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

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9th September, 2019.

New role for well-known figure in equestrian media.

Abi Cannon has returned to equestrian publisher DJ Murphy after two and half years at Horse&Hound.

She takes up the new role of commercial director at the home of Horse& Rider and PONY magazines.

The move means Abi is back working with her sister Zoe Cannon, DJ Murphy’s publishing director.

DJ Murphy, an independent publisher based in Surrey, celebrated its 70th birthday this year with special events to thank clients. Staff and previous editors were treated to a birthday party.

PONY magazine was founded in 1949 by David J Murphy. His grand-daughter Kate Austin is the managing director of DJ Murphy.

“It is testimony to our dedicated staff – including my mother and company director Marion O’Sullivan who turns 90 this year and is still selling advertising in the magazines – and our loyal and supportive readers, that we continue to go from strength to strength,” she said.


9th September, 2019.

Supplements specialist prepares to pop the corks.

It’s a sponsorship hat-trick for equine supplement specialist NAF, which is backing BETA International’s Champagne Bar for a third time as part of a three-year deal.

The company’s support sees this popular feature area branded as the NAF Five Star Champagne Bar, with striking graphics and black and gold balloons, giving it a high-profile presence in the halls.

The Champagne Bar is extremely popular with the show’s visitors and exhibitors, who gather with friends and colleagues to relax and network over a glass of bubbly.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the NAF team during the company’s three years as sponsor,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “They have shared our vision and supported the show through some really exciting times. Sponsorship from a highly regarded company such as NAF means a great deal and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them on board for 2020.”

Linda Porter, NAF sales and marketing director, added: “BETA International puts on an excellent trade show and it proves to be a great platform for us as we look towards not only further investing in the UK market, but also continuing to develop our international markets. The NAF Five Star Champagne Bar is an excellent way for us to showcase our brand as the experienced, trustworthy choice for retailers and their riders, owners and horses alike.”

NAF joins the trade fair’s fellow supporters, Spotlight sponsor Charles Owen, official media partner and Innovation Awards sponsor Equestrian Trade News, exhibitor bag sponsor Henson Franklyn, New Product Gallery sponsor Shires Equestrian, Coffee Shop sponsor VetSpec, model horse supplier Stubbs England, official clothing supplier Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

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


9th September, 2019.

Cash to help firms making customs declarations now and in the future.

New government funding worth £16 million was released last week to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations.

Cash is also available for businesses to invest in IT if they support others to trade goods.

The aim is to ensure that trade with EU continues as smoothly as possible after Brexit on 31 October - whatever the circumstances.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU.

Grants can be used to support training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future.

Funding can also be used for IT improvement by small and medium sized employers who are currently involved in trade as an intermediary.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP said: “Brexit takes place on 31 October and we urge all businesses to make the necessary preparations to be fully ready.

“The government has doubled the support available, so that thousands more customs experts are on hand to help businesses on and after Brexit day.”

Businesses who would benefit from the funding are urged to apply early. Applications close on 31 January 2020, or earlier once all the funding is allocated.


9th September, 2019.

Find out which products took the honours at Spoga last week.

The winners of Spoga horse awards were announced during the trade fair held in Cologne, Germany on 1 – 3 September.

Awards in sustainability/corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation were judged by a panel of experts, with visitor voting also counting towards the results.

The 2019 spoga horse awards were presented for the 19th time by the trade fair venue Koelnmesse in cooperation with media partner equitrends.

First place in the sustainability/CSR category went to GT Concept for its cork saddle.

The fact that it’s produced in Europe from a re-growing raw material appealed to the judges. They also commended the saddle’s light weight and stylish design – but added that they would like to see how durable the cork actually is in regular use.

Second place went to Freejump Systems for its vegan jodhpur boots and chaps. Sustainable raw materials and attractiveness again convinced the judging panel of their merits.

In the innovation category, Albert Kerbl took the top award for its Goleygo. The magnetic closure system, which opens safely even under tension, was demonstrated on a lead rope attachment.

Runner-up was HKM’s Comfort Temperature Riding Jacket. Equipped with an integrated power bank and heated elements, it keeps the rider’s kidney area warm for up to four hours.


2nd September, 2019.

Three Walsall jobs saved as brand switches factories.

Bliss of London has taken on the production of Keith Bryan Saddlery Co saddles following owner Keith Bryan’s retirement.

All models will be supplied from Bliss of London’s Aldridge factory which is near Walsall. The former Keith Bryan Saddlery Co factory, in Lime Street in the town centre, has closed.

“We’ve effectively moved Keith’s factory into our factory,” said Nikki Newcombe, managing director of Bliss of London.

“During the change-over, Keith has been coming in regularly to help us get set up,” she added. “We’re pleased we can continue to supply his customers with Keith Bryan saddles.”

The move also means that two saddlers and a machinist keep their jobs, having been taken on by Bliss of London.

Keith Bryan Saddlery Co is known for its hand-made, top quality saddles. Best known models include its polo saddles, a big seller in America, and Pathfinder branded endurance saddles. The company also caters for specialist markets such as Icelandic horses.

Established in 1983, Keith Bryan Saddlery Co has over the years been a regular winner of the ‘best made saddle’ award at the National Saddlery Competitions.

Keith, a long-time advocate for British made saddlery, is a past president of the Society of Master Saddlers, for whom he has also lectured.

ETN understands that Keith retains the Keith Bryan Saddlery Co limited company, and the Saddle Devil adjustment machine which he invented.


2nd September, 2019.

Acquisition is part of European supplier’s “global growth ambitions”

Dutch company Bieman de Haas has acquired Wireless Horse Instruction Systems (WHIS).

Founded in 2013 by Judith Hendriks, WHIS enables remote communication between coaches and riders.

Bieman de Haas already owns the Anky Technical Casuals, Premiere and BR Equestrian Equipment brands.

According to director/owner Theo den Bieman, this latest acquisition is in line with its “global growth ambitions.”

He added: “It means we’re able to serve equestrian sport retailers even better, and expand our market share.

"The acquisition also means new opportunities for… collaboration with top international equestrians, and a technical product in our range."

Bieman de Haas claims to be the market leader in the Benelux countries and one the world's five biggest equestrian distributors. It has more than 65 employees and operates in 40 countries.


2nd September, 2019.

… says newly appointed sales agent.

Kelly Whapples has joined Vale Brothers as a sales agent.

In the equestrian industry since 2009, Kelly has previously worked for Westgate EFI, Shires Equestrian Products and Trilanco.

In her new post, she will be covering the south of the UK, promoting Vale Brothers’ brands such as Thermatex, Jeffries, Griffin NuuMed and KBF99.

Kelly’s love of horses started early when she learnt to ride aged five.

She says she loves working within the equestrian industry, and likes to think of all retailers as her extended family.


2nd September, 2019.

How about arranging a Christmas holiday treat for customers, friends or family?

This year’s TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show (28 to 31 December) has a group ticketing initiative.

Anyone buying ten or more tickets in one transaction will get 20% off.

For groups of 20 or more, there’s a 25% saving to be had - plus a free ticket for the party organiser.

Both discounts are applicable to general admission tickets, excluding family tickets.

“Whether you’re a group of friends or family, riding club or livery yard, it’s a great opportunity to get together in the festive period and enjoy some world-class sport, explore our great new bar and food offering and have fun,” said show president Nina Barbour.

The show, now in its fifth year, will be held in the M&S Bank Arena on Liverpool’s waterfront.

As well as international show jumping, there’s an eventing grand prix, Shetland Pony Grand National and live music.


28th August, 2019.

Tickets just £5 as bedding supplier hosts celebrity-packed fundraiser.

Bedding company Nedz is to host an evening of equine excellence starring Geoff Billington next month.

Britain’s most entertaining show jumper can be guaranteed to provide plenty of action, a dash of education, some tall tales and a sprinkling of impersonations of his fellow riders.

The event – on Thursday, 19 September at Aintree Equestrian Centre, Merseyside - is a fundraiser for World Horse Welfare’s rehabilitation centre at Penny Farm, Blackpool.

Also starring on the night will be other Nedz brand ambassadors, grand prix dressage rider Steph Croxford and Victoria Bax who specialises in retrained racehorses.

Horses and ponies from Penny Farm, whose lives have been transformed by World Horse Welfare, will also appear.

“We’re thrilled to be putting on an evening for all equestrian fans which brings together a whole variety of equine disciplines,” says Nedz owner Lisa Cooper.

Tickets cost £5 from


27th August, 2019.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from Blair International Horse Trials (21 – 25 August).

Blair is the event with the big heart. The setting is superb and the organising team is flexible enough to throw the necessary resources at an emerging problem. It all makes for an accommodating atmosphere.

Everyone is unfailingly friendly, including the punters. I now have new chums among the traders with stands I’d never seen before. Even the traffic marshals were cheerful - unless you were a wee bit late, in which case they look severely at their watches.

With very few exceptions, and some randomly piddling dogs - whose oblivious owners go into a zen-like trance contemplating the cloud-dappled beauty of the surrounding mountains while the crime is committed - this show has one of the politest crowds you’d like to trade with. Of course, they don’t throw their money about; but the business is there, even if you have to work for it.

The weather was, frankly, variable. I had a few nerves on receiving a pre-event email about vehicle movements and set-up. But the organiser’s caution worked out and we got on with little hassle. Getting on and off site was easy after two good days but the overcast, showery Wednesday, Thursday and Friday had a few people worried.

Saturday dawned misty but with the promise of the sun breaking through, which it did, late morning, followed by a sharp shower at lunchtime.

I watched, surprised, as people in tees, shorts and polos ignored the downpour. One of the punters summed it up: “If ye stop for a wee shour ye’ll no get anything done…” That’s an attitude I like, particularly when I looked at their spend. In less hardy venues I’d have had a stand full of people sheltering and not even looking.

I hadn’t realised in advance (marketing issues or me not reading things?) but this was Blair’s 30th year. Blimey. That made me think. Not only how the event has changed, but how the trading world has changed in three decades.

Thirty years ago, there were cash handling issues I mostly don’t have now; 20 years ago we processed card payments through the zip-zap machine with carbon copies which occasionally sales assistants gave to the punters. Even five years ago some organisers didn’t realise WiFi was essential to the conduct of business.

Now, card payment is routine and if I had a satellite link, like some, I could not only process the transaction but monitor stock control and trigger orders. All from a glen in the Highlands that’s still waiting for its own dual carriageway.

The other thing we didn’t have back then was anything that helped us look at the way we traded. Of course, you could have a look around other chums’ stands and get a few ideas; but there was nothing independent.

At Blair’s BETA sponsored evening drinks reception - excellent wines and beers, and a good range of soft drinks for those staying off site, but maybe a few nibbles would be nice after a long day - best stand awards were dished out. It was interesting to hear the judges’ comments that not only the stock and its presentation were key criteria but also engagement with customers and depth of product knowledge.

Let’s face it, Blair was a bit up and down, and overall most chums found it a bit flat - same as last year, same as most of the season. And what makes the payment system easier makes it simple to do other business on the mobile when times are quiet.

But beware; if you’re sitting at the back of the stand fighting the internet, you can miss the passing pound because its attention span is becoming as short as yours for the same infinitely connected reason.

So far as I know, I haven’t actually seen a punter in front of me price-comparing my own website with my stand, but I’m sure it’s happened. At a show, it’s my chance to engage, be a person not an avatar, build a relationship, give them a reason to come back next year or buy online from me because there’s a face to a name.

I will, all things being equal, go back to Blair next year, because I enjoy it. I won’t make a fortune but a different crowd will get to know me. Some will buy online, most will come back again the following year. It’s that kind of show.

Cheers, Guy


27th August, 2019.

Why this weekend’s championships mark a milestone.

The British Riding Clubs (BRC) NAF Five Star National Championships marks the culmination of a 20 year partnership between the two organisations.

During the championships, held on the Lincolnshire Showground on 31 August to 1 September, NAF will provide prize draws, giveaways, selfie competitions and prizes including NAF branded winners’ rugs.

NAF nutritionists will be on hand to offer advice to competitors too.

“It’s this added value that really resonates with BRC members,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, BRC manager.

"We are delighted to celebrate this special anniversary between BRC and NAF, they have been of huge support to us as an organisation and also to our members for a very long time.

“Their support allows us to continue to provide great quality events to our membership as well as offering members high quality advice with regard to nutritional support for their horses.”


27th August, 2019.

Sponsorship highlights Pets at BETA International.

TopSpec Equine is backing the BETA International Coffee Shop under its VetSpec brand for a second year.

The sponsorship allows the company to highlight the distinctive brand to retailers and fly the flag for its hypoallergenic, cereal-grain-free range of Super Premium complete dog foods.

“As TopSpec Equine experienced a number of incredibly successful years as sponsor of the Coffee Shop, we understand perfectly how effective supporting BETA International in this way can be,” said executive chairman Philip Tyler.

“We are really excited about the growth of the VetSpec range and are very much looking forward to the opportunity of being able to share the success with the show's visitors. Sponsoring the Coffee Shop plays a key role in our marketing strategy and is a powerful tool in helping to secure maximum traction for the VetSpec brand.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are very excited to have TopSpec and its VetSpec brand on board for 2020 – a year when pet products will receive a powerful boost, thanks to Pets at BETA International, a new initiative that will see the trade fair introduce a dedicated pet show within a show to the halls.

“We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Philip Tyler and his team, and we are really looking forward to working alongside them once again.”

The VetSpec Coffee Shop provides exhibitors and visitors with a handy refreshment stop. They can use it to take a well-earned break or catch up with friends and colleagues over hot drinks and snacks.

VetSpec joins the trade fair’s fellow supporters, Spotlight sponsor Charles Owen, official media partner and Innovation Awards sponsor Equestrian Trade News, exhibitor bag sponsor Henson Franklyn, New Product Gallery sponsor Shires Equestrian, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, model horse supplier Stubbs England, official clothing supplier Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

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


19th August, 2019.

The founder of Horseware Ireland did his country and his company proud at the European championships on Saturday.

Tom Macguinness finished eleventh in the FEI Endurance European Championships on Saturday.

The founder of Horsware Ireland rode Horseware Siglavy Bagdady, an 11 year old grey mare, to finish near the top of the 63 strong field competing over 160km at Euston Park in Suffolk.

Italy’s Costanza Laliscia took individual honours riding Sacha El Kandhaar. Team victory went to Spain.

Britain registered their first successful team finish since 2010.


19th August, 2019.

Award will acknowledge those “on the front line of customer care”.

Nominations have opened for the annual award that rewards companies offering excellent nutritional advice to retailers and consumers.

One of ten British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards, the Nutritional Helpline of the Year is sponsored for a second year by stable and tack room equipment supplier Stubbs England.

“The qualified nutritionists employed by feed manufacturers sit on the front line of customer care, answering hundreds of queries every single week,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“This award is a great way for owners, riders and members of the industry to acknowledge and celebrate all the hard work and dedication they put in.”

Stubbs England’s managing director Chris Bradwell added: “We wholly understand the importance of good nutrition on equine wellbeing and how vital it is for retailers, horse owners and riders to be able to access sound, professional advice.

“We are proud to play a part in reinforcing the essential work carried out by nutritional helplines.”

Nominations close on 18 November. Forms can be downloaded at and emailed to

Winners of the BETA Business Awards will be announced during the 2020 BETA Gala Dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on 20 January.

• See the October issue of ETN for more about nominating people and companies for 2020 BETA Business Awards.


19th August, 2019.

Partnership scores a win in their first eventing season.

Congratulations to Helen Reader and Zennith who won the Open 80cm class at the NAF 5 Star British Riding Clubs Horse Trials Championships earlier this month.

Helen, who runs Carmarthen based HR Saddlery, only started eventing the 15 year old, grey 17hh Dutch warmblood this season. They’d previously concentrated on dressage.

“I started show jumping at home just to give him some fun and a break from schooling,” said Helen. “We went [cross country] schooling for the first time this Spring. He loved it and has gone from strength to strength over the summer.”

At the championships, Helen and Zennith led after dressage and show jumping. A clear cross country round for a single time fault clinched the victory.

“He exceeded all my expectations,” said Helen, a Master Saddler well known for her bespoke bridles and saddle fitting service.


19th August, 2019.

Participants will get something extra at this year’s sponsored ride.

Spillers is to support the SEIB Burghley Sponsored Ride by providing a free weighbridge service and feeding advice.

The annual fundraiser is on Sunday, 8 September at the end of the international horse trials.

Sponsored riders enjoy a 10km ride on part of the cross country course, getting them close to the likes of the famous Trout Hatchery and Cottesmore Leap fences.

Spillers will provide a weighbridge service for horses, free of charge in the lorry park at the event.

Nutritionists will be on hand to show how to Body Condition Score (BCS) a horse and give feeding advice.

Funds raised from the SEIB Burghley Sponsored Ride will go to World Horse Welfare, Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony and the British Horse Society.


12th August, 2019.

Craftsmen to continue working in UK manufacturing.

Bit-making firm Young & Co has been acquired by Abbey England.

The move means five highly skilled bit-makers from the Willenhall firm join Abbey England’s West Midlands based foundry workforce.

The expansion will boost production, says the company. It anticipates the output of British-made bits – especially bespoke bits - will increase too.

Over the years, Abbey England has acquired a number of businesses such as Liston Locks, B.B Stanley Brothers of Walsall and Equus to maintain British manufacturing.

Abbey’s employment of apprentices in its foundry enables the experienced workforce to transfer skills to the younger generation.

“We’re delighted to have secured a further five manufacturing jobs in the West Midlands,” said Richard Brown of Abbey England.

“The five bit makers previously employed by Young & Co have joined the Abbey team. We’re excited to have these skilled craftsmen and women working alongside us producing the best of British bits.”

Abbey specialises in traditional and unusual bits. They can be made-to-measure or customised from existing parts.


12th August, 2019.

Distributor invites retailers to seminar with refreshments.

Zebra Products, distributor of Cavalor supplements and care products, is to run a free-to-attend day seminar for retailers.

The event on Wednesday, 28 August at Hogarths Hotel in Solihull, West Midlands will cover trends in equine nutrition and supporting the locomotor system, plus product reviews.

Speakers are Cavalor experts Fien Demeyere and Lieselot Hamerlinck.

There will be free parking and a complimentary lunch for delegates, with preferential hotel rates available.

Confirm your participation and any dietary requirements to Leah Rae at


12th August, 2019.

Which new products will face a public vote at next month’s trade fair in Germany?

Seventeen finalists have been revealed for the 2019 spoga horse awards.

Hosted by trade magazine equitrends and Koelnmesse, spoga’s venue in the Germany city of Cologne, the awards highlight innovation and sustainability in the equestrian industry.

The winners will be announced at 12 noon on 3 September, following assessment by a judging panel and voting by visitors to the show.

Finalists in the innovation category (in alphabetical order) are:
- Albert Kerbl GmbH / Goleygo Closure Systems (panic snap)
- eQuick - Malaica srl. / eVysor (eye protection)
- Georg Kieffer GmbH / Light Hand (rein aid)
- HKM Sports Equipment GmbH / Comfort Temperature Riding Jacket (riding jacket)
- HKM Sports Equipment GmbH/ High neck rug Innsbruck (rug)
- Horse Pilot / Smart Airbag (airbag protection system)
- Horseware Products Ltd / Amigo Bravo 12 Plus Reflectech (horse rug)
- Sergio Grasso / SG380 Easy & SG1900 Quick (ankle boots)
- / The Bridle Bridge (tack)
- ThinLine Global / ThinLine Flexible Filly Grazing Muzzle (muzzle)
- UVEX Sports GmbH & Co. KG / uvex elexxion (riding hat)
- Waldhausen / Equibender (lunging aid)

Finalists in the sustainability category are:
- Carr & Day & Martin GmbH / Care/Cleaning Spray
- Egide / Epona Linen (riding hat)
- Freejump / 100% Vegan: Freejump Cork Shoes and Chaps (ankle boots and boots)
- GT Concept / Oak Saddle by GT Concept (saddle)
- ROTO SLOVENIJA D.O.O. / Hay barrel 50 L (hay barrel)


12th August, 2019.

VIP trip to Olympia up for grabs in annual competition.

Nominations are open for the 2019 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year.

The award recognises the vital role played by SQPs (suitably qualified persons) in advising horse owners on correct worming practices.

It’s all part of Virbac’s commitment to education and responsible worming, says the manufacturer of Equimax and Eraquell wormer brands.

Since its launch in 2010, the Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year award has become a highly sought-after industry accolade.

Horse owners, business proprietors and staff are invited to nominate someone who, in their opinion, gives exemplary customer service when offering guidance on worming.

“SQPs have a large responsibility to provide horse owners with responsible advice on horse worming, while being aware of their wider obligations under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations” said Virbac equine technical product manager Dr Rosie Naylor.

“Through the Virbac 3D Worming SQP of the Year award, we’re proud to recognise the hard work of SQPs and promote sustainable worming practices.”

For businesses, having an award winning SQP on hand comes with obvious rewards. The retailer is recognised for the quality of its service and advice, while the publicity surrounding being home to a winning SQP is an added bonus.

How it works:

• Visit and fill in the nomination form.
• Provide your nominee’s name and place of work.
• Give a brief explanation of why they deserve to win the Virbac SQP of the Year 2019.

Finalists selected from initial nominations go forward to a final judging via telephone interview. All finalists receive a certificate.

The winner will enjoy a VIP experience at Olympia, the London International Horse Show. He or she also receives a certificate, trophy and bespoke press release issued to the equestrian media.

Nominations close at the end of September.

• In the September issue of ETN, SPQs will find an AMTRA accredited CPD feature and quiz to help them earn the points they need to maintain their qualification.


12th August, 2019.

Find out who’s been named ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month for August.

Dave Kuhn is the winner of this month’s Bench Saddler of the Month award.

Presented by ETN in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), the accolade recognises those who uphold the highest standards of leather craft skills.

Dave was nominated by Andy Milner of saddlers S. Milner & Son of Melton Mowbray.

“Dave has worked for our business for over 45 years,” says Andy. “He can make anything somebody is willing to pay for - harness, saddles, bespoke bridlework; you name it, Dave can make it.

“He has even made leather door handles for Aspinalls of London and Penhaligons in Covent Garden, and is currently making a leather lamp. His skills are just fantastic and his attention to detail is second to none.”

Dave also makes special adaptive reins for Paralympic dressage rider Sophie Wells.

He started work at S. Milner & Son as a schoolboy, sweeping the workshop floor at weekends and holidays to earn pocket money.

“As soon as I was allowed to, I left school, started a job at Milner’s and have been here ever since,” says Dave. “Although life in general has changed enormously, the skills you learn as a saddler and craftsman stay the same and stand the test of time.

“Yes, new techniques come along and you develop new skills and remain open minded, but much of what you learn in the early days remains with you forever.”

When he started out in the saddlery industry, Dave was mentored by his father, Hans Kuhn, who also worked for the Leicestershire saddlers, and Andy’s uncle, Roger Milner.

“I learnt the very basics in the early days. Everything from gluing and repairs on everything from reins to leather horse boots. But it was a long time before they let me loose on a saddle,” recalls Dave.

Now a Master Saddler, Dave’s current speciality is bespoke bridles. “I get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing a bridle through from start to finish, and working with the best quality materials,” he says.

• To nominate someone you feel deserves to be named ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month, contact The award is open to saddlers who are employed or self-employed and who work in a workshop or factory setting anywhere in the world.


5th August, 2019.

The duo braved last month’s heatwave to complete 288 mile journey.

Sarfraz Mian, CEO of equine bit specialist Neue Schule, and Deborah Hayward, BETA and BETA International press officer, joined last month’s annual bike ride in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Despite enduring scorching temperatures, both completed the five-day journey from West Yorkshire to London on the Jo Cox Way.

After leaving the Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton, in Jo’s Batley & Spen constituency, Sarfraz and Deborah were among 40 cyclists to make the journey south.

The bike ride began in 2016, two months after the MP’s death. It was the brainchild of Sarfraz, a keen cyclist, who wanted to fly the flag for community spirit and the values championed by Jo.

Deborah joined the ride the following year and has now completed her third year in the saddle on the Jo Cox Way.

• Neue Schule is the main sponsor of BETA International 2020 which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 19 – 21 January.


5th August, 2019.

Sportswear range has ideas for competition through to everyday wear.

Italian brand Cavalleira Toscana is now available to the UK trade through distributor Zebra Products.

The Italian brand was founded in 2008 with the ambition to make technical sportswear look elegant.

“We’re excited to be working with well-known equestrian distributor Zebra Products and are looking forward to developing our technical-led collection further in the UK,” said Carol Boni of Cavalleria Toscana.

The collection is showcased four times a year and includes ranges for men, women and young adults as well as an accessories line. There are also matching equine outfits.

“Cavalleria Toscana’s collections include top quality, super stylish competition wear from jackets to shirts to fashionable clothing suitable for both riding in at the highest level and everyday wear such as comfortable breeches and stylish sweatshirts,” said Zebra Products’ Simon Middleton.


5th August, 2019.

Why an equestrian manufacturer was right behind a headline-making jockey.

The team at Horslyx had special reason to cheer last week when Khadijah Mellah became the first woman to ride in a British horse race wearing a hijab.

The company has for the past year supported the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton where the 18 year old learnt to ride.

As a young Muslim woman, Khadijah’s participation in the Magnolia Cup was always going to make headlines. But her win aboard Haverland in the ladies’ charity race at ‘Glorious Goodwood’ even made the 10 o’clock TV news.

“The Ebony Horse Club Charity may be in one of the most disadvantaged inner city neighbourhoods in the country,” said Gillian Wardle of Horslyx.

“But in this small oasis, tucked away between railways and towering blocks of flats, children are taught life skills, confidence levels are buoyed and opportunities are provided that they could once only dream about.

“Horslyx have proudly supported Ebony Horse Club Charity for the past year and fully believe in the transformative power of horses.”

Although Khadijah has ridden regularly, the first time she sat on a thoroughbred was two months ago, followed by an intensive course at the British Racing School.

Her mentors include TV racing presenter Oli Bell, jockey Hayley Turner and Charlie Fellowes who trains Haverland.

“Khadijah rode brilliantly to win on Haverland,” added Gillian. “Horslyx would like to congratulate her; we’re sure this will bring more success to other members of the Ebony Horse Club.”

• Find out how Horslyx are made in Britain. See the August issue of ETN.


5th August, 2019.

Amazing saving on low calorie product for owners whose horses may be carrying too much weight.

Throughout this month (August), TopSpec Lite Feed Balancer is available at half price via participating stockists.

The balancer is ideal for good-doers or horses that are overweight when fed as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

It is very important that this group of horses and ponies receive their full requirement of vitamins and minerals, say TopSpec nutritionists.

Lite Feed Balancer allows them to receive all the micronutrients required to balance the diet of horses in light to medium work in a small amount of exceptionally low calorie feed.

The palatable product can be fed on its own, or with a little TopChop Lite.

Long term trials have shown that horses and ponies on restricted/poor grazing do not gain any additional weight when fed Lite Feed Balancer. It can also be used as part of a calorie-controlled diet when weight loss is required.

The normal RRP is £20.95 for 15kg.


5th August, 2019.

New recruit is from the banking sector.

Alexandra Anderson joins feed company Dodson & Horrell this week as head of marketing.

Her career to date has been with Barclays, most recently as brand director heading up campaigns and sponsorship programmes.

Alex has had horses for many years and plays polo.

“I am thrilled to be taking up the position at Dodson & Horrell,” she said.

“There is a great team on board and it is a very exciting time to be joining the company, for what I am sure will be an extremely rewarding role.”


29th July, 2019.

But organisers won’t decide tradestand fees “until nearer the time”.

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials will open for five days in September 2020.

An extra day – the Wednesday – has been added to accommodate amateur event riders taking part in their own championship. The first horse inspection for the main competition is that day too.

Burghley’s shopping area will be open on what’s now the event’s first day.

However, while traders may welcome the opportunity to do business with additional visitors supporting Wednesday’s grassroots competitors, the organisers are unable to say at what cost.

“Tradestand charges will not be decided until nearer the time,” Burghley director Elizabeth Inman told ETN, “but they have never been based on the number of days that the event is open.

“It is hoped this extra day will afford the majority of our retailers a great opportunity to maximise on their week at Land Rover Burghley.”

The 2020 dates for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials are Wednesday to Sunday, 2 - 6 September. This year’s event takes place on Thursday to Sunday, 5 – 8 September.


29th July, 2019.

“His knowledge and enthusiasm always shone through.”

Glyn Jones, a key account manager with Dodson & Horrell, died earlier this month. He was 55.

A lifelong endurance athlete, Glyn died on 11 July, six days after collapsing with a heart attack while taking part in a cycling event.

As well as being a tremendously popular figure in the trade, Glyn completed the London Marathon on four occasions.

“Glyn’s knowledge and enthusiasm always shone through, along with a determination to do the right thing by customers, shoppers and D&H alike,” said a spokesman for the feed company.

“He will be sorely missed professionally but more so personally as he always had time for those around him and a joke or tale for any situation. Glyn’s legacy of passion, care and fun will forever be with the people he met.”

Based in Berkshire, Glyn worked as a key account manager for Dodson & Horrell for four years.

He leaves his wife Nicki, son Ollie and daughter Ella.


29th July, 2019.

… says retailer who launched just two and a half years ago.

Business in used saddles is booming at The Saddle Bank.

The Peterborough based online retailer was started by Jade Holly Smith in December 2016 - with £800 personal savings.

Now, she says, the business is on track to turn over more than £500,000 this year.

The Saddle Bank has also been shortlisted for two Rural Business awards; best rural start-up and best rural retailer.

It provides a safe place to trade used saddles online. Customers are offered a five-day trial, enabling them to get advice from a local qualified saddle fitter.

“We ensure that everything we do wows our customers so that they keep coming back every time they need to buy or sell a saddle,” says Jade.

Earlier this year, The Saddle Bank won a TSM Social Media award at the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Business Awards. In May the business took on its first employee, before moving to larger premises this month (July).

“We intend hitting the £1 million turnover mark next year,” adds Jade.


29th July, 2019.

Stand build company has a gift for BETA International exhibitors.

Stand design-and-build specialist Henson Franklyn is sponsoring BETA International ‘s exhibitor bags for the fourth year in a row. These brightly branded trade show essentials are handed out to all exhibitors as they arrive.

“Working ‘with’ our clients and not ‘for’ them is our key philosophy,” said the company’s managing director, Tim Henson. “As we approach our 30th year, we understand that the relationship between client and supplier is paramount, and reliability and trustworthiness rise above simple finance. Our knowledge and expertise allow us consistently to deliver in unusual spaces – indoor and outdoor. BETA International is a loyal and long-standing customer, and supporting the trade show – where many of our clients exhibit as well – makes perfect sense.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are extremely pleased that Tim has agreed to continue the sponsorship for another year and would like to thank him and his team for their support. Putting on the show is a huge undertaking and sponsorship such as this is greatly appreciated.”

Henson Franklyn joins the trade fair’s fellow supporters, official media partner and Innovation Awards sponsor Equestrian Trade News, New Product Gallery sponsor Shires Equestrian, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, model horse supplier Stubbs England, official clothing supplier Toggi, Coffee Shop sponsor VetSpec and main sponsor Neue Schule.

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


29th July, 2019.

A little something to help you evaluate your spend.

When they buy a bag of horse feed, owners can easily work out the cost-per-day, writes ETN editor Liz Benwell.

They know how much they paid, the weight’s on the bag, and they can calculate daily amount fed.

Can you measure the value of advertising you buy in magazines with the same certainty? Do you really know how many copies are produced and circulated? And who is getting to read them?

Well, ETN is coming clean… With every issue, we publish a printer’s certificate confirming the exact number of copies that were printed and distributed the previous month. You can find it on the cover/address sheet in the envelope in which ETN arrives.

Everyone is also welcome to ask us (please call 01937 582111) about any aspect of ETN’s print circulation – how many copies are sent out and to whom.

We’re not talking here about some fuzzy figure including digital platforms and social media. We mean actual printed paper pages - with your advertisement on them - getting into readers’ hands.

Please do ask us… And we hope you will ask the same of other magazines too.


22nd July, 2019.

New arrangement will increase availability, says managing director.

Nettex will be available through Trilanco from next month (1 August).

The equine healthcare brand says it has appointed the wholesaler as its logistics partner “to enhance service levels for the equine retail market.”

Nettex manufactures most of its products in the UK, in Kent and Burton-on-Trent.

“We are delighted to be working with Trilanco, increasing distribution and availability of Nettex products,” said the company’s managing director Roddy Webster.

“This initiative has a positive business impact for all our valued customers.”


22nd July, 2019.

A number of companies from different sectors of the equestrian industry have been accepted as members of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

The following companies were approved as new members of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) at last week’s (16 July) BETA Council meeting.

• RTD (Results Through Digital) – digital marketing (Associate member)

• Sara Blackshaw Consultancy – equine consultancy (Associate member)

• J & A Smales – farming (Trade member)

• Tourer Techs Caravan Services – caravan/motorhome repair (Associate member)

• Timmerman Groenvoederdrogerrij bu – feed (Overseas Trade member)

• Drimee – manufacturer of horse solariums (Trade member)

BETA represents its members’ interests regionally, nationally and internationally. The trade association also negotiates money-saving and business-building benefits on their behalf.

Consumers are urged to shop where they see the BETA sign.


22nd July, 2019.

Walsall saddle-maker renovates HQ to satisfy “more interest than ever”.

Frank Baines Saddlery has renovated its Walsall premises to make more room to meet increasing demand for its saddles.

The building in Northcote Street in the town has been the saddle-maker’s home since the company was established by Frank Baines in 1980.

Now, after a year of planning and reconstruction, there’s a separate goods-in area with roller shutters, new cutting and preparation rooms, a workshop with more natural light and bench space and a larger saddle storeroom.

The premises also boast a new showroom plus further office space with additional storage.

Despite Brexit, Frank Baines Saddlery is experiencing more interest than ever in its hand-made saddles, said director Victoria Coleman. “We’re very excited to have completed the work as it provides us with much needed additional space and facilities to cope with the increase in demand.”

An official opening and open week for stockists are planned for the autumn.


22nd July, 2019.

How to watch live action from Hickstead.

This week’s Dressage at Hickstead (25 – 28 July) will be live streamed by Horse & Country.

Broadcasts will cover classes from small tour to grand prix, contested by world class riders during the four-day international fixture.

It’s the first time Horse & Country has live streamed from Dressage at Hickstead. Subscribers can watch on

Jonathan Rippon, Horse & Country’s director of content, said there were plans to cover many more major events over the next few months.


15th July, 2019.

Shows urged to enforce mandatory vaccinations and owners to practice good biosecurity.

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) today confirmed that the number of laboratory confirmed outbreaks of Equine Influenza (EI) in Great Britain has now exceeded 200.

This compares with just two outbreaks reported in 2018.

Dr Richard Newton, the AHT’s director of epidemiology and disease surveillance, said: “Alarmingly the number of outbreaks of Equine Influenza continues to rise and are likely to continue week-on-week for the foreseeable future.

“The effect of increased horse movement and mixing of horses at events in the summer is a contributing factor.

“We applaud those horse shows and events which have made vaccination mandatory, have arrangements to check passports and enforce the rules.

“We encourage organisers of horse shows and events in the future to make vaccination mandatory, and to ensure this decision is communicated in plenty of time ahead of their event to allow owners the time to properly vaccinate their animals.”

The AHT’s advice to horse owners is to remain vigilant to the clinical signs of ‘flu, boost the horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago and isolate new arrivals on the yard and those returning from shows.

Owners are also urged to practice good biosecurity at their yard and when out competing.


15th July, 2019.

Meet the saddler who’s won a new award.

Jennifer Roy has been named Bench Saddler of the Month.

This new ETN award, presented in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), recognises those who uphold the highest standards of leathercraft skills.

Jennifer was nominated by Kay Hastilow, a former SMS president, who says: “Jennifer’s work ranges from basic repairs to fantastic bespoke harness, bridles and leathergoods with the highest standard of decoration and furnishings. She is a bench saddler of the highest calibre.”

Fife based Jennifer runs The Springfield Saddler. She is a Master Bridle Maker and Master Saddler & Harness Maker who says she prefers to hand-stitch in high quality leather for increased strength and an excellent finish.

“My passion is for bridlework and harness that actually fit the horse,” says Jennifer.

“A correctly fitting bridle is as important as a correctly fitting saddle, so I understand the difficulty many horse owners face in trying to find off-the-peg products that fit their horses.”

Jennifer adds that riding and working with horses for more than 40 years has helped her understand what riders want from their saddlery.

Recently she has turned her expertise to a new line of work. “I’ve become something of an expert in Clydesdale harness, mainly due to there being no-one else who produces it,” Jennifer revealed.

“It’s been a steep learning curve with a lot of help from the heavy horse owners. Finding the metalwork to produce the harness can be a challenge as it’s no longer made, so we have to improvise at times.”

• Read more about Jennifer’s work and career in the July issue of ETN.

How to nominate

Everyone is invited to nominate candidates for the ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month award. Nominees can be working in a factory or workshop setting, for an employer or self-employed. They can be based anywhere in the world. To nominate a bench saddler (or more than one) email and tell us why this person deserves to be recognised. Please include the saddler’s name and where they work too.


15th July, 2019.

The company is set to sponsor BETA International’s showpiece of what’s new for a seventh consecutive year.

Shires Equestrian has signed to sponsor BETA International’s New Product Gallery for the seventh consecutive year, in line with the company’s commitment to supporting the trade. This highly popular showcase of all that’s new and exciting is always eagerly anticipated by the show’s visitors and one of the top features on everyone’s “must see” list.

Shires co-managing director Marcus Cridland said: “We are pleased to continue our sponsorship of the New Product Gallery for 2020 as part of our commitment to supporting retailers. The feature is a strong focal point within the show, where it highlights new and innovative products, and provides excellent brand exposure for Shires. I would like to thank members of the BETA International team for all their hard work and dedication. We have one UK equestrian trade show in the calendar year and, as exhibitors, we share in a common goal to put on a world-class event. In order for us all to maximise this fantastic opportunity, we need the backing of retailers to ensure that the show remains strong and beneficial to all.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “New products are the lifeblood of the industry and this highly effective and attractive feature is a great way to give them the prominence they deserve. We are thrilled that Shires Equestrian is backing the New Product Gallery once again and we really look forward to working with Marcus and his team to roll out a first-class industry experience for our visitors.”

Shires Equestrian joins the trade show’s fellow supporters, official media partner and Innovation Awards sponsor Equestrian Trade News, exhibitor bag sponsor Henson Franklyn, Champagne Bar sponsor NAF, model horse supplier Stubbs England, official clothing supplier Toggi, Coffee Shop sponsor VetSpec and main sponsor Neue Schule.

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


15th July, 2019.

Recently formed company is handling cooling products from California.

A new company called Highland Wear has become the UK distributor of the American owned range of Equi Cool Down cooling products.

Highland Wear is run by horse people Heather McCarrick and her partner Sam Holtby. Heather used to work in equestrian retailing, at Millbry Hill’s Stokesley branch.

The eight strong Equi Cool Down range covers products for horses and humans.

The collection relies on clever fabric technology and requires no pre-freezing or chemical reaction.

Find out more in the August issue of ETN.


15th July, 2019.

More than 500 horses and riders took part in the Ride for Life.

A sponsored ride run by Speedgate has raised more than £61,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The retail saddlery business, which has three sites in Kent, had already collected £205,000 for the charity over the years. Speedgate revived its Ride for Life last month after a four year break to boost the total still further.

More than 500 horse and rider partnerships took part in the two-day, ‘think pink’ themed ride at Speedgate Farm in Kent.

“On behalf of Cancer Research UK, we thank all of the riders for their efforts, it is a truly amazing total,” said Nicola Preston of Speedgate.

She went on to thank Court Lodge Farm Horse Riding for permission to use some their land, Virbac UK Equine for sponsoring the medals, Nettex Equine for supplying electrolytes and all volunteer marshals.


8th July, 2019.

“Emphasis on evidence based parasite control” welcomed.

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has published new guidance for SQPs around faecal testing for parasites in horses.

“We have created the guidance as our member companies have noted an increase in questions arising on this topic,” says Tessa Plagis, technical policy assistant at NOAH.

“There seems to be a common misunderstanding about the significance of the results, and we are hoping that with this guidance we are able to clarify how the faecal egg count reduction test works and how the results should be interpreted.”

Claire Shand, of postal worm count service specialist Westgate Labs, has welcomed the initiative.

“It’s great to see NOAH putting an emphasis on evidence based parasite control,” she said.

“We welcome the guidance they’ve produced to help with the interpretation of faecal egg count results - and particularly in addressing the rising problem of drug resistance and the important role that testing plays in monitoring and determining this.”

Claire added that, in Westgate Labs’ experience, routine resistance testing following treatment isn’t widely carried out by horse owners – despite advice about best practice.

“As the issues develop, it’s something that will become more necessary and all prescribers should be encouraging horse owners to add this step into their approach,” she added.

“A greater knowledge of the tools we have available to us to target anthelmintics [wormers] and ensure they are effective can only be a good thing for the health of our horses.”

NOAH’s guidance note is available for download here

• ETN publishes AMTRA accredited features and quizzes to enable SQPs to refresh their knowledge and earn CPD points to maintain their qualifications. The next one is in ETN September issue.

Want to be in the August issue of ETN? Contact Beth Crow on 01937 582111 or email


8th July, 2019.

Two overnight stays for two are up for grabs to trade customers.

Retailers buying PureFlax flax oil supplement for horses and dogs have a shot at winning a night away for two in a charming Yorkshire Dales hotel.

The prize draw is open to existing customers and new stockists who order £80 worth of PureFlax directly from the company or through wholesalers Battles and Trilanco.

The competition runs during July and August.

“PureFlax understands how important it is to support its retailers,” says business development manager James Palmer.

The winning retailers and their guests will stay at the Devonshire Grassington hotel which was renovated by the Timothy Taylor’s Brewery in 2015.

Famed for its Yorkshire hospitality, pub grub, log fires and some of the best beer the UK has to offer, it’s close to Pen-y-ghent the famous fell that forms part of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge.

The draws take place on 5 August for July customers and 2 September for August customers, with all trade customers eligible to enter.

PureFlax is grown, harvested and cold-pressed on a farm near Wetherby in Yorkshire. It has full traceability.


8th July, 2019.

New owner says it fits into growth plans.

Parallax Plastics has acquired the Skup feed scoop from HUF Design.

The 2.7 litre capacity, polypropylene scoop won an innovation award at BETA International 2015.

“It’s a great addition to our large range of feeding products,” says Anna Gardner of Nottinghamshire based Parallax Plastics.

“This is one of three new products launching [for us] this year. It fits very well into our growth plan to develop new equestrian plastic products, proudly manufactured in the UK.

“We're grateful to [product inventor] Emma Lawton for the opportunity.”

In a first for feed scoops, the Skup has teeth to loosen compacted feed. It also has measuring gills for accurate portion control when preparing feeds, and comes in several bright colours.

Want to be in the August issue of ETN? Contact Beth Crow on 01937 582111 or email


8th July, 2019.

A collaborative effort of industry bodies has helped create a fresh standard that will preserve skills.

The Level 2 Leather Craftsperson Apprenticeship Standard and End Point Assessment Plan have been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships.

The new intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to 5 GCSEs Grades A* to C.

A Leather Craftsperson is defined as someone who either produces the leather or manufactures leather goods for a number of markets such as equestrian, golf and cricket applications, to high-end retail luxury goods and fashion, such as handbags, luggage and lifestyle accessories.

The apprenticeship will teach an overarching range of skills, knowledge and behaviours appropriate to both the production of leather and the manufacture of leather goods.

These include processing and finishing leather (post tanning processing, quality control); leather cutting and preparing (including splitting, trimming, corrective grain treatments); hand and machine sewing leather components, and assembling the final product.

The Worshipful Company of Saddlers has helped fund the development of this standard working with John West of the UK Fashion & Textiles Association (skills body for the fashion and textiles industries including leather); Kerry Senior of the UK Leather Federation; the Employers Trailblazer Group led by Rob Billington of Mulberry; and the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

“This was an excellent example of collaborative working for the wider benefit of the sector and the development of core skills for employees,” said Patrick Burns, trade and training advisor of The Saddlers’ Company.

For more information about the standard, see:

The Institute of Apprentices also offers the Level 3 Bespoke Saddler Standard, which is an advanced apprenticeship in saddlery, see:


2nd July, 2019.

British firm to exhibit at Spoga for the first time in 49 years.

Stubbs England is changing a half-century’s habit by exhibiting at Spoga in September.

It will be the first time the Nottinghamshire based manufacturer has shown its stable yard equipment at the trade fair in Cologne, Germany since 1970.

Brexit is a factor, but not the main reason we’re going [after so long], says Ross Bradwell, the seventh generation of the same family to run Stubbs England.

“When Stubbs commits to doing a show, we don't do it lightly,” he added.

“Due to a changing European market, we hope to strengthen our offering across the continent as well as lend support to our current distributors.

“We hope everyone will pop along to see our latest new products and pick up one of our brand new catalogues."

The first Spoga was held in 1960. In 2006, the show adopted the name spoga+gafa, having started running in tandem with the garden trade fair Gafa.

The show’s contract with the BSI, the sponsoring association which represents the garden trade as well as equestrian companies, dates back to 1974.


1st July, 2019.

Winners to receive shopping vouchers; nominations now open.

Leading feed brand Spillers has joined up with ETN to launch a new seasonal award for retailers in recognition of their nutrition know-how, product displays and customer service.

The winner will be presented with a certificate and shopping vouchers worth £75.

A fresh award will be up for grabs every season for a year with applications for the Star of the Summer Season Award 2019 kicking off now.

Retailers are invited to nominate themselves or put forward a member of their team. Members of the Spillers Retail Sales Team will also be putting forward the names of outstanding individuals who they believe deserve extra recognition and appreciation.

Spillers brand manager Kirstie Scott said: “This award gives us the chance to recognise and reward some of the exceptional retailers out there who go the extra mile for their customers. As proud partners in care, we are all very excited about being able to celebrate the importance of good nutrition with all our excellent equestrian retailers.”

Nominations for the Star of the Summer Season Award 2019 are open until Friday, 23 August. Criteria for nominations comprise:

• An individual who has gone ‘over and above’ in carrying out their day-to-day job
• Product range and display
• Customer service
• Product and nutrition knowledge
• Involvement with Spillers campaigns

Entries will be judged by a Spillers panel of experts and the winner announced in a special Star of the Season column in the October 2019 issue of ETN. The winner will be presented with a framed certificate for display in-store and shopping vouchers worth £75.

To enter, simply email including ETN Star of the Season in the subject line. Remember to make sure you have included information covering all the nomination criteria listed, together with the name, store and location of the nominee and the name and contact details for the nominator.


1st July, 2019.

Why online retailers must plan ahead to comply or face “catastrophic meltdown”.

Online card fraud is huge. £4.1bn was stolen as a result of this type of theft, according to analysts Finextra Research.

And to illustrate the personal damage, a survey commissioned by of 2,000 UK adults showed that 22% were defrauded in the last year this way.

Europe has, for some time, been worried about the problem of card fraud. As part of the fight back, from 14 September 2019 a new process known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) made under the Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) will be in place.

Extra layer of security

SCA is to all intents and purposes an extra layer of security designed to prevent payment fraud.

It ensures that online card transactions become more secure through “multi-factor authentication” – a second check to demonstrate that both the transaction and card holder are genuine.

The aim of SCA is to be the ‘chip and pin’ of the online world; and rather like chip and pin, SCA will apply to transactions over a certain value - €30 (around £26).

But while SCA targets the online transaction, Mark Nelsen - a risk and authentication expert at card processor Visa, says that banks and merchants may also need to regularly check that contactless payments are made by the correct cardholder too – by asking for a PIN.

“This,” he says, “might occur after a contactless card has been tapped five times in succession, or when €150 (around £133) has been spent using only contactless taps.”

As to how it’ll work, SCA could mean any one of numerous authentication methods such as an online PIN or password, a device that only the cardholder can authenticate - say a smartphone, or a biometric trait such as a fingerprint or facial recognition that is clearly very personal.

Will it irritate customers?

SCA is going to mean a marked change to how firms accept cards. And for some there are worries that this extra layer of protection will add unnecessary complexity which will irritate customers who may find themselves unable to pay.

But change was clearly needed. According to a UK Finance report in 2018, UK Payment Markets, in 2017 there were 3.1bn credit card payments – an increase on the previous year of 13%. The same report reckons that by 2027 there will be 3.9bn credit card payments a year.

In comparison, there were 13.2bn debit card payments in 2017 (up 14% on the previous year) and 2027 could see some 19.7bn debit card payments.

Changes businesses need to make

Compliance with the new regime is mandatory. There will be no exceptions and if a firm doesn’t comply, then all transactions will be automatically declined by the cardholderʼs bank when they attempt to make a purchase.

Further, by not planning ahead and developing authentication processes that offer the least friction to consumers, firms could see payment problems arise and customers using retailers that do offer a seamless experience.

Clearly then, the first step for any trader is to set up their systems to recognise when transactions need to abide by SCA (because they are above the €30 threshold) or when they don’t (because they’re below).

Recurring payments will be exempt from the system, so that needs noting. Allied to this is the option for a customer to ‘whitelist’ a business with their card issuer, so that future purchases made from that business fall outside the multi-step authentication regime.

The second step is for a business to consider how SCA is to be operated. Are transactions to be authenticated by text, smartphone, email, biometric trait or other option?

For firms the size of Amazon, the options are many. But for the smaller independent, a text- or email-based process is likely to be more appropriate.

Visa suggests that for transactions that require SCA, businesses should have what is known as 3-D Secure 2.0 (3DS) in place to enable them apply exemptions such as low-risk transaction analysis or perform two-factor authentication when needed.

The benefit to firms of 3DS is that it allows issuing banks to verify credit card owners during the transaction process. This means that those firms using the protocol can transfer liability for fraud disputes away from themselves.

Lastly, firms need to think about whether they want to implement SCA internally – and so become ‘expert’ - or hire in third-party help to undertake the task. A conversation with a merchant acquirer would be time well spent.

In summary

SCA is coming, like it or not. So those selling online need to plan ahead else they face a catastrophic meltdown as a huge chunk of their business will be denied from mid-September.

• Read more business advice every month in ETN.


1st July, 2019.

BETA International’s initiative is designed to support the saddlery industry.

The BETA International Saddlery Pavilion – supported by the Society of Master Saddlers and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers – is offering saddle and leatherwork companies the opportunity to put their products on the world stage as part of the 2020 show’s drive to support the saddlery industry.

With space for up to 14 companies, the pavilion promises a high-profile presence at the show and access to a large audience of industry buyers. Stands of up to 6 sq m are available on a first come, first served basis. Only those that have not exhibited independently during the past two years can apply. However, companies that appeared in the 2019 pavilion can also feature in 2020 as part of the area’s maximum two-year policy.*

“We are very proud that the BETA International Saddlery Pavilion is such an important part of the show and extremely pleased that it has received such prestigious support,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The initiative is a fantastic way to attract companies from this historic sector and allows those who have not previously exhibited – or have not done so for a while – to encounter, and benefit from, a receptive and enthusiastic global market.”

Hazel Morley, chief executive of the Society of Master Saddlers, added: “We are delighted to give the Saddlery Pavilion our backing. The SMS wants to support its manufacturing members in every way it can and the pavilion gives them the opportunity to attend the show at very reasonable rates. It’s a great arena in which to showcase the high quality of their products.”

BETA International is the annual go-to destination for retailers seeking quality equestrian, country clothing and pet products. Widely regarded as the unmissable trade buying event, it has been welcoming visitors and exhibitors through its doors for more than 40 years.

The 2020 show runs from 19 to 21 January at the NEC, Birmingham. If you would like further information about exhibiting in the Saddlery Pavilion, please contact Darren Mottershead, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

*Companies can exhibit in the BETA International Saddlery Pavilion for a maximum of two years.


24th June, 2019.

Claims that a feed is ‘balanced’ and ‘complete’ were likely to mislead consumers, says watchdog.

Equidiet (UK) has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the way it promoted its EquidGel product on its website.

The Lincolnshire based firm’s description of its product as ‘balanced’ and ‘the only complete feed that nourishes and hydrates at the same time’ was found to be an exaggeration.

Indeed, deficiencies in the product were likely to negatively impact the health of horses if they were fed EquidGel as a sole ration over the long term, concluded the ASA.

The watchdog said the advertisement must not appear again in the form complained about. Equidiet (UK) has been told not to claim EquidGel is a ‘complete’ or ‘balanced’ feed unless it holds evidence to substantiate its claims.

Read the full ruling at


24th June, 2019.

Plus other fresh National Equestrian Survey announcements.

The equestrian industry is worth £4.76 billion – up from £4.3 billion in 2015.

The figure is among the latest statistics from the National Equestrian Survey (NES), undertaken by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), unveiled at last week’s BETA Feed Industry Conference.

As well as highlighting the equestrian industry’s significant contribution to the national economy, the NES calculates the sector’s health and potential by measuring numbers of riders, horses and horse owners and their expenditure.

An upturn in rider numbers is a cause for optimism; 3 million people from British households have ridden in the past year, compared with 2.7 million in 2015.

A worrying trend is the five million lapsed riders. Of the 650,000 expressing a wish to ride again, most cited limited time, funds and access to horses and facilities as the most common reasons for not doing so.

The NES, which is widely quoted and accepted as a reliable barometer of the state of the industry, is produced by BETA approximately every five years. Recent editions are part-funded by Sport England.

The wide-ranging survey unearths a myriad of fascinating facts about the equestrian industry and its participants. For example, the average age of UK horses is 13.

The uptake of digital consumer magazines has doubled in five years, yet just 2% of equine feeds are purchased via the internet.

Equestrianism employs more people than agriculture or the music industry.

Expenditure on specific product categories, and how it compares with the previous NES, are also documented.

BETA member companies each receive a free overview document. Specialist sections can be purchased separately. More details from the BETA office on 01937 587062 or email


24th June, 2019.

Broadcaster to show top competitions from the show where rain stopped play for spectators.

This week will see Horse & Country (H&C) showcase key classes from the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.

Heavy rain meant the show was closed to the public although the show jumping and dressage went ahead on the Cheshire venue’s all-weather surfaces.

Highlights of the Equerry Grand Prix, with Ellen Whitaker collecting some of its £90,000 total prize fund, will be aired on Wednesday, 26 June 26 at 7pm.

Dressage fans can see the Theraplate UK CDI 3* Grand Prix, won by Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, on Thursday, 27 June at 7pm.

The Horse & County CSI Amateur Bronze 1.15m show jumping goes live on Friday, 28 June also at 7pm.

Coverage of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show is available on Horse & Country Sky channel 184, Virgin Media channel 298, and on H&C’s streaming service.


24th June, 2019.

Exhibitors at the Harrogate showground set to meet royal guest.

The Duke of York is to visit next month’s Great Yorkshire Show (9 – 11 July).

He will meet officials, competitors and exhibitors on the Thursday, the final day of the show.

The Duke, who last visited the show in 2002, will be hosted by the show director Charles Mills at the Harrogate showground.

More than 130,000 visitors are expected to enjoy the 161st Great Yorkshire Show.

The final day also sees the famous Cock O The North show jumping competition take place.


17th June, 2019.

It will be inspirational, says Princess Anne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This year marks the RDA’s 50th anniversary.


17th June, 2019.

Retailer’s “exceptional” work is rewarded.

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

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

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

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

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


17th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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


17th June, 2019.

New factory set to increase production and create jobs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


12th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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


12th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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


12th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting weary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




10th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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


10th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


10th June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New award

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

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

The new award succeeds the saddle fitter award which has run for just over a year and produced 14 worthy recipients.

How to nominate

Everyone is invited to nominate candidates for the ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month award. Nominees can be bench saddlers working in a factory or workshop setting, for an employer or self-employed. They can be based anywhere in the world.

To nominate a bench saddler (or more than one) email and tell us why this person deserves to be recognised. Please include the saddler’s name and where they work too.


3rd June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3rd June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The results were:

Class One: Dog Lead

1st: Michelle Bogaerd

2nd: Ruby Knight

3rd: Charlotte Chessman

Class Two: Headcollar

1st: Andy Hawkins

2nd: Tara Griffin

3rd: Gudrun Gadegaard

Special: Molly Grout

Class Three: Leather Box or Container

1st: Line Hansen

2nd: James Adair

3rd: Lucy Ellis

Special: Jeanette Hutchinson and Zöe Hurst

Class Four: Harness Bridle

1st: Sam Belasco

2nd: Gudrun Gadegaard

3rd: Tara Griffin

Best in Show: Sam Belasco for his Harness Bridle


3rd June, 2019.

Nominations invited for important equestrian accolade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3rd June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3rd June, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

The episode is due to air this summer.


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: