26th February, 2018.

BETA International offers significant savings to companies planning to exhibit at the 2019 show – if they book in the next couple of days.

“Businesses will need to act fast to beat the deadline,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer. “Those that do can take part in our popular early-commitment scheme, which, when combined with our prompt-payment plan, can deliver savings of 7.5% net on the cost of stand space (terms and conditions apply).”

To qualify, companies must book space by 2 March, pay a deposit by 21 September and the balance in full by 9 November. All discounts are made in the form of a rebate payment during March 2019.

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information on exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit


26th February, 2018.

Equestrian centre among businesses caught out for ignoring new staff pensions law.

The automatic joining of workers into a company pension scheme - known as auto-enrolment - completed this month (February).

Already the Pensions Regulator has issued more than 20,000 fines to employers for non-compliance.

Penalties range from £50 or £400 per day for small firms to £10,000 per day for the largest. Most are issued and promptly paid.

However, Angus-based Pathhead Equestrian Centre has not settled a £5,000 escalating penalty notice (EPN) which is now subject to a court order.

Matt Adams, for the Pensions Regulator, says EPNs follow when employers ignore previous demands to obey the regime.

Pathhead Equestrian Centre is just one of many employers named on a recently published (15 February) list which show that figures for the last quarter of 2017 saw some 28,446 cases of enforcement, 4,197 compliance notices, and 1,956 fixed penalty notices issued.

Auto-enrolment rules state that all employers must ensure their eligible staff are saving for retirement. Eligible staff are those aged between 22 and state pension age and who earn over £10,000 per year.

Pension contributions for these employees currently need to be at least 2% of ‘qualifying earnings’ between £5,876 and £45,000 with at least 1% coming from the employer.

The regulator has previously said that the process “is not just a tick box exercise.”

For more information visit


26th February, 2018.

Newcomers from different backgrounds are recruited to the herd at Zebra Products.

Victoria Neilson and Laura Spencer Jones have joined distributor Zebra Products as sales representatives.

Victoria previously lectured in equine health at Writtle University College. She has also worked in the Royal Veterinary College’s equine department as a large animal diagnostic imaging technician.

Victoria is covering the southern region for Zebra Products with the Kastel, Cavallo, Cavalor, Amerigo and Equipe accessories and Uvex brands. “I got a taste of sales helping out a retailer at equestrian shows and loved it,” she said.

With her horse Taffy, whom she’s owned for 15 years, Victoria has progressed from Pony Club to BD novice level.

Laura gained her BHSAI [assistant instructor] qualification aged 19 before spending several months teaching at the Pony Club in Jamaica.

Based in Hertfordshire, she is representing Zebra Products across the south with the Bucas, Fleck, Konigs, Sprenger and Veredus brands.

Laura is hoping to compete in BD competitions with her seven-year-old mare Deena.

“This is an important career move for me,” she said. “I’m looking forward to my new challenge in a role that I know will keep me on my toes!”

Said Simon Middleton, managing director at Zebra Products: “We’re delighted to have two very capable, enthusiastic new team members from quite different backgrounds join us.

“We’re looking forward to a year of growth in 2018, and Victoria and Laura join a strong team to help deliver our vision and continue to offer expert advice on our premium brands.”


26th February, 2018.

Next week’s National Equine Forum will be available via free live streaming for the first time.

If you can’t get to the National Equine Forum next Thursday (8 March), never fear.

The event at which major players in the equestrian industry debate hot topics will be live streamed via the forum’s new website

Viewers will be able to interact via social media and pose questions during the discussion and Q&A sessions after each presentation.

“The popularity of the Forum is consistently growing, and we are conscious that for several years now there has been a waiting list for tickets,” said National Equine Forum administrator Georgina Crossman.

“By introducing live streaming we can reach so many more people and even more effectively achieve our objective to provide a platform for impartial discussion and sharing of knowledge.”

The National Equine Forum is sponsored by Bedmax; Bransby Horses, Rescue & Welfare; British Equestrian Federation; British Equestrian Trade Association; British Equine Veterinary Association; British Horse Society; British Horseracing Authority; Horse Trust; Horserace Betting Levy Board; Jeffress Scholarship Trust; Redwings; Weatherbys and World Horse Welfare. It is supported by Bulley Davey; Craig Payne Photography; HorseHour and NFU Mutual.

The forum is organised by a committee reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry and has as its president HRH The Princess Royal.


20th February, 2018.

Discounts are available to companies planning to exhibit at BETA International 2019. But hurry – the deadline to book and secure the saving is next Friday (2 March).

BETA International organisers have a discount plan for exhibitors who book by next Friday (2 March) for next year's show.

The package adds up to significant savings. Early booking can ensure preferred stand locations are available when allocation begins too.

Exhibitors can save themselves a total of 7.5% net on the cost of their stand space by using the combined early commitment and prompt payment schemes. (Terms and conditions apply.)

In order to qualify:
• Space must be booked by 2 March
• Deposits must be paid by 21 September, and,
• Full payment made by 9 November.

Eligible exhibitors will receive their discounts in the form of a rebate payment made during March 2019.

BETA International 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday to Tuesday, 20 - 22 January.

To find out more about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

• See a full report and pictures from BETA International 2018 in ETN February issue.


19th February, 2018.

Colleagues and friends will gather this Friday (23 February) to celebrate the life of the respected and popular saddle fitter Janet Wilkes, of Just Saddles, who died last month.

A ceremony of celebration for Janet Wilkes (nee Blackburn) will be held on Friday at 4pm at Charnock Richard Crematorium near Preston, Lancashire (PR7 5JP).

The service will be followed by a send-off party for Janet at the nearby Park Hall Hotel (PR7 5LP).

Everyone who knew Janet is invited to join her husband Peter Wilkes, managing director of Vale Brothers, to celebrate Janet’s life. Janet was diagnosed with aggressive thymic cancer in November 2017.

The party begins at 5pm with a buffet from 6.30pm. The bar will be open. The dress code is “colourful preferred” and smart or casual as desired.

Both venues are just off the M6, junctions 27 (south) and 28 (north), near Charnock Richard services.

No flowers, but donations can be made to


19th February, 2018.

Half of all business meetings are “completely pointless”, according to new research.

Long suffering British employees each sit through 9,776 meetings in a working lifetime.

However, over half of these get-togethers are deemed “completely pointless” and “utterly useless”, a survey by Deliveroo for Business has revealed.

One in ten of the employees questioned in the study admitted to nodding off during a meeting at some point in their life.

And in a bid to get through the tedium, attendees munch through 10,753 sandwiches, 19,552 chocolate biscuits and drink 15,642 cups of tea during their careers, the poll of 2,000 full time employees found.

More worryingly for managers, 26% of workers said they don’t listen to a word that’s said - while 27% spend the meeting thinking about what they’ll have for dinner and one in five admit they text their other half to get through the boredom.

Four in ten said they like it when their diary is packed full of meetings as it gets them out of doing any ‘proper’ work.

But six in ten moaned that meetings just create more unnecessary work.

So what can managers do to make meetings more attractive? 85% of those polled said they’re much more likely to be enthusiastic about meetings if good quality food and drink is laid on.


19th February, 2018.

After riding 50 winners on the flat, this former jockey begins a new career in Thoroughbred nutrition.

Former flat jockey Charlotte Mitchell has joined Spillers as Thoroughbred nutritionist for the east of the UK.

Charlotte rode professionally for 11 years, piloting 50 winners from around 1,000 rides in the UK and UAE.

Before this she graduated in equine science from Hartpury College and worked in racing and stud yards.

Charlotte has re-homed and retrained two ex-racers – one of whom she rode on the track. One horse is now eventing and the other show jumping and showing.

Charlotte also shows a spotted British miniature horse.

“I can't wait to start helping trainers and studs with their Thoroughbred nutrition needs,” she said.


13th February, 2018.

William Fox-Pitt and Wocket Woy are supporting a new rider safety campaign. Manufacturers and retailers can get involved too.

BETA Safety Week is set to highlight to riders the importance of correctly fitted, fastened and up-to-standard safety gear.

It runs from 28 April to 6 May and will be supported by event rider William Fox-Pitt and jockeys Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein, aka Wocket Woy & The Pwoducer.

The Pony Club and British Eventing (BE) are also backing the campaign launched by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) this week.

Retailers are encouraged to participate in the new, annual, awareness-raising initiative by helping to promote its safety message. Some BETA member manufacturers have already committed their support to the week with more expected to follow.

BETA retail members taking part will receive free information packs, window decals, posters and social media graphics to help highlight the week.

A list of participating stores will be uploaded to the trade association’s website.

BETA will highlight the initiative with a media campaign featuring competitions and safety equipment-related advice and information.

BETA Safety Week will also be publicised in equestrian consumer titles, both print and digital.

“We are extremely pleased to launch BETA Safety Week as part of a drive to flag up the need for fit-for-purpose safety clothing and equipment,” said trade association executive director Claire Williams.

“Although there are other safety awareness-raising initiatives in existence, there is nothing that really stresses the importance of a riding hat or body protector's provenance, fit, correct fastening or appropriate safety standards.

“With the help of its members, BETA is perfectly placed to do this and we will be using our combined expert knowledge and resources to drive home the message to riders.”


12th February, 2018.

The trade is being urged to support young British competitors when they take on some of the world’s best Western riders in Texas this summer.

The UK arm of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is to send a team to the US to compete at the AQHA Youth World Cup in July.

The 2018 running of the biennial event takes place in Bryan, Texas, with 18 different countries represented.

Many of the British team members - who hail from Devon, Aberdeen, North Wales and Sussex - are already national champions in their sport. And they hope the equestrian trade will get behind them in their bid for international titles.

The seven strong squad will compete on borrowed horses that they have just five days to get to know. Adults accompanying the team are not allowed to ride or even lunge the horses.

The AQHA Youth World Cup includes Western horsemanship classes, reining (FEI sport), cutting, ranch riding, showmanship, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation and trail.

“Team members have been fundraising since February last year, however not being an Olympic sport severely restricts our access to funds from the main national funding agencies so we are seeking as much help as possible via sponsorship,” said Sandra Loder of AQHA UK.

“We’re urgently in need of good quality team uniform, helmets, riding and leisure wear.

“It’s vital we send a Team GB of young people proud to represent their country and [hope they will be] well supported by British brands getting fantastic international exposure.”

Offers of sponsorship should go to or visit


12th February, 2018.

A former retail manager is now covering the south for a Shropshire based stable yard equipment supplier.

JFC Agri has appointed Matthew Rosenberg as area sales manager for the south.

Matthew has spent 15 years in the agricultural and equine retail sector. Before joining agricultural and equestrian equipment manufacturer JFC, he worked for Countrywide as central manager in its Taunton branch.

Matthew is married with a young family. He enjoys football, cycling and photography. Matthew’s family has a love for animals and over the years have taken on a number of rescue cases. They currently have two rescue dogs.


8th February, 2018.

The celebrity and shopping event is to run over three days this autumn.

Your Horse Live will be a three day show when it takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on Friday to Sunday - 9, 10 and 11 November.

In previous years the event has spanned two days over a weekend.

Traders taking stands at the new look, three day Your Horse Live will be charged for half a day extra. “In effect, we’re giving away half a day free,” said Emma Bedford of organiser Bauer Media.

“And as a gesture of loyalty to everyone who has [taken a stand] before, there will be no rate increase for 2018.”

On the Friday, Your Horse Live’s BETA-sponsored main arena will see a change to discipline specific masterclasses, reverting to the usual celebrity performances for the Saturday and Sunday.

“The Friday will be a day of learning,” said Emma. “The trainers behind the stars is the theme - we’ll have demonstrations by experts in show jumping, dressage, eventing and showing.”

Your Horse Live’s second arena and stage area will run their regular programmes across all three days.

Bauer Media states the attendance figure for last year’s Your Horse Live as 24,000 over the two days. It clearly hopes Friday’s new format will appeal to a slightly different sector to deliver new visitors rather than dilute existing ones over the three days.


5th February, 2018.

The editor’s chair at Your Horse magazine has a new incumbent.

Aimi Clark is the new editor of Your Horse magazine.

She joined publisher Bauer Media from Time Inc, where she was a section editor at Horse & Hound and before that assistant editor of Eventing.

Aimi is from a horsey family who until recently had point-to-pointers in training at their farm in Devon. She owns a semi-retired ex-racer called Bee with whom she enjoys hacking, fun rides and riding club activities.

Once a keen grassroots event rider, these days Aimi’s mostly watching from the sidelines or acting as groom and lorry driver for her sister. She gets her personal competitive fix through rowing and cycling.

“I’ve joined a great team at Your Horse and we’re already in talks about my ideas for both the magazine and online — so watch this space!”


5th February, 2018.

Nadia Leal, the best performing equine and companion animal health adviser in professional exams, wins The Battles Cup.

SQPs achieving the highest scores in AMTRA examinations were applauded at the recent AHDA (Animal Health Distributors Association) awards dinner in Birmingham.

SQPs are suitably qualified persons deemed legally competent to prescribe and supply certain animal medicines including horse wormers and pet flea treatments.

Having claimed the highest scores in professional examinations over hundreds of their peers across the UK, the winners have been named as Robyn Brown of Moles Country Stores in Billingshurst, Nadia Leal of the Animal Medicine Chest at Flagg Court Pharmacy in South Shields, and Emma Woolgar of Pets at Home.

Collecting the Simon Fleet Cup and a cheque for £300, Robyn Brown was the top all-species SQP. She is stock supervisor at the Billingshurst branch of Moles Country Stores in West Sussex.

This year’s Battles Cup and a cheque for £150 went to Nadia Leal as the winner of the best equine and companion-animal SQP award.

Prior to becoming an SQP, Nadia worked with horses for eight years in a trekking centre. She has owned her own pony for nearly 15 years.

It was when she became medicine counter assistant while working in Flagg Court pharmacy that Nadia began studying to become an SQP. Having qualified, she provides advice on flea and worming treatments for cats and dogs, and wormers for horses, selling and advising on appropriate products.

“I wanted to become an SQP so I could get a better understanding of animal medicines myself, as well as being able to help other people,” said Nadia.

She was presented with her award by Stephen Neale of sponsors Battles.

“We are delighted to recognise the achievements of these three outstanding students. It is testament to their dedication and hard work and really reflects the commitment that we see across of all of the SQP students on our courses, as well as the businesses that support them.” said Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA, the animal medicines training and regulatory body.

“They join almost 7,000 SQPs working across the equine, farming and companion animal sectors. These qualified professionals offer free and impartial advice on issues such as resistance, responsible use of wormers and other medicines, and general animal health and welfare.

“Through their professional advice on responsible use, SQPs support industry-wide efforts to keep animal medicines effective into the future,” he added.

• ETN runs regular AMTRA accredited features and quizzes (worming and nutrition modules) to help SQPs earn the CPD points they need to maintain their qualification. The next feature and quiz appears in ETN March issue.


5th February, 2018.

A Devon based apprentice saddler is the first recipient under the new scheme.

Rachel Lok has been chosen as the winner of the new Abbey England Saddlery Scholarship.

She collected her prize - £500 worth of workshop tools – during BETA International last month.

Rachel had her first taste of saddlery during a week long course with Master Saddler David May.

She went on to complete the two year Cordwainers Diploma at Capel Manor College where she achieved her City and Guilds Level 1 and all three Level 2 qualifications. She passed the bridle exam with a broken arm in a cast.

“Saddlery brings together my passion for horses, my creativity and my enjoyment of crafts,” said Rachel who also competes in saddlery competitions.

While at Capel Manor College, she received a Premium Award at the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) National Competition and took first prize at BETA International last year in the SMS competitions.

Rachel also won a Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers’ harness bridle competition. The winning bridle with its Chinese design, influenced by her father’s heritage, has been loaned to the Saddlers’ Company and is displayed at Saddlers Hall.

“The Abbey England Saddlery Scholarship applications have been outstanding,” said Richard Brown of Abbey England. “It’s wonderful to see so many young and up and coming saddlers breathing new life into the industry.”

Rachel is currently an apprentice at Nutwell Saddlery in Lympstone, Devon. In addition to her apprenticeship programme, which will see her take the Level 3 City and Guilds exams, Rachel is completing the Advanced Scheme at the Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury under Master Saddler Mark Romain. Her goal is to become a Master Saddler.

Five runners-up for the Abbey England Saddlery Scholarship each won a piece of leather from the Clayton Leather Group. They are Amanda Steen, Meg Webb, Lucy Ellis, Rebecca Duglan and Tom Blachford.


5th February, 2018.

A company that supplies flavours for use in equine feeds, supplements and treats is accredited under the BETA NOPS scheme.

Nutriad has become one of the first companies to see its equine feed flavourings accredited under the BETA NOPS scheme.

The Yorkshire based firm’s new Taste-EQ range includes apple, mint, herbs and garlic flavours.

BETA NOPS is designed to reduce the risk of Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances (NOPS) in equine feed. Competition riders are urged to look for the scheme’s logo to ensure they buy compliant products.

“Whatever [a manufacturer’s] equine palatability requirements - be they liquid or dry feeds, supplements, treats, high fibre feeds, concentrates or balancers - Nutriad has NOPS accredited solutions,” said a spokesman.