17th December, 2018.

Erstwhile proprietor to embark on a new enterprise.

Peter Lewis is closing his well-known West Country shop Pointings Saddlery Ltd.

The trading name of Pointings Saddlery has been acquired by long-established saddlery retailer Rich and Son of North Petherton near Bridgwater.

Peter, who’s been in the trade for almost 50 years, will have no further involvement with Pointings.

However he is setting up his own saddle fitting and consultancy service, Peter Lewis Saddles.

“The shop was still profitable,” Peter told ETN. “We had been affected by online sales, of course, but provided our overheads stayed the same, we were doing well.”

What brought about the store’s closure, he explained, was the imminent end of the short term lease on the building. “The owners have put in for planning for a few B&B units,” he added.

Pointings has already held a closing down sale. Until he gives up the lease, Peter plans to continue to use the premises as a base and workshop for his new business.

Pointings Saddlery was based in Monmouth Street, Bath for 22 years, before moving to Blathwayt Stables in Lansdown near Bath 24 years ago.

Peter Lewis is probably the only person to have served as president of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and Master of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

His vast saddle fitting knowledge is the cornerstone of his new venture, Peter Lewis Saddles.

“Saddle fitting is my main strength. I will no doubt sell saddles, but mainly I want to offer advice to people who need some help,” said Peter, who hopes to work with riders and the trade as a consultant.

He will use a Master Saddler for repairs and alterations, and continue to work with his Pointings colleague Paula Hole, a bridle fitting specialist.

“I hope eventually to work from home and to choose my times,” Peter added. “I have a great deal of experience that others could find useful.”


17th December, 2018.

There’s lots to be had for free at BETA International 2019!

There’s a ruby anniversary to celebrate at BETA International. The show - and its official media partner ETN - are both 40 years old.

An after-show drinks party will mark the occasion on Sunday, 20 January at 6 – 8pm.

All visitors and exhibitors are invited to attend what will be a buzzing social occasion with the fizz flowing and delicious nibbles doing the rounds. And it’s all completely free!

It’ll be a wonderful way to wind down at close of business on the trade fair’s first day. No booking is required, just roll up and enjoy…

• Also free to visitors is car parking at the NEC and a copy of the show catalogue. Admission is free too, on pre-registration at


17th December, 2018.

For a bit of fun at Christmas, vet Kieran O’Brien introduces a ubiquitous equestrian character who’s probably familiar to you too.

Most yards have an Expert who will comment, without being asked, on your horse, how you feed it, your tack, your rugs, your trailer, everything. Most of her (or his) conversations with you begin with the words ‘You should…’.

When she watches you ride your horse, she will tell you 'it’s not right behind', because she can see things nobody else can. When your horse is in perfect body condition, she will tell you it is too thin.

The arrival of a vet’s car in the yard has a magnetic attraction for her because, as an Expert, she needs to see if the vet gets it right. When the vet examines your horse, the Expert will stand there – always uninvited - listening to what the vet says and when he or she leaves she will say the advice given was wrong, and what she would do is quite different.

She can’t understand why the veterinary practice she uses sends a different vet every time to see her own horse, and why that vet always seems to have to rush off to an emergency call while seeing her.

The Expert's horse is an overweight low-achieving cob, kept barefoot because we have all been getting it wrong for 200 years. It's the second horse she has had in her lifetime, so that makes her an Expert.

Five supplements

She feeds five supplements to her horse, and these vary depending on what's in fashion. At the moment she is feeding turmeric (which irritatingly she calls 'tumeric') because that cures all known equine ailments plus a few that haven't yet been discovered. Next year, when turmeric is out of fashion, and the next cure-all is something like ginseng, fenugreek or bat droppings, she will feed that instead, and tell you that you should be doing the same.

She can afford all of the supplements because the entry fees for Best Combination classes, the summit of her equestrian achievements, are quite low.

If your horse has a veterinary problem, she will be the first to offer an opinion. She contributes freely to on-line chat rooms because she is, well, an Expert - and the horse world needs her advice. Her friend's pony had laminitis five years ago so that qualifies her to advise others on how to manage their cases of laminitis, which incidentally, like all on-line Experts, she calls 'lammy'.

Daily she records the mind-numbing minutiae of her equestrian life on Facebook. Most people at the yard are her Facebook friends because they were too embarrassed to ignore her friend requests. Her last Facebook post was a photograph of her horse (invariably referred to as ‘my pony’, although it is 16 hands) asleep in a field. It achieved one ‘like’ – from her sister.

She keeps well clear of the most successful rider on the yard because the latter’s ignoring of everything she says has become too hard to bear, although she will freely drop her name when the occasion presents itself. In her tedious conversations she always refers to famous riders by their first name, as though she is on intimate terms with ‘Charlotte’, ‘William’ and ‘Mary’.

She always seems to have a lot of time on her hands, which she spends at the yard minding other people's business. You hope she will change yards soon because the next time she offers her uninvited opinion on your horse, the urge to punch her is getting harder and harder to resist. Sound familiar?


17th December, 2018.

New appointee has previously worked in racing.

Kate Deegan has joined Dengie as the feed company’s area sales manager for Ireland.

For 12 years, Kate and her husband Paul Deegan ran a racehorse training business in Ireland.

“Dengie has a wide range of products that are suitable for not just leisure horses, but also the racing market too. I’m looking forward to combining my passions and developing the Irish market for Dengie.” said Kate.

From a farming background, Kate was a Pony Club member before graduating in international agriculture and equine business management.

After working in New Zealand on stud farms, Kate returned to the UK to work in racing in Lambourn and Newmarket.

Nowadays, she competes in show jumping enjoys riding club activities.


11th December, 2018.

Opportunity to explore hi-tech retailing at next month’s show.

A new feature area at BETA International 2019 is set to preview the world of hi-tech retailing.

Vision of the Future will allow visitors to experience a robot and an app in a store environment, complete with retail display.

The Sanbot Elf robot will greet visitors arriving at Vision of the Future. Standing just under one metre high, it will be accompanied by an operator.

Hannah Marsh, of robot provider Robots of London, explained: “The robot can perform a number of duties, from offering information to visitors, taking addresses and other data capture, to more entertaining aspects such as dancing, singing and guessing ages, names and gender by scanning faces.”

The app will provide product information in text and video formats. It can also be used throughout the show to access timetables, schedules and maps.

“This is the first time the app has been utilised by an exhibition and we are thrilled to be working with BETA International on this,” said David Bayliss, of Jisp which made the app.

“Visitors can download the free app beforehand so that they are able to access information by using their mobile phones to tap the special ‘stickers’ found in the Vision of the Future area and at other points throughout the halls.”

Vision of the Future, to be found in Hall 8, will be open throughout the show's three days.

“This is something we’re sure BETA International visitors will really enjoy,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas.

“We always like to push the bar a little higher and, this year, I’m confident that we have done so once again. The app is going to be of tremendous interest to everyone and who can resist a robot? It will certainly cause a great deal of entertainment in the halls – and a fair amount to think about.”

BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. Entry is strictly trade only and registration for a free visitor badge can be made online at For further information, please contact Clair Webster, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.


10th December, 2018.

Small update means bags can now be re-used.

British Horse Feeds has updated the packaging for its Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet products to make it more environmentally friendly.

The cut-and-collect loyalty scheme rosettes have been moved from the base to the top of each bag, so horse owners can now re-use and recycle the empties.

The company says it was prompted in part by customer feedback.

“The changes to the bags may be small, but we feel are a major move forward for the brand,” said Will I’Anson, sales director of British Horse Feeds.

“We want to make sure that everybody who feeds our products is happy. And now the rosettes for the loyalty scheme have been moved, we hope this makes it easier for the bags to be recycled.”

The new Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet bags now also feature the Gastric Ulcer Feed Assurance Mark accredited by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA). This identifies them as suitable for horses and ponies prone to equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) as part of a balanced diet.


10th December, 2018.

“I’ve finally found where I belong,” says new recruit.

Emma Burns, the new head of marketing and sales at Gallop Equestrian, has been riding since she was three.

Emma is a familiar face in the trade, having previously worked for retailers LP Equestrian and Robinsons, and most recently for supplier Perry Equestrian.

Before that, Emma completed a diploma in equine science and business management at Rodbaston College, and has run competition and livery yards.

“After leaving college, I knew that this industry was for me but I didn’t quite know where I belonged,” she said. “Now, as head of marketing and sales at Gallop Equestrian - a company that has supplied my horses’ rugs for as long as I can remember – I’ve finally found where I belong.”

Emma has three horses. She competes in county level working hunter classes and show jumps to Foxhunter level, as well as doing “the odd local dressage test.”


10th December, 2018.

The new building was unveiled in Lincolnshire last week.

Alltech has opened newly built offices in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Dr Mark Lyons, Alltech president and CEO, and co-founder Deirdre Lyons – who designed the new facility - were at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday (December 6).

The 70,000 sq ft premises are an office-only site with reception area, five meeting rooms, a training room, offices and creative spaces. Alltech has moved its Stamford manufacturing operation to a “larger, more suitable site” 12 miles outside the town.

“We look forward to welcoming customers, colleagues and friends, old and new, to Alltech Stamford,” said Alric Blake, chief operating officer.

Alltech's UK offices have been in Stamford since 1988. Today, 120 people are employed there.

With its global headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, Alltech produces and processes yeast additives, organic trace minerals, feed ingredients, premix and feed.


4th December, 2018.

Show organisers report brisk online registrations.

Retailers are rushing to secure their visitor passes to BETA International 2019 ahead of the busy Christmas period.

“We can see that retailers from the UK and overseas are putting their plans in place much earlier this year,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “I think Brexit has left people feeling uncertain about so much, but their businesses are one thing they have control over and they are determined to make the right decisions.

“New products, whether they are clothing, saddlery, feed or dog equipment, are the lifeblood of any business. Retailers know that a visit to BETA International plays an essential role in helping them to satisfy consumer demand and maintain a healthy cycle of custom.”

This year has seen the streamlining of the entire visitor application process, with show attendance easier than ever before. There have also been additional moves to enhance the visitor experience – a pivotal measure to ensure that the trade fair remains a world leader.

“We want BETA International to tick the boxes for all our visitors, from the moment they apply to come to the show to when they leave after a really successful day,” added Claire.

“Registration takes only minutes, parking is completely free and we even have free After-Show Drinks on Sunday to keep that BETA International feelgood factor brimming over. We offer the finest show, the most brilliant networking opportunities, top-class seminars – and that's just for starters.

“Despite the challenges of 2019, BETA International is strong and ready to do what it does best in our 40th anniversary year. We are extremely pleased that people are saving the date and electing to join us.”

BETA International is the professionals’ one-stop-shop for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. Attendance gives retailers a keen competitive edge. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information on visiting, contact Clair Webster, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email, or visit


4th December, 2018.

The parcel was on its way to a residential address in the UK.

A package containing 42 bottles of an unauthorised equine product has been seized by Border Force at East Midlands Airport.

The government agency detained the parcel, which was destined for a UK residential address, at the airport near Derby last month.

The parcel contained 42 bottles of Vitamin B12 1000 Injection intended for use in horses.

As this is not an authorised product in the UK, its importation contravened the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.


3rd December, 2018.

A quirk of the 2019 calendar could see employees bagging 18 days off work while only using nine days’ holiday. Employers… you’ve been warned.

Need something to look forward to as winter sets in? What better than a long holiday from work?

Next Spring, thanks to a late Easter, employees can claim a whole 18 days off work (including three weekends) but use only nine days’ holiday, says Paul Kelly of Blacks Solicitors.

This is because there are three bank holidays all close together - 19th April, 22nd April and 6th May. For the average employee with paid leave, it’s a holiday jackpot.

For employers, however, this revelation may not be such good news.

Staff being away for two and a half weeks, while using only nine days’ holiday, might affect a business’s productivity. So must employers always say yes to holiday requests?

“Remember you [as an employer] have the right of ultimate sign-off when it comes to approving holiday,” says Paul Kelly. “Perhaps you could implement a rota to ensure that not so many employees take advantage of this quirk of the calendar as to deplete the workforce.

“Either way, it is important to remind staff that permission for holiday must be sought in advance, before being booked, and final approval of holiday depends on the needs of the business.”

If you have questions about booking and authorising holiday, you can email Paul Kelly at Blacks Solicitors on


3rd December, 2018.

Find out who is this month’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month.

Staffordshire based Claire Stanley of Just Saddles is the winner of December’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month Award.

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

Claire was nominated by Peter Wilkes of Vale Brothers who commended her “hard work and determination always to achieve the best fit for horse and rider.”

Claire is regularly called upon to work with horses needing remedial saddle fits. “Horses need a team of people to keep them going well,” she says.

Read more about Claire, her saddle fitting mentor and her career to date in ETN December issue.

• How to nominate a saddle fitter

Everyone is invited to nominate saddle fitters they feel deserve to be named ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month. Candidates for the award must be SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters based in the UK or overseas.

To nominate a saddle fitter email and tell us why this person deserves to be put in the spotlight. Please include the saddle fitter’s name and business name too.