19th December, 2017.

ETN is the one and only media partner of BETA International. Come and visit our stand (Q1.1) at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January – and you could win a hamper of fantastic stock in our prize draw.

ETN’s official BETA International 2018 preview appears in our January issue.

Only in ETN, you’ll find a show floorplan, exhibitors’ list and timetable – plus news of new launches, what’s coming up the BETA International fashion show catwalk plus celebrity appearances and CPD seminars.

This is the final ETN e-newsletter of 2017. So it only remains for the ETN team of Beth Crow, Nicki Lewis and Liz Benwell to wish you and yours a relaxing Christmas and prosperous New Year.


19th December, 2017.

The project could improve understanding of the link between horses’ internal fat and conditions such as laminitis, insulin dysregulation and colic.

New research by the University of Liverpool in collaboration with Spillers has resulted in the development of an internal fat scoring system for horses.

The Equifat system aims to unlock the mysteries of equine internal fat stores and determine whether there is a link between Body Condition Score (BCS) and specific internal fat stores.

Ultimately such a scoring system should help improve understanding of the link between internal fat and conditions such as laminitis, insulin dysregulation and colic, say scientists.

In people, CT imaging can be used to identify regional fat storage. Its distribution is known as ‘fat patterning’ and abdominal fat is now recognised as a risk factor for metabolic and cardiovascular disease. However, little is currently known about any health risks associated with specific areas of regional fat in horses.

Previous work has shown that BCS is correlated with the total amount of body fat. But until now, it has not been possible to identify whether specific regional fat stores drive this correlation or whether all fat stores may be implicated.

While equine external fat is commonly assessed using body condition scoring, there isn’t a practical way to check for fat on the inside because the horse’s large size makes full body MRI or CT scans impractical. The Equifat system – described as a “robust and reliable method of scoring internal fat” - aims to address this problem.

Clare Barfoot, research and development manager at Spillers, added: “It is an exciting and important step that can be utilised in future studies to help us further understand the links between external and internal fat stores and their role in conditions such as colic, laminitis and insulin dysregulation and ultimately help to prevent them.”


15th December, 2017.

A rule review by British Eventing has been welcomed by the distributor of a particular type of spur.

Smooth rowel spurs are now permitted for use in British Eventing (BE) competitions.

BE has joined British Dressage (BD) and the international governing body, the FEI, in ‘legalising’ rowel spurs. However, they must be free to rotate, round and smooth. Tines are not allowed.

BE does not allow the use of any rowel spurs in any of its young horse classes under the new rules effective from 1 January, 2018.

The rule review has been welcomed by spur manufacturer Sprenger whose range includes the Comfort Roller Spur with horizontal rowel.

The stainless steel spur has an 18mm brass horizontal rowel with smooth edges and is designed to glide along the horse’s side.

“This design gives a faster and more direct contact, but it is also very kind and soft due to the rolling action,” said Simon Middleton, managing director of Sprenger’s UK distributor Zebra Products.

“We’ve been lobbying for [the spurs’] inclusion over the past year. Many professional and amateur riders use them, and we’re delighted by the decision to legalise them,” added Simon who competes in evening.


15th December, 2017.

Long-standing relationship revived under a three-year deal.

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has this week confirmed the renewal of its partnership with NAF.

It means NAF will once again provide supplements and horse care products to the BEF World Class Programme squads and senior equestrian championship teams.

The three-year deal will see NAF support the teams in the build-up to next year’s World Equestrian Games, through to Tokyo 2020.

Equestrian performance director Gordon Burton said: “We are delighted to have secured a continued partnership with NAF for a further Olympic cycle. Having supported the federation for over 12 years, it is fantastic to see their support extend once more for Tokyo.”

NAF founder, Richard Cleeve, added: “We are proud of our long-term association with the BEF and thrilled to support Equestrian Team GBR as their Official Supplier of advanced nutritional supplements and applications, helping the teams on their way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and the World Equestrian Games at Tryon, USA in 2018.”

NAF first became official supplier of supplements to the British teams in 2005. Now the company joins Dodson & Horrell, Equi-Trek, Falpro England, Musto and Point Two as official suppliers of the senior championship teams.


15th December, 2017.

Film urges horse owners to consult their SQPs or vets this winter.

Zoetis UK has unveiled a new video to help horse owners understand why encysted small redworm are a serious health risk to horses.

The company is encouraging owners to speak to their suitably qualified person (SQP) or vet now to make sure they understand the risk this winter.

The animated film uses engaging illustrations to explain the complicated life cycle of the small redworm and the life-threatening damage they can cause to horses.

In the autumn and winter as the temperature drops, small redworm larvae have a unique way of surviving in the horse.

They are ingested when horses graze. They then bury themselves in the intestinal wall, where they form cysts, to hibernate during the colder weather.

In Spring, the larvae can erupt from their hibernation in large numbers, breaking and damaging the lining of the intestinal wall, which can cause diarrhoea, weight loss and colic.

This potentially fatal condition, known as larval cyathostominosis, has a mortality rate of up to 50%. Any age of horse can be affected and young horses are particularly at risk.

A faecal worm egg count (FWEC) will not detect encysted small redworm because the larvae do not produce eggs.

Zoetis vet Wendy Talbot points to a lack of understanding among horse owners about the danger posed by encysted small redworm.

“Unfortunately, once the horse shows symptoms of larval cyathostominosis it is a very difficult condition to treat effectively.

“The intention of our new video is to help owners get to grips with why encysted small redworm can cause serious harm to their horses and how important it is to take steps to prevent it by speaking to their vet or SQP about worm control.”

The video can be watched here


12th December, 2017.

The owner of the Gatehouse, Mark Todd Collection, Jumpers Horse Line, Rodney Powell, Saddlecraft, LunaRider and StableKit brands has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Trilanco.

Westgate EFI will close the wholesale arm of its business with effect from 9 January, 2018, and focus on its product ranges. It will not be selling directly to consumers.

“The company has grown considerably since EFI merged with Westgate in 2006, but the real growth has been in our own brands, said Westgate EFI’s managing director Bruno Goyens de Heusch.

“During that time, the equestrian trade has also changed significantly and with it our business model; the focus shifting away from wholesale product and more towards our role as a manufacturer.

“In order to capitalise fully, we now need a forward thinking distribution partner that can best serve our brands.

“Since they first expanded into the equestrian market, Trilanco has been the most dynamic player and I have therefore taken the decision to utilise their impressive new facility [Trilanco opened a £7 million distribution centre earlier this year], which will allow us to focus our attention on the continued growth and development of WEFI’s highly valuable product ranges.”

WEFI operations director Tracey Woods confirmed that WEFI’s own brands will all be distributed exclusively by Trilanco, across the UK and internationally.

“We will not be selling direct to the end-user and we will continue to promote our products in support of retail stockists,” she added.

“WEFI and Trilanco will be working closely to support retail customers during the changeover period and to take the brands forward.”

The directors of Westgate EFI have expressed their sincere gratitude to the many staff, retailers and suppliers who have worked with and supported the company.


11th December, 2017.

A bit like Christmas, BETA International comes round only once a year. Miss it, and it’s gone! Check out our favourite reasons for heading to the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January.

Retailers large and small - with stores or online - are eligible to visit BETA International.

New products and fresh ideas from 280 or so of the world’s top brands is only one reason why so many buyers take up the annual invitation.

Here are eight more…

Meet equestrian and country stars

Everyone’s favourite event rider William Fox-Pitt and television personality Amanda Owen - the Yorkshire Shepherdess, will be in the Charles Owen Hub on Monday 22 January talking about their lives and careers.

A father of four, William is to give an insight into his many years at the top of his sport – and how he recovered from a fall and head injury to ride at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

You can also hear Amanda’s heart-warming insight into her life as a shepherdess and mother of nine on a remote, 2,000-acre farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

Roll up for red hot debate

Talking Business – BETA International’s live industry forum – returns with a new panel of big names from our trade, equestrian sports and interestingly, non-equestrian commerce.

Hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart, Talking Business takes place in The Charles Owen Hub on Sunday 21 January – the first day of the show. Expect lively debate and enthusiastic audience participation.

Free drinks party

BETA International’s organisers are laying on after-hours drinks and nibbles for everyone on Sunday, 21 January from 6 – 8pm.

Glasses of bubbly, soft drinks and canapés will be served at the Equithème Fashion Show stage. Everyone is invited to come along to relax with colleagues or network with new contacts. No pressure, and no booking required!

Learn and earn

Training Tuesday brings a new dimension to the show on its final day (23 January) with seminars on worming, merchandising, consumer rights, safety equipment, customer service, saddle fitting, bitting and more.

Attendance is free and there’s no need to pre-book. Talks take place in the Charles Owen Hub, within the exhibition halls.

Training Tuesday enables SQPs, saddle fitters and hat and body protectors to accrue CPD points – making this a valuable day for businesses run by or employing qualified people.

Everyone’s a winner!

Be among those first to find out who’s won BETA International 2018 Innovation Awards, sponsored by ETN, at the Equithème Fashion Show stage on Sunday, 21 January.

The awards ceremony will also see the show’s Best Stand Awards winners announced. All exhibitors are automatically entered, and judging is undertaken by representatives from BETA International’s chosen charity, Bransby Horses and merchandising expert Kirsty Kean from Visual Thinking. There are two categories – the Best Large Stand (32 square metres and over) and Best Small Stand (under 32 square metres). Expect some fierce competition.

You too can be a winner when you call at ETN’s stand (Q1.1) and enter our bumper prize draw for £1,000s worth of products for your store. Prizes have been donated by ETN advertisers who are also exhibiting at the show.

Seeking something new?

The Shires New Product Gallery is a great place to start your search.

To be found in the centre of the show, products are labelled to indicate the stands on which they can be found. You can also pick up a free information sheet.

Meanwhile, clothing and accessories come to life in the Equithème Fashion Show. Famed for its striking choreography and foot-tapping soundtracks, BETA International’s catwalk showpiece happens three times on Sunday and Monday, and twice on the Tuesday. So take a seat – and enjoy!

Travel made easy

BETA International’s free coach service switches to the final day this year, to coincide with Training Tuesday.

Return journeys are available from various UK locations, with collection and drop-off points en route for a cost-effective and comfortable travel solution.

Timetables are at where online bookings can be made, subject to availability.

BETA members cash in

BETA retail members attending the show for at least two days are entitled to a £50 subsidy.

This handy cash boost is designed to offset the cost of travel and accommodation. It’s available to BETA retail members whether staying overnight or travelling to and from the show from their base each day.

• There’s still time to pre-register for free admission to BETA International 2018 at


8th December, 2017.


For just £10, this present will make a difference to rescue horses this Christmas.

Bransby Horses - BETA International’s chosen charity for 2018 - has been giving equines a second chance and a safe haven for 50 years.

An scheme enabling supporters to adopt a horse, donkey or mule for just £10 year helps raise funds for the animals in the charity’s care – and could solve your Christmas gift dilemma.

Digit, one of the Adoption Stars, came to Bransby Horses in 2006. He’d been tied up tightly in his field shelter while his bedding was set alight.

Unable to get away from the flames, Digit suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his legs and belly.

His owners – who had cared for him well – took Digit to Bransby Horses for veterinary treatment. They then decided to leave him in the charity’s care as they didn’t feel it was safe for him to return home.

Despite his traumatic experience, Digit is an affectionate and loveable pony who enjoys human interaction. He lives at the charity’s Visitor Centre Yard meeting visitors and taking part in annual fayres to help raise funds.

If you or your business would like to adopt Digit or one of his friends, please phone 01427 788464 or visit the web shop at


8th December, 2017.

Third party platforms such as Amazon and eBay can detract from luxury image, court decides… Read our expert comment.

Luxury brands are celebrating a landmark judgment of the European Court given this week.

In a case concerning Coty, the court ruled that a clause in the company’s selective distribution agreement prohibiting authorised distributors from using Amazon to sell its cosmetics was lawful.

At the heart of the court’s decision was the principle that discernible third party platforms (such as Amazon and eBay) detract from the luxury image of luxury goods. In contrast, non-distinct third party platforms do not.

The court pointed out that luxury brands have no contractual relationship with, for example, Amazon. As such, Amazon is not required to comply with Coty’s quality criteria which it has imposed on all its authorised distributors under the terms of its selective distribution agreement.

Solicitor Stephen Sidkin, a partner at Fox Williams LLP, comments…

In view of the court’s decision, a luxury brand will be able to enforce a provision in its selective distribution agreement restricting the use by authorised distributors of discernible third party platforms for the resale of its luxury goods where:

• the provision has the objective of preserving the luxury image of the goods in question;

• the provision is laid down uniformly and not applied in a discriminatory fashion; and

• the provision is proportionate in the light of the objective pursued.

In my opinion, the court’s decision can be expected to result in:

1. luxury brands which have suitable provisions in their selective distribution agreement enforcing those provisions in order to clamp down on authorised distributors using Amazon, eBay, and other discernible third party platforms.

2. Luxury brands which do not have such provisions in their selective distribution agreements looking to include such provisions as soon as possible!

3. Amazon, eBay, and other discernible third party platforms looking to have direct contractual relationships with luxury brands in order to be able to continue to offer such brands on their platforms.

4. In the near future, an increase in the price of grey market* products of luxury brands as grey marketers look to fill the void which has been left on discernible third party platforms.

*A grey market is an unofficial market in goods that have not been obtained from an official supplier.

• For more information, contact Stephen Sidkin, Fox Williams LLP via


8th December, 2017.

The qualified saddle fitters want to put equine welfare first.

A number of MSFC qualified saddle fitters have set up a new group.

MSFC iQ is primarily a register available to the public who are looking for independent, qualified saddle fitters.

Anyone qualified with MSFC International between 2013 and 2017 is welcome to join on proof of their qualification.

“Importantly, those qualified during this period were trained and assessed by SMS QSF (Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter) assessors,” said an MSFC iQ spokesman.

In addition, MSFC iQ is a social media forum for exchange of ideas, ongoing professional development and advice between the group of qualified, professional saddle fitters.

Steph Bradley, a dual qualified MSFC and SMS qualified saddle fitter, is a founder member of MSFC iQ.

“Our new group is specifically for active saddle fitters who work independently of any particular brands of saddles or alliance with equine therapy bodies. Objectivity is key,” said Steph, who runs North Wales based Freedom Saddlery.

"We believe that saddle fitting and equine therapy are two very distinct professions, and keeping the roles separate enables ongoing objectivity.

“We prefer to work alongside other equine professionals including recognised professional bodies. We also subscribe to an identical Professional Code of Conduct as used by SMS QSFs.

“Working in alignment with these groups ensures clients get the very best advice, and, more importantly, the welfare of horses remains at the heart of all we do.”

Find out more at


6th December, 2017.

Small change to hat rules announced for 2018 too.

British Eventing (BE), British Riding Clubs (BRC) and The Pony Club have unified required hat standards across all three bodies.

The move means a single hat tag will be accepted across BE, Pony Club and BRC events next year.

The new aqua coloured hat tag will carry the logo of the body that checks the hat. This enables the source of the tagging to be tracked; while multi-discipline riders no longer need multiple tags on their hats.

The 2018 hat rules include a small change to the AS/NZS 3838 standard for Pony Club and BE, both of which will now only be accepting it from 2006 onwards.

All three bodies have issued an aide memoire for officials listing the standards and quality assurance marks to be used.


6th December, 2017.

The equestrian trade is mourning the loss of an extraordinary product inventor, horseman and pharmacist.

Trevor Stockill passed away last month (November). He was 80 and died from complications related to surgery.

Trevor and his late wife, Josephine, founded Stockcare 35 years ago and set about manufacturing and developing the Gold Label brand.

Both were pharmacists and immersed in Yorkshire’s equestrian scene.

Since then, Gold Label has become one of the industry’s most trusted and enduring brands thanks to its unique and highly effective formulations and competitive pricing policy.

Those who knew Trevor will remember him, not only for his extensive depth of knowledge but for his generosity, expert advice and, in particular, his wicked sense of humour.

His was a life well-lived. He hunted with the Holderness until the age of 78 - a total of 45 seasons, and proudly supported his daughter Amanda in her years on the show jumping circuit.

Latterly, Trevor had enjoyed travelling throughout Europe with his companion Liz - in search of the best seafood and even better red wines.

Last summer he celebrated his 80th birthday with a fine party.

Amanda permanently joined Stockcare in 1997 following the loss of her Mother and worked alongside Trevor, who remained involved to the end.

“Right from the early years, his hands-on approach kept us all on our toes and his tall tales kept us entertained,” Amanda told ETN.

“He had the sharpest mind and was still developing new and innovative products that we will take a particular pride in bringing to market this year.

“The family would like to thank all those in the trade for their loyalty and support over the years and assure you that, just as he would have expected, it is business as usual at Stockcare.

“Myself, my husband Jason, Pippa [Bruce, commercial manager] and the rest of the team are committed to his legacy of excellence and innovation and will continue to provide our customers with the best service and the best products.”


5th December, 2017.

The 2018 Trade Suppliers Directory (TSD) is hot off the press and ready for business.

For more than 30 years, the TSD has been the ultimate reference guide for the equestrian, pet, country and outdoor sectors.

As the latest edition appears in print, it remains the industry leader for putting retailers in touch with suppliers, and the people behind the brands and products.

Packed with more than 2,000 entries from manufacturers and suppliers in the UK and overseas, the TSD is divided into 250 categories and features a handy show calendar and diary to help keep abreast of important dates and appointments.

All BETA member contact details are included and those audited to the trade association's feed assurance schemes are highlighted for easy identification.

“The industry has total confidence in the strength of the TSD brand,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), publisher of the directory and ETN and a subsidiary of BETA. “It is reliable, accurate and an invaluable resource for retailers and their staff.”

The TSD will be sent free of charge to all UK BETA retail members and can be bought by those working in the equestrian and related trades for £18 in the UK, £21.50 in Europe and £22.50 for the rest of the world.

A digital version of the TSD can be found at

To order your copy, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


1st December, 2017.

Thieves take stock worth thousands in pre-Christmas burglary.

Around 100 pairs of country boots and dozens of clippers have been stolen from a Lincolnshire saddlery shop.

Thieves broke into Spirit Country Store in Waltham near Grimsby, last night (29/30 November).

Retailer Nicky North told ETN it was most likely a carefully planned raid as the store was well stocked ahead of Christmas.

“They forced the outer shutter door and broke the door behind it,” she said. “They had also turned round the [security] cameras and even blocked the road with benches from the local park. They knew what they were doing.”

Nicky, who was on holiday in Bratislava when the shop was broken into, said she is insured. But she wouldn’t know the full value of stock taken until she returns next week.

Among the items known to have been stolen are up to 100 pairs of Kanyon, Mark Todd, White Horse, Gallop, Taurus and Brogini long boots, plus Hy long and short boots.

Also taken were Hunter and Sherwood Forest coats, Lazy Jacks clothing, Clipperman clippers and trimmers, and a big box of Gallop and Hy jodhpurs.

Lincolnshire Police are investigating. Anyone with information should contact them on 101.