HAT SWAP OFFERED TO STOCKISTS


30th March, 2015.

A riding helmet supplier is offering to replace BS/EN1384 stock with hats meeting the VG1 specification.

German manufacturer uvex says that “engineering and production across the styles and sizes is currently underway,”

Retailers wishing to exchange uvex BS/EN1384 helmets are invited to send them back to UK distributor Zebra Products “in immaculate condition” by 1 May. Terms and conditions apply.

The company told ETN that stock of VG1 helmets “is expected soon, however exact dates cannot be given at this time.”

The VG1 is an interim specification developed to facilitate a consistent approach to CE marking. It is not the new EU standard which is currently in draft form.

The European riding hat standard BS/EN1384 was withdrawn unexpectedly in December.

• For more on riding hat standards and the latest safety products, see the April issue of ETN.


WHO’S WEARING THE TROUSERS?


ETN editor’s blog…
30th March, 2015.

THE equestrian trade can count itself very modern in terms of breaking the glass ceiling said to prevent women from rising to the top career-wise.

We have Claire Williams heading up BETA, a female BETA chairman in successful retailer Lynda Mortlock and Claire Thomas organising BETA International.

Many other equestrian bodies – from The Pony Club to the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) – are led by women. And I can’t think of a single equestrian magazine edited by a chap.

Of course, more women than men have always ridden, at leisure level at least. But it’s good to note that they’re now wearing the trousers as well as the jodhpurs.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES
THERE were many signs at BETA International 2015 that the equestrian trade is on the up. None more so than the launch of some lovely products designed mainly to make horses – and their owners – happy.

Botanicals from Absorbine, Simplyirrestible from Equilibrium Products and Well Gel from Westgate EFI are all delightfully decadent.

And you know what they say about a little of what you fancy…Read more in Product News in the April issue of ETN.

BEAR NECESSITIES
THERE was a time when Lavenham quilted coats and even rubbery beige riding macs were considered the height of equestrian chic across the continent.

In more recent times, British clothing brands have had some catching up to do in the European labels’ wake. But they’re most definitely on the case…

Good looking newcomers include British horseracing themed shirts by Freddie Parker.

While the toggles that feature in Sherwood Forest’s A/W 2015 collection – previewed in the April issue of ETN - are reminiscent of Paddington Bear’s duffle coat. And what could be more British than that?

Liz Benwell is the editor of ETN.


NEW AGENT FOR FEED FIRM


27th March, 2015.

Susie Blackburn has become Honeychop Horse Feeds’ sales agent for the south.

Susie previously worked for pharmaceutical company Merial for seven years, winning sales awards in 2012 and 2013. Before that she was with Dodson & Horrell.

Always accompanied on her travels by her Jack Russell terrier Molly, Susie says she’s looking forward to visiting retailers across her area.


WINNER SCOOPS FREE FUEL


26th March, 2015.

The winner of £100 to offset fuel costs to BETA International 2015 was Hayleigh Garrett of Boston, Lincolnshire based animal feeds company G Howsam & Son.

The competition was promoted in ETN – the trade fair’s official media partner. Hayleigh’s business card was first out of the hat on the ETN stand during last month’s show.

BETA International 2016 returns to the NEC, Birmingham on the earlier than usual dates of 24 – 26 January.

The official show preview will appear in the January 2016 issue of ETN. Find out more from Nicki Lewis tel 01937 582111 or email nickil@beta-int.com


AWARD WINNING PRODUCTS NAMED


20th March, 2015.

Seven products were recognised with Equitana Innovation Awards earlier this week.

A panel of equestrian sports experts, vets and the media evaluated almost 60 entries during the bi-annual show in Essen, Germany.

The winners were:

Category: Stable, arena construction, training technology
Winner: FourSense GmbH
Product: FourSense data measuring technology
The judges said: This sensor system can be integrated into standard girths or similar accessories. It captures a range of horse exercise and health data and transmits it to a central server. Once processed there, the data can be accessed through web interfaces. The result is optimised equestrian sports performance diagnostics, training analytics and monitoring. In addition to using the system for rehabilitation and training, the jury recommends deploying it in the growing scientific study arena, where quality depends on optimised data capturing.

Category: Stable technology and equipment, pasture and agricultural equipment
Winner: Schauer Agrotronic GmbH
Product: Compident Horse Duo
The judges said: This is a feeding station for roughage and concentrated feed with a selection gate, which uses individual chip recognition to regulate the food intake of smaller groups of horses. The jury recognises this new product because it combines several formerly separate types of feeding in a single smart solution customised for each animal. As such, not only does the system achieve feed management workload reductions, it also enhances animal wellbeing by delivering nutrition in line with the needs of each individual horse.

Category: Health and care
Winner: Aesculap Suhl
Product: Aesculap Econom CL Equipe
The judges said: Cable messes and short runtimes are a thing of the past with this clipping machine. Powered by a rechargeable battery, it can be used for up to 80 minutes with the same power output as a comparable corded device. Thanks to the backup battery and a charging time of about 70 minutes, it can be deployed just like conventional corded clippers without long interruptions.

Category: Nutrition
Winner: MARSTALL GmbH
Product: Amino-Sport Muesli
The judges said: This feedstuff specially developed for sport horses is equally suitable for use in breeding and/or rearing. It has a positive impact on horse performance and accelerates muscle regeneration after training.

Category: Vehicles
Winner: Kneilmann Gerätebau e.K.
Product: Large bail cart with weighing unit
The judges said: Correctly portioning roughage and concentrated feed is critical when it comes to animal-appropriate horse husbandry. This feed cart with weighing unit - no matter whether it's used for roughage or concentrated feed - makes this job easier. It also facilitates optimised portioning of roughage at equestrian facilities.

Category: Riding and work fashions, safety products
Winner: USG United Sportproducts Germany
Product: USG-SOS
The judges said: This rider emergency management system [which also won a BETA International 2015 Innovation Award] allows first responders to access individual emergency data using a safety wristband or tag on waistcoat, tack or similar accessories. For the system to work, riders must have registered their chosen data ahead of time. When needed, it can then be accessed on the internet via an individual ID code. This product deserves to be recognised in particular for taking into account data protection aspects.

Category: Special Jury Award
Winner: Weidemann GmbH
Product: eHoftrac
The judges said: The emission-free, low-noise Hoftrac loader is perfect for horse care applications. Thanks to its electronic motor, the it doesn't require high RPMs to unleash its full power. Operation in closed-off spaces is no problem, and in future it can be recharged directly using a photovoltaic system.


RATES REVIEW “POSITIVE STEP” FOR RETAILERS


19th March, 2015.

Confirmation in yesterday’s budget of a radical review of the business rates system has been welcomed by retailers.

The go-ahead was also given for the extension of the small business rates relief for another year.

The Chancellor also highlighted relief available for small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of transitional rate relief.

Retailers will additionally benefit from the roll-over for another year of the discount for those with properties of less than £50,000 rateable value.

Welcoming the business rates announcement, Helen Dickinson, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’s important then to get the review process right, so that we … end up with a system which is better for business, better for local government and better for the communities that retailers and other rate payers serve every day.”

The government is seeking the views of UK business on the future structure of the system.

The Chancellor made other announcements that stand to benefit consumers as well as the wider retail industry.

“Extending the personal Income Tax allowance, the new Personal Savings Allowance and increasing the flexibility of ISAs will all make the pounds in our pockets go that little bit further,” said Ms Dickinson.

“An additional welcome measure was the announcement of a further year’s fuel duty freeze.”

• The Chancellor’s abolition of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for under 21s was an additional boost for retailers who often employ young people. The new policy also applies to apprentices in the age group.

• Another interesting budget announcement was a doubling to £7.5 million of UK Trade & Investment’s resources for British exporters to China.


PROFITS SOAR AT CLOTHING AND LEISURE LABEL


18th March, 2016.

Joules’ pre-tax profits amounted to £3.7m in the 12 months to the end of May.

The figure is up by £1.1m compared with the previous financial year.

The label, now seen on gifts and homeware as well as clothing, saw sales rise 19% to £79m in a year when Joules opened a number of new stores.

Currently the Market Harborough-based business, which is still run by its founder Tom Joule, has 61 shops.

Joules also supplies major high street retailers.


APPRENTICES WAGES TO INCREASE BY 20%


18th March, 2015.

Apprentices can look forward to a 20% pay rise this autumn.

The national minimum wage for workers who learn on the job is to go up by 57p to £3.30 an hour in October.

The main national minimum wage rate is to increase by 20p an hour to £6.70, the government announced yesterday.

The changes, representing the biggest increase since 2008, exceed those recommended by the Low Pay Commission.

• Read about two apprentices working in the equestrian retail trade in the March issue of ETN.


DRESSAGE REVISES HAT RULE

March 17th, 2015.

Dressage competitors can continue to wear European standard riding hats until 1st January 2017, it was announced yesterday.

A revised British Dressage (BD) rule will allow BS/EN1384 standard hats to be worn in affiliated competitions for an extra 12 months.

When the European standard was unexpectedly and suddenly withdrawn last December, BD said it would permit complying hats to be used until 1st January 2016.

The new deadline may yet be extended “depending on the publication of the new harmonised European standard, the date for which has yet to be confirmed,” said BD in a statement.

BD advises that members should update their hats regularly and when doing so that they meet one of the current standards.

The revised hat rule also applies to RDA (Riding for the Disabled) competitions.


WINNER RELINQUISHES AWARD


March 17th, 2015.

BETA International organisers have accepted The Herbal Horse & Pet’s voluntary relinquishment of the Innovation Award won in the Feed & Supplements category for its Ultimate Mix at this year’s trade fair.

The winner’s trophy will be presented to TopSpec Equine, which was highly commended in this category for its UlsaKind cubes.

The Herbal Horse & Pet relinquished its award on discovering that one of the product’s ingredients – the probiotic Bacillus subtilis – was not approved by the EU for use in equine supplements.

BETA International’s Innovation Awards celebrate new products. “They are highly prized by the equestrian trade and have continued to grow over the past 20 plus years,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“They are judged by a panel of independent experts. All products are accepted into the competition in good faith.”


MAGAZINE SALES FALL AGAIN


March 17th, 2015.

The circulation of paid-for equestrian consumer magazines fell again during 2014, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) statistics issued last month.

Horse & Hound, Your Horse and British Horse (the British Horse Society’s membership magazine) are independently audited by ABC.

So called ABC figures reflect average sales per issue; weekly in Horse & Hound’s case, four-weekly for Your Horse and five times per year for British Horse.

Digital, as well as print, sales are included in ABC figures. During 2014, Horse & Hound sold an average of 873 digital copies weekly; Your Horse sold none.

The only title to see an increase in its ABC during the measuring period from January to December was British Horse. However, as copies are mailed free to BHS members, it has a 0% actively purchased figure compared with Horse & Hound’s 99.74% and 99.16% for Your Horse.

Overall, the new ABC figures show a continuing downward trend for paid-for publications.

Jan – Dec 2014
Horse & Hound 40,705
Your Horse 17,338
British Horse 74,285


Jan – Dec 2013
Horse & Hound 44,458
Your Horse 20,798
British Horse 69,170


Jan – Dec 2012
Horse & Hound 48,124
Your Horse 23,719
British Horse 69,070


OWNERS NOT GETTING WORMING RIGHT


16th March, 2015.

The way that eight in ten owners worm their horses is not effective in fighting resistance to worming drugs.

A survey of 1,000 consumers discovered that while 67% believe they are protecting their horses from the rise of resistance, 81% are not conducting sufficient FECs (faecal egg counts).

An adequate level is considered to be three or more FECs per year per horse.

The figures come from a survey conducted by retailer Countrywide in collaboration with specialist analysts Westgate Laboratories, pharmaceutical company Norbrook and BW Equine Vets.

The survey also looked at where owners get worming advice, which parasites are most commonly wormed-for and how they manage their paddocks.

See the April issue of ETN for more.


EQUESTRIAN SPENDING RETURNS TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS

11th March, 2015.

Spending on equestrian goods and services (excluding racing) is back to pre-recession levels at £4.3 billion per year.

The figure was among early insights from the 2014/15 National Equestrian Survey (NES), presented at last week’s National Equine Forum (5 March) by BETA’s executive director Claire Williams.

The latest NES is the fifth in 20 years. The project, commissioned by BETA and independently researched, began in 1995 to quantify the diverse equestrian sector.

When racing is included, total industry expenditure is approximately £8 billion.

In other new NES findings, there are estimated to be 2.7 million riders in the UK; and 446,000 horse keepers, a figure that was in decline but has levelled out in the past four years.

The NES also covers different equestrian activities, safety and security and detailed expenditure on product sectors.

An intriguing early indication is that in-store shopping is increasingly popular.

“In terms of economic impact, the new NES is potentially the most detailed review yet of spending in the sector,” said Claire.

• See the April issue of ETN for more survey findings and how companies can access the information.


RETAILER BACKS NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK


10th March, 2015.

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (9 to 13 March).

And the equestrian trade is set to celebrate the value of young people learning ‘on the job’.

Louise Tuff, manager of Devon retailer Redpost Equestrian, employs two apprentices.

As well as working in the shop, Laura Bromige and Narissa Humphreys are being mentored for business qualifications with training provider Haddon Training.

Louise says business apprenticeships are a great alternative to college or sixth form.

“Many employers won’t take on an untrained 16 year old on a full time wage. But with this scheme students get a small wage, which they would not receive at school or college, and also the training.

“It’s a win-win situation,” she added. “[Young people] can get into the real world and feel valued.”

More details about National Apprenticeship Week can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/national-apprenticeship-week-2015

Read the apprentices' views in March issue of ETN.


BITTING ADVISORS OF THE YEAR NAMED


10th March, 2015.

Lucy Stephens of Jet Set Saddlery and Gail Johnson of Horse Bit Hire are the new Neue Schule Bitting Advisors of the Year.

They received their awards during BETA International 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham on 23 February.

The awards were presented by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden and Heather Hyde, founder of bits and bitting specialist Neue Schule.

The winners share £1,000 of Neue Schule products for their stores and £1,000 worth of equestrian vouchers to treat themselves.

Neue Schule is to continue its main sponsorship of BETA International for a third consecutive year when BETA International 2016 takes place on 24 - 26 January.


BRAVERY AWARD FOR SADDLER


9th March, 2015.

A Walsall based saddle manufacturer is to receive a bravery commendation medal later this month.

Adam Ellis was recommended for the accolade after foiling a mugging at a Stafford cash point.

Standing in a queue to use the machine, the former soldier turned saddler saw two hooded men knock down another cash point customer as they attempted to grab his cash.

As he fought them off, one of the muggers pulled an eight inch knife on Adam who nevertheless restrained the violent villain until the police arrived.

After sentencing the muggers to four years’ imprisonment each, the trial judge commended Adam for his brave action.

Adam Ellis Saddles makes traditional saddles with modern styling for all equestrian disciplines.


FOUR NEW STORES FOR COUNTRYWIDE FARMERS


4th March, 2015.

Rural retailer Countrywide Farmers’ group turnover was up 2.2% at £138.8m in the six months to 30 November.

The comparable figure for the same period in 2013 was £135.8m. Retail revenue was up by 0.7%.

The figures also highlight increasing customer numbers and “strong” margins. According to chairman Nigel Hall, the business continues to trade in line with expectations.

Last year, Countrywide generated £18.1m by disposing of its livestock feed and forage, arable products and crop marketing businesses.

Mr Hall said Countrywide expects to expand into new regions and open at least four new stores during 2015.


VIEWS SOUGHT ON SADDLE TREE STANDARD REVISION


3rd March, 2015.

Members of the trade are urged to give their views on a proposed new British Standard for saddle trees.

The draft revisions, which are open for public consultation, are relevant to wooden saddle trees (BS6635) and not synthetic trees (BS7875).

Patrick Burns, trade and training advisor to the Worshipful Company of Saddlers who chairs the panel working on the revisions, described the review of the standard as “an important development for the trade.”

The draft can be found at the online BSI (British Standards Institute) Draft Review System (DRS) http://drafts.bsigroup.com Search for BS 6635 to review and comment. It can also be accessed at http://drafts.bsigroup.com/Home/Details/54295

Those who do not wish to submit their comments on the DRS can email Jennifer.Carruth@bsigroup.com

Public consultation closes on 31 March.


MINIMUM WAGE RISE “HIGHEST SINCE 2007”


3rd March, 2015.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) could rise by 3% to £6.70 per hour for workers over 20 later this year.

If the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendation for a 20p hourly hike is implemented by the Government in October, it will be the largest real-terms NMW increase since 2007.

“We have carefully weighed the risk of doing too little to raise the earnings of the lowest paid against the risk of recommending more than business and the economy can afford,” said a LPC spokesman.

Helen Dickinson, of the British Retail Consortium, agreed that the LPC has done “a careful job” of balancing economic growth, jobs and productivity.

“This highlights the importance of the independence of the LPC,” she added. “Decisions about the rate of the minimum wage need to be based on sound evidence and not political expediency.”

Ms Dickinson said that over the coming year, the BRC will work with the retail industry to identify the problems some people face.

“We hope that by addressing these issues we can help improve productivity and move more people out of low pay faster than could be achieved by arbitrary tinkering with hourly pay,” she said.


2020 EQUESTRIAN OLYMPIC VENUES ANNOUNCED


2nd March, 2015.

Venues for horse sports during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been announced.

The main equestrian site will be Baji Koen, the Japan Racing Authority owned facility that hosted the Tokyo 1964 Olympic equestrian events.

In 2020, it will be the venue for dressage and showjumping as well as the eventing dressage and showjumping phases.

The eventing cross country venue is Sea Forest, also known as Umi no Mori, in Tokyo Bay. Olympic rowing, canoe sprint and mountain biking will also be staged here.

The use of established facilities at Baji Koen will put equestrian sport at the centre of the Olympic activities in 2020. It will also slash one billion US dollars from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s construction budget.