18th December, 2015.

Staff at feed stores in Cheshire and Nottinghamshire have bagged themselves shopping vouchers for the festive season.

Congleton based Youngs Animal Feeds and Martins Farm Shop in Arnold, Nottingham were joint winners of a display competition run by Spillers.

Around 30 equestrian retailers took part in the contest that celebrated the launch of Spillers Happy Hoof Molasses Free.

“It was difficult to decide between Youngs and Martins as both have gone to considerable effort,” said Claire Dyett, category manager at Spillers.

The winners received shopping vouchers to share with their teams.

At Martins, Emma Hines commented: “It’s great what Spillers do to help sales in store, and to have the endless backing from their representatives.”

Kathryn Edgeley at Youngs Animal Feeds added: “We really enjoyed putting the display together and it definitely generated a lot of interest from our customers.”


17th December, 2015.

A supplier’s pre-Christmas goodwill gesture is helping flooded Cumbrian households clean up.

Leicestershire based Faulks & Cox Ltd (FCL) donated – and delivered – a trailer load of tubs and tools to Penrith earlier this week (15 December).

“Having seen the devastation wreaked on hundreds of homes, we felt we really wanted to help out,” said managing director Dean Cox, who drove the goods to Cumbria.

“Flooding is horrible at any time, but just before Christmas makes it particularly heart breaking.

“We watched the news and thought “we've got a warehouse full of stuff that would help” - a no brainer really,” he added.

When they arrived at The Old Fire Station in Penrith, Dean and the FCL team were met by grateful volunteers working on the post-flood clean-up operation.

“The people we met had local knowledge,” said Dean. “Some of their stories and those of the people they were helping were motivation times one hundred!”


16th December, 2015.

BETA International organisers have named the dates for the 2017 show.

They are 22 - 24 January, the traditional Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The show will take place as usual in Halls 6, 7 and 8 at the NEC, Birmingham.

Next month’s BETA International 2016 is on 24 – 26 January. The official show preview, including an exclusive exhibition floorplan with list of exhibitors, appears in the January issue of ETN.

Admission to BETA International is trade only and free to pre-registered visitors. More details at


15th December, 2015.

More relaxed competition dress codes have been given the thumbs down by riders, according to new research.

Introducing sporty, colourful outfits has been mooted as a way to give equestrian sports wider appeal, particularly to television audiences.

A study by Dr Kath Dashper of Leeds Beckett University found that riders appreciate the distinct visual identity that competition attire gives to dressage and show jumping.

The formality of the dress was seen as reflecting the core values and traditions of both sports, in particular poise, elegance, dignity and respect.

Dr Dashper, an amateur dressage rider for 20 years, interviewed 80 competition riders. They were aged 16 to 70 with more than a third being professionals.

Although her findings – published in Annals of Leisure Research – show that those interviewed were mainly in favour of retaining the dress rules for their sports, they did voice criticism of some aspects of the competition attire.

“The dress that competition riders wear is based on traditional hunting and military attire as these are the roots of the sport,” said Dr Dashper.

“Both were predominantly masculine pursuits and the clothes – essentially breeches and a formal jacket – were originally designed for men. But both men and women now find aspects of the costume difficult.

“Some women of a shorter build find it hard to find comfortable tailored jackets and many men find tight-fitting breeches overly ‘revealing’. ”

She believes that small changes to competition dress may be acceptable, such as more colour options for jackets, but radical change to try and modernise the sport’s look would be rejected.

Even the recent rule change to allow riding without jackets during hot weather is unlikely to be taken up in many cases, as riders said they didn’t feel right unless wearing the full costume.

“With all Olympic sports having to make their case for continued inclusion, there is some pressure on equestrian sports to respond to those who see the attire as being archaic, elitist and off-putting,” said Dr Dashper.

“The governing bodies will need to strike a balance on how far they go to appeal to those outside the sport, without adversely affecting those who actually take part.”


15th December, 2015.

Noble Outfitters has appointed Matt Cummins as sales manager for the north of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Previously key account manager with Musto for five years, Matt has worked in the retail and wholesale country sector for more than a decade.

“I’m incredibly excited to work for Noble Outfitters, as the role brings together my knowledge of technical performance clothing and my passion for an active, country lifestyle,” he said.

“The brand offers retailers a complete range of innovative, stylish, equestrian performance products at sensible prices.”

Matt lives with his wife and children on the edge of the Peak District National Park.


15th December, 2015.

A leading wholesaler is to open between Christmas and the New Year to help keep retailers stocked up at this busy time.

A number of staff at Snowhill Trade Saddlery will interrupt their seasonal break to despatch website orders and take phone calls.

Many equestrian consumers will be on holiday that week, and consequently have time to shop. This is often the time when winter really bites too, creating a demand for cold weather related goods.

Retailers wanting to top up on items in high demand or fulfil special requests will particularly feel the benefit of Snowhill’s holiday opening.

• Snowhill Trade Saddlery will be open on Tuesday, 29 December until 3pm. Its usual speedy turnaround time will be offered with its regular carriers delivering as usual.


14th December, 2015.

Whether commission should be taken into account when calculating employees’ holiday pay entitlement is the subject of an employment tribunal.

The result, which is not expected for some time, could affect the likes of reps and sales-people whose earnings include commission, as well as those employing them.

Lock v British Gas was heard last week (8/9 December) by Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

“The appeal in this case is on the grounds that the interpretation of EU law adopted by the Tribunal at first instance [a previous hearing] was wrong, and that overtime and commission should be treated differently,” Paul Kelly of Blacks Solicitors explains.

“While the European Court of Justice has already decided that employers need to take into account commission earned by an employee in holiday pay calculations, it did not provide any guidance to employers as to how those calculations should be made.

“The implications of this appeal are far-reaching. If the EAT rules that earlier decisions in respect of holiday pay calculations were incorrect, then the holiday pay situation in the UK could be reversed again.

“This will not only invite further appeal to a more senior court, but will undoubtedly herald a further period of uncertainty whilst employers wait for clarification as to what should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay and how these calculations should be performed.”

For more information, or immediate advice, contact Paul Kelly at Blacks Solicitors on tel 0113 227 9249 or email


14th December, 2015.

A free coach service is offered to retailers visiting BETA International.

There are scheduled pick-up and dropping off points en route from four different UK locations.

Coaches will travel to the NEC, Birmingham, on the first day of the show (Sunday 24 January) from Carlisle, Chelmsford, Durham and Exeter.

All coaches are scheduled to leave the NEC for their return journeys at 5.30pm.

“There are no catches, just sit back and enjoy the ride,” say organisers of the trade fair which runs from 24 to 26 January.

Retailers can book seats by calling tel +44 (0)1937 582111 or by emailing


10th December, 2015.

Battles is to be the exclusive distributor of Barrier Animal Healthcare’s range of Barrier branded equine products.

The arrangement, announced today, is effective from 1 January.

“We are very excited by the opportunity that we have been given by Barrier to grow their sales and brand equity,” said Jim Bowen, managing director of Lincoln based wholesaler Battle, Hayward & Bower (‘Battles’).

Barrier is well known for its natural products created from sustainable sources.

“We continue to innovate using our unique plant derived formulations,” said Barrier’s sales and marketing director Sandy Morris.

“This development will enable us to better focus on providing further leading-edge products across the country and abroad.”

Attleborough, Norfolk based Barrier Animal Healthcare has been manufacturing its equine range for more than 25 years.


8th December, 2015.

Bedmax shavings has appointed of Gemma Dresser as area sales manager for the north of England and Ireland.

Gemma joins Bedmax from Farmway/Mole Country Stores in Alnwick, Northumberland where she worked for three years in sales and administration before becoming duty manager.

Gemma has previously worked as a freelance groom and been assistant yard manager at Blidworth Equestrian in Nottinghamshire where she prepared horses for sale and competition.

“Gemma joins the team specifically to develop sales within the northern region from Cheshire and Yorkshire in the south up to the Scottish Borders. She will work closely with our existing network of loyal customers, retailers and yards identifying new opportunities,” said Tim Smalley, managing director of Bedmax.

• For more new appointments, see ETN’s People page every month.


7th December, 2015.

Zebra Products is offering to pick up the courier cost (in UK mainland) on all orders in December.

The distributor has another early Christmas gift from PK Sportswear.

Stockists who buy ten pairs of breeches from the A/W 2015 collection get one free. This offer runs throughout December.


7th December, 2015.

Karen Clithero hopes to make a triumphant return to BETA International next month (January 24 – 26), 33 years after her last award-winning appearance.

Back in 1983, Karen won Best New British Product with her Bi-Numnah at what was then the BETA Trade Fair.

This year she’s back with Crafty Ponies, educational soft toys for pony-mad children. It was teaching in a riding school that gave the former junior showjumper the idea.

“I designed the ponies as a craft kit to be made by adults with help from children,” said Karen. “The toys link into our website and the whole thing is geared towards encouraging children to learn about ponies and their care.”

The results of the 2016 BETA International Innovation Awards, sponsored by ETN, will be announced on Monday, 25 January during the show.

All exhibitors are invited to enter the innovation awards, provided nominated products meet certain criteria. The closing date for entries is 8 January.

Details about the BETA International Innovation Awards, sponsored by ETN, plus a full list of exhibitors, can be found at


1st December, 2015.

Deadlines for the BETA Business Awards – to be presented at the BETA Gala Dinner in January - are fast approaching.

So now’s the time to nominate the company or event that you think worthy of winning.

You may have a sponsored rider, member of staff or trade supplier you’d like to reward. You can even nominate yourself for some awards, so don’t miss out.

BETA is gathering nominations for the TSM Social Media Award, Blacks Trade Supplier of the Year, Haygain Nutritional Helpline of the Year, Equestrian Event of the Year supported by Henson Franklyn, Equine Careers Sales Representative/Agent of the Year, Harry Hall Employee of the Year and Sponsored Rider of the Year.

Visit to find out more and submit a nomination or email for nomination forms. The deadline is this Friday, 4 December.


1st December, 2015.

Paralympic dressage rider Ricky Balshaw is the guest of honour at a Staffordshire saddlery’s grand opening on Saturday (5 December).

The new look Hoofs at Heart – to be found in the Heart of the Country Shopping Village, Swinfen near Lichfield - is three times bigger than the old store.

Saturday’s open day will also be a fund raiser for Riding for the Disabled (RDA). “There will be a raffle for the RDA and the local press is coming along too,” Hoofs at Heart director Karren Rawlins told ETN.

“We stock everything for the horse and rider along with country clothing,” Karren added. “Our most popular brands are Pikeur, Eskadron, Spooks Equestrian, Noble Outfitters, Rugged Horse, Jack Murphy, Kanyon, Hy and Equetech - to name but a few.”

Some of the brands have donated raffle prizes. There are also vouchers to be won for pony trekking and beauty salon sessions, plus chocolates and Hoofs at Heart gift vouchers. Goody bags will be given away too.

Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations as Ricky Balshaw officially opens the new store. The shop postcode is WS14 9QR.