TRADESTAND CANCELLATION POLICY LAUNCHED

28th February, 2013.

A new insurance package has been launched for show circuit traders following last season’s spate of cancellations due to bad weather.

Under the policy from KBIS British Equestrian Insurance, if a show or event is cancelled, traders can claim back non-refundable expenses.

It will cover losses resulting from the hire of equipment and services, accommodation costs, travelling expenses and any pitch fee which is non refundable.


DAVE DARLEY TO RETURN TO JEFFRIES

27th February, 2013.

Dave Darley is to return E. Jeffries & Sons as the saddlery company’s managing director.

He was with the Walsall based company, latterly as sales director, for 22 years before moving to Brisbane, Australia to work for distributors JC Milton and Tallahesse.

Jeffries’ owner Dominic Goold said Dave’s return was “great news.” Dominic will “step back from day-to-day operations” but remain as finance director.”

Dave takes up the managing director’s post on 1st April.


LOTTERY TO DECIDE EVENT SPONSOR

26th February, 2013.

Title sponsorship of Nunney International Horse Trials (Frome, Somerset, June 14 – 16) is up for grabs in a £100 a ticket lottery.

The aim is to make sponsorship affordable and encourage more businesses to get involved, say the organisers.

Every firm or individual purchasing a lottery ticket for £100 is entered into a draw from which the title sponsor will be drawn.

All ticket purchasers will be listed in the event programme and are invited to a party at the beginning of April when the winner will be drawn. Individual fence sponsors will also be entered into the draw.

The title sponsorship prize includes a table for eight in the hospitality tent on each of the three days of the event, car passes for each guest, and on the Sunday the company’s name on the number bibs for the CIC2* and official sponsorship of the CIC2* and intermediate classes, except the under 18 open intermediate.

Their name will also be carried on banners and advertising. A second prize is day sponsorship of Saturday, and the third ticket drawn will be day sponsor of Friday’s competition.

Potential sponsors can buy as many tickets as they wish. Details from John Colson on 07860 621807.


BETA INTERNATIONAL ATTENDANCE UP MORE THAN 4%

25th February, 2013.

Exhibitors and visitors alike were pleasantly surprised that BETA International 2013, held at the NEC, Birmingham on 17 – 19 February, was brimming with enthusiasm and innovation.

Visitor numbers were up by more than 4% at 4551 compared with 4373 in 2012.

“There’s a good feeling on the floor with stands reporting excellent trade, a lot to feel positive about,” said Richard Lawrence, chairman of the BETA trade fair committee speaking at the show.

“There’s a great deal of innovation around as companies are realising that bringing new lines to market is what will draw in the consumer. BETA International 2013 has much to be proud of.”

· BETA International attendance is independently audited by ABC (Audit Bureau Circulations). The 2013 figure is awaiting final verification.
· BETA International 2014 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February.
SEE THE MARCH ISSUE OF ETN FOR REPORTS, RESULTS, REACTION AND PICTURES FROM BETA INTERNATIONAL.


TRADE STANDS IN WINNING FORM

20th February, 2013.

Stands at BETA International are among the finest in the world. Whether large or small, they succeed in creating a stylish and welcoming sales environment that is well thought out and designed to be functional, as well as good looking.

This year’s trade fair, at the NEC, Birmingham, from 17 to 19 February, did not disappoint. Judges Lucie Stangl of the show’s chosen charity, World Horse Welfare, and Tony Morley, of The Wine and Hamper Company, the competition’s sponsor, toured the halls in their quest to find the two best in show. Every stand is automatically entered into the competition and placed in the relevant category – Best Large Stand (32 sq m and over) and Best Small Stand (under 32 sq m).

“Our exhibitors invest an enormous amount of time and effort into making sure that their stands are of the very highest quality,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Selecting the winners is always a challenging task and this year was as difficult as ever.” And the winners were. . .

BEST LARGE STAND
Winner: SIGG

Judges’ comments: “The best minimalist exhibition stand we have seen in years. The people manning the stand were very friendly, helpful, and made good eye-contact.”

Highly Commended: Carr & Day & Martin

Judges’ comments: A classy stand with staff whose warm and friendly welcome went a long way to helping them secure a Highly Commended in this award.

BEST SMALL STAND
Winner: TRM

Judges’ comments: A bright, open stand with engaging staff and plenty of product information. They were pleased to hand out catalogues and speak in detail about items in their range.

Highly Commended: Keyflow

Judges’ comments: A stand featuring brilliant branding with effective displays.

BETA International is the leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet products and country clothing markets. The 2014 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 16 to 18 February. For further information or to book stand space, contact James Palmer, telephone 01937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com.


BETA INTERNATIONAL REWARDS INNOVATION

20th February, 2013.

There was a keen sense of competition surrounding the ETN Innovation Awards as entries from across eight categories battled it out for a trophy in these highly prized industry accolades.

The panel of judges, made up of course designer Ian Stark, event rider Nicola Wilson, veterinary surgeon Tom Beech, Jackie Potts, groom for William Fox-Pitt and former Groom of the Year, and Paralympics gold medal-winning rider Natasha Baker, had the difficult task of selecting those worthy of an award.

“Our judges did a tremendous job, as usual,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The Innovation Awards celebrate the finest traditions of design, invention and originality, and this year we were pleased to include a Country Fashion category for the first time.”

The Innovation Awards took place during the BETA International trade fair, held at the NEC, Birmingham, from 17 to 17 February. This year’s winners were...

FEED & SUPPLEMENTS
Winner
Company:
Keyflow (UK) Ltd
Product: Whitaker Bros Jumpmix

Whitaker Bros Jumpmix is a scientifically formulated, fully balanced medium energy feed designed specifically for horses competing in all forms of short format jumping. It is also suitable for polo ponies and activities where on-demand ‘cool’ energy is required.

Judges’ comments: “This is a good quality feed which provides the correct level of energy required by show jumpers. We were impressed by the high specification ingredients, including probiotics and beetroot which contains Nitrate (Nitric Oxide) to help aid exercise tolerance, power output and stamina.”

Highly commended
Company:
Keyflow (UK) Ltd
Product: Mark Todd Maestro

Mark Todd Maestro is a fully balanced high specification feed for horses and ponies in medium to hard work. This scientifically formulated feed is easy to digest and includes ingredients to meet higher energy demands and maximise performance.

Judges’ comments: “Micronization and wet steam extrusion are advanced feed technologies which result in a low intake product for more effective results. The packaging is excellent and gives a clear overview of the high quality ingredients selected for their ability to support a horse in medium to hard work.”

HORSECARE PRODUCTS & EQUIPMENT
Winner
Company:
Grabbit
Product: Grabbit

The Grabbit is the only product on the market designed for moving rubber matting. Designed as a simple solution to a job that everyone hates, the Grabbit tool effectively grabs rubber matting and is great for use in stables and horseboxes.

Judges’ comments: “The Grabbit is easy to use and very effective. It would be a great piece of kit for any yard with rubber matting.”

Highly commended
Company:
Equine Fusion AS
Product: Performance

The first real ‘jogging’ shoe for equines, Performance is flexible, light and durable, protecting hooves from shock, wear and unnatural pressure. It is designed to protect and support while respecting anatomy and biomechanics.

Judges’ comments: “The Performance shoe is very easy to fit and the upper and under-sole is flexible, working in harmony with the hoof and not impeding movement or functionality. We felt this hoof shoe would be particularly useful for therapy and rehabilitation.”

PET PRODUCTS
Winner
Company:
Microfibre Store Ltd
Product: Doggy Bag

With the super absorbent Doggy Bag, owners can keep their pet, home and car spotless after walks. It effectively absorbs water, slobber, sand and mud. Ideal when kept in the car, simply zip dogs inside after a walk and they will be dry in no time.

Judges’ comments: “This novel idea offers a practical and simple solution for wet and muddy dogs. The Doggy Bag is made from premium Microfibre material, making it more effective than standard towels and the mess is contained inside the bag.”

Highly commended
Company:
Equilogical Ltd
Product: Spill and Accident Kit SAK

The Spill and Accident Kit SAK contains Sprinkle absorbency powder, Germ Kill bactericidal spray and Mess Away; an organic waste digester. All contained in a handy kit bag, the products enable quick and efficient removal of faeces and urine, eliminating the need for disposable gloves and paper towels. The unpleasant mess is turned in to a rose-scented gel which is then swept or scraped up.

Judges’ comments: “The kit would be very handy for use when toilet training puppies and kittens, also great for elderly incontinent pets.”

RIDER CLOTHING
Winner
Company:
Treehouse Sporting Colours Ltd
Product: Elite Arena Jacket

The Elite Arena Jacket is smart and stylish with the inflatable part discreetly zipped on the inside. This safety conscious air jacket incorporates cutting-edge technology for high performance without compromising on style.

Judges’ comments: “This is a very fashionable jacket which would appeal to all levels of rider. It is machine washable and the inflatable part can be used in other clothing from the range making it very versatile.”

Highly commended
Company:
Tredstep Ireland Ltd
Product: Symphony Breech Collection by Tredstep

This stylish collection of breeches uses high performance fabrics to set a new standard in breech design. Combined with Motion Fit technology comprising of an Integrated Cuff, Definition Waistband and Articulated Knee Pad to accommodate rider movement, the breeches provide a beautiful fit and enhanced performance.

Judges’ comments: “The breeches are fantastic quality and look very stylish. The Articulated Knee Pads provide effective traction which would be very useful in certain circumstances.”

SADDLERY & TACK
Winner
Company:
Stűbben Riding Equipment UK & Ireland Ltd
Product: 2 in 1 Full Cheek Snaffle 2273

The 2-in-1 Full Cheek Snaffle features an innovative mouthpiece, which increases attention and concentration, as well as preventing desensitization of the mouth. The upper side of the mouthpiece features a rounder shape and provides a smoother impact on the horse’s mouth. The bottom side has an angular shape giving a stronger action on the horse’s mouth. By simply changing the sides, both effects can be alternated.

Judges’ comments: “We would all use this bit as it is well made and the sweet copper link will encourage saliva production for better acceptance of the bit. Advanced and professional riders should find this very useful and versatile.”

Highly commended
Company:
Equilibrium Products
Product: Tri-Zone Airlite Allsports Boots

This useful ‘multi-purpose’ boot combines high protection, with lightness, flexibility and breathability. It is ideal for use across the disciplines, from leisure rider to competitor. The innovative design is supported by scientific research and testing carried out in independent laboratories. Flexi Strike Guard protects the most vulnerable areas of the leg, whilst the Ventilated Cushion Lining helps to keep the legs cool.

Judges’ comments: “The boots are tough and well-designed offering a suitable level of protection and a flexible lining moulds nicely around the leg for a comfortable fit. They look very smart and are perfect for any activity requiring leg protection and support.”

SAFETY & SECURITY
Winner
Company:
Walk Trot Canter Ltd / USG
Product: USG Equiairbag

The USG Equiairbag is designed to protect the rider’s entire spinal column - from the nape of the neck to the coccyx - without restricting movement. It allows the wearer to fold and roll for maximum mobility and safety. It also prevents the fall back of the head without pushing it forwards.

Judges’ comments: “The USG Equiairbag is an intelligent design which allows the rider to bend fully as the inflation is at the back protecting the spine. It is light and comfortable to wear providing much needed protection.”

Highly commended
Company:
L S Sales (Farnam) Ltd
Product: Intelligent Ice

The Intelligent Ice system stays cold for four hours and reduces inflammation without freezing tissue or causing ice burns thanks to the revolutionary liquid inside. It can be secured on any area, so is suitable for a variety of injuries requiring cold therapy.

Judges’ comments: “Intelligent Ice is very adaptable and robust, a must have product for any horse owner. It is a safe and effective way of applying dry cold therapy without the risk of ice burns or freezing tissue, ideal for inflammation or walking a horse off after cross country.”

COUNTRY FASHION
Winner
Company:
Regatta Ltd
Product: Snowpak 3 in 1

This stylish and warm 3-in-1 boot is a breakthrough in footwear design. It can be worn with or without the inner fleece lining and also indoors as a slipper, as the inner bootee has an anti-slip tread. They are water resistant and ideal for a variety of wintery terrains.

Judges’ comments: “These quality boots look great and are very practical for wet and snowy weather. You can remove the outer boots and step straight in to the house with the inner bootees on which make warm and cosy slippers.”

Highly commended
Company:
Luxury New Zealand Original Knitwear Ltd
Product: Possmere

A luxury collection of socks, gloves, garments and accessories made with a blend of possum fur and merino wool which was developed in New Zealand in the 1900’s to help address a possum issue. This unique fibre blend delivers extraordinary warmth without weight for a sumptuously soft, pill-resistant, hardwearing garment which is easy to care for.

Judges’ comments: “Possmere is very warm and comfortable to wear and the range is both practical and the garments are well-designed.”

OTHER
Winner
Company:
LFA Celtic/horseRATION
Product: horseRATION

horseRATION is the first app developed specifically for horse owners to calculate equine feed rations. It takes body condition score, behaviour and health status into considerationa.. The aim is for owners to save money by feeding the correct amounts of forage and hard feed to avoid nutritional-related health problems such as obesity.

Judges’ comments: “The research behind this app was carried out by Aberystwyth University and senior industry representatives. This is an invaluable tool for any owner seeking extra guidance and should ultimately save them money.”

Highly commended
Company:
Rosker Ltd
Product: Stubben

Stubben is a practical backpack combining country styling with a clever integrated lightweight aluminium frame which doubles up as a seat. Described as the ‘perfect shooter’s companion’ the high quality water-resistant G-1000 fabric will keep the contents of the backpack dry while remaining durable and smart. There are various pockets and a variety of zips for easy access.

Judges’ comments: “The Stubben is very sturdy and lightweight and would be great to use at equestrian events or for any countryside activity.”

BETA International is the leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet product and country clothing markets. The 2014 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 16 to 18 February. For further information or to book a stand, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com.


BETA BUSINESS AWARDS CELEBRATE INDUSTRY WINNERS

18th February, 2013.

The equestrian industry gathered to recognise the outstanding contributions made by many of its members at the 2013 BETA Business Awards. These highly prized accolades were presented to winning individuals and companies during the BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on 17 February.

More than 450 guests enjoyed a champagne reception – complete with balloon modellers – on arrival, before they settled down to dine. This year’s raffle, in aid of Riding for the Disabled, featured a line-up of exciting prizes, including a Kate Scurfield hunting print, a case of champagne from BETA, family membership for the Royal lnternational Horse Show and two hospitality tickets for the Queen’s Polo semi-finals at Guards Polo Club. Everyone was in a generous mood and raised £1,600 to boost the charity’s coffers.

Once dinner was over, some guests enjoyed dancing the night away while others indulged in a spot of ferret racing, placing their bets and cheering as the winners made a dash to the finish.

“The BETA Business Awards are a real high point of the equestrian trade’s year and the standard of achievement is always extremely high,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “Everyone who was nominated should feel justifiably proud.”

The winners of the 2013 BETA Business Awards, announced by Philip Ghazala, are…

HAYGAIN NUTRITIONAL HELPLINE AWARD
Winner: Allen & Page, Thetford, Norfolk
Runner-up: TopSpec Equine, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

With an increasing amount of feeds and supplements on the market, giving the trade and consumers more choice than ever, BETA wished to highlight the importance of reliable and accessible nutritional advice.

Nominations were invited from retailers and consumers, and the final judging was based on these and mystery callers posing questions designed to challenge each helpline.

One nominator said: “Allen & Page is a fantastic company to deal with. They listen intently to your requirements and give a variety of options and detailed advice on what’s best for your horse.”

A judge added: “I was pleased to receive a pack of information in the post, along with a money-off voucher and samples to make sure the horses likes it before I have to invest in a whole bag!”

EQUINE CAREERS SALES REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Marilyn Hawley, Agent for Edward Sinclair, Showquest, Kanyon Outdoors and others. Runner-up: Heather Stephenson, Westgate EFI, Romney Marsh, Kent

This award, presented by Equine Careers, recognises excellence in product knowledge and service to retail customers. Nominations received from retailers were followed by interviews with the finalists.

One nominator said: “She is the most thorough agent around. If you need an agent who will be passionate about your product and make sure your customers know about everything you sell, Marilyn is the person!”

A judge added: “A really good and forward-thinking person to have in our trade. I am sure that she could give a lot of good advice to new people entering the industry.”

HARRY HALL RETAIL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Andrea Leavis, Countrywide Farmers
Runner-up: Julie Walton, Speedgate, Longfield, Kent

This award is given to the retail employee showing initiative, excellence in customer service, good product knowledge and a commitment to retailing.

One nomination stated: “She is passionate about customer service and is always receiving comments on the friendly advice she offers. Andrea also strives to achieve what is best for the company.”

A judge concluded: “I would feel happy to leave the shop in her care, knowing that it would be professionally run while I was gone.”

JOULES EQUESTRIAN EVENT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Bramham International Horse Trials

This award acknowledges the event (at which tradestands are present) that best works with its exhibitors and takes their requirements and views fully into consideration.

Nominators said: “They are the friendliest, most helpful organisers ever and nothing is too much trouble. When there was so much trouble with the weather last year, they helped us on and off the showground in terrible conditions and kept us informed throughout the show. They did not panic and kept everything running very smoothly for us.”

BLACKS SOLICITORS TRADE SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Trilanco, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire
Runner-up: Shires Equestrian Products, Leominster, Herefordshire

Judged by the retail trade, this award goes to a manufacturer, distributor or wholesaler that offers the best delivery, customer service, product knowledge and awareness of retailer requirements.

Judges and nominators stated: “Their customer service is second to none. They keep you informed of stock availability, delivery is excellent and they send out monthly emails and a newsletter to keep their customers informed of special offers, prices and news.”

SEIB RETAILER OF THE YEAR
This award is divided into four categories – large, medium, small and mail order/Internet retailers. It is presented to those retailers that offer outstanding customer service. Final judging took suppliers’ votes into account, as well as visits by mystery shoppers.

Large Retailer
Winner: Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, Hampshire
Runner-up: Speedgate Enterprises, Longfield, Kent

Nominators and judges agreed: “The staff are so helpful and well informed, and really go out of their way to assist you. The store also has an extensive range of stock.”

Medium Retailer
Winner: Tower Farm, Rugby, Warwickshire
Runner-up: R B Equestrian, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Nominators and judges agreed: “This is a fantastic family-run business with an excellent range of products.”

Small Retailer
Winner: Alan’s Ark, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Runner-up: Patchetts Equestrian, Watford, Hertfordshire

A judge who was extremely impressed with his shopping experience at Alan’s Ark said: “The level of service was truly exceptional and the shop was obviously a very well-regarded and popular venue. All in all, it was a remarkable experience – Alan’s Ark should run seminars on how to do courteous and helpful service to customers under pressured circumstances.”

Mail Order/Internet Retailer
Winner: Supplement Solutions, Preston, Lancashire
Runner-up: Utterly Horses, Black Notley, Essex

This is award has been won by Supplement Solutions for the third year in a row. Judges and nominators agreed: “Staff are knowledgable and helpful. There is a huge choice of products and prices are kept as low as possible. The website is easy to navigate and the search facility makes it easy to identify product by type, brand or company. Service and advice are second to none and delivery is prompt, with that special personal touch.”

TSM RIDER AWARD
Winner: Sophie Wells

This award acknowledges sponsored riders who make the greatest contribution to the trade and work hard for their sponsors. An independent panel of judges selected Sophie Wells as this year’s winner.

She was nominated by Black Country Saddles, which said: “Working with riders that understand sponsorship makes the relationship stronger and Sophie is excellent at talking about the range and our company ethos and philosophy. She represents the brand at the highest level and is always willing to take part in any promotional work and activity that we ask her to do.”

UKTI EXPORT AWARD

Winner: Equilibrium Products, Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

This award recognises a company that has generated a substantial and sustained increase in export activity over a period of at least three years. The judges were extremely impressed with the professionalism shown and said: “Equilibrium was driven by a clear set of objectives, which, incidentally, placed equine welfare as the starting point. It showed attention to detail in aspects of business, as well as a recognition of the need to keep learning and adapting, which underpinned its expansion and development.”

BETA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Recipient: Stewart Hastie

This award is presented by BETA to mark an outstanding and significant contribution to the equestrian industry over a long period of time. This year, it went to Stewart Hastie, a veterinary surgeon whose work has left its mark in many aspects of the trade. He has written seminal works for equine students and had major input into the training and development of the modern saddle fitter.

Born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, in 1922, he went on to graduate from Glasgow University Veterinary School. He moved to Buckingham in 1958 and set up his own practice, specialising in the equine sector. At around this time, he met John McTimoney and began a long-standing relationship with alternative medicine and equine chiropractics.

Stewart has written for publications such as the BHS Veterinary Manual and Horselopaedia: A Complete Guide to Horsecare, as well as conference papers. He has also appeared as a speaker at the British Equine Veterinary Association’s annual conference and provided years of service to the Society of Master Saddlers as its veterinary consultant.

He continues to be involved in research surrounding the way in which abnormal movement such as lameness affects the functioning of the horse’s back, as well as the application of complementary disciplines in association with chartered physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths.

Stewart has contributed a huge amount to our understanding of the horse in today's environment. He has been at the forefront of intensive studies carried out on the effects on the horse of saddles and girths using state of the art pressure testing. His past and continuing contribution to the equestrian world should be an inspiration for all of us involved with horses.


RETAILER ACQUIRES "ULTIMATE" DOMAIN NAME

15th February, 2013.

Equestrian Clearance Warehouse has acquired the domain name Equestrian.com from the US for a six figure sum.

Equestrian.com is “our industry’s ultimate domain name,” according to the online retailer’s CEO Lorraine Meadowcroft.

Equestrian Clearance plans to build a global retail operation following the acquisition.

Established in 1992, the West Yorkshire based company has become one of the most innovative and influential retailers in the equestrian sector. The purchase of Equestrian.com heralds a new era, it says.

“Equestrian.com is our industry’s ultimate domain name and we are really pleased that we can now incorporate this into our future business plans for growth,” said Lorraine.

Read the full story in the March issue of ETN.


STEPHEN ROBERTSON (1923-2013)

14th February, 2013.

Stephen Robertson, who founded one of the equestrian industry’s first and foremost wholesale businesses, has died.

Stephen and Tony Carden established Stephen F. Robertson Ltd in 1958.

Originally a retail shop in Exeter, the business became a leading equestrian wholesaler and manufacturer by the 1970s.

In 1979, HRH the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Stephen F. Robertson. It was one of Stephen’s proudest days.

Stephen passed away on the 30 January after a long illness.

Read a tribute in the March issue of ETN.


FIRMS STEP-UP OWN ENERGY GENERATION

13th February, 2013.

More UK businesses are planning to generate renewable energy from their own premises.

One third of those surveyed by business-to-business energy supplier Opus Energy expect to introduce solar panels, wind turbines, hydro power or anaerobic digestion to their businesses.

Almost half of these (48%) expect to be generating their own renewable energy within two years. The figures represent a significant uplift since 2011 when just 26% were looking to introduce renewable energy within five years.

A sixth (15%) of those surveyed are already generating renewable power. This is versus just 6% in 2011.

SME business owners aged 55+ are most ahead of the game; 20% already generate renewable power on the premises.


EARLY BETA INTERNATIONAL 2014 BOOKERS MAKE SAVINGS

12th February, 2013.

Companies wishing to exhibit at BETA International 2014 can make significant savings with the show’s early commitment scheme.

It delivers a 2.5% discount on stand prices.

To qualify, stand space should be booked by 15 March 2013 and deposits paid by 1 October, 2013. Full payment should then be made by 6 December. Qualifying exhibitors will receive their discount in the form of a rebate payment made during March/April 2014.

“The scheme was introduced as a great incentive for exhibitors to sign up for next year’s show while providing yet another way in which we can demonstrate to them our support and commitment,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of BETA International organiser Equestrian Management Consultants.

· BETA International 2014 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, 16 - 18 February. Contact James Palmer, tel 01937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com

BETA INTERNATIONAL 2013 RUNS FROM THIS SUNDAY TO TUESDAY,
17 – 19 FEBRUARY. MORE DETAILS AT WWW.BETA-INT.COM


WEATHERBEETA "TO EXIT" RETAIL STORES

11th February, 2013.

Wholesaler Weatherbeeta is to give up its two retail stores.

The Horsatack outlets in Milton Keynes and Droitwich are on the market.

In a letter to retail customers, Weatherbeeta’s general manager Ellen Bates says: “We will be exiting our two retail stores, thereby creating 100% focus on our strategy of becoming the wholesaler of choice.”


BETA URGES "COMMON SENSE" OVER HI-VIZ RESEMBLING POLICE UNIFORM

8th February, 2013.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has urged the trade to use “common sense” following a warning that riders who wear hi-viz clothing resembling police uniform risk prosecution.

The garments in question are in yellow hi-viz with blue-silver chequering and wording similar to ‘police’.

A letter sent by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to the equestrian media stated that “anyone possessing such products [that resemble police uniform] is at risk of breaking the law”, implying that retailers holding stock of such hi-viz gear could also face prosecution.

The letter has prompted discussion on equestrian internet forums, plus news stories in Horse&Hound and on the Your Horse website.

Having received queries from retail members, BETA executive director Claire Williams issued comprehensive advice of which the following is an extract:

“It is important to note that while ACPO feels that wearing clothing manufactured to match the characteristics of police uniform may put the wearer at risk of contravening legislation, this can only be proven when tested in a court of law. To our knowledge this has not yet occurred.

“I have sought advice both from Trading Standards and our solicitor who feel until tested in a court of law that retailers should look to the Sale of Goods Act for immediate guidance. Garments will have been sold in good faith on your part and it is up to you and the consumer to consider the information before making any decision as to any resulting action.

“Providing that the garments sold were of satisfactory quality, “as described” and fit for purpose then under the Act there is no reason at this time for a retailer to feel obliged to either take the garments back or stop selling them. Some of these garments will have been in use for some time so common sense should be used when dealing with enquiries.”

• BETA members who wish to discuss any aspect of the situation should contact Claire Williams on 01937 587062.


CATHERINE EARNS HER STRIPES

7th February, 2013.

Catherine Betts has joined distributor Zebra Products as sales rep for the north of England, Scotland and Ireland.

She will be selling the Fleck, Schwenkel, Gersemi, Sprenger, Amerigo and Equipe (leatherwork but not saddles) brands to retailers.

Catherine is a former event rider. She has also groomed for international riders Jeanette Brakewell and Ben Hobday and began doing promotional work for Zebra Products during the 2012 show season.


NEW CUBES ARE "GREAT VALUE"

6th February, 2013.

Spillers’ new Leisure Cubes are designed to help horse owners cut costs without compromising on quality.

The low energy cubes, with mint and rosemary flavours, have a suggested selling price of £7.49 and come in 15kg bags.

The smaller bag size is a first for Spillers, but the company says it’s not intending to move away from 20kg bags for its other products.

Leisure Cubes are designed for horses and ponies in light work. They contain all the daily vitamins and minerals needed to support equine health and wellbeing; 3kg per day for a 500kg horse is the recommended feeding rate to ensure the diet is fully balanced.

With controlled starch levels to help support positive behaviour and reduce the risk of excitability, highly digestible fibre is included to help maintain good digestive health.


SQP OF THE YEAR FINALISTS NAMED

5th February, 2013.

The six SQPs in contention to become Virbac Equine SQP of the Year have been named.

The accolade, now in its third year, was devised by Virbac Animal Health to highlight the role of dedicated SQPs (suitably qualified persons).

Virbac, which manufactures Equimax and Eraquall equine wormer brands, advocates responsible worming through education.

The finalists were chosen via consumer nominations then ‘mystery shopping’ by experts. The winner will be selected following interviews by an independent panel and announced at BETA International 2013 (NEC, Birmingham on 17 – 19 February).

The 2013 Virbac Equine SQP of the Year finalists are:
Danielle McIlroy - Cawdell Agri Health, Kettering
Mandy Dawkes – Wynnstay
Linda Galpin - Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons, Newmarket
Elizabeth Harwood - Hook Norton Vet Practice (Part of XL Vet group), Oxfordshire
Julia Pearce - JMP Saddlery & Pet Supplies, Cardiff
Simon Weatherald - Bardsey Mills, Leeds

The winner will receive a trophy, framed certificate and luxury weekend away with VIP treatment at the Hickstead Derby meeting.

All SQPs have passed through a training system regulated by the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) and can supply products from registered premises.

The Virbac Equine SQP of the Year was developed to support SQPs by acknowledging the hard work and commitment required to achieve and maintain the qualification.

· See the February issue for ETN’s latest AMTRA accredited feature which enables SQPs to earn CPD points.

· For more information about BETA International 2013, visit www.beta-int.com


DIRECT SELLERS IN TAX WARNING

1st February, 2013.

Agents, consultants and representatives who sell directly to customers and who owe tax have one month to pay up.

These and other direct sellers must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about tax due and make arrangements to pay before 28 February.

Direct sellers usually take commission on sales without the need for a shop. They often demonstrate a product in a customer’s home or sell at parties. Some agents sell door to door, and many use catalogues.

HMRC is writing to direct sellers to let them know about the Direct Selling campaign. After the 28 February deadline, HMRC will begin contacting direct sellers who did not come forward, if HMRC believes they owe tax.