New organising team signed up.

BETA International will revert to its traditional days of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday when it returns to NAEC Stoneleigh on 11 – 13 September 2022. 

The show is to be run by Impact Exhibitions & Events on behalf of Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), the wholly owned subsidiary of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Group which has organised BETA International since 1979.

Kent based Impact, owned by exhibitions industry veteran Gordon Thomas, runs the PATS pet trade shows as well as the Aqua event for the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA). 

“While Impact’s team will ensure the event runs like clockwork, BETA’s trade fair committee is there to make overall policy decisions,” said Claire Williams, executive director of BETA. “And the trade association will continue to benefit from the revenue it generates.

“BETA International 2022 will be put on by the trade, for the trade, as it has been for 40 years.”

A catalyst for the change of show management is the impending semi-retirement of Claire Thomas (no relation to Gordon Thomas), EMC’s commercial manager and BETA International’s organiser for 17 years. 

BETA International 2022, at NAEC Stoneleigh on 11 – 13 September, will be run by the team from Impact Exhibitions & Events, owned by Gordon Thomas (third from left).

“We don’t need to change anything”

Gordon Thomas, who’s run shows for four decades, plans to leave the look and feel of BETA International largely unchanged for 2022. 

Speaking to ETN, he noted the success of the show’s debut at Stoneleigh in September 2021. 

“We don’t need to change anything about BETA International,” said Gordon. “For now, we’re concentrating on what we do best – attracting specialist retailers through the doors of a show.”

Hinting at future plans, he added: “In year two, we’ll begin to build on content.

“The ultimate customer for suppliers and retailers is the horse owner or pet owner, so we need to inspire and educate with them in mind. It’s about creating fresh opportunities for visiting retailers to achieve profit margins through new products, new suppliers and new contacts.”

Impact’s team will oversee BETA International’s stand sales and operations. The exhibitors’ main point of contact is Fiona Dagger who is a keen equestrian.

Asked if pet products will become more prominent at BETA International, given Impact’s association with PATS, Gordon Thomas said: “There’s no reason why retailers shouldn’t look at expanding their ranges to include the pet side, where it’s relevant. We can certainly offer the opportunity to get involved in other markets.”

“Renewed appetite”

On the future of in-person events post-Covid, Gordon is optimistic: “If anything, there’s a renewed appetite,” he says.

He’s equally positive about the future for specialist retailers, including physical stores. 

“Bricks-and-mortar retailing is in no way dead; it just needs to be commercially managed. In fact, the retailers on the high street that are doing well are those that are focussed, understand products, buy properly and buy well. 

“The same is true for shows; exhibitors and visitors want events where everything is relevant and dedicated to them.”

To find out more about exhibiting at BETA International, contact Gordon Thomas or Fiona Dagger at Impact Exhibitions & Events on tel 01892 862848 or email


BETA International ended its first year at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, on a high with organisers delighted at the smooth running of the inaugural event and excellent trade carried out over the three days at the much applauded new venue.

Well known for its fantastic networking opportunities, educational seminars, chance to see the latest product innovation and so much more, BETA International was hailed a success with the industry delighted to move forward with such positive strides.

Hundreds of new products – many unveiled for the very first time – took the limelight, enjoying a centre-stage position and providing a powerful attraction for retailers keen to source new stock and gather ideas and inspiration.

On the Thursday evening the After-Show Drinks proved a huge success with industry colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate a successful first day of buying and business with the show’s organising team over glasses of bubbly. 

Many of the brightest and best were highlighted in the Shires Equestrian New Product Gallery which once again drew plenty of visitors to take a look.

The NAF sponsored Gin & Fizz Bar was the place to be, to catch up with colleagues and business associates while main sponsor Neue Schule had a busy stand throughout the show. 

Exhibitors were in full support of the event with a consensus that visitors were serious buyers who wanted to do business and be educated about products across the sectors.

Jan Foster of Grub’s Boots said: “We had a very good show, everyone who came to talk to us were quality enquiries and it was great to see so many old friends after so long.  The industry needs BETA International and it is important to support it.”

Added Lisa LeMieux of LeMieux: “We were busy all the time and to be back after so long  was just brilliant.  BETA International provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new products and collections and winning the Innovation Award and enjoying the drinks party were the icing on the cake.”

At Shaws Equestrian, Monty Stuart-Monteith said: “The first day was excellent, very very busy and we had a steady stream throughout.  The show really has exceeded our expectations.”

Safraz Mian of Main Sponsor, Neue Schule said: “We have had a really wonderful couple of days and it is really important we had a start point for the event.  It is wonderful to be the first show back and we are hoping it will be the springboard for businesses for the future and we are already looking forward to the show next year.”

Chairman of Shires Equestrian, Malcolm Ainge added: “The first day was extremely busy, busier than in other years and the venue is excellent.  I have not heard one complaint and it really suits the trade.”

Said Linda Porter of NAF: “Without doubt the venue is an excellent choice and we are looking forward to next year when the show will become an established date in the calendar.”

David Wright of Platinum Agencies was also very positive about the show.  Said David: “From start to finish, getting here, dealing with the venue and the organising team has been very easy and the NAEC really works.  The industry now needs to support the trade fair and get the halls full in future years. We are 100 per cent pleased we came and business has been good.”

Retailers were also very much in favour of the new venue and delighted to get the show on the road again.

James Macgregor of Stockley Outdoor and Equestrian said: “It has been very worthwhile coming to BETA International.  We have generated a lot of leads and prospects that we can develop.”

Said Liam Payne of LP Equestrian near Wolverhampton: “I always come to BETA International and the location of Stoneleigh is superb.  There is so much to look at and as ever we have made new contacts and relationships that we can build on.”

Added Georgina Chapman of Rimell Saddlers in Shipston in Stour said: “I have been here all three days and it has been great to see so many people.  The layout is very spacious and it is good to see major brands as well as the smaller ones just starting out in the industry.”

New to the retail world, Louise Lucas of Horse & More said: “This is a very new experience for me and there is so much to take in. It is wonderful to see so much under one roof and to look at new products and ideas that I would like to add to the business.”

This year the Seminar Theatre played host to a series of interesting talks and lectures covering a range of topics from advances in saddle fitting, to go to bitting techniques, social media advances, safety equipment updates, riding helmet and body protector measuring, worming advice, caring for the veteran horse and retail merchandising. 

Talking about unique selling points and ‘Go-To’ Bits, Heather Hyde, Founder and Director of Neule Schule Ltd said: “I was delighted with how the seminar went and hope those that came along and gave support learned something they can benefit from as a retailer.”

While Claire Williams, BETA Executive Director and Secretary provided an industry update on safety equipment standards and said: “It is important to be aware of the upcoming changes to a number of hat standards with significant changes occurring in the near future as well as the new European air vest standard that is in development.”

During each day of the show, the Society of Master Saddlers showcased the high standard of work by saddlery apprentices and students. Thursday saw Saddlery Training Centre students make a foal slip, with the challenge won by Gudrun Thusen. Friday’s competition, to make a bridle headpiece, was won by second-year Capel Manor College student, Charlotte Lowes. Saturday's competition, to make a belt, was won by Millie Wells of the Saddlery Training Centre.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas said: “BETA International 2021 was a great success at the new venue and we were delighted to get such positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors.

“We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to develop Stoneleigh further and will be unveiling our future plans very soon. 

“We would like to extend our thanks to all supporters of the show and our sponsors and suppliers – Neue Schule, Equestrian Trade News, Shires Equestrian Products and NAF, who really make this all possible.”

Success photo created by ijeab


BETA International’s Innovation Awards, with their fresh, new format for 2021, certainly hit the spot with the trade-only audience who gathered to hear the winning products announced as the first day of the show ended at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, on Thursday 9 September.

The latest new product innovations were entered into the awards and considered by an independent panel of judges – this year Sue Moxon and Wendy Beal of R&R Country took on the task.

The awards, designed to recognise and celebrate areas such as a product’s design, technology, manufacture and environmental credentials, are sponsored by BETA International’s media partner and leading industry title Equestrian Trade News.

Every exhibitor is invited to enter products in the competition, provided they have not been introduced to the market during the 12 months preceding the show. Each entry must feature elements that are truly innovative – radically different, completely viable and able to address a definite need.

This year there was one open class with gold, silver and bronze awards lined up for the winning products. 

 “To be a world-leading show, it is important to move with the times,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Products and the manufacturing environment are constantly evolving and the Innovation Awards have been reformatted to keep in step.

“We are delighted with the industry’s extremely positive reaction to the awards and very excited about all the fantastic entries. Seeing the winners take to the stage to collect their trophies is always very special and congratulations to them all.” 

The winners of the 2021 Innovation Awards are...

Gold Winner

Company: LeMieux

Product: LeMieux Arika Storm-Tek Rug

A waterproof turnout rug from LeMieux’s Arika Rug Collection.  Available in three weights with matching neck covers included plus a featherweight turnout for warmer months.

Judges’ comments: “The rug has a fantastic 45 degree breast strap and double layer skirt for freedom of movement.  Fantastic packaging, great video and value for money.”

Silver Winner

Company: Maxima

Product: Maxima Mix ‘N’ Munch

An equine pick ‘n’ mix biscuit treat with 100% natural ingredients available in 20 flavours.

Judges’ comments: “A great idea, customers can cherry pick flavours to suit the horse.  Great marketing and retail display.”

Bronze Winner

Company: Charles Owen & Airowear

Product: Shadow

The Shadow back protector has been designed for riders not wearing a full body protector and who prefer a lighter weight alternative.  It offers limitless movement over jumps whilst protecting against impacts from a fall.

Judges’ comments: “Stylish and sporty looking, ideal for the rider who does not want to wear typical body protection, but who wants some level of protection for the back.”

BETA International is the world’s leading trade show for equestrian, pet, country and giftware products. The 2021 show took place at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, from 9 to 11 September.


Exhibition stands at BETA International are always polished, professional and powerful sales and marketing platforms guaranteed to impress and delight visitors attending this leading trade show.

They take time, effort and a huge amount of creativity, and the very best are rewarded in the BETA International Best Stand Awards. Every exhibitor is automatically entered into the competition, which is divided into two categories – Best Large Stand (32 square metres and over) and Best Small Stand (under 32 square metres) – to reflect the different types of companies in the halls.

Judging is carried out by independent judges. At BETA International 2021, these were NAEC Stoneleigh’s account director, Lynn Gardner, and Lowri Croydon, sales and marketing account manager at Stoneleigh, plus Fran Bos from Riding for the Disabled Association, who toured the halls incognito to consider each stand. 

This year, the winners were:


Winner: Charles Owen & Airowear

Judges’ comments: “An amazing stand, light and welcoming with a great visual impact.  You simply can’t miss the stand, the information was very clear and easy to see.”

Highly commended: Red Gorilla

Judges’ comments: “A clean, fresh, colourful display with plenty of seating.  The team were very easy to talk to and it was nice to hear about the family history.”


Winner: Platinum Agencies

Judges’ comments: “The stand was very clear and well laid out, fresh and modern, and was truly different and also very versatile.”

Highly commended: Heygates Country Feeds

Judges’ comments: “A very nice display that related well to the products.  It was great to be able to touch and feel the feed.  The team had excellent product knowledge.”

“Congratulations to our winners,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “They have succeeded in delivering stands that are extremely pleasing on the eye and perfect for this commercial environment.”

“Top-class tradestands are a real hallmark of the show and the standard in the halls this year has been incredibly high. Lynn, Lowri and Fran certainly had a challenge on their hands selecting the worthy winners, but what fantastic winners we have! Congratulations to the four companies – their stands are a real credit to them.”

BETA International is the world' leading trade show for equestrian, country, pet and giftware products. This year’s show took place at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, UK, from 9 to 11 September. 

People vector created by pch.vector


In less than 24 hours, BETA International will make its debut at the NAEC Stoneleigh, welcoming equestrian, country clothing and pet products retailers to Warwickshire for three days of business and buying.

BETA International 2021 will take place from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September, running from 9.30am to 6pm, except on the final day, when it finishes at 4.30pm.

Thursday will see exhibitors and visitors catching up with friends and colleagues at the show’s free After-Show Drinks in Strollers restaurant at the Main Entrance from 6 to 8pm. Glasses of Prosecco, beer and soft drinks will be served.

In line with the show’s Covid-19 guidelines, those wishing to attend are advised to register online so that badges can be printed at home to ensure a quicker and simpler arrival process. Tickets can be obtained by clicking here. 

BETA International organisers have worked hard to create a safe and secure environment for everyone, with appropriate measures implemented across the show. A detailed list of these can be seen here.

Image by S K


With just eight days to go before the trade exhibition throws open its doors to the industry, it’s time to book your free visitor ticket – if you haven’t already done so.

Running from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September at NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, BETA International is a great place to see all the very latest products, gear and equipment, put faces to names and enjoy some top-notch networking with others in the equestrian, pet and country sectors.

A daily programme of seminars features tips on everything from retailing and safety garment fitting to social media and worming, with the opportunity to gain valuable CPD points.

Exhibitors and visitors are also invited to gather for free After-Show Drinks on Thursday, 9 September, to celebrate a successful first day of business. There’s no need to book – just make your way to Strollers Restaurant between 6 and 8pm, where Prosecco, beer and soft drinks will be served.

To get your ticket, click here and feel secure in the knowledge that the NAEC and BETA International’s organisers have taken all possible measures to ensure your safety. These include:

  1. Pre-registering in advance of the show.
  2. All visitors must show proof of Covid-19 status on arrival at the venue. This can be evidence that they have completed a full course of vaccination two weeks prior to arrival, proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival or proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test for Covid-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period.
  3. Encouraging everyone in the halls to wear a face mask.
  4. Providing hand hygiene stations throughout the show.

To view full details of BETA International’s Covid-19 guidelines, click here.

Image by Jennifer Smith


For training schemes leading to excellent job prospects, find out more here…

It’s a good time to consider a career in saddlery. 

Bespoke bridlework sales are on the up and demand for saddle fitting has never been higher.  

And as environmental concerns champion repairing over throwing-away, bench saddlers are busy.

The saddlery sector has one of the best training and qualification structures in the equestrian industry; in any industry, in fact. 

So where can aspiring saddlers find out more?

Next month’s BETA International, at NAEC Stoneleigh on 9 – 11 September, is an excellent starting point. 

The three-day show presents a great opportunity to learn about training, qualifications, meet those already working in the industry and watch saddlers at work. 

During BETA International, apprentices and trainees will compete in the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) competitions. Representatives from the SMS and Worshipful Company of Saddlers will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions and offer advice.

BETA International also hosts a Saddlery Pavilion is where you can see famous saddle brands on display and meet the people behind them. 

Your key to a new career

Students and apprentices competing at BETA International are from the Saddlery Training Centre, Salisbury; Capel Manor College; and the Walsall Leather Skills Centre.

The competitions give a valuable insight into training opportunities available to anyone considering a career in saddlery.

Students often enter the industry working for saddlery businesses and Master Saddlers; others take up apprenticeships to further their training – and those with experience may wish to hone their skills in specialist areas such as harness-making or side-saddle restoration. 

The Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury opened in September 2000 offering the Government Apprenticeship Scheme. In addition, it runs bespoke courses to support people in the trade from apprentices to experienced saddlers wishing to update their skills and gain qualifications.

The Centre is approved to deliver the Government’s Apprenticeship Schemes for saddlers and is an approved assessment centre for the City & Guilds National Saddlery Skill Assessment and Qualification Scheme for the Saddlery Trade. 

Capel Manor College offers the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers’ Diploma in Saddle, Harness and Bridle Making, as well as the Cordwainers' Diploma in Shoemaking.

Skills learnt on Capel Manor College courses are transferable, students going on to work with a wide range of employers such as luxury leather goods makers, the British Army and fashion designers.

The Walsall Leather Skills Centre is working in partnership with the Saddlers’ Company Charitable Fund to supply Walsall and the surrounding areas with access to vocational training in leather and to deliver a range of courses and apprenticeships.

The new centre delivers a wide choice of leather apprenticeships, courses and qualifications.

Admission to BETA International is free to eligible visitors. Find out more at

Image by Gerd Altmann


“A cost-effective way to display products to the trade.”

British saddle and leatherwork companies will be on parade in the BETA International Saddlery Pavilion this September thanks to the support of the Society of Master Saddlers and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

The pavilion, promoting the craftsmanship and high-quality products found in the UK’s saddlery industry, provides a premium opportunity for up to 13 companies to enjoy a presence at the show, giving them direct access to a large audience of retail buyers. 

Stands of up to 6 sq m are available on a first come, first served basis for those who have not exhibited independently during the past two years. Companies that appeared in the 2020 pavilion can also feature in 2021.*

“British saddlery is something we are incredibly proud of,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “It is part of our country’s rich heritage and we are delighted that we are able to showcase some of our finest products right here in the pavilion – and with such prestigious support.

“This fantastic initiative allows us to open the doors to saddlery and leatherwork companies, and provide them with a powerful – and cost-effective – platform to display their product ranges to the trade.” 

Hazel Morley, chief executive of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), 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 good quality equestrian, country clothing and pet products. Widely regarded as the unmissable trade buying event, it has been welcoming visitors and exhibitors for more than 40 years. 

The 2021 show runs from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September at the NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. 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. 


Company backs new feature area at BETA International.

Big on bubbles, fresh on flavour, BETA International’s brand-new Gin & Fizz Bar brings a welcome opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to network with friends and colleagues over a glass and a bite to eat.

This cool, contemporary feature area is sponsored by NAF – one of the biggest names in the world of canine and equine supplements – and will be known as the NAF Five Star Gin & Fizz Bar. Instantly recognisable with its striking black and gold graphics, the bar will enjoy a high-profile presence in the halls.

This is the fourth year of BETA International backing from NAF, as the company previously supported the show’s Champagne Bar. “We never like to rest on our laurels and are constantly looking at ways to make elements of the show even more exciting and effective,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Reimagining the Champagne Bar and transforming it into a fabulous Gin & Fizz Bar fits in nicely with our move to NAEC Stoneleigh for 2021. We see it as the perfect time to refresh this tremendously popular area. 

“We are delighted that NAF shares our vision and is keen to continue its sponsorship. It means a great deal to us that a company with such glittering credentials is supporting us in this way. It has been a complete pleasure to work alongside the NAF team and we are really looking forward to doing the same again for the 2021 show.”

Isla Boxall-Loomes, NAF advertising, social and PR manager added: “Our support of BETA International is one of our most valued alignments in terms of our unflinching support of trade and we are very much looking forward to the opportunity to meet with exhibitors and visitors after what has been an unusual time for us all who are involved in equestrianism.

“The move to the NAEC Stoneleigh for 2021 is exciting and we are looking forward to seeing the new Gin & Fizz Bar come to life too; it promises to be a central area for visitors to meet and plan for the year ahead.”

BETA International 2021 runs from 9 to 11 September at the NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, 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.

Photo by Alexander Naglestad


It’s all systems go for BETA International 2021 as show organisers confirm that the leading trade buying event will go ahead at the NAEC Stoneleigh in September.

Following the official green light, it’s back to business for Claire Thomas and her team as they prepare to welcome exhibitors and visitors to the show’s new venue.

“We are incredibly excited that we will be throwing open our doors once again and doing our bit to support the industry,” said Claire. “BETA International is set to bring a much-needed boost to the equestrian, pet and country sectors, and we can’t wait to reconnect buyers and suppliers. We have paid for the hire of halls and set the wheels in motion to deliver exactly what the trade needs right now.

“After an incredibly challenging year for us all, there is now a very different environment emerging, with a keen sense of anticipation and enthusiasm, and the call for fresh, new products, ideas and inspiration. 

“September is set to bring significant change as furlough comes to an end, people return to work and most of us will have received our Covid vaccinations. Around 61 million doses have already been administered, with 23 million people – that’s 43.5% of adults – having had their second dose. This, along with our health and safety measures carried out to the government-approved All Secure Standard, ensures that BETA International is a premium prospect for all those wishing to get their businesses back on track while keeping everyone as safe as possible.”

There are currently 80 exhibitors set to appear at the show. Companies wishing to secure a presence, while saving money at the same time, can take advantage of BETA International’s Early Commitment Discount, with its deadline of Friday 28 May. Visit to find out more or contact BETA International sales manager Darren Mottershead, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111. 

BETA International 2021 will take place at the NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September with two exhibition halls, an extensive seminar programme, New Product Gallery, Gin ‘N Fizz Bar, Coffee Shop, leading industry accolades – the Innovation Awards and Best Stand Awards – and After-Show Drinks at the end of the first day.



Grant applications open soon to support creators of equestrian things.  Saddlers, bridle-makers and farriers are among the professionals in with a chance of securing grants...
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