28th March, 2013.

More than 100 products from 77 companies were nominated for Innovation Awards at Equitana.

The ten-day show ended last weekend in Essen, Germany.

Among the winners was Hau Stallsysteme with its ‘Corn Max with attendance monitor’. This automatic feeder dispenses small portions of feed throughout the day. A light sensor recognises if the horse has eaten each ration, and automatically stops delivering more if the horse has not eaten up. 

In the health care category, iHr-Medizingeräte und Vertrieb took the honours with its ‘Flexineb Inhalator’. A wireless device designed to nebulise a variety of medicines, it’s suitable for mobile use.

The top nutritional product was ‘AlpenGrün Mash’ from Agrobs. The independent judging panel noted that this feed represents a growing trend. It contains no minerals or grains, relying instead on raw fibre rather than concentrated starchy feeds.

Leading German wholesaler Waldhausen was the winner in the safety products section with its Davis Special Tie Rope. This sturdy product can be used for tying-up or leading horses, a special feature being that the tie rope can be loosened quickly.

A special award went to HIT for its ‘Automated individual feeder with face recognition’. The product, which is still in the prototype stage, uses biometrical parameters to identify individual horses before automatically dispensing appropriate feed.


27th March, 2013.

The smartphone – now owned by 60% of the UK population - is changing the way consumers shop.

The devices will soon overtake tablets, PCs and laptops as the nation’s favourite tool for internet use, say analysts at media agency Mediacom

Their research shows that 67% of smartphone owners have used their phones as part of the shopping process. 59% use them to search for products online, 41% to read an online product review and 38% buying via retailer website or app.

The smartphone’s primary use in shopping currently seems to surround only the product research and price comparison phase, however.

Researchers found there’s still concern over the security of new mobile payment methods via app or nearfield communications [where customers pay by swiping their phone].

There is also consumer scepticism about ‘augmented reality apps’ – which show product information when you hold your phone up in a shop – with only 13% of smartphone owners ever having used one.

One thing that does seem to be taking off, however, is impulse buying via mobile: 17% of smartphone owners admitted having bought something on impulse because their mobile gave them such easy access.

In addition, researchers discovered that the smartphone’s price comparison use has given rise to a ripple of fear among retailers over ‘showrooming’ - when customers check out a product in-store, then purchase a cheaper e-retail alternative.


26th March, 2013.

The Three Counties Show is to be known as the Royal Three Counties Show.

Held annually at Malvern, Worcs, the show has been granted the Royal seal of approval, it was announced yesterday.

The Three Counties, which has been running at various locations for more than 200 years, has regularly been visited by members of the Royal family.

The Queen Mother attended the first at Malvern in 1958 with The Princess Royal acting as president in 1981.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited in 2001 with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall enjoying the show in 2007. The Duke of Gloucester was president in 2011.

The Royal Three Counties Show 2013 takes place on 14, 15 and 16 June.


26th March, 2013.

Hi-viz specialist Equisafety has introduced a body protector.

The EquiProtex will be available from July.

The garment meets the highest relevant European safety standards and complies with the BETA body protector standard at Level 3.  

It comes in hi-viz yellow, hi-viz pink and black/white, all with 2” reflective tape, or blue with reflective chequered tape.

Children’s and adults’ sizes are available. RRPs are from £90.

• Read more about the latest rider safety innovations in ETN April issue.


22nd March, 2013.

The 2013 show circuit beckons for Sarah Poucher whose family firm, Emerald Green Feeds, is taking its stand around the UK this season. Sarah files her first report for ETN from a blustery Lincolnshire Horse Trials on the Lincolnshire Showground (15 – 17 March).

“If you’ve never been to Lincolnshire Horse Trials before, be prepared for all types of weather. Up on the cliff-top, the wind can be fairly biting. This weekend, although there was the odd glimmer of sunshine, wind and rain featured – along with the odd flurry of snow.

However, nothing was going to deter the 700 competitors. On our visits around the horse boxes to give out samples and leaflets, riders and grooms could be found hiding in their lorries sheltering from the elements before bravely - some might say stupidly - mounting their horses and heading off into the rain/wind/snow.

From our stand, I could see the show jumping in the main ring; so while waiting for people to come out of hiding and look around the tradestands, I spent hours watching the jumping. It was all very much the same until one particular horse got to a jump and just stopped dead in front of it and shook its head. He obviously knew something his rider didn’t about this jump and refused point blank to go anywhere near it, let alone over it. I got the feeling the horse was about to receive a stern talking to from the red-faced rider...

The most popular place to be at the event was an old shed on the showground. Upon further inspection there was fantastic clearance sale being held by the well-known clothing brand Joules. Lots of bargains to be had indeed!

Sheltering inside our stand, I watched the artist next to us pack up and disappear on the first day. By day two, the lady selling cushions decorated with horses packed them all neatly away in her trailer and went home. The man selling garden furniture sat in his van doing the crossword for three days.

Those of us who braved the rain, wind and snow for the whole weekend got to see final horse doing the show jumping at 5.15pm on Sunday evening. The final phase of this event was the tractor pulling lorries out of the car park. But we’ll back next year, living up to our motto: be prepared!”

• Emerald Green Feeds’ grass and alfalfa pellets are made from fully traceable ingredients grown on the Poucher family’s farm in Lincolnshire. These highly palatable, versatile products are naturally low in starch and sugar yet high in fibre. The slow, controlled release of digestible energy is ideal for fizz-free performance work. Tel Emerald Green Feeds 01526 398236 /398472 /397133


22nd March, 2013.

Nettex has re-launched its equine range with new packaging, sizing and products available from next month (April).

Trade prices on the new look products will remain the same as their old counterparts for the rest of the year.

Products are split between 14 groups, each with its own colour coded packaging plus an icon indicating its use.

Joint and hoof care, grooming and bathing, supplements, licks, fly repellents, calmers, lotions and potions to help with mud fever or sweet itch and a new veterinary range are among the main product categories.

Nettex Minis, product ‘compacts’ launched last year for those on a budget or travelling to shows, remain within some ranges.

Leading riders Carl Hester, Lynn Russell, Francis Whittington and Amy Stovold continue to endorse the brand and feature in advertising.

• See the April issue of ETN for the latest grooming products for the new season.


22nd March, 2013.

Worm count specialist Westgate Labs has opened a new laboratory and office suite near Morpeth in Northumberland.

The company offers its analysis service via retailers as well as directly to horse owners.

With eight people working for the Westgate Labs – including five SQPs [suitably qualified persons authorised to prescribe wormers] and one in training – the new premises will enable the company at least to double its capacity.

Two years in the making and largely a self-build project, the modern facility was formerly a disused farm building. “The new lab allows plenty of room for expansion – and that’s important as worm count based programmes take over from interval dosing,” said Gillian Booth of Westgate Labs.


21st March, 2013.

Neue Schule and Hope Valley Saddlery are teaming up to run a bitting clinic to raise money for charity. Retailer training will be held on the same day.

Heather Hyde, Neue Schule’s bitting expert, will give an evening talk at Somerford Park, Cheshire on 19 April in aid of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT). Tickets are £5.

During the evening, Hope Valley Saddlery will be offering 10% off all Neue Schule bits in return for bit donations. GHDT needs snaffle bits up to 5” for its charity work.

Raffle prizes to be won include a lesson with Olympic event rider Andrew Heffernan.

Retailer training will run from 10am – 4pm. Topics to be covered include a history of bitting, different materials, new technologies, equine mouth management, common evasions and introducing the bit.

An afternoon session will look at boosting retail sales of Neue Schule bits. Tea, coffee and cakes are provided.

For details, contact Neue Schule 0844 66 44 600.


20th March, 2013.

April is Sweet Itch Awareness Month when the distress caused by the condition will be highlighted.

Elanco Companion Animal Health has joined forces with equine charities the British Horse Society (BHS), Blue Cross, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare (WHW) to advise owners how sweet itch prone animals can be managed.

The campaigners also want owners to act before the start of the midge season in the spring. Sweet itch is caused by biting midges.

Elanco manufactures Cavalesse which helps to maintain healthy skin in horses prone to summer skin allergies.


19th March, 2013.

Relentless ‘cold’ calls are set to cost small businesses more than £91million this year, claims the Call Prevention Registry (CPR).

Lost productivity and interrupted workflow can result from unsolicited sales calls and phone scams.

Phone lines being busy, and therefore unavailable to genuine customers, is another knock-on effect of nuisance callers.

“This poorly targeted and aggressive approach, often using automated recordings and triggered dialling, is not only annoying, it is threatening the success of people’s businesses,” said Lee Hare of CPR.

“We are working with a number of consumer agencies including Trading Standards, the Police and are in contact with members of Parliament to drive nuisance calling up the agenda so we can see this unscrupulous practice made illegal.”

The Call Prevention Registry has a service known as Call Blocker. More than 500,000 people are already signed up.


18th March, 2013.

Dutch clothing label Mercer, seen at BETA International 2013, has a UK distributor.

Wholesaler Walk Trot Canter has taken on the collection of long and short coats, soft shell jackets and fleeces for riding and casual wear.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mercer and introducing this affordable, stylish brand to the UK market,” said Marylise Smague of Walk Trot Canter.


15th March, 2013.

The new Rhinegold ‘Tec’ Safety Boot is made in Europe from top quality leather.

It meets its category’s highest European safety standard, CE EN ISO 20345 SB.

This standard ensures a design that offers comprehensive protection for the wearer, from the security of the steel toe cap, to the anti-slip properties of the sole unit.

The Rhinegold Tec has a breathable lining which is treated to reduce odours. In black and brown, and sizes from ladies’ 4 to men’s 12, it’s available exclusively to the trade from Snowhill Trade Saddlery.


14th March, 2013.

IPC Media is in consultation with Horse magazine editorial staff about a proposed sale of the title to MyHobbyStore/MyTimeMedia, the publisher confirmed yesterday.

“There will be no further comment until that consultation process is complete,” an IPC Media spokesperson told ETN.

IPC Media launched Horse in 1997. Last year, the magazine sold on average 13,164 copies per month, down 8.9% compared with 2011. Its sales figures are Audit Bureau Circulations (ABC) audited.

The editor of Horse is Jo Browne and the deputy editor is former Horse&Hound dressage editor Sarah Jenkins.

MyHobbyStore is a subsidiary of MyTimeMedia which publishes specialist hobby magazines in the UK such as Model Engineer, Model Boats and Popular Patchwork. The company runs two hobby events, the Model Engineer Exhibition and Euromilitaire. MyHobbyStore retails via its website items connected with various hobbies from patchwork making to model aircraft.


13th March, 2013.

German safety products manufacturer uvex has signed up with a UK distributor.

Zebra Products is to supply the BSI Kitemarked uvex line of equestrian helmets and safety eyewear to British retailers.

A popular brand of safety gear for sports such as skiing and cycling, uvex is based in the Bavarian city of Fuerth.

Representatives from the British Standards Institution (BSI) visited uvex last year to assess the company’s equestrian products and procedures. Once available only in the UK, the Kitemark is now recognised worldwide as a mark of quality.

uvex equestrian helmets are Kitemarked to EN1384:1996, BSEN1384:1997 and ASTM F1163:04, thereby satisfying the various equestrian sports’ governing bodies.

High profile wearers of uvex helmets include German international dressage rider Isabell Werth. Zebra Products will be arranging for selected retailers to enjoy an all-expenses-paid visit to Isabell’s yard.


13th March, 2013.

More details have emerged about tradestand opportunities at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2014 in Normandy, France.

Half a million visitors are expected at the multi-discipline championships which run from 24 August to 7 September.

The organisers have invited exhibitors to submit applications to either exhibit or sell merchandise at one of the three WEG sites, the Games Village, the Le Pin National Stud Village and the Sartilly Village.

The Games Village is set in 25 hectares near Caen, west of the Parc des Expositions. This will be the venue for many of the sporting events plus concerts, big screen action and a ‘kids’ zone’. 230 stands of a minimum size of 16 m² will be available within the Games Village. Rates are from €3,680 for a16 m² stand to €11,500 for a 50+m².

Le Pin National Stud Village will stage the eventing dressage and cross-country competitions. Fifteen stands measuring 25 m² will be available at €3,000 each.

A few kilometres from the Mont-Saint-Michel (Normandy’s most popular tourist attraction with 300,000 visitors annually) the Sartilly Village hosts the endurance competition. Fifteen 25 m² stands are on offer at €1,600 each.

Companies interested in trading or exhibiting at WEG must apply by 1 June. Successful candidates will be notified from July. Final registration, with financial obligations, is in September.


12th March, 2013.

Claire Williams, executive director of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), has signed up for a parachute jump to raise money for The Brooke.

The sky-dive takes place next month – and Claire hopes many in the equestrian trade will be generous with sponsorship.

“You may question why I would want to voluntarily jump out of a perfectly good aircraft at 10,000ft; having a look at The Brooke’s website ( and the work they do will explain why,” she said.

The Brooke is an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest communities.

“Considering the lives so many of these hard working animals lead, doing a sky-dive to raise money for the work of the Brooke seems a relatively small thing to do by comparison,” added Claire.

To sponsor Claire’s sky-dive, visit


12th March, 2013.

The 21st National Equine Forum (NEF), held on Tuesday 5th March 2013, saw The Right Honourable Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, outlining the government’s plans for Europe-wide testing of meat for horse DNA and improvements to the horse passport system.

The event also welcomed presentations from five of Europe’s most distinguished equine vets and played host to the launch of the Equine Disease Coalition’s new Equine Biosecurity Checklist and the new National Equine Youth Forum.

The Forum was attended by over 200 of the country’s most influential members of the equestrian industry, including NEF President HRH The Princess Royal, international equine vets, riders and trainers and equestrian trade business leaders.

The Forum’s popular veterinary sessions saw Malcolm Morley explaining the 2011 and 2012 changes to the pre-purchase examination of horses, which provide greater clarity for purchasers. Dr Mark Hillyer discussed the risk factors, prevention and treatment of colic. Dr Richard Newton, together with Richard Lancaster, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, discussed the important ways in which the thoroughbred industry and government are working together on the control of equine infectious diseases.

Professor Pat Harris explored some of the good and not so good aspects of grass. Professor Pieter Brama discussed whether horses are ready to race as two-year-olds or whether they can be made ready.

The NEF also hosted two launches. The Equine Disease Coalition introduced its new horse care checklist to help horse and yard owners ensure good biosecurity on their stables. In addition Matthew Cobble of the Riding for the Disabled Association announced the launch of the National Equine Youth Forum, to be held on 1st September 2013 at Aintree. An inspiring presentation from Natasha Baker, Double Paralympic Gold Medallist at just 23 years old, reiterated the importance of showcasing the determination and talent of young people in equestrianism, which is one of the aims of the new Youth Forum.

Presentations were also received from:
• Ed Bracher, Chief Executive, RDA: A look at the benefits as well as the trials and tribulations involved with encouraging volunteers
• Dr Patricia Pendry Professor of Human Development at the Washington State University, USA: Scientific evidence underpinning the therapeutic advantages of riding
• Jennifer Dixon-Clegg, Director of the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy: Riding therapy in practice
• Sarah Rainford, the BHS sponsored Eqvalan thesis winner: The effects of riding on the joints of five physically disabled children
• Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell DBE MP (previously Shadow Minister for the Olympics): An overview of London 2012
• Andrew Finding, Chief Executive, British Equestrian Federation: London 2012: Did we deliver?
• Hugh Thomas, Director, Badminton Horse Trials: The implications of cancelling a major event HRH The Princess Royal, President of the NEF, concluded the day and included a Chinese proverb as a poignant reminder of Professor Sir Colin Spedding, chair the Forum for 20 years, who sadly passed away in December 2012.

The National Equine Forum is chaired by Tim Brigstocke and organised by a committee of individuals reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry. It is sponsored by the Association of British Riding Schools, Bedmax, BEVA Trust, The Blue Cross, British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, British Horse Society, British Horseracing Authority, Bulley Davey, Darbys Solicitors, Dodson and Horrell, Donkey Sanctuary, Equine Products UK, Horse Trust, Jeffress Scholarship Trust, NFU Mutual Insurance, South Essex Insurance Brokers, Weatherbys Group and World Horse Welfare.

The full proceedings of the 2013 Forum can be downloaded at on the National Equine Forum page. The 2014 National Equine Forum will be held on 6th March at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Westminster, London.


11th March, 2013.

Craghoppers is urging everyone to be ‘tick aware' this Easter.

The outdoor brand produces NosiLife, the only permanent insect repellent clothing on the market.

The collection of tops, trousers and underwear gives up to a 90% reduction in insect bites including ticks, mosquitos and midges.

Taking precautions against tick bites can reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening Lyme disease.

The threat is also highlighted during Tick Bite Prevention Week which takes place at the end of March. Ticks are most abundant from April through to October.

Craghoppers' NosiLife collection protects from insect bites and is anti-bacterial, combating odour and infection. The garments are lightweight and feature SolarShield UPF 40+ sun protective fabric and moisture control. Some items also feature security pockets to keep valuables safe.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread from animals to people through the bite of an infected tick. In the UK, up to 3,000 tick bites per year result in Lyme disease. Without prompt diagnosis and treatment it can lead to severe heart and nervous system problems.


8th March, 2013.

Former Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) field officer Dennis Colton has died. He was 94.

Dennis will be remembered by many in the trade for running the Society’s saddle fitting courses when they first started.

During a varied career, he was in the Army, worked as a mounted warden on Wimbledon Common, was a British Horse Society inspecting officer for riding schools and riding instructor in the mounted police.

Neil McCarraher, who took over as SMS field officer from Dennis, said: “Dennis was a fantastic man who endeared himself to everyone. He knew so many people and had a wealth of equestrian knowledge.”

James Hitchen, a former SMS president, added: “Dennis was one of the nicest men I have had the privilege to meet. He was always very welcoming towards me when I first sat on the [SMS] executive and was a gentleman through and through.”

Dennis was also well known as a steward at many of the major shows.


7th March, 2013.

Equus Health has been told to stop publishing misleading information about its charcoal based Gastro-Kalm supplement.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says the Cornish company must make no more claims on its website regarding the benefits of its products unless they can be substantiated.

Equus Health needed to provide robust documentary evidence that the efficacy of charcoal described were relevant to Gastro-Kalm, said the advertising watchdog. Because the company had not done so, it concluded that the advertisement was misleading.

A second complaint – that Gastro-Kalm is not made from a natural product when Equus Health says it is – was not upheld.


6th March, 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: +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


6th March, 2013.

Next week’s National Apprenticeship Week [11 – 15 March] celebrates apprenticeships.

A series of events will highlight how apprenticeships can improve career prospects as well as benefit businesses.

Anyone living in England and Wales over the age of 16 and not in employment can apply for an apprenticeship which typically takes one to four years to complete.

The minimum salary is £2.65 per hour, although many apprentices earn more.

According to the National Apprenticeship Service, training an apprentice can prove less expensive than hiring skilled staff, leading to reduced training and recruitment costs.


5th March, 2013.

Roger Milner, saddler, saddle fitter and widely acclaimed craftsman, died on 24 February.
He was 65.

Roger became involved with his family’s business of Leicestershire saddlers S. Milner & Son as soon as he left school. Renowned for his workshop skills of making and mending, he regularly built complete saddles at one time.

For many years, Roger was an active member of the Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) executive committee. In 1993/94, he was elected SMS President. He was also an assessor for the saddlery skills assessment scheme and the Society’s saddle fitting courses.

“Roger was one of our most esteemed and respected members. I always valued his calm and considered advice during my first years as chief executive when he was still active on the committee,” said Hazel Morley of the SMS.

Roger was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers for many years.

Away from work, he was a keen sailor and fly fisherman.

A memorial service will be held at Twyford Church on 13 March at 12.30pm.


5th March, 2013.

Will I’Anson of British Horse Feeds, makers of Speedi-Beet, is to compete in the notorious Ironman Triathlon.

He aims to raise money for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) by completing the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km (26.2 mile) run.

The Ironman takes place in Nice, France, on 23 June.

“I’ve chosen the CRY charity as it’s very close to my family,” said Will. “Our friends’ daughter and my daughter’s closest friend 'Milla Irvine passed away from Sudden Death Syndrome in September 2010.

“Tragically, 12 young people a week in the UK die of undiagnosed heart defects. CRY highlights this and provides support and counselling to the families and friends left behind.”

If you would like to support Will and make a donation, visit his fundraising page at

For further information on CRY, visit


4th March, 2013.

An hour’s riding can burn off as many calories as 60 minutes’ cycling at up to 10mph.

That’s one of the selling points of ‘Trot to be Trim’, a British Equestrian Federation (BEF) initiative to encourage more people to ride.

The benefits of riding are being promoted under the Hoof scheme, the BEF’s legacy campaign.

Angie Best, fitness guru and former wife of footballer George Best, is a regular rider. “Trot to be Trim is an excellent initiative for weight loss,” she says.

“There’s so much to do with the horse before and after you ride, it’s three times the benefit of other exercise plans! Hundreds of calories are used during each session and it’s so much fun with a great sense of achievement”.

• See the March issue of ETN for weight watching ideas for horses too.


1st March, 2013.

Dawn Dodd-Noble, the founder of Sandon Saddlery and one of the equestrian trade’s great characters, has died.

She was 88 and had until recently continued to work six days a week in her Buntingford, Herts shop.

In the 1970s, Miss Dodd-Noble also had shops in Norfolk and Suffolk. In the 1960s, she set up the Sandon Saddlery Company Donkey Stud, enjoying great success in the show ring.

Her funeral takes place at Sandon Parish Church on Thursday, 7th March.

The February 2012 issue of ETN included a profile of Miss Dodd-Noble.


1st March, 2013.

Equine healthcare and supplements manufacturer TRM was among BETA International 2013 exhibitors to enjoy a busy show.

The Co Kildare, Ireland based company saw visitors from 14 different countries, including South Americas and East African buyers, when it took a stand at the three-day trade exhibition held at the NEC, Birmingham last month.

Tom Barrett, TRM vice president Europe, North America, told ETN: "BETA International 2013 exceeded our expectations.

“Sunday and Monday were frantic with our international distributors, and we welcomed clients from 14 different countries over the two days.

"Tuesday was less busy, allowing us to draw breath, but we still managed to start relationships with three new export territories, two from South America and one from East Africa.

“All were interested in the whole TRM range, but the Columbians placed more emphasis on shows and performance, whereas the East Africans are involved in all aspects of equestrian sport. BETA International is definitely our most important show of the year on a global basis."

• BETA International 2014 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February. For details, contact


1st March, 2013.

WOW saddle fitter Lorna Triggs is now based at the recently revamped Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre in Cambridgeshire.

The livery, training and competition venue, at New Manor Farm in Houghton, is under the new ownership of businessman Mick George. It’s managed by Jonathon Belcher and riding instructor Charlotte Cain.

Lorna offers saddle fitting and consultation services at the centre. “We’ll [also] be running clinics with WOW-sponsored riders and holding free horse-sport performance days and saddle fitting demos,” she said.