21st December, 2012.

Two famous faces from television are to appear at BETA International 2013.

Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison is an ecologist and journalist. Emmerdale star Claire King rides, owns two racehorses and is a patron of World Horse Welfare (WHW).

WHW is BETA International’s chosen charity for 2013.

Ellie will visit the show on Sunday, 17 February. She’ll chat with commentator Philip Ghazala about her work on Countryfile and answer visitors’ questions before presenting the Virbac Equine SQP of the Year Award.

Claire attends on Tuesday, 19 February. As well as being interviewed about her charitable role with WHW and equestrian interests, the actress will appear in the Horseware Ireland Fashion Show.

“We’re thrilled that Ellie and Claire are coming to the trade fair,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), organiser of BETA International. “They are both extremely well known for their television work and we cannot wait to meet them and hear what they have to say in their interviews, which I’m sure will be great fun, as well as thought-provoking.”

BETA International is the leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet products and country clothing markets. The 2013 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 17 to 19 February. For further information or to book a stand, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email james@beta-int.com. Entry is for trade only, with free entry on pre-registration at www.beta-int.com


20th December, 2012.

A worldwide campaign to promote the wearing of protective riding hats has been launched by the governing body for international horse sports, the FEI.

A new rule making the use of properly fastened safety headgear mandatory while riding under FEI rules comes into effect on 1 January – although exact hat standards are not always specified for each discipline.

“The helmet rule is a significant step forward towards the better protection of our athletes,” said FEI secretary general Ingmar De Vos. “We strongly encourage everyone ...to familiarise themselves with the new general and sport-specific rules.”

The value of safety hats has been highlighted by US dressage rider Courtney King-Dye via the Riders4Helmets initiative. In 2010, the Olympic rider suffered a traumatic brain injury following a fall while not wearing a hat. After four weeks in a coma, the after-effects still severely affect her coordination and speech. She’s aiming to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

“For 15 years, I was a person who only rode the young or ‘dangerous’ horses with a helmet. But [on this occasion] my horse did nothing naughty, he just tripped over his own feet,” said Courtney King-Dye, explaining that vulnerability to head injury has nothing to do with riding skill.

The FEI has a Yellow Warning Card system in place for those athletes who do not comply with the new rule.


19th December, 2012.

One lucky retailer who visits BETA International can win £1,000s worth of products by calling at the ETN stand.

First prize in the winner-takes-all, free-to-enter draw is a bumper hamper packed with goodies from ETN advertisers.

It’s the third year ETN has run the prize draw. To enter, retailers need only visit the ETN stand and fill in a form with proof of business.

For more details, call Nicki Lewis at ETN on 01937 582111 or email info@equestriantradenews.com \

BETA International is at the NEC, Birmingham on 17 – 19 February.


18th December, 2012.

Equestrianism has been awarded £6 million as its share of Sport England’s provision of £493 million to boost grassroots sport.

The funding, announced yesterday (17 December), covers the period from 2013 to 2017 and represents a 46% increase on the previous four years or Olympiad.

As the national governing body for equestrian sport, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is responsible for channelling the funding.

“We have had a wonderful year and we are determined to make the legacy thrive,” said Andrew Finding, BEF chief executive. \

The federation wants to increase the levels of participation in equestrian sport and recreation, he added.

“We want to see more people riding in the countryside, on bridlepaths, in urban areas, riding schools, clubs, colleges and livery yards. In doing so we will pay particular attention to young people between the ages of 14-25 as well as those with disabilities and those with a prodigious talent.”


18th December, 2012.

International animal husbandry wholesaler Albert Kerbl GmbH is to take a stand at BETA International for the first time.

The German based wholesaler is a leading supplier of equine, agricultural, pet and smallholder products.

Its watchwords are “high quality products, individual service and attractive prices.”

Kerbl can trace its roots back to a small farm where, in 1962, Isidor Kerbl developed a calving tool. His son Albert founded the present company in 1984. \

The current management team includes export manager for Northern Europe and America, Florian Kerbl.

A list of BETA International exhibitors can be found at www.beta-int.com0

BETA International 2013 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 17 – 19 February.


17th December, 2012.

The Pellet Master from Fyna-Lite is believed to be the first fork designed for mucking out wood pellet bedding.

The British-made tool has been nearly three years in development.

The Pellet Master will be exhibited at BETA International (NEC, Birmingham; 17-19 February).

“We can’t wait to show these new products to the trade at BETA International,” said Fyna-Lite’s general manager Leon Fynn. “As a manufacturer, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the fruits of your hard work and to receive positive feedback from customers.”


14th December, 2012.

Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will reveal his government department’s view of the equestrian industry at the National Equine Forum (NEF).

The 21st NEF will be held in London on Tuesday 5 March.

With The Princess Royal as its president, the Forum is supported by the Association of British Riding Schools, Bedmax, BEVA Trust, The Blue Cross, British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, British Horse Society, British Horseracing Authority, Bulley Davey, Darbys Solicitors, Dodson and Horrell, Donkey Sanctuary, Equine Products UK, Horse Trust, Jeffress Scholarship Trust, NFU Mutual Insurance, South Essex Insurance Brokers, Weatherbys Group and World Horse Welfare.

Owen Paterson is an experienced horseman who has ridden in the infamous Mongol Derby.

Other speakers include Ed Bracher, of Riding for the Disabled (RDA) on encouraging volunteers; vets Malcolm Morley on equine pre-purchase examination and Mark Hillyer on colic treatments and success rates.

Riding as a form of therapy be covered by guest speaker Dr Patricia Pendry of Washington State University, USA, Jennifer Dixon-Clegg of the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and thesis of the year winner Sarah Rainford.

Richard Lancaster of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Richard Newton from the Animal Health Trust will talk about the control of equine infectious diseases.

After lunch, the Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson will give an overview of the London 2012 Games, followed by input from Olympic and paralympic participants.

Finally, nutritionist Pat Harris of the Waltham Equine Studies Group will look at grass, Badminton director Hugh Thomas discusses cancelling a major event and Pieter Brama, Professor of Veterinary Surgery at the University College Dublin, considers whether horses are ready to race as two-year-olds.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals at £100 per person, which includes lunch and refreshments. To apply, contact the Hon Secretary, Mrs Tracy Allen, at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, Warwick, CV35 9BL. Email: teallen@warkscol.ac.uk. For further information on the NEF visit www.bef.co.uk.


12th December, 2012.

Pets at Home has acquired Ride-Away, the Yorkshire based equestrian retailer.

The pet retail chain, which has 334 stores totalling 2.8 million square feet, is not planning to re-brand Ride-Away immediately but says the acquisition will “significantly expand its specialist credentials.”

Established in 1980 by Stephen and Angela Clark, Ride-Away has remained family-owned. As well as a 15,000 square feet shop near York, it runs online and catalogue mail order operations. Turnover in 2011 was £6.7 million.

“The acquisition of Ride-Away is a really exciting opportunity for Pets at Home where our equestrian offer is very limited at present,” said Nick Wood, CEO of Pets at Home. “By deploying our wealth of experience and resources to support an accelerated growth plan we look forward to developing the business further over the coming years.”


12th December, 2012.

Paralympic gold medallists Sophie Wells and Natasha Baker called in at Black Country Saddles yesterday to collect their new saddles.

BBC TV Midlands Today, the Express & Star evening paper and ETN were at the company’s Cannock, Staffordshire factory to report on the occasion. The programme is due to be broadcast this evening.

Natasha and Sophie rode in Black Country Saddles at London 2012. The new saddles have been custom-made for their young horses which are hot prospects for Rio 2016.

Natasha, whose saddle has been adapted as she competes without stirrups, became converted to Black Country when she borrowed Sophie’s saddle at a squad training session. “It puts me in a great position and I feel so close to the horse,” she said of the mono-flap style.

“We’ve been incredibly busy with dressage saddles since the Olympics,” said John Hartley, co-director of Black Country Saddles with Rob Cullen. “We’ve definitely benefitted from the British riders’ success in London.”

The BBC’s report is also set to highlight a busy 12 months for Black Country Saddles. Since managing director Mark Bryan joined the firm a year ago, the company’s workforce has grown from 17 to 21. Exports, notably to America, are on the up too.

This year has also seen Black Country Saddles open a tree-making business at its former saddle factory in Walsall.


11th December, 2012.

BETA International 2013 is offering SQPs the chance to gain a maximum 18 CPD points – four more than last year – at AMTRA-accredited seminars hosted by the show’s main sponsor, Virbac Animal Health.

Callum Blair, BVMS, MRCVS, the company’s senior veterinary adviser, will present ‘The times they are a changin'' on Sunday 17 and Tuesday 19 February. The seminar, worth 10 points, will last for 75 minutes and look at the latest developments in equine worming, including changes to Veterinary Medicines Regulations proposed for October 2013. The seminar is the same on both days, so points are awarded for attending only one session.

Further points can be gained at a second seminar with Callum – also lasting 75 minutes – on Monday 18 February. ‘Database marketing – making the most of two of your greatest business assets’ will bring a maximum of eight points and focus on how database marketing can be used to target customers and motivate employees.

SQPs wishing to attend the seminars do not need to book beforehand but should bring their AMTRA number so that they can register at the show.

“The CPD seminars for SQPs were introduced in 2009 and have become a really important part of the trade fair,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of BETA International organiser Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC).

· SQPs (suitably qualified persons to prescribe animal medicines) must earn a given number of CPD points in a given period to maintain their qualification. The current training period ends on 30 June. ETN’s next AMTRA accredited CPD feature (worth two points) is in the February issue.


11th December, 2012.

Popular horse trials commentator Justin Llewelyn has died. He was 59.

He was also an FEI steward who officiated at three Olympic Games, including London 2012.

Justin's ‘day job’ was as brand ambassador at the champagne house, Taittinger. His father was the actor Desmond Llewelyn who played Q in the James Bond films.

“Justin was a larger than life character in every way,” said FEI eventing and Olympic director Catrin Norinder “He was incredibly generous, both with his time and with sponsorship.”

Justin Llewelyn is survived by his wife Claire, and daughters Charlotte and Rosamund. Claire shares Justin’s love of eventing, and gave a home to the retired top event horses Shear H20, Shear L'Eau and Ringwood Cockatoo and rode them in dressage competitions.


10th December, 2012.

Seats are available on the coaches that transport retailers to BETA International for free.

Luxury, 25-seater vehicles will leave Norwich, Ipswich, Peterborough, London, Exeter and Carlisle on Sunday morning (17 February) on a return journey to the NEC, Birmingham, stopping off at collection points en route.

An additional service will operate from Exeter on Monday (18 February), providing an extra opportunity for a day visit to the show, as well as collecting retailers who have been passengers on the previous day.

“The coaches allow retailers to put their feet up and enjoy a ride to the show without it costing them a penny,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), organiser of the trade fair.

Reservations can be made at www.beta-int.com by completing the booking form at the Free Coach Service link on the Visit page. A timetable is available here too. More details from Lynn Pattison on tel 01937 582111.


7th December, 2012.

Retail footfall is showing a significant leap in shopping activity compared with last year.

The number of non-food shopping trips were up by 11.2% for the week commencing 25th November compared with the previous seven days, according to market researchers Ipsos.

The rate of acceleration at this point in the campaign is slightly better than it was last year, and well ahead of the three years prior to that.

Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, as it does this year, also gives the perception of extra shopping days, says Ipsos.


6th December, 2012.

Keeping a groundbreaking new girth off the market until after the Olympic Games cost manufacturer Fairfax Saddles £200,000, ETN can reveal.

Hailed as the ‘secret weapon’ that helped Equestrian Team GB to a record Olympic medal haul, the Performance Girth was officially launched to the trade this week.

More than two years in development, the finished product is the result of extensive pressure testing and equine gait analysis as well as engineering and design challenges.

“We were asked to keep the girth exclusively for the British teams until after the Olympic Games. We were happy to do this, of course, but it must have cost us about £200,000,” said Rupert Fairfax.

On Monday (3 December), a gathering of retailers and saddle fitters was given detailed results of the research, much of it conducted on Olympic horses as they prepared for London 2012.

The conclusive evidence is that the Fairfax Performance girth can reduce peak pressures by as much as 82%, significantly improve horses’ range of movement and increase joint flexion over fences and on the flat.


6th December, 2012.

Kubota is to supply five tractors to the London International Horse Show at Olympia (17-23 December).

Set to attract more than 80,000 visitors, all four members of the British Olympic gold medal winning showjumping team are entered for the show, as is dressage dual gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin.

Throughout the show, Kubota’s tractors will be working hard, moving jumps and scenery into the main arena.

“To be involved with such a prestigious event is a real honour, especially as this year the show celebrates its 40th anniversary,” said Dave Roberts, Kubota UK’s general manager.

Kubota tractors are popular in the agricultural, groundcare and equestrian industries. Vehicles supplied for Olympia include Kubota’s mid-range GL40 series, which combines exceptional performance with state-of-the-art transmission and PTO [power take off] systems for tough commercial use.

The company has also supplied tractors from its compact B20, B30 and STV series, which it says deliver outstanding value, power output and performance efficiency.


5th December, 2012.

The BETA International 2013 Innovation Awards will be sponsored by ETN (Equestrian Trade News).

The awards, a long-standing feature of the international trade fair, reward new products that combine invention with commercial viability – and guarantee publicity for the winners.

New products have been making headlines in the monthly trade journal ETN for more than 30 years. “Innovative ideas truly mean business for the retailers who read us,” said editor Liz Benwell.

ETN is the media partner of BETA International (NEC, Birmingham 17 – 19 February). The February issue contains the trade fair’s official preview, including stand-by-stand exhibitor guide and floorplan.

The innovation awards are open to all exhibiting companies with products new to the market during the 12 months preceding the show. There are eight categories: Saddlery & Tack, Rider Clothing, Safety & Security, Feed & Supplements, Horsecare Products & Equipment, Pet Products, Other and (new for 2013) Country Fashion.

This year’s judging panel includes London 2012 medallists event rider Nicola Wilson and para-dressage rider Natasha Baker.


3rd December, 2012.

Three equestrian companies will join other Royal Warrant holders for a one-off event this summer at Buckingham Palace gardens.

The Coronation Festival (11 - 14 July), marking the 60th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation, will showcase brands that have earned the recognition of Royal Warrants over the years.

Bedmax Shavings, wholesaler Abbey England and Dengie Horse Feeds will be representing the equestrian industry.