31st January, 2017.

BETA International retained its rock-solid reputation as the world’s leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products when it threw open its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January to welcome 3,531 visitors* – 4,163 including re-entries – and almost 300 exhibitors from across the UK and overseas.

This ultimate business and trade buying experience showcased some of the finest products and services available today, with many items unveiled for the very first time.

Buyers ranged from small independents to large multinational chains, with retailers joining their friends and colleagues for three busy days of trade and networking.

Bit and bitting company Neue Schule announced its continued support for BETA International by signing as main sponsor for the next three years. Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas and Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian shared the good news with journalists at the show's press lunch.

Business, information and entertainment topped the show’s leader board, with BETA International's red-hot industry debate taking centre stage in the show's new Charles Owen Hub.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart hosted Talking Business for a second consecutive year, with a panel made up of Liz Hopper, MD of Matchmakers International, Tom MacGuinness, MD of Horseware Ireland, Tim Holderness-Roddam, a director of British Eventing, Sue Moxon, MD of R&R Country, Nikki Newcombe, MD of Bliss of London, and Sarfraz Mian, CEO of Neue Schule.

They expressed their fears caused by the current uncertainty and possible retail price rises resulting from the Brexit vote and fall in the pound, but shared their hopes for fresh opportunities that might arise with trade from other countries outside the EU. They also discussed the issue of retailers selling below recommended retail prices.

The Hub – a vibrant, new business theatre sponsored by hat manufacturer Charles Owen – included sessions with the company's managing director, Roy Burek, who looked at just what makes British safety brands some of the best in the word, and Neue Schule explored the importance of informed bitting and introduced Avansce, the company's new sports performance monitoring division.

Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein – aka Batch and the Pwoducer of Wocket Woy fame – brought hilarious antics and belly laughs to the hall as visitors and exhibitors gathered to hear their interview in The Hub. The two jockeys continued to spread good cheer throughout the halls and took part in a riding lesson on RoboCob, the mechanical horse, with Olympic silver medal-winning German event rider Julia Krajewski.

The Hub also featured presentations from BETA International's chosen charities, the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK, giving members of the industry a powerful insight into their work to improve the quality of human lives with the help of horses.

Visiting SQPS (suitably qualified persons) claimed eight CPD points by attending The Code in Practice – Keeping Yourself Compliant seminar, hosted by AMTRA secretary-general Stephen Dawson. BETA-trained City & Guild fitters benefited from up to five CPD points with Claire Williams’s seminar Safety Equipment Standards and Rules.

Retailers were also provided with top tips and heaps of inspiration by Kirsty Kean, of Visual Thinking, who looked at An Exploration of Sensory Customer Experience, explaining how the use of senses can influence and drive sales.

Sylvia Rook, of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, provided an overview of Returns, Complaints and the Law. Blacks Solicitors gave the legal lowdown on issues affecting businesses in the equestrian trade.

The Equi-Theme Fashion Show showcased a wide range of stunningly stylish equestrian, country and outdoor clothing. Buyers took their seats at the edge of the runway as clothing from sponsor Equi-Theme, House of Montar, Covalliero, Horseware Ireland, Baleno, Derriere Equestrian, Champion, Toggi and Fits Riding revealed their forthcoming autumn/winter collections.

BETA International is highly regarded for the quality of its exhibition stands and all the hard work it takes to create polished and professional retail environments is recognised and rewarded with the show's Best Stand Awards. Each exhibitor is automatically entered into the competition, which was judged by Jay Hare, of HorseBack UK, and Sally Atkinson, of the Riding for the Disabled Association.

After touring the halls, they selected Carr & Day & Martin as winner of the Best Large Stand Award (32 sq m and over) and Danish Design Pet Products for the Best Small Stand Award (under 32 sq m).

Kari Grundwig, won The Academy by Neue Schule Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (Equestrian Trade). A student in the company’s education and training division, she scooped the title after being judged highest achiever on its three courses. Her prize was an Avansce Synchronicity system and engraved crystal plaque.

Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas was extremely pleased with the response to BETA International 2017.

“We have had some wonderful feedback from both our exhibitors and visitors,” she said. “The show has been top-notch – a real class act from start to finish, with some simply stunning stands, great products, quality buyers and a tremendous feel-good factor throughout the halls. We would like to thank the trade for its support and help in retaining our position as the No 1 B2B equestrian show.

“Our thanks must also go to our sponsors – Neue Schule, Battles, Charles Owen, Equi-Thème, Equestrian Trade News, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian Products and Toggi – who all play an important role in the show's success.”

BETA International 2018 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January. For information about exhibiting at the trade fair, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

* Visitor figures awaiting ABC audit

• See the February issue of ETN for exhibitors’ comments, retailers’ reactions, pictures and prize-winners from BETA International 2017.


31st January, 2017.

BETA International saw apprentices and trainees competing in the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) competitions at BETA International.

Visitors to last week’s trade fair, at the NEC, Birmingham, watched the young saddlers work at their stations in the show’s Saddlery Pavilion.

Prize money was donated by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers with BETA International providing the competition space.

Apprentices and students competing on the Sunday each made a cavesson noseband, to be completed in six hours.

Competitors who are training at the Saddlery Training Centre and who took part were Corrin King of S. Milner & Son, Leicestershire; Amy Baldwin of The Saddlers’ Den, Merseyside; Lucy Ellis of The Saddle Man, Shropshire and David Taylor of The Kings Troop RHA.

The top award went to Corrin King with Lucy Ellis claiming second place after judges Laura Dempsey and Helen Reader had made their deliberations.

Said Corrin: “I really enjoy coming to BETA International and taking part in the SMS competition. Showcasing our skills is also a very valuable experience.”

Added Laura Dempsey: “As ever the standard was very high across all the entries but the winner just stood out for us on all aspects of the workmanship.”

On the Monday, second year Capel Manor College students included Rachel Lok, Anna Roe, Cathal Dooley and Fred Eastwood. Each made a pair of plain reins.

The winner was Rachel Lok with Jack Callister as runner-up.

Judges Laurence Pearman and Emily White were full of praise for the students’ efforts.

Said Laurence: “We were both delighted to judge at the competition and the attention to detail that went into producing the reins was excellent.”

The third say of BETA International saw first year Capel Manor students showcase their leatherworking talents by making a pair of rein stops.

They included Signe Dreyer, Andrew Sizer, Jessica Abraham and Grace Willsmer.

Judges Catherine Baker and Lisa Hoskins chose as their winner Grace Willsmer with Signe Dreyer taking the second prize.

Said Hazel Morley of the SMS: “The competitions at BETA International are a great way to introduce visitors to the skills being taught to our younger generation of craftsmen and women and as ever proved popular with visitors over the three days.

“We are really proud to be able to showcase our work as a society.”


26th January, 2017.

A new partnership between British Showjumping (BS) and NAF was announced during BETA International 2017.

Britain’s senior Nations Cup teams along with the children, junior and young rider teams will be named Team NAF from the start of the 2017 season.

It’s the first time a title sponsorship has brought together Britain’s senior and youth teams – including children on horses, the junior and young rider European championship teams - under one banner.

The partnership is also set to enhance British show jumping’s popularity, according to team performance manager Di Lampard.

“NAF is a household name with a great following, so their involvement can only help boost show jumping’s fan base,” she said, speaking exclusively to ETN.

A former international rider with a successful Nations Cup record, Di said she was also delighted that Britain’s children on horses team is included in NAF’s support package.

“Children are bigger and taller nowadays, and the sooner we can get them onto horses [as opposed to ponies] the better.

“It’s far more beneficial for their riding if we can get them jumping horses at 13 or 14. That way, we have much more chance of the talented children being recognised earlier and identified as potential international prospects,” Di explained.

Another reason why she was so delighted to be working with NAF, said Di, was the company’s association with the Clean Sport campaign.

“Riders’ livelihood is at stake as well as their horses’ performance, so there must be no compromise,” she said.

A leading supplier of supplements and equine care products, NAF has been an Official Supplier to the British Equestrian Team for some years.

"We are very proud to be British and thrilled to announce our sponsorship of Great Britain’s Nations Cup and Youth European Championship Teams,” said Linda Porter of NAF.

“Showjumpers at all levels feed our supplements, making this partnership an ideal fit for us. As Official Suppliers to British Equestrian Teams, our commitment to clean sport and efficacy is paramount to our joint success and we are looking forward to a wonderful and successful year of showjumping in 2017.”

NAF’s range of Five Star brands includes Superflex, Superflex Senior, Profeet, Optimum, Magic, Oestress and Respirator Boost.

NAF is a UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme), GNP+ (International Feed Assurance Scheme) and BETA NOPS (Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances) accredited company which enables it to guarantee full traceability on all the natural ingredients used in its formulations, which are also selected in compliance with the FEI guidelines for Clean Sport.

Under the Team NAF banner, the senior British team is expected to compete at a minimum of ten Nations Cup competitions.

The children, junior and young rider teams will appear at international shows across Europe before heading to their European Championships in Slovakia in August.


25th January, 2017.

Industry members gathered to celebrate and congratulate the winners of the 2017 BETA Business Awards during the British Equestrian Trade Association's annual Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Sunday 22 January.

The coveted accolades were presented to the companies and individuals judged to have made exceptional contributions to the trade.

The evening kicked off in style with a drinks reception before dinner, followed by dancing until the small hours with a disco provided by Keratex and high jinks in a party photo booth.

A fundraising raffle raised £1,550 for the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK.

“The BETA Business Awards have continued to grow year on year and, as usual, our judges had the difficult task of narrowing down the finalists,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“However, they rose to the challenge and I am delighted that we have some really deserving winners. A huge well done to everyone who took part.”

The winners of the 2017 BETA Business Awards are...


Winner: Palfrey Turner, Cornwall Farmers, Helston
Runner-up: Rebecca Kirk, Tower Farm Saddlers, Rugby, Warwickshire

This award recognises the employee showing initiative, excellence in customer service, product knowledge and commitment to professional retailing. It is intended for shop-floor employees only, not managers, and nominations were invited from employers or sales representatives. The finalists were interviewed to determine the winner, who received a cash prize of £200, with BETA training vouchers going to his employer.

One of the judges said of the winner: “From first contact, you immediately know that you are in safe hands – his experience and knowledge must be a great asset to the rest of the Cornwall Farmers team.”


Winner: Emily Brown, Allen & Page

Runner-up: Michael Darley, Darley Equestrian

This award rewards excellence in product and customer knowledge. Retailer nominations were followed by votes and an interview with the finalists.

A judge said of her interview with Emily: “She was light, bright, bubbly, focused, dedicated and a joy to talk to.”


Winner: NAF

This award is presented to the company that has achieved sustained increases in export activity over a period of three years. It was difficult to separate the top two finalists but, in the end, NAF clinched the title with its high-calibre submission and striking story in terms of growth rate in export markets.


Winner: Bramham International Horse Trials

This accolade acknowledges the event at which tradestands are present that best works with its exhibitors and takes their needs and requirements fully into consideration, and views its tradestands as an integral part of its success.

A visitor nomination said that the event provides the perfect day out for enjoying equestrian competition and shopping in a beautiful setting. Trade nominations were unanimous in their view that the event's organising team knows exactly how to look after their exhibitors and provide a venue that can yield real profit.


This award rewards the company that best embraces social media and uses it to powerful effect throughout its marketing strategy. It is divided into two categories – those who spend 15 hours or less a week on social media activity and those who spend more than 15 hours on it. The judging panel considered application presentation, innovation and use, originality of content, compelling nature of presence, interaction with audience and accuracy and engagement of information.

15 Hours and Under

Winner: Westgate Labs

Judges felt that all the company's social media platforms were clearly branded, with an extremely professional appearance. It was also successful in creating a voice that was warm and friendly, which made visitors to the sites feel part of an active and engaging community.

Over 15 Hours

Winner: Horzehoods

Judges felt that the company had an impressive following, with varied and interesting content. It clearly engages with its customers first-hand and has successfully embraced social media to help grow its business worldwide.


This award, for tack shops and feed merchants, is divided into four categories – Large, Medium and Small Tack Shops and Mail Order/Internet Retailer. The award received nominations from more than 1,000 individuals for over 150 companies. The final decision is based on the number of nominations, mystery shop visits and incognito calls.

Large Tack Shop

Winner: Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, Hampshire

Runner-up: RB Equestrian, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

A nominator said that staff were always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. A judge commented: “Lovely shop with good sales assistants who acknowledged us straight away despite being busy.”

Medium Tack Shop

Winner: Highfield Equestrian, Milford, Staffordshire

Runner-up: Tower Farm Saddlers , Earls Barton, Northamptonshire

The winner’s “outstanding level of service and expertise” was noted by a nominator. Judges said: “They offered an impressive level of customer service.”

Small Tack Shop

Winner: Carlton's Equine , Whitley Bay, Northumberland

Runner-up: Eskdale Saddlers, Carlisle, Cumbria

One of the nominators described the winner as “a fantastic shop with a great range of stock – staff are always helpful and friendly”. A judge said: “A delightful small shop with attention to service.”

Mail Order/Internet Retailer

Winner: The Saddlery Shop

Runner-up: Urban Horse

“They have a really clear, easy-to-use website and fantastic customer service,” said one nominator. Judges said: “We liked the clear and well-structured website with excellent search functions and easy order and returns processing.”


Winner: Allen & Page

Runner-up: Science Supplements

This accolade goes to the company that offers exemplary service in nutritional advice to customers, both trade and retail. Customer nominations – a record number this year – were followed by incognito telephone calls.

Judges said the winner was “extremely helpful and very thorough when answering questions and demonstrated brilliant follow-up, as they had received a large packet of information just a few days ago”.


Winner: Shires Equestrian Products

This award goes to the manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor judged to offer the best in delivery, customer service, product knowledge and awareness of retailers’ requirements. Nominations from both retailers and suppliers themselves were accepted. Judging of shortlisted companies was followed by a retail members’ vote. One nominator commented of the winner: “We wish all our suppliers were like Shires!”.

Judges said: “It was a closely fought battle but, in the end, Shires pipped others to the post for its overall friendliness and customer service.”


This award acknowledges sponsored riders who make the greatest contribution to the trade and is presented to those who have participated fully in building a relationship with their sponsor to yield good results for both.

Winner: Nick Skelton

Nominator Charles Owen said: “Nick is one of the most well-respected and loved equestrians in the world. He has been at the top of the sport for many years, representing Britain, and his passion and commitment give us the best return for our sponsorship.”

LORINERY DISPLAY COMPETITION sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Loriners

This competition was introduced to encourage good in-store lorinery displays to help grow sales and increase expertise and knowledge.

Winner: Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, Hampshire

The judges said: “It was clear that a great deal of care had been taken to create a logical and workmanlike display that enables both customers and staff to access and service the extensive range. Good lighting enhanced the appearance of the horse bits and there was a plentiful supply of supporting product information.”


Winner: Chris Gordon

With a passion for horses and all things equestrian, Chris Gordon evented until recently and has been a keen supporter on and off the hunting field his entire life. He has a PhD in applied science and, after jobs in research and pharmaceutical sales, took a position at Dodson & Horrell in 1988, working his way up to become technical director.

Chris has represented Dodson & Horrell on BETA committees since 1999 and was chairman of BETA from 2006 to 2008. He became chair of the feed committee in 2002 and still holds that position today. During this time, BETA has become a respected source of feed-related expertise and a real force in lobbying with government agencies.

He led the working group responsible for the development of the successful BETA NOPS Code and chaired the working group that set up the latest BETA feed assurance scheme, for products suitable for equines prone to EGUS – equine gastric ulcer syndrome.


25th January, 2017.

Craftsmanship, design, technology and invention were put under the spotlight in the 2017 BETA International Innovation Awards, presented during this year's trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham, on Monday 23 January.

These highly regarded industry accolades are sponsored by Equestrian Trade News – official media partner of BETA International – and open to all exhibitors with products that have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

The judging panel was made up of industry experts FEI vet Lesley Barwise-Munro, retailer James Edwards, of Devon-based Acorn Saddlery, international event rider Piggy French, Dr Teresa Hollands a senior teaching fellow in veterinary nutrition at the University of Surrey, Millbry Hill retail director Serena Jones and horse riding safety practitioner and consultant Ken Law.

“We were bowled over by the large number of entries – and high quality of the products entered into each of the awards' eight categories,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“Creating an item that is truly innovative is certainly not easy, but the entries clearly reflected the impressive amount of work that has gone into delivering something that can be described as such. Congratulations to all those who won an award and to everyone who entered the competition. There are certainly some fantastic products out there.”

Companies that won a trophy are entitled to use the Innovation Awards winners’ logo for the winning product in their marketing over the next 12 months.

The 2017 Innovation Awards winners were...


Company: Musto
Product: Women’s lightweight machine-washable Gore-Tex tweed jacket
This completely waterproof women’s jacket with hand-warmer pockets is made in tweed that can be machine-washed without it discolouring or becoming rough. The two-layer Gore-Tex liner provides protection from bad weather and allows perspiration to escape. The inner cuffs’ durable water-repellent coating prevents water running up the sleeves.
Judges’ comments: “The jacket, with a lovely trim and suede on the collar, has subtle feminine styling and is ideal for various outdoor pursuits.”

Highly commended
Company: Rockfish
Product: Brightboots
These boots, in a range of colours aimed at the equestrian and country markets, provide an ergonomic fit and superior comfort. They have a high degree of both visibility and safety, complying with standards for hi-viz and safety footwear.
Judges’ comments: “These boots are both functional and comfortable, with an impressive steel toe and hi-viz combination that is very innovative. The colours are very striking for the equestrian market.”


Company: Trilanco
Product: GastroKind
The only supplement with a patented use of ficus glomerata to support the medical treatment of equine gastric ulcers, GastroKind has seven years of clinical trials behind it. It is proven to assist the reduction of Grade 1-3 gastric ulcers and enhance recovery time when used alongside prescription drugs and medication.
Judges’ comments: “This product has met NOPS and UFAS standards and its ingredients list is transparent. It was supplied to the judges with clinical examples of it being successfully used by horse owners under the direction of vets, alongside medical treatment.”


Company: Stable & Barn
Product: Tack trolley
This British-manufactured trolley, in a modular design, is intended to carry horse and rider equipment up to 40kg across all terrains. It has pneumatic tyres and is robust enough never to fall over – the weight is evenly distributed across the base tray.
Judges’ comments: “While being robust, the trolley is lightweight and we were impressed by its multi-functionality, making it of use in eventing and showing, on yards and in veterinary practices.”

Highly commended
Company: Keratex Hoofcare
Product: Coconut oil hoof balm
This hoof balm is a high-quality blend of natural coconut oil, beeswax and tea tree oil. It is formulated to make coconut oil last on hooves, with the beeswax glossing them. The tea tree oil gives it an anti-bacterial quality.
Judges’ comments: “This is an innovative use of a popular product, coconut oil. It is available in two colours, at a reasonable price. Perhaps providing a small brush for application would be a good idea.”


Company: Harry Hall
Product: Protechmasta infrared rug
The Protechmasta therapy rug has infrared technology, featuring ceramic fabric to reflect infrared rays back into the body to increase blood flow gently, detoxify and promote healing for the horse. Super-wicking air mesh material makes this lightweight rug ideal for travelling as well as for use after exercise.
Judges’ comments: “This product will appeal to both professionals and amateurs, and help a variety of horses with different strengths and weaknesses.”
Highly Commended

Company: Cryochaps
Product: Cryochaps
This egonomically designed ice wrap, which is easy to apply, moulds to the horse’s lower leg to cover all major tendons and ligaments. Reversible so that it can fit either the left or right leg, it maintains temperatures in the medically recommended range of 10 to 15°C for at least 20 minutes.
Judges’ comments: “A quality product at a good price, this is marketed well, with plenty of information and clear instructions. The storage bag is useful, too.”


Company: Doggy Bag
Product: Doggy towel
This towel, which is super-absorbent, dries and cleans wet and muddy dogs. The microfibre material means that dog owners will have less hair-drying and laundry, and cotton towels are replaced with an environmentally friendly, economical and practical solution.
Judges’ comments: “This is a really useful product for all dog owners, at a good price. It is easy to carry, store and keep in the car.”

Highly commended
Company: Scruffs
Product: Thermal dog jacket
This self-heating jacket, supplying warmth to the dog’s muscles on brisk morning walks, has a soft shell exterior to give excellent protection against wind and rain while retaining its breathable qualities.
Judges’ comments: “A nice dog coat that is both comfortable and looks very smart.”


Company: Kask Spa
Product: Kask helmet with merino wool padding
This helmet’s internal padding provides comfort and the merino wool natural fibre in contact with the skin maintains body temperature, ensures high breathability and dries quickly. The efficient temperature regulation enables riders to sweat less and smell better.
Judges’ comments: “The helmet is good-quality and very stylish, and the merino wool makes it a comfortable fit. The padded lining can be easily removed for washing.”

Highly commended
Company: Ariat Europe
Product: Vortex riding boot
This tall boot is lightweight with elegant, modern detailing. Independent testing has shown the innovative Shock Shield technology to provide 30 per cent more shock absorption in the heal, while the TPE – thermoplastic elastomers – midsole was 33 per cent more shock absorbent in the forefoot.
Judges’ comments: “There is plenty of research and technology behind this stylish, good-quality product.”


Company: Neue Schule
Product: Turtle Tilt Weymouth bit
The result of research into the action of bits and how double bridles work, the Turtle Tilt Weymouth sits further forward on the tongue, creating a greater degree of separation between curb and bridoon.
Judges’ comments: “We were impressed by the extensive research that has gone into this bit, which gives variation and choices to riders.”

Highly commended
Company: Salamo
Product: Salamo detachable flash comfort bridle
This tanned leather bridle with a discreet detachable flash strap eliminates the bulky, untidy look usually associated with detachable nosebands.
Judges’ comments: “The bridle provides very good value for money, appears comfortable and will look smart in competition.”


Company: Harry Hall
Product: Masta Avante hi-viz turnout rug
This rug is made from fully waterproof, breathable 600-denier ripstop fabric and 200g of filling. It has 360°C reflectivity, using reflective piping and large chevron reflective prints combined with high-visibility fabric.
Judges’ comments: “This good-quality, well-fitting rug offers high levels of visibility and safety, especially if having to use roads when moving to a field for turnout.”

Highly commended
Company: Trilanco
Product: HackCAM UGlow camera vest
The camera vest is a high-quality padded garment with detachable shoulder pads, changeable wording on the back and glow-in-the-dark tape. It is a good alternative to helmet-mounted cameras.
Judges’ comments: “All the components of the camera vest are good ideas that have been brought together in one product.”

• BETA International is the leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January.


25th January, 2017.

The BETA International Best Stand Awards rewarded companies that went the extra mile at this week’s show held at the NEC, Birmingham.

Every exhibitor is automatically entered into the awards and placed in one of two categories – Best Large Stand (32 sq m and over) or Best Small Stand (under 32 sq m). Judges Sally Atkinson and Jay Hare, of the show’s chosen charities, the Riding for the Disabled Association and HorseBack UK, selected the winners.

This year, the trophies went to...


Winner: Carr & Day & Martin

Judges’ comments: An elegant stand created in a traditional style with a classy feel. Staff were extremely helpful, friendly and had great product knowledge.

Highly commended: Shires Equestrian Products

Judges’ comments: An eye-catching, modern stand with a stunning central display of horse rugs and effective lighting. Displays were well thought-out easy for retailers to view.


Winner: Danish Design Pet Products

Judges’ comments: A striking, simple stand making great use of a small space. Products were thoughtfully displayed and attractively merchandised, and staff were engaging, enthusiastic and extremely helpful.

Highly commended: Etree

Judges’ comments: A small stand that utilised every inch of space to great effect. It was extremely well thought-out, giving high importance to attractive visuals, yet retaining plenty of room to do business.


25th January, 2017.

Equestrian manufacturers’ agent Tiger Davies died last week (18 January). He was 85.

Tiger was based in Tiverton, Devon and spent more than 40 years working for various companies in the trade.

Always operating as a freelance sales agent, he helped several brands – including Lavenham, Puffa and Woof Wear – to become household names.

At one time, Tiger wrote an Agent’s Diary detailing the hilarious and often risqué happenings during his time on the road as he visited retailers and attended shows across the south-west and beyond.

Tiger loved his shooting and hunting and was a knowledgeable follower of equestrian sports.

Before joining the equestrian industry, Tiger was a farmer. He would joke that it was his children’s expensive equestrian habits that forced him to look for a real job.

He turned out to be an excellent salesman. He went into double glazing when it first started and did very well. In fact, he could sell anything; even vibrating orthopaedic aids - stories about which suited Tiger’s naughty sense of humour to perfection.

After a while, he spotted an opportunity to import and fit an expensive German saddle brand. And with his connections in the equestrian world, there was no looking back.

Tiger was still working until last year, notably for Equetech and Kanyon Outdoor, until he announced his retirement in December. (See ETN January issue, People).

Tiger lived life to the full. ETN editor Liz Benwell said: “No matter how bad a day you were having, Tiger never failed to cheer things up and bring a smile to everyone’s face. The trade will be much the poorer without his wit, kindness and enthusiasm.”

• Tiger Davies will be buried at a private family funeral followed by a celebration of his life to which all friends and colleagues are invited at Thelbridge Cross Inn, Thelbridge, Nr Witheridge EX17 4SQ on Thursday 2 February at 3.30pm. The family requests no flowers. Please indicate attendance by email to Mrs Catherine Davies and the family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts


17th January, 2017.

Retailers, suppliers and influential figures from the equestrian, pet, country and outdoor trades will flock to the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday (22 January) for the opening of BETA International.

Around 300 exhibitors – 80 of them new for 2017 and 95 from outside the UK - will occupy three exhibition halls until Tuesday (24 January).

Admission to BETA International is strictly trade only and free to pre-registered visitors. Arrange to visit at

• There are a few seats remaining on BETA International’s free coach services from Durham and Exeter. Return journeys to the show are available with pick-up points en route. To view the full timetable and book, visit


16th January, 2017.

Retail members of BETA will be fed and watered by their trade association when they visit BETA International next week (22 – 24 January).

For the first time, the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is offering retailer food and beverage vouchers to spend at the show.

Vouchers – to be collected from the BETA stand (G7.1) – are worth up to £20 per company or £10 for one person attending on one day.

The vouchers are redeemable at any refreshment outlet in Halls 6, 7 and 8 at the NEC, Birmingham where BETA International takes place.

In addition, BETA retail members can claim a £50 attendance subsidy if visiting BETA International for at least two days. Attendance forms must be signed at the BETA stand.

BETA International is organised by Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BETA Group.


16th January, 2017.

Retailers visiting BETA International are invited to call at the ETN stand (P1.1) to enter our free prize draw.

The winner, to be drawn out of a hat at the end of the show, will receive £1,000s worth of products for their store.

All prizes have been donated by BETA International exhibitors who have advertised in ETN January issue, the official show preview.

One of the prizes is priceless; the chance to appear in a Retailer Profile feature in an upcoming issue of ETN.

The ETN prize draw can only be entered at BETA International, at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January.

ETN will be reporting on the show, our exclusive pictures, results and round-up appearing in the February issue.


16th January, 2017.

New products to be shown at BETA International 2017 have been put through their paces by Wocket Woy.

The jump jockeys’ Saturday morning Internet antics are avidly followed by thousands of fans. Next week they will appear live at BETA International.

In this week’s hilarious Wocket Woy video, the pair try and test new lines in grooming aids, waterproof numnahs and equestrian jewellery.

To see the action, Tune in here.


16th January, 2017.

HRH Princess Anne visited Neue Schule Group at its new North Yorkshire base on Thursday (12 January).

The Princess, a former European eventing champion, unveiled a commemorative plaque in celebration of equestrian innovation in the county.

Bits and bitting specialist Neue Schule has just moved into a new headquarters, called Momentum, in Stokesley.

For the royal visit, the company showcased its four member companies, Neue Schule [bits], The Academy [education], Avansce (equestrian sports performance monitoring] and Momentum Development Company [eco-friendly office space].

Princess Anne chatted to members of the Neue Schule team including founder Heather Hyde, technical director of Avansce Dr Graham Cross and The Academy’s Dr Caroline Benoist.

“We were extremely pleased and incredibly honoured to host the Princess,” said Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian.

“Her visit allowed us to demonstrate the results of our extensive research and development – and, as a keen horsewoman, the Princess appeared genuinely enthusiastic and keen to find out more about our work.”

Princess Anne’s visit focussed on UK and international equestrian activity and business growth.

She also met representatives from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), BETA International, Equestrian Trade News (ETN), the Department for International Trade and Neue Schule's American distributor.

Neue Schule is main sponsor of BETA International 2017 which opens on Sunday (22 January) for three days at the NEC, Birmingham.

To find out more about the company’s latest developments, click here


11th January, 2017.

New products, fresh business ideas, face-to-face meetings with suppliers, display inspiration - and going home feeling happy.

There are many and various reasons that retailers will be flocking BETA International when the show opens next Sunday for a three-day run (22- 24 January) at the NEC, Birmingham.

“For anyone new to the industry, a visit to BETA International is the ideal place to start getting to know it,” says Gary Allport of Millbry Hill, a first-time attendee last year.

Seasoned visitor Helen Deacon will be visiting from Mole Valley Country Store in Stamford, Lincs.

“All the people on the stands are so helpful; it’s a great chance to pick their brains about their products,” said Helen will be once again be travelling by free BETA International coach (more details at

This year, ‘new’ applies to BETA International’s feature areas as well as products and big brand names.

The Charles Owen Hub makes its debut with a packed programme of seminars and presentations plus the Talking Business live debate.

“Inspiring new things,” are what brings German retailer Armin Bavand from Of A Gallant Horseman to the NEC every year.

While the “guarantee of seeing new suppliers and picking up something new” does it for Donna Dobson of Co Durham based Fox & Field.

As a country clothing specialist, Donna will be in the front row at the Equi-Theme Fashion Show again this year. “It’s a good way to see what trends are happening,” she told ETN.

Attending BETA International does require a small investment in time and effort. But, according to regular visitor Jane Shedden “it’s always well worth it…to see all our suppliers in one place.”

Every year, Jane flies to Birmingham from her store at The Scottish Equestrian Centre at Bowhouse in Fife, Scotland, for a three-day visit to BETA International.

“You can’t afford to miss any new brands coming through, so you have to be there,” she says.

A visit to BETA International can be exhilarating, enjoyable, energising and exhausting, according to regular visitors.

However, as regular two-day visitor Cath Flynn from Carlisle based Eskdale Saddlery, admits: “I always get home feeling very happy that I’ve been.”

One exclusive benefit of visiting BETA International – dozens of show offers only available at the show – are not so widely trumpeted by visiting retailers.

Perhaps because they hope to steal a march on their competitors?

Come and join them at the NEC, Birmingham, next week - 22 – 24 January…

Here’s what some BETA International 2016 visitors told ETN as they left last year’s show:

• “I absolutely love it,” said Janette Cross of West Midlands based retailer Bearley Cross Saddlery. “I’ve been coming every year for the last 15 years, and I always find something new.”

• “I’ve had a really useful two days,” said Lucy House as she headed back to JHC Equestrian Supplies in North Devon. “Everyone has been so friendly that my confidence as a buyer has grown.”

• “We came with a list and have ticked off pretty much all we needed,” said Wendy Rigby from Premier Equestrian Supplies in North Yorkshire. “We’ve also had a really good day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”

• “It’s been fun and we need more time here than just two days,” said Lorraine Wickham, who was buying for retailer Gillett Cook of Faversham in Kent. “The New Product Gallery has been really helpful, I went there first.”

• “The clothing is fantastic,” said Irish buyer Lucy Morgan from Murdock Saddlery. “It’s so fantastic, I’ve probably done too much ordering..!”

Click here to see the BETA International 2016 timetable


10th January, 2017.

Three remarkable individuals have been shortlisted for the National Equine Forum (NEF) Sir Colin Spedding Award 2017.

The accolade is presented annually to an outstanding and as yet unrecognised individual or organisation that has made an important contribution to the equestrian world.

The three nominees for the 2017 award are fire and rescue expert Jim Green, side-saddle authority Maureen James and equine veterinary nurse Bonny Millar.

The winner will be announced at the 25th National Equine Forum on Thursday 2nd March 2017.

Sir Colin Spedding was the founding chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for 20 years until shortly before his death in 2012. He ensured that representatives of all areas of the equine sphere were made welcome, and that topics of general interest and concern could be discussed openly and without rancour.

The special 25 years celebratory programme for the 2017 National Equine Forum will be announced shortly.

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

To apply or to find out how you could enjoy the privilege of becoming a Friend of the Forum, contact the Hon Secretary, Mary Martin at

For further information on the Forum visit


10th January, 2017.

A company has been reprimanded for making unauthorised medicinal claims for its equine grooming oil.

Great Horse Products has since complied with the improvement notice published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) last week (6 January).

The VMD said that the East Sussex based firm was presenting its Oil2Horse product for the treatment and prevention of the equine skin diseases mud fever and sweet itch, and for the relief of dermatitis caused by mites.

“Oil2Horse is not authorised as a veterinary medicine in the UK for use in the treatment or prevention of these conditions,” said the VMD.

Great Horse Products was told to remove from all Oil2Horse marketing material all references to the equine skin diseases mud fever, sweet itch, mallanders, sallanders and the relief of dermatitis caused by mites.

The VMD stipulated that this includes any ‘educational’ documentation presented in association with the product. Substitution with wording that conveys the same medicinal claims will be considered a failure to comply, it warned.

Great Horse Products was also told to remove any testimonials reproduced in the promotion of Oil2Horse that make reference to the conditions listed.

The company was asked to provide written confirmation to the VMD Enforcement Team that Oil2Horse will no longer be presented for use in the treatment and prevention of the conditions listed until such time as it has been authorised as a veterinary medicine under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

The VMD is a Government agency that promotes animal health and welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.


9th January, 2017.

A wholesaler’s new showroom opening in Glasgow on Saturday (14 January) is dedicated to equine grooming equipment.

It will be officially opened by Alan Davies who’s achieved celebrity status as groom to Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

The showroom is run by former professional groom Marta Kotonska. Her company Eqclusive wholesales a range of grooming brushes, including the Alan Davies signature collection.

Marta has also developed Eqclusive Packs, available to the trade to help horse owners make the most of their grooming.

About the new showroom, she said: “There won’t be clearance boxes and full shelves, it’s based on a consultative approach.

“Retailers can come along to ask questions, and see how best to display and sell grooming products. If they wish, they can place orders to be delivered within three days,” added Marta.

Eqclusive is the sole UK distributor for German brush manufacturer HAAS and wholesales the SleekEZ, You & Your Horse, Dotibel, Addicted To, Of Horse, Sommer and Hemano brands.

The Eqclusive showroom is open from 2pm – 3pm on Saturday, 14 January. Thereafter from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Appointments are recommended.

• Eqclusive exhibits at BETA International 2017 which begins next Sunday (22 January) for three days at the NEC, Birmingham. A full list of exhibitors and information about visiting can be found at


3rd January, 2017.

Yorkshire retailer Ride-away is among the businesses targeted by a woman accused of fraud.

Gillian Wood (57) deceitfully obtained more than £40,000 worth of goods from 18 North Yorkshire firms, Northallerton Magistrates heard last month (December).

She said she would plead not guilty to 21 charges, including 12 of alleged fraud by false representation.

Wood is alleged to have ordered more than £5,000 worth of equestrian equipment from Ride-away.

The offences were said to have happened between January 2013 and May 2016.

Other businesses named in the charges include those supplying hay, haylage, feed and fencing.

The case was adjourned to Teesside Crown Court on 13 January.


3rd January, 2017.

The end of a year when British equestrian stars caught the public’s imagination saw Olympic and Paralympic riders feature in the New Year’s Honours list.

A knighthood is awarded to para-dressage star Lee Pearson.

Sir Lee has won 11 Paralympic gold medals at five Games and was the British team’s standard-bearer at the 2016 Games opening ceremony.

Rio Olympics gold medallist Nick Skelton – voted by British sports fans into third place for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – receives a CBE. With his artificial hip and recovery from a broken neck, the 59 year old showjumper became a household hero.

Charlotte Dujardin, who retained her Olympic title in Rio, also becomes a CBE. The retirement of Valegro, popularly dubbed her equine ‘dancing partner’, was broadcast live by the BBC from Olympia.

One of Charlotte’s sponsors Simon Middleton, the managing director of Zebra Products, has dressage lessons with her.

“She is such an inspirational but grounded young woman who makes you believe that dreams can come true,” he said.

“It's just so refreshing that despite all the amazing success, she's still like she was ten years ago - totally normal and very hard working.

“We’re delighted and honoured that she's part of Team Zebra.”

Sophie Christiansen, gold medallist at three Paralympic Games, became equestrianism’s third new CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Multi-medal winning, 69 year old Paralympic rider Anne Dunham has been made an OBE.


3rd January, 2017.

A founder member of the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Council – who campaigned for reduced VAT rates on horses – died on 13 December.

Judy Fishbourne was better known in the trade as Judy Allman. She was 82.

A memorial service will be held next Thursday (12 January). Details below.

Judy was a horsewoman through and through.

As a schoolgirl, she hunted with the Cheshire hunt and later the North Staffordshire hunt. She was secretary of the North Staffs hunt supporters club for 50 years.

In 1957, Judy married Ray Allman from Madeley who became a well-known horse dealer. They had two sons Mark and Guy. Mark became Master of the North Staffs.

A keen racegoer, Judy was part of a syndicate which owned Kaiser Stolz. The German bred horse won the championship hurdle race at Aintree in 2001 ridden by Tony Dobbin.

Judy also owned a number of top class show horses.

Following Ray Allman’s death in 1998, Judy re-married businessman John Fishbourne in 2006.

Judy joined BETA in 1980 and was a founder member of the BETA Council.

This connection paid off when a BETA sub-committee chaired by Judy persuaded the Government to reduce the VAT rate on horses.

“The [VAT] scheme remains in place today,” said BETA’s chief executive Claire Williams. “It’s still used by many dealers, making it one of the areas in which BETA has succeeded that has possibly had one of the longest impacts.”

Judy’s business, Equestrian Skills, focused on the training of young people wanting to make a living in the horse world. At its peak, it was training 500 students from all over the north-west.

Judy remained an active member of the BETA Council. Her common sense, humour and loyalty were widely recognised by those who knew her.

In later years, she became rather lame and in 2014 broke a hip. She was in hospital for a year but returned home and was showing every sign of recovery - including organising a lawn meet for the North Staffs this November.

She died suddenly and peacefully of a heart attack.

• A memorial service is arranged for 12 noon on Thursday, 12 January at St James’ Church, Audlem, Cheshire CW3 0AW. Collection to the Injured Jockeys Fund and St Peter’s Church, Adderley. Donations to Graham Tresidder, Nantwich Funeral Services, 62 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5RP. Tel 01270 812512.