OUTDOOR ACCESSORY WINS AWARD

29th January, 2014.

A Buff product collected a top sports industry award this week.

The new Buff Balaclava Cross Tech won the accolade in the independently judged ISPO outdoors accessory category.

ISPO is a sporting goods trade fair held in Munich, Germany.

Buffera supplies multifunctional tubular head and neck wear.


DEBT RECOVERY IS ON THE RISE

29th January, 2014.

The equestrian sector is waking up to the need for debt collection services.

More businesses than ever are seeking help with collecting overdue payments, according to Tim Jones who’s been involved with debt recovery for more than 20 years.

Tim heads York based MSY Debt Recovery. Although the company works across many types of business, it’s seeing rising demand from the equestrian and veterinary sectors.

“The MSY team has helped businesses get their money back, even if the debt has been chased before or is up to six years old,” said Tim.

MSY Debt Recovery operates a ‘no win, no fee’ policy. Find them in the February issue of ETN.


€10k SPONSORSHIP UP FOR GRABS

29th January, 2014.

Horseware begins its search for the first Horseware Grassroots Rider today.

The company is offering an amateur the chance to scoop a  €10,000 sponsorship deal and join the likes of Laura Kraut, Michael Jung and Cian O’Connor on the Horseware Riders Team.

The competition is open to riders anywhere in the world, aged 16 or over, who don’t derive their living from riding, training and/or dealing in horses.

Applications can be made at www.horseware.com/grassroots and close on 27 February. A shortlist of five will be announced, followed by a public vote to decide the winner.


DUTCH LABEL LAUNCHES IN UK

29th January, 2014.

Dutch equestrian clothing brand PK – official sponsor of the Dutch Equestrian Federation – is now available to UK retailers.

Distributor Zebra Products’ reps are currently showing the contemporary collection of riding wear to buyers.

First deliveries of the A/W14 range are expected by August. Order books close at the end of March.


ITALIAN BRAND IN DISTRIBUTION DEAL

28th January, 2014.

Westgate EFI has been appointed sole UK distributor for Zandonà tendon and fetlock boots.

The Italian firm manufactures personal protective equipment for motorcycling and winter sports. It uses similar technology in its horse boots.  

• Find out more in the March issue of ETN when our ‘competition gear’ feature includes the latest in equine leg protection. To get involved contact Nicki Lewis on nickil@beta-int.com or tel 01937 582111.


HOYS IN RIDING HAT ROW

28th January, 2014.

The Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has become caught up in a riding hat rule change.

The show announced yesterday (Monday) that entry to its hunter qualifiers is open only to members of the British Show Horse Association (BSHA).

The decision follows the introduction of a rule by Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain (SHBGB) – formerly associated with HOYS qualifiers - requiring competitors to wear a harnessed, up-to-standard hat.

“This rule change presents a conflict,” said a HOYS spokesman.

“Under HOYS rules, competitors aged 18 years or older, who are competing in non-jumping or flat sections of hunter qualifiers, are allowed to make their own decision as to whether they wish to wear traditional top hats, bowlers or Pateys, or harnessed hat conforming to current BSI or European standards.

“There are strong links to traditional attire in these classes and this has been expressed passionately by those who compete in these classes.”

A meeting between HOYS and SHBGB failed to reach a compromise, so the show approached the BSHA.

Under BSHA rules, top hats, bowlers and Pateys may be worn by competitors aged 18 years and over at their discretion.


BAGS OF FREEBIES IN STUD SEASON PROMOTION

23rd January, 2014.

For every bag of TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer stockists order from their wholesaler – they automatically get a bag of TopChop Alfalfa (worth £10.95) free.

There’s no limit on the number of free bags available during the nationwide promotion. And the gratis feed can be passed on to consumers.

“It’s a good way for retailers to get back into studs that are being supplied direct by other manufacturers,” said a spokesman for TopSpec.

He added that the ‘one for one’ bag deal involves “no paper work or red tape – just happy customers.”


CARE PRODUCTS SUPPLIER OPENS ONLINE STORE

23rd January, 2014.

The Animal Health Company has launched a new e-commerce website.

By visiting www.animal-health.co.uk consumers can purchase brands such as NoBute, OzOil, StableZone and Grooms Choice.

“Fantastic online offers” include free delivery on UK mainland orders over £60.


FIRM DOES A BIT MORE SPONSORSHIP

23rd January, 2014.

Bit specialist Neue Schule is to sponsor BETA International for a second year in 2015.

“Our decision to return as main sponsor – even before the 2014 show has arrived – highlights just how delighted we are with the entire experience,” said Sarfraz Mian, chief executive officer of the Cleveland based company.

The renewed support is “a fantastic endorsement of the show,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

This year’s BETA International takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday to Tuesday, 16 – 18 February. Admission is free to bona fide retailers who pre-register at www.beta-int.com

BETA International 2015 is on 22 – 24 February, also at the NEC, Birmingham.


RETAILER GETS GREEN LIGHT TO EXPAND

21st January, 2014.

Planners have given retailer RB Equestrian the go ahead to increase its sales space from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet.

“Despite changes in the trade, this expansion underlines our belief that there is a healthy future for great independent tack shops,” said Rosslyn Boggis, managing director of the Milton Keynes based business.

RB Equestrian is a former SEIB/BETA Retailer of the Year. 2014 marks its 25th year of trading.


BRITISH DRESSAGE BECOMES A CHARITY

20th January, 2014.

British Dressage (BD) has been granted charitable status by the Charity Commission.

Advantages for BD include tax benefits, additional income from gift aid on membership, donations and access to charitable funding.

BD says there will be little obvious change for members or stakeholders.

A sister company, British Dressage Trading Limited, has been set up to handle BD’s commercial activity. Profit from the trading company will be gifted back to BD to help fund the sport.

The current board directors of BD have become charity trustees. Penny Pollard, BD chairman, is also chairman of British Dressage Trading Limited.

“By having charitable status, we’re best able to make the most of our resources and offer the best service for our members,” said BD chief executive Amanda Bond.


IS THIS THE END FOR ‘HAT HAIR’?

16th January, 2014.

A hat maker has signalled the end of every rider’s dread: a sweaty head and flattened hair.

Charles Owen’s V8 helmet, to be launched at BETA International next month, has a detachable, machine washable liner attached with hook and loop closures.

The V8 is Kitemarked to PAS 015 and BSEN 1384 and certified by SEI to ASTM F1163.

• See more new products at BETA International, NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February. Admission is free to bona fide retailers who pre-register at www.beta-int.com


SURVEY REVEALS BEST DELIVERY FIRMS

16th January, 2014.

A poll of more than 9,000 recipients of parcels has revealed the best – and worst – carriers.

The poll, on Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert website, asked consumers to rate UK parcel delivery companies based on their own experiences with each firm over the past year.

DPD was the winner with 69% of voters rating its service as good.

Next came UPS (58% said they were good), Parcelforce (54%), DHL (50%), City Link (34%), TNT (33%), UK Mail (30%) and Yodel (22%).

Full results can be found at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/poll/02-01-2014/best-and-worst-parcel-delivery-firms


AACHEN LOSES TOP LEAGUE SHOW JUMPING

15th January, 2014.

Aachen, one of the world’s most famous shows, has lost its place in the top level international team show jumping series.

In a shock announcement from the FEI, the German venue is missing from the 2014 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping calendar of Europe division one CSIO5* fixtures.

“We were informed by the German National Federation that Aachen was unable to meet the commercial requirements,” said FEI jumping committee chairman John Madden.

Lummen in Belgium has moved into division one to take Aachen’s place.

Hickstead’s CSIO5* nations cup round will be held during its meeting on 31 July-3 August.


GERMAN BRAND SAYS THANKS WITH DISCOUNT

14th January, 2014.

German helmet manufacturer uvex is rewarding its 2013 UK trade customers with a 5% discount for the New Year.

The offer, announced by UK distributor Zebra Products yesterday, lasts until the end of July.

The discount – “a thank you to retailers for their custom last year,” said a spokesman – will run in conjuction with any other offers.


JOULES UNWRAPS STRONG XMAS TRADING FIGURES

10th January, 2014.

Joules is crediting a “holding firm line on discounting” for its strong Christmas trading figures.

Total sales of Joules over Christmas were up by 24.5% compared with the previous year, the company announced yesterday.

Total retail like-for-like sales during the same period (nine weeks to 5 January) grew by 16.2%, the British lifestyle brand has reported.

Margins grew significantly in this period too, prompted by a strong ‘gifting’ product offer from country clothing to accessories, toiletries and homewares.

Joules also cites reduced promotional activity and the delayed start of the end of season sale as factors in its seasonal success.

“We believe that we have the strength in our brand to enable us to hold a firm line on discounting which has helped our margin and that of our wholesale partners,” said Tom Joule, Joules’ chief executive officer.


BETA INTERNATIONAL: MOST NEW EXHIBITORS SINCE 2008

9th January, 2014.

There will be 100 new exhibitors at BETA International 2014.

“We’ve not seen new exhibitor take-up like this for quite some time, certainly not since 2008,” said organiser Claire Thomas.

“It’s a fantastic endorsement of the show and something that will serve to invigorate and expand buying opportunities for all our visitors.”

BETA International currently has 263 exhibitors with 26% from overseas.

The world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet product, country clothing and outdoor sectors takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 16 to 18 February. More details at www.beta-int.com

• See the BETA International 2014 preview in February issue of ETN.


RICHARD LAWRENCE TO LEAVE MATCHMAKERS

8th January, 2014.

Richard Lawrence, former sales and marketing director of Matchmakers International, is moving on.

Matchmakers International Ltd has been acquired by International Riding Company Ltd (IRCL), as reported by ETN on Monday.

Co-chairmen of IRCL, Oliver Hoare and Edward Wakefield, have appointed a new management team to run Matchmakers International.

Commercial director Liz Hopper held a similar role at Hallmark UK and before that worked for Marks & Spencer.

Product director Julie Nuttall comes from Sports Direct and is a keen equestrian.

Max Wakefield, the new customer director, has previously worked in a variety of sales roles.

Former managing director Neville Lawrence becomes president.

Richard Lawrence is said to be leaving “to pursue new interests outside the industry.” He declined to comment further.


BEDDING BRAND SIGNS UP TO SPONSOR

8th January, 2014.

Verdo Horse Bedding has signed up as official title sponsor of British Riding Clubs’ (BRC) Dressage to Music Championship 2014.

Qualifiers begin in April with the championships happening on 4/5 October at Bury Farm Equestrian Village in Buckinghamshire.

Part of the championship prize is a day with multiple Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker who is sponsored by the heat-treated wood pellet bedding brand.

“We are hugely excited to be involved with British Riding Clubs at this level,” said Alistair McGlynn, sales director of Verdo.

“Many of our customers are members or have worked their way up through the BRC route,”


BADMINTON BOOSTS ITS PRIZE MONEY

7th January, 2014.

The Badminton box office opens on Monday (13 January) for advanced bookings as increased prize money is announced.

The winner of the event on 7 – 11 May will receive £80,000, up from £65,000 in 2013.

Badminton’s chosen charity or ‘good cause’ this year will be Equestrian Team GBR in the build up to the World Equestrian Games (WEG).

The Badminton website has had a revamp too. It’s at www.badmintonhorse.co.uk


MATCHMAKERS INTERNATIONAL ACQUIRED BY INVESTORS

6th January, 2014.

Matchmakers International Ltd has been bought for an undisclosed sum by International Riding Company Ltd (IRCL).

IRCL is a new company formed to invest in the West Yorkshire based business which owns brands such as Caldene, Masta, Harry Hall, Cottage Craft and Tottie.

Oliver Hoare and Edward Wakefield, co-chairmen of IRCL, are now also co-chairmen of Matchmakers International.

Neville Lawrence becomes president of the company.


NEW SALES DIRECTOR APPOINTED

3rd January, 2014.

Grangers has appointed Edd Hames as its new sales director for its outdoor division.

He was UK sales manager at compression wear brand Skins before joining the manufacturer of waterproofing and care products for outdoor gear.

Outside of work Edd's interests include mountain biking, sailing, snowboarding and restoring old cars.

• Do you have a new employee or colleague? Or maybe someone in your business has got married, won an award, raised money for charity or been promoted – let us know at editor@equestriantradenews.com


FIRM HALTS SUPPLIES FOR ONLINE RETAIL SALE

1st January, 2014.

A supplements manufacturer has stopped supplying product for online retail sale.

Under a new way of selling to the trade, Animalife is strongly supporting bricks and mortar retailers instead.

From today (1 January), only Animalife accredited retailers with ‘proper shops’ can purchase its brands, including Vetrofen, Vetroflex and Oxyshot, from wholesalers.

The company has created a continuing professional development (CPD) programme to provide retailers with regular product training. Only those who commit to participating can retain their accreditation.

Read the full story in the January issue of ETN.