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked by yet another alcohol-related news story emanating from the City of London.

But this time, far from being depressing news about the bad behaviour of fat cat bankers, the issue causing shockwaves is the decision by Lloyds of London to ban its staff from drinking alcohol between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

The rule has been introduced as a response to the significant number of alcohol-related disciplinary issues which Lloyds claims it regularly faces. Lloyds suggests alcohol was a relevant factor in around half of the grievance and disciplinary issues it has dealt with over the last two years - and clearly feels it has a legitimate business objective in introducing this policy.

Lloyds employees – the new rule doesn’t affect self-employed brokers and underwriters - could now find themselves being disciplined and sacked for gross misconduct if they are caught partaking of what many perceive as the tradition (if not the enshrined right!) of City workers to have a ‘refreshing beverage’ at lunchtime.

Many observers hail this a step in the right direction - and simply part of a move towards a more responsible financial industry which has historically been plagued with tales of alcoholic excess.

But others see it as unnecessary totalitarian action - the argument being that City workers should (and can) be trusted to drink responsibly without the need for employers to impose draconian restrictions.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Lloyds’ decision to ban daytime drinking, it does raise an interesting question: How far can an employer can go to prevent employees consuming alcohol during working hours?

The answer is simple. Lloyds is well within its rights in imposing this ban, no matter how disgruntled its staff may feel.

However, any major policy changes (regardless of their nature) need to be carefully thought through before they are implemented. For example, might a policy have an unintended – but detrimental - effect on a particular section of its workforce connected with protected characteristics such as sex, race, religion, age, and so on.

At risk of taking an extreme view, might an inflexible “no exceptions” ban on the consumption of alcohol during the day be said to disadvantage Christian employees wishing to be free to take communion during their lunch hour?

The most important issue for Lloyds is to ensure that this policy is enforced in an even-handed manner. With such an historic and ingrained drinking culture existing within the City of London, any transgressions of the new ban must be dealt with swiftly, fairly and, above all, consistently.

If Lloyds was to turn a blind eye to one employee’s transgression, but decided to discipline (and perhaps dismiss) as a response to the transgression of another, it would open itself up to a potential claim for unfair dismissal on the grounds of inconsistent treatment.

• If you have questions as to how a drinking ban, or any similar ban, can affect your workplace you can email Paul Kelly at Blacks Solicitors on


27th February, 2017.

Spillers has appointed Amy Rogers as regional sales manager for the south-west.

Amy joins the feed company after three years with Mole Valley Farmers. She worked on the retailer’s customer services team, then as company trainer.

A Devon farmer’s daughter, Amy learnt to ride aged five on a pony that had come straight off the moor. She went on to join the Pony Club, has show jumped and evented.

Nowadays Amy enjoys training youngsters and ex-racehorses.

Of her new job with Spillers, Amy said: “It’s an exciting opportunity for me to develop the south-west. I’m looking forward to building mutual and beneficial working relationships with all my clients.”


24th February, 2017.

BETA International has named Bransby Horses its chosen charity for 2018.

The Lincolnshire-based equine welfare charity will enjoy a high profile at next year’s show with an information stand and session in The Hub.

“We’ve been rescuing, rehabilitating, rehoming and providing sanctuary care for five decades, helping thousands of equines,” said the charity’s chief executive officer Jo Snell.

“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2018, BETA International will provide us with an excellent opportunity to build links in the corporate sector.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “Bransby Horses is renowned for the tremendous service it offers to equines in need and we are extremely pleased that Jo and her team have accepted our invitation to come on board.

“As our chosen charity, Bransby Horses will be able to showcase its crucial work and engage with influential members of the trade. We are really looking forward to working with them over the coming months.”

• BETA International 2018 is at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January. Find out more at


21st February, 2017.

Beth Crow has joined the team at Equestrian Trade News (ETN).

She will be working alongside advertising sales manager Nicki Lewis.

Beth has already met many people in the trade via her work on ETN’s sister publication British Equestrian Directories and at BETA International.

A life-long rider, Beth has her own horse which she competes.

“ETN is held in high regard, so I feel privileged to be joining the team,” she said. “I’m bursting with fresh ideas which I’m keen to share with readers and advertisers.”

Beth can be contacted on tel 01937 582111 or


21st February, 2017.

Laurence Pearman has been awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

The presentation was made by HRH The Princess Royal at a gathering for the society’s National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers’ Hall in London earlier this month.

The owner of Cirencester Saddlery, Laurence was SMS president in 2004 and 2012.

He is a Liveryman of the Saddlers’ Company, chairman of the SMS south-west region and sits on many committees to help develop saddlery and saddle fitting.

“Laurence is a great supporter of apprenticeships having trained many of them over the years,” said the society’s chief executive Hazel Morley.

“He regularly lectures and assesses for the society’s saddle fitting course as well as assisting with the saddlery skill assessments and flocking qualification.”

Laurence said his Fellowship was “a very special honour to receive. I knew absolutely nothing about it. The award was a very well-kept secret and is just brilliant.”


21st February, 2017.

Ariat Europe has appointed James Wilson as vice president of sales and marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

His previous job was general manager at 2XU, an Australian technical sports brand.

Over 20 years, James has worked with Hunter, Lacoste Chaussures and Canterbury of New Zealand.

“I’m delighted to have joined Ariat - a brand I’ve admired for many years,” said James who lives in rural Derbyshire.


20th February, 2017.

BETA International has agreed with the NEC that the show will continue at the Birmingham venue until at least 2020.

The show organisers have also announced dates for the next three years’ shows.

• BETA International 2018 - 21-23 January
• BETA International 2019 - 20-22 January
• BETA International 2020 - 19-21 January

BETA International moved to the NEC, Britain’s best known exhibition complex, in 1995. It was previously held at Sandown Park and before that travelled around the country.

“Many global players in our industry plan their new launches and initiatives around BETA International,” said show organiser Claire Thomas.

“So I’m sure our exhibitors and visitors alike will find it helpful to get these dates into their diaries as soon as possible.”

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International. Find out more at


14th February, 2017.

Staggered payment plans and early commitment discounts add up to significant savings for companies booking to exhibit at BETA International 2018.

Together with a prompt payment scheme, the offers provide a handy rebate of up to 7.5% of stand costs – as well as easing exhibitors’ cashflow.

The opportunity to pay for stands by direct debit over eight months was introduced as an easy payment option. BETA International organisers report that many more exhibitors are taking advantage ahead of the 2018 show.

To qualify for the early commitment discount and prompt payment rebate, stands should be booked by 3 March, deposits received by 22 September and the final payment made by 10 November.

“The discount and payment scheme offered is a great incentive for exhibitors to sign up for next year’s show. It’s another way in which we can show our support and commitment to the equestrian trade,” said Claire Thomas, BETA International organiser.

BETA International 2018 takes place on 21 – 23 January at the NEC, Birmingham.

For a full show prospectus or more information, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

• Read all about last month’s BETA International in ETN February issue.


14th February, 2017.

Retailers from Florida and Nottingham have been named the first Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month and runner-up.

The new initiative is designed to highlight helmet fitters around the world and their dedication to finding the perfect riding hat for every rider.

The Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month for January is Charlie Morgan from Hadfield’s Saddlery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.

Charlie enjoys working with the diverse array of customers who visit Hadfield’s. He credits store owner Cindy Hadfield for teaching him everything he knows about fitting during the ten years he’s worked there.

Charlie’s top tip? When it comes to finding the right fit, the helmet must be absolutely secure.

Runner up is Michelle Martin from The Ranch Store near Nottingham.

Michelle has been there since 2005 and earned a reputation as the hat fitting queen, said the judging team at Charles Owen.

Michelle’s top tip? Always be professionally fitted for a new helmet.


13th February, 2017.

Stress in the workplace is often unavoidable. It’s how we deal with it in ourselves and others that counts, says Nick Steele.

A social style is the behaviours we exhibit when interacting with others. Being aware of your own social style can help you to develop better relationships, particularly at work.

It affects everything from the amount of eye contact we give, to our facial expressions and body language such as gesturing. It also affects how we behave in different situations, such as our response to stress in the workplace.

The analytical psychologist Carl Jung identified the four social styles by defining how we react to the world around us in terms of our energy (introversion and extraversion) and how we approach tasks (thinking and feeling).

Many different ways to describe them have been developed since Jung’s original work, including using the four colours and the descriptors Driver, Expressive, Amiable and Analytical.

Understanding how people display these styles allows us to identify if they are experiencing stress - and what level of stress they are experiencing by the behaviours they display.

To use the four colours tool to best advantage, we need to know what that style’s ‘good-day’ and ‘bad-day’ behaviours are like:

Drivers tend to be fiery, passionate, bold and extroverted. They can also be competitive, talkative and courageous. Drivers are direct communicators. On a bad-day they will be aggressive, insensitive, won’t listen and will push others too hard.

Expressive personalities tend to be enthusiastic, bright, creative, flamboyant, involved and also extroverted. Expressives are friendly and sociable. On a bad-day they lose focus, become totally disorganised, be indiscrete and become emotional.

Amiable personalities tend to be earthy, caring, compassionate, quiet, observant, thoughtful and introverted. Amiables are considerate and caring. On a bad-day they become stubborn, take everything personally, totally withdraw and be unable to make a decision.

Analytical personalities tend to be accurate, precise, methodical, careful, deliberate, intimate, reserved and are also introverted. Analyticals like to be thorough and well prepared. On a bad-day they become paralysed by analysis, demand too much information, are critical and insensitive.

Everybody exhibits qualities of all four categories, although we tend to have preferences and so may exhibit more behavioural traits from one or two of the styles over the others.

Jung described us as having two social styles; the first is the mask we put on at work and the second is the real us.

Think about this for a moment and you will start to appreciate what your social style is like at home and how you flex it for the workplace. It’s important to consider this because the process of stress will cause us to let that mask slip! Think of the times you’ve seen people behave completely out of character when under stress.
Jung also described four levels of stress which we need to consider when identifying and supporting a colleague with stress:

Level One: This level represents no stress, or rather stress that doesn’t cause us to change the good-day behaviours of our social style preference. At this level we see colleagues demonstrating good-day behaviours.

Level Two: Jung described this level as over-extending the natural strengths of our social style. So at this level of stress we will only be demonstrating the bad-day behaviours of our social style preference.

Level Three: This is where the mask slips. Jung described this level as the point where we ‘leak the truth’ and reveal our true social style preference. Thinking about it in terms of the social styles, it may look much like level two, but the behaviours may be more intense, or we may see some of the bad-day behaviours of a different social style emerge. Normally, if it’s new behaviour, it will be from a social style adjacent to the normal style on the circle diagram.

Level Four: This is the top level of stress and hopefully one that we only experience in extreme circumstances. At this level we ‘flip’ - literally. We demonstrate the bad-day behaviours of the social style opposite us on the circle: Drivers demonstrate Amiable, Analyticals demonstrate Expressive, and so on. Have you experienced or observed this? I have when I was moving to a different part of the country with work. My style preference is Driver yet the situation caused me to feel completely out of control and I found myself in tears one evening. I’d flipped.

So how do we support a colleague in stress? Each of the social styles needs a different approach:

Social style How to help
Directors Let them lead
Expressives Let them talk and share their feelings
Amiables Give them space and praise
Analyticals Give them time to analyse and study

Now that we understand how different social styles behave at different levels of stress, we can observe our colleagues and form plans to support them better in the most effective way.

About the author

Nick Steele, national consulting manager at Zoetis, delivers business improvement to veterinary practices across the UK. He is a regular speaker at major veterinary events and CPD meetings.

Nick holds an honours degree in molecular genetics. In 2011, he completed his Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) certificate in learning and development. Nick is also an accredited coach and practitioner in personality profiling.

• This article first appeared in ETN January 2017.


13th February, 2017.

Marylise Silk has joined wholesaler Trilanco as business development manager.

Marylise has freelanced for various equestrian companies for a number of years.

Her new job involves working across a number of different areas at Trilanco.

“Our business is in a very exciting stage of growth, and having someone on board to help drive our development forward is a valuable asset,” said managing director Martin Balmer.

“Not only is Marylise’s appointment good for us and our own brands, it’ll also help to ensure we remain as leaders in the field by stocking new and innovative products from other brands, so our customers can get even more from one place.”

Trilanco recently relocated to its purpose-built £7 million headquarters in Lancashire.


7th February, 2017.

Bricks and mortar retailers are feeling sufficiently confident to invest in their stores.

The Shop and Display Equipment Association (SDEA) - Europe’s leading retail display trade organisation – says its members are enjoying increases in sales which look set to continue during 2017.

Around two in three suppliers of merchandising equipment reported an increase in sales over the past six months, according to SDEA’s latest research.

And of those the average was a healthy 17% rise.

Just 28% recorded an average decline in sales with 8% remaining unchanged.

Asked to compare sales during the past six months with the same period in 2016, a substantial 48% reported an increase with 18% being the average rise.

There was also a positive outlook from providers of shop equipment. Asked to forecast sales’ prospects over the next six months, the majority expect to see a rise.

“Despite a rise in supplier prices, which has been well reported since the devaluation of Sterling and Brexit, the industry remains relatively buoyant,” said SDEA director Antony Behiels.


7th February, 2017.

Shane Broughal has joined distributor Zebra Products as a sales agent in Ireland.

He will be selling the Fleck, Sprenger, Veredus, and Uvex brands.

An equine science graduate, Shane has previously worked for Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky and for trainer Aidan O'Brien in Tipperary.

“I strive to provide a high quality of service and a range of premium equestrian brands to my network of retailers throughout Ireland,” he said.


6th February, 2017.

The impact of Brexit on the horse industry will be debated at next month’s National Equine Forum (NEF).

Key figures from the equestrian world will join government officials and vets at the 25th NEF on Thursday, 2 March at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London.

Eminent speakers will also consider how saddlery and bits affect horses’ welfare and management.

Tickets are available to members of the equestrian trade (see below).

Other presentations cover the equine database, the UK Thoroughbred Health Network and equine welfare.

The National Equine Forum brings together representatives from every strata of the equestrian industry for friendly, non-partisan debate.

The aim is to inform, educate and help the industry to speak with the united strength of one voice on topical matters affecting the current and future management and wellbeing of the horse.

The morning session on the horse industry, government and policy will commence with the Defra view from Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity.

Stewart Everett, from the Equine Register will follow with an update on the Central Equine Database.

What might EU exit mean for the horse industry will be the focus for a potentially lively panel discussion between policy, sport, racing and trade representatives, chaired by Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare.

Dr Tim Parkin senior lecturer in equine clinical sciences at the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine, will present the Memorial Lecture on the role of the Thoroughbred Health Network (THN) in the UK. These lectures are given each year and link to past winners of the Sir Colin Spedding Award.

The afternoon includes a themed session entitled Tack: an anatomical perspective.

Dr Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust centre for equine studies will discuss tack fit and its impact on the horse.

Then Dr Caroline Benoist, manager of research and education at Neue Schule, will look at bitting and the welfare and comfort of the horse.

The afternoon will also feature Lynn Petersen, chief executive of the British Horse Society speaking about the organisation’s new educational programme Changing Lives through Horses.

The NEF is organised by a committee reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry. Its president is HRH The Princess Royal.

The forum is sponsored by Bedmax, the Blue Cross, British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, British Equine Veterinary Association, British Horse Society, British Horseracing Authority, Bulley Davey, Craig Payne Photography, Dodson & Horrell, Donkey Sanctuary, Hadlow College, the Horse Trust, the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Jeffress Scholarship Trust, NFU Mutual Insurance, Redwings, Weatherbys and World Horse Welfare.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals at a cost of £100 per person, which includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

To apply or to find out about becoming a Friend of the Forum, contact the hon secretary, Mary Martin at

For further information on the NEF visit


6th February, 2017.

Nominations have opened for the 2017 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year.

Designed to highlight the hard work and dedication of equine SQPs, the award recognises those who go the extra mile to give good advice to customers on all aspects of worming.

The winner will enjoy a luxury Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) experience including overnight accommodation, evening hospitality and a presentation champagne reception.

The victorious SQP and the business with which they are associated can also expect substantial publicity, says Virbac.

SQPs [suitably qualified persons] are trained to provide animal health advice as well as being qualified to prescribe and supply certain categories of animal medicines including wormers.

Nominations for the 2017 Virbac 3D Worming SQP of the Year can be made at


1st February, 2017.

Details of how businesses and the self-employed will be affected by a new digitised tax system were unveiled yesterday (31 January).

HMRC says its flagship Making Tax Digital project will help millions of businesses get their tax bills right first time, without the need for an annual tax return.

The launch of the new system follows an eight month consultation with more than 3,000 businesses and agents.

Alongside draft legislation, HMRC has confirmed that under Making Tax Digital:

• Businesses will be able to continue to use spreadsheets to record receipts and expenditure, which they can then link to software to automatically generate and send their updates to HMRC. This was requested by a wide range of stakeholders, particularly small businesses and the Treasury Select Committee.

• Free software will be available to the majority of the smallest businesses.

• Businesses that cannot go digital will not be required to do so.

• All self-employed businesses and landlords with a turnover under £10,000 a year will not have to keep their records digitally or make quarterly updates, but can do so if they wish.

• The option to account for income and expenditure on a simple ‘cash in, cash out’ basis will be extended, helping an extra 2.5 million self-employed businesses and unincorporated landlords.

• Charities will not have to keep their records digitally or make quarterly updates.

• There will be 12 months’ grace to become familiar with the changes before any late submission penalties will be applied. HMRC will also consult again in the spring on a new penalty model.

• HMRC will pilot these digital systems with hundreds of thousands of businesses before rolling them out to ensure the software is user friendly, and to give businesses and landlords time to prepare and adapt.

Under HMRC’s plans to move recording and paying tax online, most businesses, self-employed people and landlords will be able to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC quarterly by 2020.

The move is part of the government’s aim to make the annual tax return a thing of the past for millions of people and businesses.

Said Jim Harra of HMRC: “We know that the majority of businesses want to get their tax right first time, but the latest tax gap figures show that too many find this hard, with more than £8 billion a year lost in tax as a result of avoidable taxpayer error by small businesses.

“Making Tax Digital will help businesses to get their tax right first time; it will help reduce the likelihood of errors, lower the chance of unwelcome compliance checks and give them greater certainty that they are getting things right.”


31st January, 2017.

BETA International retained its rock-solid reputation as the world’s leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products when it threw open its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January to welcome 3,531 visitors* – 4,163 including re-entries – and almost 300 exhibitors from across the UK and overseas.

This ultimate business and trade buying experience showcased some of the finest products and services available today, with many items unveiled for the very first time.

Buyers ranged from small independents to large multinational chains, with retailers joining their friends and colleagues for three busy days of trade and networking.

Bit and bitting company Neue Schule announced its continued support for BETA International by signing as main sponsor for the next three years. Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas and Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian shared the good news with journalists at the show's press lunch.

Business, information and entertainment topped the show’s leader board, with BETA International's red-hot industry debate taking centre stage in the show's new Charles Owen Hub.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart hosted Talking Business for a second consecutive year, with a panel made up of Liz Hopper, MD of Matchmakers International, Tom MacGuinness, MD of Horseware Ireland, Tim Holderness-Roddam, a director of British Eventing, Sue Moxon, MD of R&R Country, Nikki Newcombe, MD of Bliss of London, and Sarfraz Mian, CEO of Neue Schule.

They expressed their fears caused by the current uncertainty and possible retail price rises resulting from the Brexit vote and fall in the pound, but shared their hopes for fresh opportunities that might arise with trade from other countries outside the EU. They also discussed the issue of retailers selling below recommended retail prices.

The Hub – a vibrant, new business theatre sponsored by hat manufacturer Charles Owen – included sessions with the company's managing director, Roy Burek, who looked at just what makes British safety brands some of the best in the word, and Neue Schule explored the importance of informed bitting and introduced Avansce, the company's new sports performance monitoring division.

Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein – aka Batch and the Pwoducer of Wocket Woy fame – brought hilarious antics and belly laughs to the hall as visitors and exhibitors gathered to hear their interview in The Hub. The two jockeys continued to spread good cheer throughout the halls and took part in a riding lesson on RoboCob, the mechanical horse, with Olympic silver medal-winning German event rider Julia Krajewski.

The Hub also featured presentations from BETA International's chosen charities, the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK, giving members of the industry a powerful insight into their work to improve the quality of human lives with the help of horses.

Visiting SQPS (suitably qualified persons) claimed eight CPD points by attending The Code in Practice – Keeping Yourself Compliant seminar, hosted by AMTRA secretary-general Stephen Dawson. BETA-trained City & Guild fitters benefited from up to five CPD points with Claire Williams’s seminar Safety Equipment Standards and Rules.

Retailers were also provided with top tips and heaps of inspiration by Kirsty Kean, of Visual Thinking, who looked at An Exploration of Sensory Customer Experience, explaining how the use of senses can influence and drive sales.

Sylvia Rook, of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, provided an overview of Returns, Complaints and the Law. Blacks Solicitors gave the legal lowdown on issues affecting businesses in the equestrian trade.

The Equi-Theme Fashion Show showcased a wide range of stunningly stylish equestrian, country and outdoor clothing. Buyers took their seats at the edge of the runway as clothing from sponsor Equi-Theme, House of Montar, Covalliero, Horseware Ireland, Baleno, Derriere Equestrian, Champion, Toggi and Fits Riding revealed their forthcoming autumn/winter collections.

BETA International is highly regarded for the quality of its exhibition stands and all the hard work it takes to create polished and professional retail environments is recognised and rewarded with the show's Best Stand Awards. Each exhibitor is automatically entered into the competition, which was judged by Jay Hare, of HorseBack UK, and Sally Atkinson, of the Riding for the Disabled Association.

After touring the halls, they selected Carr & Day & Martin as winner of the Best Large Stand Award (32 sq m and over) and Danish Design Pet Products for the Best Small Stand Award (under 32 sq m).

Kari Grundwig, won The Academy by Neue Schule Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (Equestrian Trade). A student in the company’s education and training division, she scooped the title after being judged highest achiever on its three courses. Her prize was an Avansce Synchronicity system and engraved crystal plaque.

Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas was extremely pleased with the response to BETA International 2017.

“We have had some wonderful feedback from both our exhibitors and visitors,” she said. “The show has been top-notch – a real class act from start to finish, with some simply stunning stands, great products, quality buyers and a tremendous feel-good factor throughout the halls. We would like to thank the trade for its support and help in retaining our position as the No 1 B2B equestrian show.

“Our thanks must also go to our sponsors – Neue Schule, Battles, Charles Owen, Equi-Thème, Equestrian Trade News, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian Products and Toggi – who all play an important role in the show's success.”

BETA International 2018 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January. For information about exhibiting at the trade fair, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

* Visitor figures awaiting ABC audit

• See the February issue of ETN for exhibitors’ comments, retailers’ reactions, pictures and prize-winners from BETA International 2017.


31st January, 2017.

BETA International saw apprentices and trainees competing in the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) competitions at BETA International.

Visitors to last week’s trade fair, at the NEC, Birmingham, watched the young saddlers work at their stations in the show’s Saddlery Pavilion.

Prize money was donated by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers with BETA International providing the competition space.

Apprentices and students competing on the Sunday each made a cavesson noseband, to be completed in six hours.

Competitors who are training at the Saddlery Training Centre and who took part were Corrin King of S. Milner & Son, Leicestershire; Amy Baldwin of The Saddlers’ Den, Merseyside; Lucy Ellis of The Saddle Man, Shropshire and David Taylor of The Kings Troop RHA.

The top award went to Corrin King with Lucy Ellis claiming second place after judges Laura Dempsey and Helen Reader had made their deliberations.

Said Corrin: “I really enjoy coming to BETA International and taking part in the SMS competition. Showcasing our skills is also a very valuable experience.”

Added Laura Dempsey: “As ever the standard was very high across all the entries but the winner just stood out for us on all aspects of the workmanship.”

On the Monday, second year Capel Manor College students included Rachel Lok, Anna Roe, Cathal Dooley and Fred Eastwood. Each made a pair of plain reins.

The winner was Rachel Lok with Jack Callister as runner-up.

Judges Laurence Pearman and Emily White were full of praise for the students’ efforts.

Said Laurence: “We were both delighted to judge at the competition and the attention to detail that went into producing the reins was excellent.”

The third say of BETA International saw first year Capel Manor students showcase their leatherworking talents by making a pair of rein stops.

They included Signe Dreyer, Andrew Sizer, Jessica Abraham and Grace Willsmer.

Judges Catherine Baker and Lisa Hoskins chose as their winner Grace Willsmer with Signe Dreyer taking the second prize.

Said Hazel Morley of the SMS: “The competitions at BETA International are a great way to introduce visitors to the skills being taught to our younger generation of craftsmen and women and as ever proved popular with visitors over the three days.

“We are really proud to be able to showcase our work as a society.”


26th January, 2017.

A new partnership between British Showjumping (BS) and NAF was announced during BETA International 2017.

Britain’s senior Nations Cup teams along with the children, junior and young rider teams will be named Team NAF from the start of the 2017 season.

It’s the first time a title sponsorship has brought together Britain’s senior and youth teams – including children on horses, the junior and young rider European championship teams - under one banner.

The partnership is also set to enhance British show jumping’s popularity, according to team performance manager Di Lampard.

“NAF is a household name with a great following, so their involvement can only help boost show jumping’s fan base,” she said, speaking exclusively to ETN.

A former international rider with a successful Nations Cup record, Di said she was also delighted that Britain’s children on horses team is included in NAF’s support package.

“Children are bigger and taller nowadays, and the sooner we can get them onto horses [as opposed to ponies] the better.

“It’s far more beneficial for their riding if we can get them jumping horses at 13 or 14. That way, we have much more chance of the talented children being recognised earlier and identified as potential international prospects,” Di explained.

Another reason why she was so delighted to be working with NAF, said Di, was the company’s association with the Clean Sport campaign.

“Riders’ livelihood is at stake as well as their horses’ performance, so there must be no compromise,” she said.

A leading supplier of supplements and equine care products, NAF has been an Official Supplier to the British Equestrian Team for some years.

"We are very proud to be British and thrilled to announce our sponsorship of Great Britain’s Nations Cup and Youth European Championship Teams,” said Linda Porter of NAF.

“Showjumpers at all levels feed our supplements, making this partnership an ideal fit for us. As Official Suppliers to British Equestrian Teams, our commitment to clean sport and efficacy is paramount to our joint success and we are looking forward to a wonderful and successful year of showjumping in 2017.”

NAF’s range of Five Star brands includes Superflex, Superflex Senior, Profeet, Optimum, Magic, Oestress and Respirator Boost.

NAF is a UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme), GNP+ (International Feed Assurance Scheme) and BETA NOPS (Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances) accredited company which enables it to guarantee full traceability on all the natural ingredients used in its formulations, which are also selected in compliance with the FEI guidelines for Clean Sport.

Under the Team NAF banner, the senior British team is expected to compete at a minimum of ten Nations Cup competitions.

The children, junior and young rider teams will appear at international shows across Europe before heading to their European Championships in Slovakia in August.


25th January, 2017.

Industry members gathered to celebrate and congratulate the winners of the 2017 BETA Business Awards during the British Equestrian Trade Association's annual Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Sunday 22 January.

The coveted accolades were presented to the companies and individuals judged to have made exceptional contributions to the trade.

The evening kicked off in style with a drinks reception before dinner, followed by dancing until the small hours with a disco provided by Keratex and high jinks in a party photo booth.

A fundraising raffle raised £1,550 for the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK.

“The BETA Business Awards have continued to grow year on year and, as usual, our judges had the difficult task of narrowing down the finalists,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“However, they rose to the challenge and I am delighted that we have some really deserving winners. A huge well done to everyone who took part.”

The winners of the 2017 BETA Business Awards are...


Winner: Palfrey Turner, Cornwall Farmers, Helston
Runner-up: Rebecca Kirk, Tower Farm Saddlers, Rugby, Warwickshire

This award recognises the employee showing initiative, excellence in customer service, product knowledge and commitment to professional retailing. It is intended for shop-floor employees only, not managers, and nominations were invited from employers or sales representatives. The finalists were interviewed to determine the winner, who received a cash prize of £200, with BETA training vouchers going to his employer.

One of the judges said of the winner: “From first contact, you immediately know that you are in safe hands – his experience and knowledge must be a great asset to the rest of the Cornwall Farmers team.”


Winner: Emily Brown, Allen & Page

Runner-up: Michael Darley, Darley Equestrian

This award rewards excellence in product and customer knowledge. Retailer nominations were followed by votes and an interview with the finalists.

A judge said of her interview with Emily: “She was light, bright, bubbly, focused, dedicated and a joy to talk to.”


Winner: NAF

This award is presented to the company that has achieved sustained increases in export activity over a period of three years. It was difficult to separate the top two finalists but, in the end, NAF clinched the title with its high-calibre submission and striking story in terms of growth rate in export markets.


Winner: Bramham International Horse Trials

This accolade acknowledges the event at which tradestands are present that best works with its exhibitors and takes their needs and requirements fully into consideration, and views its tradestands as an integral part of its success.

A visitor nomination said that the event provides the perfect day out for enjoying equestrian competition and shopping in a beautiful setting. Trade nominations were unanimous in their view that the event's organising team knows exactly how to look after their exhibitors and provide a venue that can yield real profit.


This award rewards the company that best embraces social media and uses it to powerful effect throughout its marketing strategy. It is divided into two categories – those who spend 15 hours or less a week on social media activity and those who spend more than 15 hours on it. The judging panel considered application presentation, innovation and use, originality of content, compelling nature of presence, interaction with audience and accuracy and engagement of information.

15 Hours and Under

Winner: Westgate Labs

Judges felt that all the company's social media platforms were clearly branded, with an extremely professional appearance. It was also successful in creating a voice that was warm and friendly, which made visitors to the sites feel part of an active and engaging community.

Over 15 Hours

Winner: Horzehoods

Judges felt that the company had an impressive following, with varied and interesting content. It clearly engages with its customers first-hand and has successfully embraced social media to help grow its business worldwide.


This award, for tack shops and feed merchants, is divided into four categories – Large, Medium and Small Tack Shops and Mail Order/Internet Retailer. The award received nominations from more than 1,000 individuals for over 150 companies. The final decision is based on the number of nominations, mystery shop visits and incognito calls.

Large Tack Shop

Winner: Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, Hampshire

Runner-up: RB Equestrian, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

A nominator said that staff were always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. A judge commented: “Lovely shop with good sales assistants who acknowledged us straight away despite being busy.”

Medium Tack Shop

Winner: Highfield Equestrian, Milford, Staffordshire

Runner-up: Tower Farm Saddlers , Earls Barton, Northamptonshire

The winner’s “outstanding level of service and expertise” was noted by a nominator. Judges said: “They offered an impressive level of customer service.”

Small Tack Shop

Winner: Carlton's Equine , Whitley Bay, Northumberland

Runner-up: Eskdale Saddlers, Carlisle, Cumbria

One of the nominators described the winner as “a fantastic shop with a great range of stock – staff are always helpful and friendly”. A judge said: “A delightful small shop with attention to service.”

Mail Order/Internet Retailer

Winner: The Saddlery Shop

Runner-up: Urban Horse

“They have a really clear, easy-to-use website and fantastic customer service,” said one nominator. Judges said: “We liked the clear and well-structured website with excellent search functions and easy order and returns processing.”


Winner: Allen & Page

Runner-up: Science Supplements

This accolade goes to the company that offers exemplary service in nutritional advice to customers, both trade and retail. Customer nominations – a record number this year – were followed by incognito telephone calls.

Judges said the winner was “extremely helpful and very thorough when answering questions and demonstrated brilliant follow-up, as they had received a large packet of information just a few days ago”.


Winner: Shires Equestrian Products

This award goes to the manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor judged to offer the best in delivery, customer service, product knowledge and awareness of retailers’ requirements. Nominations from both retailers and suppliers themselves were accepted. Judging of shortlisted companies was followed by a retail members’ vote. One nominator commented of the winner: “We wish all our suppliers were like Shires!”.

Judges said: “It was a closely fought battle but, in the end, Shires pipped others to the post for its overall friendliness and customer service.”


This award acknowledges sponsored riders who make the greatest contribution to the trade and is presented to those who have participated fully in building a relationship with their sponsor to yield good results for both.

Winner: Nick Skelton

Nominator Charles Owen said: “Nick is one of the most well-respected and loved equestrians in the world. He has been at the top of the sport for many years, representing Britain, and his passion and commitment give us the best return for our sponsorship.”

LORINERY DISPLAY COMPETITION sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Loriners

This competition was introduced to encourage good in-store lorinery displays to help grow sales and increase expertise and knowledge.

Winner: Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, Hampshire

The judges said: “It was clear that a great deal of care had been taken to create a logical and workmanlike display that enables both customers and staff to access and service the extensive range. Good lighting enhanced the appearance of the horse bits and there was a plentiful supply of supporting product information.”


Winner: Chris Gordon

With a passion for horses and all things equestrian, Chris Gordon evented until recently and has been a keen supporter on and off the hunting field his entire life. He has a PhD in applied science and, after jobs in research and pharmaceutical sales, took a position at Dodson & Horrell in 1988, working his way up to become technical director.

Chris has represented Dodson & Horrell on BETA committees since 1999 and was chairman of BETA from 2006 to 2008. He became chair of the feed committee in 2002 and still holds that position today. During this time, BETA has become a respected source of feed-related expertise and a real force in lobbying with government agencies.

He led the working group responsible for the development of the successful BETA NOPS Code and chaired the working group that set up the latest BETA feed assurance scheme, for products suitable for equines prone to EGUS – equine gastric ulcer syndrome.


25th January, 2017.

Craftsmanship, design, technology and invention were put under the spotlight in the 2017 BETA International Innovation Awards, presented during this year's trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham, on Monday 23 January.

These highly regarded industry accolades are sponsored by Equestrian Trade News – official media partner of BETA International – and open to all exhibitors with products that have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

The judging panel was made up of industry experts FEI vet Lesley Barwise-Munro, retailer James Edwards, of Devon-based Acorn Saddlery, international event rider Piggy French, Dr Teresa Hollands a senior teaching fellow in veterinary nutrition at the University of Surrey, Millbry Hill retail director Serena Jones and horse riding safety practitioner and consultant Ken Law.

“We were bowled over by the large number of entries – and high quality of the products entered into each of the awards' eight categories,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“Creating an item that is truly innovative is certainly not easy, but the entries clearly reflected the impressive amount of work that has gone into delivering something that can be described as such. Congratulations to all those who won an award and to everyone who entered the competition. There are certainly some fantastic products out there.”

Companies that won a trophy are entitled to use the Innovation Awards winners’ logo for the winning product in their marketing over the next 12 months.

The 2017 Innovation Awards winners were...


Company: Musto
Product: Women’s lightweight machine-washable Gore-Tex tweed jacket
This completely waterproof women’s jacket with hand-warmer pockets is made in tweed that can be machine-washed without it discolouring or becoming rough. The two-layer Gore-Tex liner provides protection from bad weather and allows perspiration to escape. The inner cuffs’ durable water-repellent coating prevents water running up the sleeves.
Judges’ comments: “The jacket, with a lovely trim and suede on the collar, has subtle feminine styling and is ideal for various outdoor pursuits.”

Highly commended
Company: Rockfish
Product: Brightboots
These boots, in a range of colours aimed at the equestrian and country markets, provide an ergonomic fit and superior comfort. They have a high degree of both visibility and safety, complying with standards for hi-viz and safety footwear.
Judges’ comments: “These boots are both functional and comfortable, with an impressive steel toe and hi-viz combination that is very innovative. The colours are very striking for the equestrian market.”


Company: Trilanco
Product: GastroKind
The only supplement with a patented use of ficus glomerata to support the medical treatment of equine gastric ulcers, GastroKind has seven years of clinical trials behind it. It is proven to assist the reduction of Grade 1-3 gastric ulcers and enhance recovery time when used alongside prescription drugs and medication.
Judges’ comments: “This product has met NOPS and UFAS standards and its ingredients list is transparent. It was supplied to the judges with clinical examples of it being successfully used by horse owners under the direction of vets, alongside medical treatment.”


Company: Stable & Barn
Product: Tack trolley
This British-manufactured trolley, in a modular design, is intended to carry horse and rider equipment up to 40kg across all terrains. It has pneumatic tyres and is robust enough never to fall over – the weight is evenly distributed across the base tray.
Judges’ comments: “While being robust, the trolley is lightweight and we were impressed by its multi-functionality, making it of use in eventing and showing, on yards and in veterinary practices.”

Highly commended
Company: Keratex Hoofcare
Product: Coconut oil hoof balm
This hoof balm is a high-quality blend of natural coconut oil, beeswax and tea tree oil. It is formulated to make coconut oil last on hooves, with the beeswax glossing them. The tea tree oil gives it an anti-bacterial quality.
Judges’ comments: “This is an innovative use of a popular product, coconut oil. It is available in two colours, at a reasonable price. Perhaps providing a small brush for application would be a good idea.”


Company: Harry Hall
Product: Protechmasta infrared rug
The Protechmasta therapy rug has infrared technology, featuring ceramic fabric to reflect infrared rays back into the body to increase blood flow gently, detoxify and promote healing for the horse. Super-wicking air mesh material makes this lightweight rug ideal for travelling as well as for use after exercise.
Judges’ comments: “This product will appeal to both professionals and amateurs, and help a variety of horses with different strengths and weaknesses.”
Highly Commended

Company: Cryochaps
Product: Cryochaps
This egonomically designed ice wrap, which is easy to apply, moulds to the horse’s lower leg to cover all major tendons and ligaments. Reversible so that it can fit either the left or right leg, it maintains temperatures in the medically recommended range of 10 to 15°C for at least 20 minutes.
Judges’ comments: “A quality product at a good price, this is marketed well, with plenty of information and clear instructions. The storage bag is useful, too.”


Company: Doggy Bag
Product: Doggy towel
This towel, which is super-absorbent, dries and cleans wet and muddy dogs. The microfibre material means that dog owners will have less hair-drying and laundry, and cotton towels are replaced with an environmentally friendly, economical and practical solution.
Judges’ comments: “This is a really useful product for all dog owners, at a good price. It is easy to carry, store and keep in the car.”

Highly commended
Company: Scruffs
Product: Thermal dog jacket
This self-heating jacket, supplying warmth to the dog’s muscles on brisk morning walks, has a soft shell exterior to give excellent protection against wind and rain while retaining its breathable qualities.
Judges’ comments: “A nice dog coat that is both comfortable and looks very smart.”


Company: Kask Spa
Product: Kask helmet with merino wool padding
This helmet’s internal padding provides comfort and the merino wool natural fibre in contact with the skin maintains body temperature, ensures high breathability and dries quickly. The efficient temperature regulation enables riders to sweat less and smell better.
Judges’ comments: “The helmet is good-quality and very stylish, and the merino wool makes it a comfortable fit. The padded lining can be easily removed for washing.”

Highly commended
Company: Ariat Europe
Product: Vortex riding boot
This tall boot is lightweight with elegant, modern detailing. Independent testing has shown the innovative Shock Shield technology to provide 30 per cent more shock absorption in the heal, while the TPE – thermoplastic elastomers – midsole was 33 per cent more shock absorbent in the forefoot.
Judges’ comments: “There is plenty of research and technology behind this stylish, good-quality product.”


Company: Neue Schule
Product: Turtle Tilt Weymouth bit
The result of research into the action of bits and how double bridles work, the Turtle Tilt Weymouth sits further forward on the tongue, creating a greater degree of separation between curb and bridoon.
Judges’ comments: “We were impressed by the extensive research that has gone into this bit, which gives variation and choices to riders.”

Highly commended
Company: Salamo
Product: Salamo detachable flash comfort bridle
This tanned leather bridle with a discreet detachable flash strap eliminates the bulky, untidy look usually associated with detachable nosebands.
Judges’ comments: “The bridle provides very good value for money, appears comfortable and will look smart in competition.”


Company: Harry Hall
Product: Masta Avante hi-viz turnout rug
This rug is made from fully waterproof, breathable 600-denier ripstop fabric and 200g of filling. It has 360°C reflectivity, using reflective piping and large chevron reflective prints combined with high-visibility fabric.
Judges’ comments: “This good-quality, well-fitting rug offers high levels of visibility and safety, especially if having to use roads when moving to a field for turnout.”

Highly commended
Company: Trilanco
Product: HackCAM UGlow camera vest
The camera vest is a high-quality padded garment with detachable shoulder pads, changeable wording on the back and glow-in-the-dark tape. It is a good alternative to helmet-mounted cameras.
Judges’ comments: “All the components of the camera vest are good ideas that have been brought together in one product.”

• BETA International is the leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January.


25th January, 2017.

The BETA International Best Stand Awards rewarded companies that went the extra mile at this week’s show held at the NEC, Birmingham.

Every exhibitor is automatically entered into the awards and placed in one of two categories – Best Large Stand (32 sq m and over) or Best Small Stand (under 32 sq m). Judges Sally Atkinson and Jay Hare, of the show’s chosen charities, the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK, selected the winners.

This year, the trophies went to...


Winner: Carr & Day & Martin

Judges’ comments: An elegant stand created in a traditional style with a classy feel. Staff were extremely helpful, friendly and had great product knowledge.

Highly commended: Shires Equestrian Products

Judges’ comments: An eye-catching, modern stand with a stunning central display of horse rugs and effective lighting. Displays were well thought-out easy for retailers to view.


Winner: Danish Design Pet Products

Judges’ comments: A striking, simple stand making great use of a small space. Products were thoughtfully displayed and attractively merchandised, and staff were engaging, enthusiastic and extremely helpful.

Highly commended: Etree

Judges’ comments: A small stand that utilised every inch of space to great effect. It was extremely well thought-out, giving high importance to attractive visuals, yet retaining plenty of room to do business.


25th January, 2017.

Equestrian manufacturers’ agent Tiger Davies died last week (18 January). He was 85.

Tiger was based in Tiverton, Devon and spent more than 40 years working for various companies in the trade.

Always operating as a freelance sales agent, he helped several brands – including Lavenham, Puffa and Woof Wear – to become household names.

At one time, Tiger wrote an Agent’s Diary detailing the hilarious and often risqué happenings during his time on the road as he visited retailers and attended shows across the south-west and beyond.

Tiger loved his shooting and hunting and was a knowledgeable follower of equestrian sports.

Before joining the equestrian industry, Tiger was a farmer. He would joke that it was his children’s expensive equestrian habits that forced him to look for a real job.

He turned out to be an excellent salesman. He went into double glazing when it first started and did very well. In fact, he could sell anything; even vibrating orthopaedic aids - stories about which suited Tiger’s naughty sense of humour to perfection.

After a while, he spotted an opportunity to import and fit an expensive German saddle brand. And with his connections in the equestrian world, there was no looking back.

Tiger was still working until last year, notably for Equetech and Kanyon Outdoor, until he announced his retirement in December. (See ETN January issue, People).

Tiger lived life to the full. ETN editor Liz Benwell said: “No matter how bad a day you were having, Tiger never failed to cheer things up and bring a smile to everyone’s face. The trade will be much the poorer without his wit, kindness and enthusiasm.”

• Tiger Davies will be buried at a private family funeral followed by a celebration of his life to which all friends and colleagues are invited at Thelbridge Cross Inn, Thelbridge, Nr Witheridge EX17 4SQ on Thursday 2 February at 3.30pm. The family requests no flowers. Please indicate attendance by email to Mrs Catherine Davies and the family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts


17th January, 2017.

Retailers, suppliers and influential figures from the equestrian, pet, country and outdoor trades will flock to the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday (22 January) for the opening of BETA International.

Around 300 exhibitors – 80 of them new for 2017 and 95 from outside the UK - will occupy three exhibition halls until Tuesday (24 January).

Admission to BETA International is strictly trade only and free to pre-registered visitors. Arrange to visit at

• There are a few seats remaining on BETA International’s free coach services from Durham and Exeter. Return journeys to the show are available with pick-up points en route. To view the full timetable and book, visit


16th January, 2017.

Retail members of BETA will be fed and watered by their trade association when they visit BETA International next week (22 – 24 January).

For the first time, the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is offering retailer food and beverage vouchers to spend at the show.

Vouchers – to be collected from the BETA stand (G7.1) – are worth up to £20 per company or £10 for one person attending on one day.

The vouchers are redeemable at any refreshment outlet in Halls 6, 7 and 8 at the NEC, Birmingham where BETA International takes place.

In addition, BETA retail members can claim a £50 attendance subsidy if visiting BETA International for at least two days. Attendance forms must be signed at the BETA stand.

BETA International is organised by Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BETA Group.


16th January, 2017.

Retailers visiting BETA International are invited to call at the ETN stand (P1.1) to enter our free prize draw.

The winner, to be drawn out of a hat at the end of the show, will receive £1,000s worth of products for their store.

All prizes have been donated by BETA International exhibitors who have advertised in ETN January issue, the official show preview.

One of the prizes is priceless; the chance to appear in a Retailer Profile feature in an upcoming issue of ETN.

The ETN prize draw can only be entered at BETA International, at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January.

ETN will be reporting on the show, our exclusive pictures, results and round-up appearing in the February issue.


16th January, 2017.

New products to be shown at BETA International 2017 have been put through their paces by Wocket Woy.

The jump jockeys’ Saturday morning Internet antics are avidly followed by thousands of fans. Next week they will appear live at BETA International.

In this week’s hilarious Wocket Woy video, the pair try and test new lines in grooming aids, waterproof numnahs and equestrian jewellery.

To see the action, Tune in here.


16th January, 2017.

HRH Princess Anne visited Neue Schule Group at its new North Yorkshire base on Thursday (12 January).

The Princess, a former European eventing champion, unveiled a commemorative plaque in celebration of equestrian innovation in the county.

Bits and bitting specialist Neue Schule has just moved into a new headquarters, called Momentum, in Stokesley.

For the royal visit, the company showcased its four member companies, Neue Schule [bits], The Academy [education], Avansce (equestrian sports performance monitoring] and Momentum Development Company [eco-friendly office space].

Princess Anne chatted to members of the Neue Schule team including founder Heather Hyde, technical director of Avansce Dr Graham Cross and The Academy’s Dr Caroline Benoist.

“We were extremely pleased and incredibly honoured to host the Princess,” said Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian.

“Her visit allowed us to demonstrate the results of our extensive research and development – and, as a keen horsewoman, the Princess appeared genuinely enthusiastic and keen to find out more about our work.”

Princess Anne’s visit focussed on UK and international equestrian activity and business growth.

She also met representatives from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), BETA International, Equestrian Trade News (ETN), the Department for International Trade and Neue Schule's American distributor.

Neue Schule is main sponsor of BETA International 2017 which opens on Sunday (22 January) for three days at the NEC, Birmingham.

To find out more about the company’s latest developments, click here


11th January, 2017.

New products, fresh business ideas, face-to-face meetings with suppliers, display inspiration - and going home feeling happy.

There are many and various reasons that retailers will be flocking BETA International when the show opens next Sunday for a three-day run (22- 24 January) at the NEC, Birmingham.

“For anyone new to the industry, a visit to BETA International is the ideal place to start getting to know it,” says Gary Allport of Millbry Hill, a first-time attendee last year.

Seasoned visitor Helen Deacon will be visiting from Mole Valley Country Store in Stamford, Lincs.

“All the people on the stands are so helpful; it’s a great chance to pick their brains about their products,” said Helen will be once again be travelling by free BETA International coach (more details at

This year, ‘new’ applies to BETA International’s feature areas as well as products and big brand names.

The Charles Owen Hub makes its debut with a packed programme of seminars and presentations plus the Talking Business live debate.

“Inspiring new things,” are what brings German retailer Armin Bavand from Of A Gallant Horseman to the NEC every year.

While the “guarantee of seeing new suppliers and picking up something new” does it for Donna Dobson of Co Durham based Fox & Field.

As a country clothing specialist, Donna will be in the front row at the Equi-Theme Fashion Show again this year. “It’s a good way to see what trends are happening,” she told ETN.

Attending BETA International does require a small investment in time and effort. But, according to regular visitor Jane Shedden “it’s always well worth it…to see all our suppliers in one place.”

Every year, Jane flies to Birmingham from her store at The Scottish Equestrian Centre at Bowhouse in Fife, Scotland, for a three-day visit to BETA International.

“You can’t afford to miss any new brands coming through, so you have to be there,” she says.

A visit to BETA International can be exhilarating, enjoyable, energising and exhausting, according to regular visitors.

However, as regular two-day visitor Cath Flynn from Carlisle based Eskdale Saddlery, admits: “I always get home feeling very happy that I’ve been.”

One exclusive benefit of visiting BETA International – dozens of show offers only available at the show – are not so widely trumpeted by visiting retailers.

Perhaps because they hope to steal a march on their competitors?

Come and join them at the NEC, Birmingham, next week - 22 – 24 January…

Here’s what some BETA International 2016 visitors told ETN as they left last year’s show:

• “I absolutely love it,” said Janette Cross of West Midlands based retailer Bearley Cross Saddlery. “I’ve been coming every year for the last 15 years, and I always find something new.”

• “I’ve had a really useful two days,” said Lucy House as she headed back to JHC Equestrian Supplies in North Devon. “Everyone has been so friendly that my confidence as a buyer has grown.”

• “We came with a list and have ticked off pretty much all we needed,” said Wendy Rigby from Premier Equestrian Supplies in North Yorkshire. “We’ve also had a really good day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”

• “It’s been fun and we need more time here than just two days,” said Lorraine Wickham, who was buying for retailer Gillett Cook of Faversham in Kent. “The New Product Gallery has been really helpful, I went there first.”

• “The clothing is fantastic,” said Irish buyer Lucy Morgan from Murdock Saddlery. “It’s so fantastic, I’ve probably done too much ordering..!”

Click here to see the BETA International 2016 timetable


10th January, 2017.

Three remarkable individuals have been shortlisted for the National Equine Forum (NEF) Sir Colin Spedding Award 2017.

The accolade is presented annually to an outstanding and as yet unrecognised individual or organisation that has made an important contribution to the equestrian world.

The three nominees for the 2017 award are fire and rescue expert Jim Green, side-saddle authority Maureen James and equine veterinary nurse Bonny Millar.

The winner will be announced at the 25th National Equine Forum on Thursday 2nd March 2017.

Sir Colin Spedding was the founding chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for 20 years until shortly before his death in 2012. He ensured that representatives of all areas of the equine sphere were made welcome, and that topics of general interest and concern could be discussed openly and without rancour.

The special 25 years celebratory programme for the 2017 National Equine Forum will be announced shortly.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals at a cost of £100 per person, which includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

To apply or to find out how you could enjoy the privilege of becoming a Friend of the Forum, contact the Hon Secretary, Mary Martin at

For further information on the Forum visit


10th January, 2017.

A company has been reprimanded for making unauthorised medicinal claims for its equine grooming oil.

Great Horse Products has since complied with the improvement notice published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) last week (6 January).

The VMD said that the East Sussex based firm was presenting its Oil2Horse product for the treatment and prevention of the equine skin diseases mud fever and sweet itch, and for the relief of dermatitis caused by mites.

“Oil2Horse is not authorised as a veterinary medicine in the UK for use in the treatment or prevention of these conditions,” said the VMD.

Great Horse Products was told to remove from all Oil2Horse marketing material all references to the equine skin diseases mud fever, sweet itch, mallanders, sallanders and the relief of dermatitis caused by mites.

The VMD stipulated that this includes any ‘educational’ documentation presented in association with the product. Substitution with wording that conveys the same medicinal claims will be considered a failure to comply, it warned.

Great Horse Products was also told to remove any testimonials reproduced in the promotion of Oil2Horse that make reference to the conditions listed.

The company was asked to provide written confirmation to the VMD Enforcement Team that Oil2Horse will no longer be presented for use in the treatment and prevention of the conditions listed until such time as it has been authorised as a veterinary medicine under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

The VMD is a Government agency that promotes animal health and welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.


9th January, 2017.

A wholesaler’s new showroom opening in Glasgow on Saturday (14 January) is dedicated to equine grooming equipment.

It will be officially opened by Alan Davies who’s achieved celebrity status as groom to Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

The showroom is run by former professional groom Marta Kotonska. Her company Eqclusive wholesales a range of grooming brushes, including the Alan Davies signature collection.

Marta has also developed Eqclusive Packs, available to the trade to help horse owners make the most of their grooming.

About the new showroom, she said: “There won’t be clearance boxes and full shelves, it’s based on a consultative approach.

“Retailers can come along to ask questions, and see how best to display and sell grooming products. If they wish, they can place orders to be delivered within three days,” added Marta.

Eqclusive is the sole UK distributor for German brush manufacturer HAAS and wholesales the SleekEZ, You & Your Horse, Dotibel, Addicted To, Of Horse, Sommer and Hemano brands.

The Eqclusive showroom is open from 2pm – 3pm on Saturday, 14 January. Thereafter from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Appointments are recommended.

• Eqclusive exhibits at BETA International 2017 which begins next Sunday (22 January) for three days at the NEC, Birmingham. A full list of exhibitors and information about visiting can be found at


3rd January, 2017.

Yorkshire retailer Ride-away is among the businesses targeted by a woman accused of fraud.

Gillian Wood (57) deceitfully obtained more than £40,000 worth of goods from 18 North Yorkshire firms, Northallerton Magistrates heard last month (December).

She said she would plead not guilty to 21 charges, including 12 of alleged fraud by false representation.

Wood is alleged to have ordered more than £5,000 worth of equestrian equipment from Ride-away.

The offences were said to have happened between January 2013 and May 2016.

Other businesses named in the charges include those supplying hay, haylage, feed and fencing.

The case was adjourned to Teesside Crown Court on 13 January.


3rd January, 2017.

The end of a year when British equestrian stars caught the public’s imagination saw Olympic and Paralympic riders feature in the New Year’s Honours list.

A knighthood is awarded to para-dressage star Lee Pearson.

Sir Lee has won 11 Paralympic gold medals at five Games and was the British team’s standard-bearer at the 2016 Games opening ceremony.

Rio Olympics gold medallist Nick Skelton – voted by British sports fans into third place for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – receives a CBE. With his artificial hip and recovery from a broken neck, the 59 year old showjumper became a household hero.

Charlotte Dujardin, who retained her Olympic title in Rio, also becomes a CBE. The retirement of Valegro, popularly dubbed her equine ‘dancing partner’, was broadcast live by the BBC from Olympia.

One of Charlotte’s sponsors Simon Middleton, the managing director of Zebra Products, has dressage lessons with her.

“She is such an inspirational but grounded young woman who makes you believe that dreams can come true,” he said.

“It's just so refreshing that despite all the amazing success, she's still like she was ten years ago - totally normal and very hard working.

“We’re delighted and honoured that she's part of Team Zebra.”

Sophie Christiansen, gold medallist at three Paralympic Games, became equestrianism’s third new CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Multi-medal winning, 69 year old Paralympic rider Anne Dunham has been made an OBE.


3rd January, 2017.

A founder member of the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Council – who campaigned for reduced VAT rates on horses – died on 13 December.

Judy Fishbourne was better known in the trade as Judy Allman. She was 82.

A memorial service will be held next Thursday (12 January). Details below.

Judy was a horsewoman through and through.

As a schoolgirl, she hunted with the Cheshire hunt and later the North Staffordshire hunt. She was secretary of the North Staffs hunt supporters club for 50 years.

In 1957, Judy married Ray Allman from Madeley who became a well-known horse dealer. They had two sons Mark and Guy. Mark became Master of the North Staffs.

A keen racegoer, Judy was part of a syndicate which owned Kaiser Stolz. The German bred horse won the championship hurdle race at Aintree in 2001 ridden by Tony Dobbin.

Judy also owned a number of top class show horses.

Following Ray Allman’s death in 1998, Judy re-married businessman John Fishbourne in 2006.

Judy joined BETA in 1980 and was a founder member of the BETA Council.

This connection paid off when a BETA sub-committee chaired by Judy persuaded the Government to reduce the VAT rate on horses.

“The [VAT] scheme remains in place today,” said BETA’s chief executive Claire Williams. “It’s still used by many dealers, making it one of the areas in which BETA has succeeded that has possibly had one of the longest impacts.”

Judy’s business, Equestrian Skills, focused on the training of young people wanting to make a living in the horse world. At its peak, it was training 500 students from all over the north-west.

Judy remained an active member of the BETA Council. Her common sense, humour and loyalty were widely recognised by those who knew her.

In later years, she became rather lame and in 2014 broke a hip. She was in hospital for a year but returned home and was showing every sign of recovery - including organising a lawn meet for the North Staffs this November.

She died suddenly and peacefully of a heart attack.

• A memorial service is arranged for 12 noon on Thursday, 12 January at St James’ Church, Audlem, Cheshire CW3 0AW. Collection to the Injured Jockeys Fund and St Peter’s Church, Adderley. Donations to Graham Tresidder, Nantwich Funeral Services, 62 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5RP. Tel 01270 812512.


23rd December, 2016.

British equestrian exports can expect a boost when BETA International opens next month.

The annual trade fair – at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January – will see UK manufacturers and suppliers come under the scrutiny of the highest number of overseas buyers for many years.

Vale Bros – owner of Harry Dabbs saddles and Thermatex rugs - has exhibited at BETA International for 25 years.

The Walsall based manufacturer exports 70% of its total sales. “Over the years, BETA International has introduced us to half of these customers,” says Peter Wilkes, managing director.

Vale Bros is also home to Jeffries Saddlery, KBF99 grooming products and Edward Goddard whips.

The number of overseas buyers pre-booking to visit BETA International 2017 is more buoyant than ever, say organisers.

“There’s strong interest from visitors in our traditional markets of Europe, Scandinavia and the US,” said James Palmer of BETA International.

“We also have pre-booked visitors coming from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Russia, Australia, Romania, Canada, South Korea, Estonia and Singapore.”

A full list of BETA International 2017 exhibitors can be found at where buyers can also pre-register to visit.


19th December, 2016.

Products by companies from 21 different nations will be displayed when BETA International 2017 opens next month.

To date, more than 270 exhibitors have booked for the show on 22 – 24 January.

And no less than 40% are international companies from outside the UK.

“This is every retailer’s chance to see hundreds of famous and undiscovered brands from around the world under one roof in Birmingham,” says James Palmer of BETA International.

As well as a myriad of stands displaying the latest new products and ideas, BETA International has a fashion show, innovation awards, business forum hosted by TV’s Alastair Stewart, CPD seminars for SQPs and retailers, and appearances by internet sensation Wocket Woy.

• BETA International is trade-only. Admission is free, visit for more details.

• See the official BETA International preview in the January issue of ETN.


19th December, 2016.

Equestrian manufacturers’ agent Tiger Davies has retired after more than 40 years in the trade.

Tiverton, Devon based Tiger says he’s had a “wonderful and hilarious time” visiting retailers across the south-west and beyond while representing various companies.

“I started my agency life on the road for the heavy smoking team at Lavenham and finished with the non-smoking Kanyon and Equetech,” he told ETN.

Tiger says he’s made many friends in the trade over the years.

“Most of my retail customers have been delightful, as for the others – a quick exit was often the best bet!”

• Read the full story in the January issue of ETN


19th December, 2016.

Game Fair 2017 organisers are offering members of BASC (the British Association for Shooting & Conservation) complimentary admission on all three days.

BASC, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, has a membership of more than 144,500.

An influx of visitors getting into the show for nothing – with more cash left in their pockets to spend - looks set to benefit traders.

The Game Fair is at Hatfield House – 21 miles north of central London - on Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July, 2017.

“The complimentary offer is open to BASC members on each and every day of the fair, so a member can visit on all three days if they wish,” said James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser added: “I hope that as many BASC members as possible will take advantage of the complimentary entry to the event to make this a great celebration of all country sports.”

To gain entry to the Game Fair 2017, BASC members must produce a current membership card, plus photo ID such as a shotgun or firearms certificate, driving licence or passport.


14th December, 2016.

Lintbells has been listed in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 list.

The pet and equine supplements manufacturer has come in at number 61.

The list, published each December, ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.

Flagged as ‘one to watch’ last year, the listing tops a successful year for Lintbells that also saw it win a Queen’s Award for Innovation.

The Hitchin, Herts based company, which employs more than 50 people, has seen sales growth of an average of 62% per year.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has taken the time to give us an amazing review, who has made the decision to stock, or recommended us to someone else,” said co-founder John Howie.

Lintbells Equine exhibits at BETA International 2017, at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January.


13th December, 2016.

The office Christmas party season is in full swing. But before you and your staff let your hair down, take this quick quiz…

You are cordially invited…

So who do you invite to your office Christmas party?

Q: Do you:

1. Invite only those employees who profess the Christian faith - on the basis that, even today, there are some vestiges of its Christian origins?

2. Make sure everyone is invited regardless of religious belief (or absence of it), sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability and general appearance?

3. Invite only good looking members of staff and ignore the mingers?

4. Invite only those members of staff who are under 45 years of age?

Answer: Number 2, obviously. You would and should pay regard to the diversity of your workforce and make sure that everyone is invited. But at risk of sounding a Scrooge-like note, if you invite any agency staff who are working for you will increase the risk that they will later argue that they should be regarded as your employees! Ouch!

Secret Santa

A member of staff offers to organise a Secret Santa. You agree (of course) because it will provide added entertainment. The office ‘playboy’ approaches you privately and gives you a preview of the waxwork anatomical representation which he plans to foist upon an unsuspecting female member of staff.

Q: Do you:

1. Applaud his sense of humour?

2. Ask him for the name and address of the shop where he acquired it so that you can buy one too?

3. Warn him of the perils of bullying, harassment and sex discrimination?

4. Make a mental note to take your smart phone to the party so that you can record the look of surprise on the female employee’s face when she opens the parcel?

A: The answer is, of course, 3. Any argument that urging exotic lingerie or ‘adult toys’ upon colleagues is merely a species of innocent banter is simply threadbare. The test of harassment is substantially objective, so if the recipient of the unexpected gift is offended by it then both you and your ‘playboy’ employee are in trouble.

Eat, drink and be merry

It’s been a good year, so far, notwithstanding the doom-mongers' warnings of the consequences of Brexit. In an act of generosity, you are planning to offer a free bar.

Q: Do you:

1. Exhort members of staff to drink as much as they want?

2. Encourage drinking games and announce the holding of a ‘yard-of-ale’ competition?

3. Point out that soft drinks are available from the cloakroom tap and announce that the buffet will simply comprise crisps, on the basis that potatoes can be one of your five-a-day?

4. Encourage moderate drinking and ensure a plentiful supply of both soft drinks and food?

A: It has to be number 4. If you offer a free bar – and we are emphatically not saying that you shouldn’t – the abandonment of any control over alcohol intake is likely to lead to a raft of behavioural problems. Encourage moderation and be prepared to intervene if it looks as though an employee is becoming, as Private Eye would put it, “tired and emotional”.

Ballroom Blitz

Even in a well-ordered and well-organised Christmas party there is always the risk of an alcohol-fuelled physical or verbal altercation.

Q: Do you:

1. Make it clear to staff beforehand that ‘scrapping’ (physical or verbal) will not be tolerated?

2. Take bets on who will throw the first punch when there is the inevitable spat between the sales and marketing departments?

3. Make sure that a qualified first-aider is in attendance?

4. Console yourself with the thought that you were planning to re-carpet the office in January anyway?

A: The answer is number 1. We all know that fighting is unacceptable and you can be confident that, after following due process (of course) you would be able successfully to dismiss an employee involved in a fight. However, while you might be able fairly to dismiss the punch thrower, any victim of bad behaviour is likely to name you as well as the perpetrator in their Employment Tribunal claim.


What are your expectations regarding attendance in the office on the day after the party? If your employees have been liberal in their patronage of your free bar, this is likely to have an effect on the time they arrive in the office - or indeed on the question of whether they make it to the office at all!

Q: Do you:

1. Treat the day after as being the only day when your employees can work ‘flexi-time’?

2. Make it clear that employees are expected to attend work on time?

3. Make sure there is some alcohol left over for those who want to partake of ‘hair of the dog’?

4. Make sure that the waste-bins are empty for the benefit of those employees with really bad hangovers?

A: The answer is number 2. At any rate, you should at least be clear with your employees as to what your expectations are. You may decide that employees should be at work at their normal time. You may be inclined to say that the normal start time has been rolled back by an hour. However, above all, make your intentions clear and avoid a clash of expectations.

So how did you do?

• 5/5 – Well done! You are a model employer and should treat yourself to a Christmas gift!

• 4/5 – Not bad. You have a good grasp of employment law but should probably have a quick skim through your Employee Handbook before you start mulling wine.

• 3/5 – Could do better. You have at least 12 days of Christmas to learn how to handle a raucous office party.

• 2/5 – You should be concerned. You should ask Santa for an invitation to one of Blacks Solicitors’ employment law master classes to get up to speed with your obligations as an employer.

• 1/5 – Oh dear. There is a very real possibility that your Christmas party will make the front cover of one of the tabloids.

• 0/5 – The Employment Team at Blacks Solicitors is looking forward to the contribution which you are going to make to our fee income next year.

· If you need help with this or any other employment law issues, contact Paul Kelly at Blacks Solicitors on tel 0113 227 9249, email or visit


13th December, 2016.

Olympia gets underway this week (13-19 December). But if you miss the London show – or are working on a tradestand throughout - you can catch the highlights on Horse & Country TV.

In the week running up to Christmas, H&C TV will be showing the FEI World Cup Driving (Tuesday 20 December at 8.30pm), FEI World Cup Dressage (Tuesday 20 December at 9pm) and FEI World Cup Jumping (Wednesday 21 December at 9pm).

Top British names Carl Hester, Laura Tomlinson and Michael Eilberg will be in action in the dressage. Home-grown showjumping stars competing at Olympia include Scott Brash, Ben Maher and brothers John and Michael Whitaker.

In the New Year, H&C’s Olympia coverage continues with the Puissance (Saturday 7 January at 8pm) and the Olympia Grand Prix (Saturday 7 January at 9pm).


12th December, 2016.

A 20% discount on all orders of Sprenger bits, spurs and stirrups is on offer from Zebra Products.

The UK distributor of the premium German brand says it’s making the gesture to support retailers at a busy time of year – and has also thrown in free delivery throughout December.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, they add, the saving can be passed onto consumers.

The 20% off Sprenger offer lasts until 17 January 2017.


8th December, 2016.

Charles Owen has moved quickly to quash rumours that the company is in trouble.

Gossip began circulating around the trade this week when notice of a creditors’ meeting was published.

“It’s very much business as usual at Charles Owen,” Roy Burek, managing director of the riding hat manufacturer, told ETN. “In fact we’ve probably had our best and busiest year ever.”

What will be a brief and temporary halt to business at Charles Owen & Company (Bow) Ltd following the creditors’ meeting next Friday (16 December), is the latest step in a succession planning process, Roy explained.

In time, his son Owen Burek (29), who is currently running other businesses, will join Charles Owen.

“It’s about adapting the way we do business, and anticipating adding a fresh perspective by involving the next generation,” added Roy.

Charles Owen, the UK’s largest equestrian manufacturer, employs 156 people at its factory in Wrexham. The staff have been informed of the latest developments.

Charles Owen exhibits at BETA International next month.


7th December, 2016.

Matchmakers International has received £3.75m of funding from Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

Bradford, West Yorkshire based Matchmakers International owns the Cottage Craft, Masta, Harry Hall, Tottie and Caldene brands.

The funding package will provide working capital and support the business’s import activity.

• Read the full story and find out what Matchmakers’ new funding involves in ETN January issue.


6th December, 2016.

Snowhill Ltd will be despatching orders between Christmas and New Year.

The wholesaler closes for the Christmas break from 5pm on 22 December and re-opens on 3 January, 2017.

However, a few of helpful elves are coming in on Wednesday 28 December (until 3pm) to despatch any website orders.

These should reach retailers within Snowhill’s usual delivery times.

“Get your orders in, keep your shelves stocked and we will do our best to clear all orders on the website (placed before 2.30pm on 28 December),” says Snowhill’s chief elf.

“Happy Christmas!”


6th December, 2016.

When NAF challenged retailers to create eye-catching in-store displays of its branded products - and be in with a chance of winning VIP tickets to Badminton, dozens of entries poured in.

The competition was judged by Lorna George, NAF’s UK sales and business development manager, and NAF supported rider and Irish Olympic eventer Jonty Evans.


Carrs Billington Morpeth, Northumberland.
Who’s on the team? Natalie Lynn, Cheryl Holmes and Alison Robson.
Top display tips: Offering customers availability and choice of product; plus having the stand in a good shop location.
Best-selling NAF product: Five Star Superflex
Judges’ comments: A really well planned display using the power of NAF’s category colour blocking and strong branding to grab consumers’ attention and help them choose their products. We especially liked the great use of the NAF range of products to create a display with real wow factor.
Prizes: VIP tickets to Badminton plus NAF jackets and polo shirts for the team.


The Tack Shop, Kingswinford, Dudley, West Midlands.
Who’s on the team? Sally Marsh, Julie Shakespeare, Jane Shakespeare and Mitchell Corbett.
Top display tips: Having good products on display and making them eye-catching to customers. Good product knowledge is important too; we get lots of customers in our store asking for advice on various situations and problems. We like to think we always do our very best to help and sell them the correct product.
Best-selling NAF product: Himalayan Salt Lick / Glucosamine 10,000 Plus
Judges’ comments: A clear product display which optimises the use of available space.
Prizes: NAF jackets and polo shirts for the team.


Carrs Billington Penrith, Cumbria.
Who’s on the team: Claire Cowx, Scott Wilson, Peter Allison and Jen Cowan.
Top display tips: Make it eye-catching and put it in a prominent position in your store.
Best-selling NAF product: Love the SKIN he’s in
Judges’ comments: A bright, attractive display with good additional creative effects which draw attention and capitalise on NAF’s colourful labelling.
Prizes: NAF jackets for the team.


Country Ways, Aberdeen
Who’s on the team? Lucy James, Morven Dodds and Taylor Manson.
Top display tips: Think outside the box and keep it interesting with a main focal feature. Use good, clear PoS [point of sale material] and a wide representation of product.
Best-selling NAF product: Five Star Superflex
Judges’ comments: We were particularly impressed with this very creative and unique use of a shop window offering a great opportunity to draw attention to the NAF brand. Other entrants did not necessarily have such a wonderful shop window. So to maintain a level playing field, we gave this super display a special award.
Prizes: NAF polo shirts for the team.

• See the December issue of ETN for pictures of the winning displays and teams who created them.


6th December, 2016.

Most visitors come to BETA International on the hunt for new products.

The show at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January has celebrity appearances, chances to learn and even some entertainment too.

Saturday morning internet sensation Wocket Woy appears live when jump jockeys Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein bring their own brand of humour to BETA International.

Education takes centre stage at the Charles Owen Hub.

The business platform – which is new for 2017 - will stage product demonstrations, seminars and Talking Business – the B2B discussion hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart on Sunday, 22 January.

BETA International visitors can listen, learn and earn CPD points during CPD modules for SQPs on Sunday 22 January and Tuesday 24 January.

Retailers seeking inspiration for improving the visual impact of their stores will find two 30 minute sessions on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 January useful.

In other seminars, Sylvia Rook, of the Trading Standards Institute, will address the rights and obligations of consumers and traders when buying and selling goods.

And BETA executive director Claire Williams will conduct a CPD seminar on rider safety.

Buyers can see the latest collections on the Equi-Thème Fashion Show catwalk. Ekkia, Finest Brands International, Tredstep Ireland, Albert Kerbl, Horseware Ireland, Musto, FITS Riding, Derriere Equestrian and Baleno are set to take part.

The search for new products starts for many buyers at the Shires New Product Gallery. The area showcases the latest lines, launches and brands and sits at heart of BETA International.

Visiting BETA International is free on pre-registration at


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: