VALE BROS ACQUIRES E JEFFRIES

28th January, 2015.

British saddlery company E Jeffries has been acquired by Walsall based manufacturer Vale Bros.

The purchase from Goold Holdings includes Jeffries’ associated brands - Falcon, Eldonian, Wembley, Wembley Pro and Brady bags.

After signing the agreement earlier this week (26 January), Vale Brothers’ managing director Peter Wilkes confirmed that Vale Brothers and Jeffries will move to a new factory in central Walsall later this Spring.

Jeffries’ workforce is being kept on with Dave Darley remaining as managing director.

British manufacturer Vale Brothers owns Harry Dabbs Saddle Makers as well as the KBF99 horsecare brand, Edward Goddard whips and Equerry brushes. Production of its Thermatex rugs will remain in Wales.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the E. Jeffries brands continue to develop and prosper alongside our successful existing British brands from the Vale Brothers group,” said Peter.

“We feel that the two companies share a number of similar product lines and development paths, therefore the union will enable us to further strengthen our position as a leading force within the saddlery and leisure industry.”

Dominic Goold said he was “very pleased” that Jeffries and its staff had found a home with Vale Brothers.

“Jeffries is a great company making great products [and] deserves an owner who is 100% committed to it and to the trade,” he said. “With my other business interests, I don't have the time to do this properly.”

E. Jeffries, founded in 1820, acquired saddlery brands Falcon and Eldonian in 1987. Brady field sports bags joined the portfolio in 1993. The company is also well known for its bridlework and lorinary.


INNOVATION AWARD ENTRY IS FREE

28th January, 2015.

It’s free to enter the BETA International 2015 Innovation Awards – sponsored by ETN – exhibitors are reminded.

The closing date is next Wednesday, 4 February.

“There are some things that money just can’t buy – and an award at BETA International is one of them,” said Deborah Hayward, press officer for next month’s trade exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham.

All exhibitors are eligible to enter products in the innovation awards, provided they’ve been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the show.

Ten categories cover Country Fashion & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horsecare Equipment & [horse] Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing, Rider Footwear & Chaps, Saddlery & Tack, Safety & Security and Technical Outdoor Clothing & Footwear.

Best Stand Awards are also on offer at BETA International on 22 – 24 February. Every exhibitor is automatically entered.

For details, contact Jackie Woolley, tel +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jackiew@beta-int.com


RETAILERS SIGN UP TO PARCEL SHOP NETWORK

27th January, 2014.

Parcel delivery company DPD plans to work with retailers to open a network of parcel shops.

Scheduled to start in June, DPD PickUp will operate via 2,500 outlets providing ‘pickup’ points within ten minutes of most people in the UK.

The Numark Pharmacists chain has been announced as the first retailer to sign up.

Customers stand to benefit in three ways, says the parcel firm.

Firstly, the option to deliver to the nearest DPD PickUp point can be offered by retailers as a convenient alternative to home delivery.

Second, a DPD PickUp delivery will be one of the ‘in-flight' options available in DPD’s text and email notifications ahead of a scheduled home delivery. So if consumers aren't going to be at home, they can divert their delivery to a DPD PickUp point.

Finally, consumers can manage returns via their local DPD PickUp point.

“In future, we’ll be able to offer customers a choice between a one-hour timeslot home delivery or a DPD PickUp delivery,” said DPD’s CEO Dwain McDonald.

"We're looking to give DPD PickUp customers an outstanding service experience - from the communication at purchase about their delivery options, right through to the PickUp shop environment and the service they receive there - which means working with high quality retail outlets who share our customer service ethos.”

Construction of DPD's new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley in the East Midlands is now complete. The facility, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe, is on schedule to open in 2015, creating 1,000 full-time jobs.


WORLD’S EQUINE FEED TONNAGE UP 14%

27th January, 2014.

More animal feed than ever is being made across the world.

China remains the biggest producer with Africa the fastest growing region.

Alltech’s latest global feed tonnage survey, released today, assesses compound feed production in 130 countries.

China’s annual production is estimated at 189 million metric tons from around 9,500 feed mills. The number of mills was down, believed to be due to its government favouring fewer, larger plants to enable traceability and improvements in quality.

America and Brazil ranked second and third respectively.

Equine feed tonnage is reported to have increased worldwide by 14% during 2013 to 12.4 million metric tons. This follows a 17% increase in 2012.

Poultry is the leading consumer of animal feed. Figures refer to the year ending December 2013, compared with the previous 12 months.


NEW RECRUIT JOINS SALES TEAM

27th January, 2014.

Rachel Lumb has joined the sales team at John Whitaker International and Brogini.

She was previously with Matchmakers International and has worked in the equestrian trade for 14 years.

“We are delighted to welcome Rachel to the business. She brings great experience of the market and will be a real asset as the company continues to grow,” said John Ireland, business development manager at John Whitaker International and Brogini.


HACKERS TARGET HACKERS...

27th January, 2014.

Police are investigating why an equestrian tourism website was infiltrated by an Algerian based Islamist militant group.

“I was amazed and shocked to see that our friendly site had been replaced by an Algerian flag covered in Arabic slogans and abusive comments in English.” said Janet Cochrane, director of Ride Yorkshire which promotes riding in the county.

Janet added that Ride Yorkshire, which organises day rides and riding holidays, has no political brief and welcomes people of any faith.

“Our primary market is happy hackers,” she said, “maybe the cyber-attackers got the wrong end of the stick?”

The police and Ride Yorkshire’s IT team believe the attack was random. The website has been restored to feature its usual content.


£100K ‘DRAGONS’ INVESTMENT FOR EQUESTRIAN ENTREPRENEUR

26th January, 2015.

Nicola Fletcher, of Equisafety, secured £100,000 investment on last night’s BBC2 TV show Dragons’ Den.

A confident performance saw the hi-viz company’s founder and managing director convince two ‘dragons’ to back her plans to expand into international markets.

“I’m extremely proud to say that Duncan Bannatyne and Piers Linney saw potential in my company and offered me a deal,” said Nicola, who accepted £50,000 from each businessman in return for a small share in her business.

“With my design capability, the technology expertise that Piers Linney can offer and Duncan Bannatyne’s connections in the lifestyle market, I’m convinced that Equisafety can look forward to a very exciting - and highly visible - future in the UK, Europe and internationally.”

• What happens behind the scenes of Dragons’ Den? Read the February issue of ETN to find out in an exclusive interview with Nicola Fletcher...


REVENUE UP FOR PET CHAIN WITH EQUESTRIAN STORE

23rd January, 2015.

Pets at Home’s progress into in-store grooming and veterinary services boosted its revenue by 7.8% (to £182.2 million) in the third quarter of 2014.

The pet store chain owns Yorkshire based equestrian retailer Ride-Away.

Pets at Home’s fee income from joint venture veterinary practices was up by 32.9% to £6.4 million.

During the financial quarter, the retailer opened seven new stores giving a total of 392 nationwide.

Five veterinary practices and eight ‘groom rooms’ opened in the quarter, bringing the totals to 308 and 160 respectively.

“We continue to expect gross openings of at least 25 stores, 60 veterinary practices and 50 groom room salons in the financial year 2015,” says a Pets at Home statement.

The retailer’s VIP club loyalty scheme gained more than 250,000 new members during the quarter to reach a total of 2.9 million.

VIP card swipe rate at store tills represented 61% of revenue.


250 YEAR OLD FIRM CELEBRATES WITH SPONSORSHIP

21st January, 2015.

Horsecare products specialist Carr & Day & Martin marks its 250th anniversary this year.

Among the celebrations is a new sponsorship of para-dressage rider Izzy Palmer.

Izzy (14) has cerebral palsy. She says that riding helped teach her balance and how to gain better use of her limbs.

She’s recently won a place on the BEF World Class Development Programme which identifies future championship contenders.

“We’ve always championed young, upcoming talent and we look forward to supporting Izzy over the coming season,” said Amanda Flowers of Carr & Day & Martin.


SHOPLIFTING AT NINE YEAR HIGH

20th January, 2015.

Shoplifting, burglaries and fraud are costing retailers £511 million a year.

Theft is hitting stores particularly hard with organised criminal gangs targeting high value items.

In 2012-13, retailers suffered the highest level of theft for nine years, according to the latest annual retail crime survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

With 631,391 incidents of shoplifting reported, thefts per 100 stores was up 5% on the previous year.

The average value of each theft increased by 62% - to more than £200.

Retailers reported only one in ten of customer theft offences to the police.

Fraud increased by 15% in 2012-13 compared with the previous year. And while the number of burglaries fell by 49%, the cost of each incident rose from £1,730 to £2,067.

The average cost per incident of criminal damage jumped by 114% in 2012-13, from £962 to £2,062.

A broad range of retailers participate in the annual BRC survey. They range from large multiples to smaller retailers, representing around half of the retail sector by turnover.

• See the February issue of ETN for advice on insuring against retail crime


“SECURE FUTURE” FOR BETA INTERNATIONAL VENUE AS NEC SOLD

19th January, 2015.

The NEC, Birmingham, home to BETA International for 20 years, has a new owner.

Birmingham City Council has sold the NEC Group to LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank. The deal includes a 125-year lease on the NEC site.

“We’re pleased to say it’s business as usual,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The sale of the NEC is good news for exhibitors and visitors. It ensures a secure future for the venue and its long-time clients.”

The NEC Group, which also includes Birmingham’s International Convention Centre and Barclaycard Arena, is being added to LDC’s portfolio of more than 80 businesses across the UK. Together they employ 37,000 people and generate £4 billion revenue and £430 million profit.

BETA International 2015 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 February. More details at www.beta-int.com

See the only official BETA International 2015 preview in the February issue of ETN – the trade fair’s media partner.


DRAGONS’ DEN NOT TO BE MISSED

19th January, 2015.

Don’t miss the new series of Dragons’ Den which starts on Sunday (25 January).

Hi-vis sportswear will be the subject of one budding entrepreneur’s pitch to the team of dragon-investors, according to the BBC 2 website.

Deborah Meaden, who is to appear at BETA International next month, takes her place as a regular ‘dragon’ on the popular show which is beginning a new series.

Deborah has her own horses and is working with the British Equestrian Federation’s HOOF campaign to promote riding to the wider public.

“I love animals generally, but I can’t imagine life without horses,” she told ETN.

The full interview with Deborah Meaden appeared in ETN’s December issue.


BEWARE BOGUS BETA INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS

15th January, 2015.

With BETA International 2015 just five weeks away, businesses are warned to beware of bogus sales calls.

“Every year, various directories, agencies and publications falsely purport to have an official connection with BETA International,” said ETN editor Liz Benwell.

“In fact, ETN is the one and only official media partner of BETA International.

“ETN works alongside the show’s organising team and is the only title to publish the show’s floorplan and full exhibitor list.”

For more than 30 years, ETN has been part of the BETA Group. The magazine is published by the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA’s) commercial arm (Equestrian Management Consultants).

“That’s why everything we do is for the trade, by the trade,” added Liz.

The February issue of ETN is a bumper edition with increased circulation containing the one and only official BETA International preview.

To get involved – whether you’re exhibiting or not – contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 or email nickil@beta-int.com The deadline is tomorrow (Friday)!


SUPPLEMENTS SPECIALIST IN NEW SPONSORSHIP

14th January, 2014.

Supplement specialist Animalife has announced a new sponsorship of showjumper Nicole Pavitt.

The company behind Vetrofen and Vetroflex already sponsors Hickstead Derby hero Trevor Breen and dressage internationals Gareth and Rebecca Hughes, plus a team of amateur riders.

“I’m a huge fan of Animalife products, but particularly love using Vetrofen as it helps to keep my horses in winning form,” said Nicole (26).

Animalife makes its debut as an exhibitor at the BETA International trade fair next month.


NEW SIGNING FOR SARACEN

14th January, 2014.

Kate Hayward has joined Saracen Horse Feeds as sales representative for the Midlands.

Based at Belper in Derbyshire, she has previously worked for Monarch Equestrian, Fieldhouse Riding Equipment and Dengie.

Kate enjoys show jumping her 17hh Irish sport horse. In 2010, she was third at Horse of the Year Show in the Search for a Star showing final.


RETAILERS HAVE REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

13th January, 2015.

Three-quarters of retailers expect sales to rise in 2015.

The optimistic results of a survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) also reveal that 78% of store owners see themselves needing to employ more staff in the next 12 months.

Retailers’ chief worries for the new year include business rates.

The tax was a concern for 53% of respondents, while nearly three-quarters said the government should be pressed for reform.

Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, agrees and has called for “serious solutions” to the burden.

Survey respondents represent 18% of the overall retail sector by sales value.


HOW ETN BOOSTED A BUSINESS

12th January, 2015.

Coverage in Equestrian Trade News (ETN) has helped a young business raise capital and secure export opportunities.

At the end of last year, Becky Benfield launched a crowd-funding campaign to back her UK made range of model horses.

She needed to raise £25,000 and offered investors the chance to design their own models.

Her story was covered in ETN’s December magazine and on the title’s e-newsletter.

Becky contacted ETN this week to say she had exceeded her Kickstarter crowd-funding goal having raised £31,106 so far.

"We are totally ecstatic. The coverage in ETN helped us attract pledges from individuals within the UK equestrian industry and create future opportunities for distribution overseas.," she said.

The new business Copperfox Model Horses can be seen at BETA International 2015, at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 25 February. For more information, visit www.beta-int.com


LAST CHANCE TO JOIN NATIONAL SURVEY

6th January, 2015.

Retailers, their staff and customers are urged to take part in the latest National Equestrian Survey (NES).

The third and final stage of the research comprises an online questionnaire about equestrian consumers’ purchasing habits, concentrating on brands, products and where they shop.

The NES, commissioned by the British Equestrian Trade Associate (BETA), happens every four or five years.

It creates a national snapshot of the size, shape, activity and spending of the equestrian community – providing vital information for the trade.

Early results will be presented to the National Equine Forum in March by BETA executive director Claire Williams.

To take the survey, click on the link below. (Anyone who has already completed it is asked not to do so again).

www.telluswhatyouthink-sport.com


SQP CPD POINTS ON OFFER AT TRADE FAIR

5th January, 2015.

Valuable CPD points for SQPs are on offer at BETA International 2015’s AMTRA-accredited seminar.

Worth 10 points, the seminar will be presented by veterinary management consultant Jim Wishart on Sunday 22 and Tuesday 24 February.

“Seminars are an important part of the trade fair and we are extremely pleased to give retailers with an SQP qualification the opportunity to top up on their CPD points,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“Hosting the initiative on two different days allows visitors greater flexibility when planning their timetable and ensures a highly beneficial and effective trade fair experience.”

The 75-minute seminar is free and open to all visiting SQPs. There is no need to book, but they should bring their SQP number so that they can register on the day.

• SQPs can earn more CPD points via an AMTRA accredited feature in the February issue of ETN and online at www.equestriantradenews.com


FRESH FORMAT FOR FORUM

5th January, 2015.

The 23rd National Equine Forum, to be held on 5 March in London, has a new format.

The aim is to open up more debate and discussion with panels of speakers and delegates, say the organisers.

The Forum brings together representatives from all echelons of the equestrian industry, including government, equestrian sport, veterinary science and welfare.

The event also has a later start time of 10.15am, with networking from 9.15am.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals at a cost of £100 per person, including lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

To apply or become a Friend of the Forum, contact the hon secretary, Ms Tracy Allen, at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, Warwick, CV35 9BL email teallen@warkscol.ac.uk. For further information on the Forum visit www.bef.co.uk/National-Equine-Forum


TV CHANNEL LAUNCHES IN AUSTRALIA

5th January, 2015.

Horse & Country TV is to launch in Australia on 1 February.

The channel will initially be available on Fetch TV as an à la carte option for $7.95 per month.

It will also be offered over the internet and on mobile devices, with plans to make it available on other platforms in the future.

“There’s a vibrant equestrian sector in Australia as well as a rural community that is often overlooked by mainstream media,” said H&C TV’s CEO Heather Killen.

H&C TV is currently on satellite, cable and IPTV in the UK, Ireland, Holland and Sweden.


NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR BEST SHOWS

5th January, 2015.

Whether you were trading or spectating, did a show or event impress you last year?

Nominations close later this week (9 January) for the Caldene Equestrian Event of the Year.

The accolade is designed to reward an event offering a superior visitor experience.

You can nominate at www.beta-uk.org or by email to laurac@beta-int.com. Everyone who nominates will be entered into a prize draw to win a Caldene leather bridle worth £120.