28th January, 2019.

Packaging – not product – is affected, says manufacturer.

The maker of an equine wormer has reassured the trade that their customers (horse owners) are unaffected by a product recall.

The recall alert on packs of 48 syringes of Equimax Oral Gel for Horses, or Yardpacks, was issued by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) on 17 January.

Dr Alex Allen, technical director of manufacturer Virbac, told ETN that the quality of the actual worming paste and active ingredients is unaffected.

The company has recalled the Yardpacks as they do not contain English language package leaflets, said Dr Allen. Only packs of 48 units are involved.

Dr Allen explained: “This is a recall from wholesalers and retailers only and does not require horse owners to return the product. Horse owners can be reassured that the quality of the actual worming paste and active ingredients are unaffected.

“The VMD has requested that the Yardpacks of 48 syringes, each containing 7.49g of product, are recalled with immediate effect from wholesalers and retailers. The recall is required as the Yardpacks do not contain English language package leaflets and the sticker on dosing syringe is not in English.

“The following batches of Equimax Oral Gel for Horses Yardpacks are being recalled: BN 80126 and 80931. All other pack sizes of the Equimax oral gel are not affected.”

Virbac advises that horse owners with questions relating to Equimax or Eraquell wormers should contact their vet or SQP.


28th January, 2019.

Apprentices and trainees competed for cash prizes at last week’s BETA International.

BETA International visitors watched young saddlers at their workbenches as they competed in the Society of Master Saddlers’ competitions over three days during BETA International 2019.

As well as winning awards, the apprentices and trainees were rewarded with prize money donated by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

Apprentices and students taking part on the first day each made a high ring Grackle noseband from strips of leather and fittings within six hours.

Participants, who are training at the Saddlery Training Centre, were Amy Baldwin of Saddler’s Den, Merseyside; Freya Weller of David Dyer Saddles, Kent; Samantha Wuczke of RB Equestrian, Buckinghamshire; and Rebecca Simmons of Pegaso Saddlery and Leatherwork, Buckinghamshire.

The top award went to Rebecca Simmonds with Amy Baldwin claiming second place after judges and Master Saddlers Helen Reader and Catherine Baker had made their deliberations.

Said Rebecca: “To win is just fantastic. To get the noseband finished in the time frame, with visitors asking questions and showing an interest, it was tight. But it’s good to experience working under pressure.”

On the second day, second year Capel Manor College students Emily Cain, Molly Grout, Zoe Hurst and Scarlette Branch each made a plain cavesson noseband.

The winning award went to Zoe Hurst with Emily Cain taking the runner-up place. Said Zoe: “I really enjoyed taking part. The £150 prize money is just fantastic.”

On BETA International’s final day, first year Capel Manor students Katherine Hinchliffe, Alexa Parlour, Charlotte Cheesman and Michelle Bogaerdt each made a bridle headpiece.

The judges chose Michelle Bogaerdt’s entry as the winner with Charlotte Cheesman taking second place.


28th January, 2019.

One of the appointees used to work for Carl Hester.

Katie Nash and Jake Taylor have joined Zebra Products as southern sales executives.

The distributor has also taken on Sally Bacon to cover maternity leave as northern sales executive.

Katie, who has previously worked for Zebra Products, has owned her dressage horse April Magic for more than 12 years.

“I love being part of the equestrian industry,” she said. “It’s brilliant to build on the contacts I had previously made and create new ones. The Zebra team is fantastic, everyone gets on really well.”

Jake is a former professional dressage rider who worked for Olympian Carl Hester for four years before moving to Zebra Products.

“It’s great to meet the retailers and create relationships with individuals,” he said of his new job. “I’m on the road a lot, so every day is different.”

Jake and Katie are sharing the 11 strong Zebra portfolio of brands between them as they cover everywhere south of Birmingham, from Cornwall to Kent.

Sally previously worked for Zebra Products five years ago for six years before leaving to live in France. She is looking after the brands Veredus, Sprenger, Bucas, Fleck and Konig in north of England.


24th January, 2019.

Independent judges chose the winners at BETA International 2019.

High-quality stands were a hallmark of BETA International 2019.

To celebrate and reward the hard work and dedication that goes into delivering aesthetically pleasing commercial space, each one is automatically entered into the show's Best Stand Awards.

These are divided into two categories – Best Large Stand (32 square metres and over) and Best Small Stand (under 32 square metres) to reflect the different types of exhibitor in the halls.

Judging is carried out by a pair of independent judges. At BETA International 2019, these were Amanda Chadwick, of the Croner Group, and Kim Pengelly, of the show's chosen charity, Hope Pastures.

This year, the winners were:


Winner: Toggi

Judges’ comments: “A beautiful stand that is open and inviting with small, intimate areas for meetings and discussions. We also liked the discreet sales areas for hats, body protectors and clothing – and the way that they made good use of height to display boots and hats. Staff were clearly branded in smart uniforms, pleasant and helpful.”

Highly commended: Platinum

Judges’ comments: “A rustic stand that was warm and inviting, with eye-catching water usage.”


Winner: Harcour

Judges’ comments: “This stylish stand has the feeling of a proper shop. Staff were extremely knowledgeable about the products and keen to provide information and deal with queries.”

Highly commended: Stubbs England

Judges’ comments: “An impactful stand that really caught the eye and had staff who were clearly branded and happy to help.”

“Congratulations to our winners – they have done a brilliant job in creating stands that are both effective and extremely inviting,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The standard in the halls was incredibly high, but our judges certainly rose to the challenge as they spent many hours in search of four exhibitors worthy of our hotly contested trophies.”

BETA International was at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from 20 to 22 January. To find out about next year’s show, visit


14th January, 2019.

Why checking out your January ETN is a must before heading for BETA International.

ETN – the official media partner of BETA International – is the place to find those great deals and new products that make a visit to the show so worthwhile.

The 138-page January issue of ETN gives you the show timetable and floorplan, plus a guide to who’s launching what and lots of special show-only offers from exhibitors.

This year, ETN celebrates its 40th anniversary.

“We know the trade better than anyone – but we’re keen to keep learning too. So please do come and have a chat with the ETN team at the show,” says editor Liz Benwell.

As sponsor of the BETA International Innovation Awards, ETN supports companies launching the cleverest new products too.

And £1,000’s worth of prizes from exhibitors and ETN advertisers could be yours when you bring your retailer business details to the magazine’s stand and enter the ETN prize draw.

“Thank you to all the companies [listed below] who have donated prizes,” said ETN’s Beth Crow. “There are some fantastic new ideas and deals to be found in ETN and across BETA International. I can’t wait to see them.”

You’ll find ETN at stand Q1.1.

Absorbine E2.2
Agrihealth K7.1
Alan Paine country collection P3.1
Allflex Livestock Intelligence/Heiniger J10.2
Back on Track C4.1
Battles G4.1
Bedmax Shavings Ltd J1.2
BETA International Q1.1
Breyer Model Horses L3.1
British Horse Feeds C5.1
Comfybed Plus B1.1
Emerald Green Feeds K11.1
ETN Q1.1
Gallop Equestrian J7.1
Hilton Herbs J4.3
Horse & Hound D7.2
Elico Equestrian products/Jenkinsons C1.1
Omega Equine Supplements M2.2
Perry Equestrian F3.1
Red Horse Products Ltd L9.1
Shapley's Superior Grooming Products D5.2
Toggi F6.1
Trade Suppliers Directory Q1.1
The Golden Paste Company C5.2
The Original Muck Boot Company P2.2
TopSpec H4.1
Weatherbeeta B2.1


14th January, 2019.

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

Mark Fisher, who runs Cambridgeshire based Woolcroft Equine Services, has been named ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month for January.

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

Mark Fisher was nominated by Vanessa Fairfax of Fairfax Saddles who commended his “high standards of expertise and integrity in the industry.”

Mark is an SMS Master Saddle Fitter, Master Saddler and Master Harness Maker. He regularly lectures and assesses for the SMS too.

As well as being a sought-after saddle fitter, Mark supported the Team GB Paralympic squad at Rio in 2016, and again at WEG in 2018.

He has worked as an overseas trainer for World Horse Welfare, helping to improve the lives of working horses in developing countries around the world.

Mark has also been part of a research team looking at ways to improve the comfort, and performance of the ridden horse.

Find out more about Mark Fisher in the January issue of ETN.

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 (or more than one), 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.


14th January, 2019.

Sustainable rural businesses are among those who could benefit.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open for grant applications until February 21.

Funding is offered twice a year, and projects in rural areas across the UK can apply for up to £50,000 in the Spring round.

Set up in 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales, the charity aims to improve the prospects of viability for rural communities and businesses.

Every year the Fund gives out over £1 million. It can support projects for up to three years.

Included in projects the Fund aims to support are rural business and services that develop a more sustainable rural economy. Also considered are those providing advice and new skills and business training that benefit the local economy.

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said it’s particularly keen to hear from projects in the north-east of England, and from all parts of rural Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, all projects that meet eligibility criteria will be considered.

To find out more and apply, visit


14th January, 2019.

Newcomer to the role will be on parade when the show opens this Sunday.

Darren Mottershead is the new sales manager for BETA International.

He joins show organiser Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC) from NAF.

Darren was area sales manager for the north and north-east for the supplements and equine care products supplier for eight and a half years.

As sales manager for BETA International, Darren is set to extend his already strong contacts within the equestrian industry across the UK and overseas.

“Of course, I’ll be going to manufacturers and wholesalers,” he told ETN. “But the show’s connection with retailers is crucial too.

“After all, BETA International is for them – they’re doing their buying there. So I need to ensure retailers continue to be happy and are seeing the right selection of products for their businesses.”

Darren is also an enthusiastic advocate for The BETA Group, of which EMC is a wholly owned subsidiary.

“We have BETA International and within that there’s the new product gallery, innovation awards… so many opportunities. Then there’s ETN - BETA International’s official media partner, and the trade association.

“I want to tell people how they can benefit from the entire offering.”

Darren is an accomplished horseman, albeit a self-made one from a non-horsey family.

He competes his 13 year old mare Westswoods Scarlet Lady with British Eventing.

Darren Motteshead will be at BETA International from next Sunday to Tuesday (NEC, Birmingham, 20 – 22 January). Find out more about the show and contact Darren via

• Read more about Darren, his career so far and eventing exploits in the February issue of ETN.


8th January, 2019.

Businessman new to the equestrian industry acquires well known equine boots brand too.

Nottinghamshire businessman Mark Ryan has acquired the brand names PolyPads and New Equine Wear from former owner Lee Buck.

Mr Ryan has set up a new company called PP Equestrian, and will continue manufacturing the products in the UK.

Mr Buck’s other equestrian brand Libby’s Tack remains in his ownership.

It’s a first venture into the equestrian industry for Mr Ryan who manufacturers motor accessories, notably car and van mats, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

PP Equestrian is run on a day-to-day basis by Isabel Dennett in the office and Jess Roberts in the factory.

Ms Dennett told ETN there were no immediate plans to change the offering from PolyPads, best known for its saddle pads, and New Equine Wear’s equine leg boots.

“We’ll keep the products similar with the same ranges for the time being,” she said. “We hope in future to introduce new products, and to develop, but for now we’re seeing how everything works before making changes.”

PP Equestrian will continue to concentrate on supplying the trade, added Ms Dennett.

Lee Buck is working with PP Equestrian during a handover period.

The acquisition was finalised just before Christmas.


7th January, 2019.

Saddle-making skills to be highlighted at this month’s show.

Saddlery is sitting pretty at BETA International, with three high-profile features dedicated to this important sector.

Visitors to the show at the NEC, Birmingham on 20 – 22 January can witness the finest craftsmanship and superior skills of the modern saddler in the Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion, a trio of competitions run by the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) and an impressive selection of exhibitors showcasing saddlery, tack and leatherwork.

The Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion, supported by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, features some of the country's finest saddle makers – Keith Bryan Saddlery, Custom Saddlery, DLF Saddle Co, Equitek, Ideal & WRS Company, Paul Jones Saddles, Ryder Saddles, Solution Saddles, Wow Saddles and Winners Circle UK.

All those taking part have not exhibited independently at BETA International during the past three years.

Visitors will enjoy a frisson of excitement as saddlery students and apprentices go head to head in a series of challenges hosted by the SMS. On Sunday 20 January trainees from the Saddlery Training Centre will make a high-ring grackle noseband, while on Monday 21 January second-year Capel Manor College students will make a plain cavesson noseband and on Tuesday 22 January the college's first-year students will produce a bridle headpiece.

Top-class saddlery companies can be found throughout the show, including Bates Saddles, Bliss of London, BUA Saddles, Weatherbeeta, Wintec and Vale Brothers with its Jeffries brand.

“We are extremely proud to bring saddlers and retailers together in this busy commercial environment,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The saddlery industry will showcase some of its finest talent and products – and retailers are set to benefit from a unique opportunity to access some of the very best brands from the UK and overseas.”


7th January, 2019.

Customers commend award winner on worming advice.

Jemma Tribe of Millwheel Tack Shop, in Warfield, Berks, has been named Virbac Equine SQP of the Year 2018.

The award highlights Equine SQPs’ (Suitably Qualified Persons’) hard work and dedication as they guide customers on the correct approach to worming.

Customers of Millwheel Tack Shop described Jemma as very knowledgeable. They also commended her attention to detail that helps make worming easy and simple.

Jemma’s prize was an all-expense paid VIP day at the Olympia London International Horse Show in December, plus certificate and trophy.

“Through the Virbac Equine SQP of the Year Award, we are able to support hard working SQPs who are relied upon by horse owners to provide up-to-date advice on the correct worming approach for their horses,” said Dr Rosie Naylor, equine technical product manager at Virbac UK. “We hope Jemma had a great time at Olympia.”

Virbac is the manufacturer of wormer brands Equimax and Eraquell.


7th January, 2019.

Help shape the horse world’s future by answering some online questions, urges the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)

The BETA National Equestrian Survey checks on trends plus the health and wellbeing of the equestrian world every four years.

Everyone involved with horses is urged to contribute to this widely regarded and often-quoted initiative.

“Participating allows you to make your voice heard and provides the potential to influence our industry’s future,” said Claire Williams of BETA.

“As a thank you for taking part, you will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win £50 worth of equestrian shopping vouchers.”

Click this link to take part:

Copies of the BETA National Equestrian Survey are available on publication.

A 10% discount is offered on orders placed on the BETA stand during BETA International 2019, provided they are paid for at the time. BETA members can request a copy of the overview for free and get additional discounts on copies of the finished survey.


7th January, 2019.

Plus the chance to make your own little bit of history.

Visit the Equestrian Trade News (ETN) stand at BETA International – and you could win £1,000s worth of products for your store.

Bring your business details to stand Q1.1 any time during the show for free entry to ETN’s bumper prize draw.

The equestrian trade’s favourite magazine was launched in 1979. So ETN celebrates its 40th year of publication at BETA International 2019.

To mark the occasion, visitors and exhibitors are invited to enjoy a selfie tower on the ETN stand, take a picture and insert it with an individual message in ETN’s 40th anniversary album.

There will also be tea and coffee on the go, magazines to browse and members of the ETN team to tell you how to get involved with upcoming issues.

BETA International is at the NEC, Birmingham on 20 – 22 January.

ETN is part of the BETA Group, and the only official media partner of BETA International.


2nd January, 2019.

Visitors to BETA International are invited to take their seats for a diverse range of free seminars – specially created to meet the needs of the modern retailer.

The presentations will take place at The Charles Owen Spotlight on each of the show's three days, with some offering valuable CPD points.

Prescribing for Horses and Inspections Update – What an SQP Needs to Know with Christine Paine, of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, allows SQPs to gain up to eight CPD points at the AMTRA-approved seminar, which takes place on both Sunday 20 and Tuesday 22 January.

Also on Tuesday, retailers can gain four CPD points in Nutritional Support of a Calm Outlook with Kate Hore, of NAF, exploring the influence of diet on equine behaviour. Five CPD points (City & Guilds) are available in Claire Williams's seminar Advice & Updates on Rider Safety Issues.

“Top-class seminars by industry experts really are a hallmark of BETA International and they offer a fantastic opportunity for retailers to top up their industry knowledge,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “This year's sessions offer something new and fresh, and have been designed to reflect the different sectors found in the halls.”

Other seminars at the trade fair include a look at employment legislation with Amanda Chadwick, of Croner, the use of new technology in equestrian safety with Roy Burek, of Charles Owen, saddle fitting with Kay Hastilow and the way social media can be used to drive sales with Michelle Goodall. The full timetable of events and speakers can be found here.


2nd January, 2019.

Promotion of acid buffering product lacked evidence.

A supplements company misled consumers by advertising a product with claims that could not be substantiated.

Two other complaints about A D Consultancy (Cheshire) t/a Equine 74 were informally resolved by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the company agreed to amend its advertising.

A website for the supplement Equine 74 ( featured a homepage titled “A Safe and Natural Way of Maintaining a Healthy Stomach”.

The page including text stating “Equine 74 Gastric helps to maintain a healthy pH level in the stomach by acting as a long-lasting buffer”.

It went on to list the benefits of the product including “Buffers excess acid in the stomach”, “Helps support the gastric mucosa from the effects of natural stomach acid” and “The honeycomb structure of the algae acts as a time release long lasting buffer”.

A page titled “About Us” featured text stating “its unique honeycomb structure also enables a slow release of valuable bio-available minerals over an extended period of time” and “Put simply, Equine 74 works - it has been trialled, researched and has lots of anecdotal success too”.

A complainant challenged whether the claims that Equine 74 acted as a long-lasting buffer to excess acid in horses’ stomachs and enabled slow release of nutrients were misleading and could be substantiated.

The ASA considered that consumers would understand claims meaning that Equine 74 shielded horses’ stomachs from excess acid over a long period, and that it released nutrients slowly over a long period.

However, when the ASA reviewed the evidence provided in support of the referenced claims, it considered the challenged claims could not be substantiated.

The report concluded that the main limitations of one study were the lack of in-vivo [tested in a living subject] efficacy data; and that the preliminary results provided a rationale for progression of testing to in-vivo trials, including testing the duration of the gastric buffering effects.

“Because the 2009 and 2014 studies provided by the advertiser were both in-vitro [tested outside a living subject] tests, and neither tested whether Equine 74 was a long lasting buffer or slowly released nutrients, we considered that they did not provide the level of substantiation or body of evidence we would expect to support the claims in the ad,” said the ASA.

It therefore concluded that the claims that Equine 74 acted as a long-lasting buffer to excess acid in horses’ stomachs, and enabled the slow release of nutrients, had not been adequately substantiated and were misleading.


2nd January, 2019.

This week to see sellers take their biggest hit.

Today (2 January) is peak returns day with thousands of unwanted gifts being sent back to retailers.

Last year, parcel comparison site ParcelHero saw double the average volume of parcels being shipped in the first few days of January.

Clothes and footwear topped the list of unloved items being sent back to sellers.

“While it’s an unwelcome chore for the unlucky recipients of all these unwanted presents, it’s very bad news for retailers too,” said David Jinks of ParcelHero.

“Returns cost retailers £60bn a year - with the worst time being the first week of January.”

Smaller online retailers tend to be hardest hit, he added.

“Some have been left reeling after Christmas as shoppers demand they pay for all returns, not just faulty goods. Our research reveals half of all shoppers believe retailers should foot the bill for all returns, even if they have simply changed their minds about a purchase, or not liked a gift.

“As 8% of shoppers admit to returning several items a month, peaking after Christmas, small retailers say they are losing money on all returned items.”

A number of Britain’s big stores have promised a returns period beyond the usual 30 days.

Marks & Spencer says any items purchased after 8 October can be returned before 13 January 2019. Amazon says any item bought between 1 November and 31 December can be returned by 31 January; and John Lewis says any gift bought between 21 October and 24 December can be returned until 28 January, even if it's simply unwanted or unsuitable rather than faulty.

But no store has to extend its returns period, adds Mr Jinks.

“It’s a goodwill gesture which we applaud. However, once it has advertised its extension period, a store is legally obliged to adhere to the new returns date.”

While such generous returns policies are fine for large retailers, matching them could push smaller traders into the red, he warned.

“Some small stores [are] forced into even videoing the packaging of items to prove what was sent this Christmas. Many small specialist stores will go out of business if we continue to make them pay for unwanted item returns.”

Read Retailers Reach the Point of No Returns, ParcelHero’s report on the impact of returns, at


2nd January, 2019.

Judges praise product’s cleverness.

The team behind BedKind, an equine bedding made from recycled cardboard, collected the Best New Product Launch award at last month’s Marketing & PR Brilliance Awards.

The winner was chosen for best demonstrating its product’s clever, innovative ideas – showing customers why it’s new, relevant and worth trying out.

The judges praised BedKind’s launch campaign that generated big increases in website traffic and sign-ups.

The cardboard used for BedKind bedding is made in Bedfordshire by D S Smith. The company produces 15 billion boxes annually.

• BedKind will be exhibited at BETA International at the NEC, Birmingham on 20 – 22 January. Admission to the show is free on pre-registration at


2nd January, 2019.

Service comes at no additional cost to retailers.

Snowhill has introduced a new system to give its trade customers fast access to stock availability.

The leading supplier is now offering stock level csv files for retailers who would like immediate sales and regularly updated stock confirmation.

The new service has been developed in-house by Snowhill. It comes at no additional cost to retailers.