29th March, 2019.

A VIP trip to Olympia awaits the winning equine health advisor.

Nominations are now open for this year’s Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP [Suitably Qualified Person] of the Year.

The award highlights the hard work and dedication of those professionals who go the extra mile to guide their customers on the correct worming approach.

Businesses employing SQPs and individuals are invited to make their nominations at

The winner will enjoy a VIP experience at the London Olympia Horse Show in December, plus a trophy and certificate.

Virbac manufactures the wormer brands Equimax and Eraquell.

• SQPs can top up the CPD points they need to maintain their qualification with two CPD features and quizzes in ETN April issue, and another in May. The features are accredited by the training and regulatory body AMTRA. The deadline for AMTRA qualified SQPs to complete their current CPD cycle is 30 June.


29th March, 2019.

Manufacturer makes the case for riders on the roads.

Nicky Fletcher, the managing director of Equisafety, was interviewed by Jeremy Vine on his Radio 2 lunchtime programme earlier this week (26 March).

The focus was her company’s provision of its POLITE hi-viz vests to cyclists – and whether these products with their chequered trim are a valuable safety product or confuse the public because wearers look like police officers.

Callers to the show offered mixed views. But the slot definitely turned into a great reminder to motorists to slow down for horses… Instead of berating drivers, Nicky cleverly praised and thanked big majority who are considerate.

You can hear Nicky Fletcher on the Jeremy Vine Show here


19th March, 2019.

Key player to move on after nine years.

Colin Porter, chief executive officer of Joules, was yesterday appointed a non-executive director of Moss Bros.

He joins the men’s tailoring business – where he’s expected to become chairman of the company following its AGM in May – after nine years with the country clothing and lifestyle brand.

Moss Bros describes Mr Porter’s appointment as “part of the Board’s succession planning.” The current chairman Debbie Hewitt MBE is due to retire.

Since 2010, Mr Porter has led Joules through a period of international, multichannel success, with growth in sales and profits. He also oversaw Joules’ stock market launch in May 2016.


19th March, 2019.

BETA initiative set to go global again.

BETA Safety Week returns for a second year on 27 April to 5 May.

The campaign will see the trade association and its retailer and manufacturer members promote the importance of correctly fitted, fastened and up-to-standard safety gear.

BETA retailers taking part will receive information packs, window stickers, posters and graphics to help highlight the week to customers.

There’s a luxury gift hamper up for grabs in an in-store display competition; and manufacturers are invited to supply prizes for social media competitions.

BETA Safety Week is supported by top riders and leading equestrian organisations, such as British Eventing, the British Horse Society and the Pony Club.

Said BETA executive director Claire Williams: “When we launched the campaign last year, we had no idea just how successful it would become and the sheer amount of support it would receive.

“We had 184 retailers – UK BETA retail members and those from mainland Europe and the United States making it truly global. There was also support from BETA manufacturing members – the most famous names in the business – to help drive home our key messages about rider safety.

“In 2019, we plan to build on our inaugural year, collaborating with the trade to reach out and engage with an even wider audience of equestrians, and drive higher volumes of footfall to our retailers’ stores.”


18th March, 2019.

Specially produced dark blue and light blue boots to feature in the tussle on the Thames.

Aigle is the official boot partner of next month’s (7 April) Boat Race.

Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell is among the crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities named ahead of the 185 year old rowing race on the river Thames.

Aigle has produced boots especially for the Boat Race squads in their respective Oxford dark blue and Cambridge light blue.

Limited edition boots will also be available via selected retailers, priced at £95 per pair.

Aigle boots have been hand-made in France for 160 years.

“We are proud of our history and heritage and are excited to work with a UK-based major event that also shares a strong history,” said Aurélie Sandler of Aigle.

• See some stunning equestrian and country clothing and footwear on parade in ETN April issue.


18th March, 2019.

Announcement made during last week’s show in Germany.

The first Equitana USA to be run by Reed Exhibitions will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington next autumn (Fall 2020).

The launch of a three day shopping and educational equestrian show was announced in Essen, Germany last week during Equitana Germany.

The biennial German event, which has run since the 1970s, is said by organisers to attract more than 200,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors over nine days.

A spin-off show, Equitana Australia, was established in 1999.

Equitana exhibitions are open to the public, professionals and trade.

Previous owners of Equitana ran some American shows in the late 1990s/early 2000s.


13th March, 2019.

And why a ride on a racehorse could prove a good omen.

Kathy Stringer, part of the Equine Productions team who were filming at BETA International 2019, is to represent Britain at the world duathlon championships next month.

The gruelling competition, officially known as the ITU World Championships, involves a 10k run, 40k bike ride and a 5k run.

“It’s now less than 50 days away and my training is in full swing,” said Kathy, who will be in action on 27 April in Pontevedra, Spain.

Kathy qualified for the championships last October via a race in Bedford. A strange coincidence had happened the previous week.

“I rode a racehorse for the first time at Oliver Sherwood’s yard, just as a bit of fun as I have filmed on the gallops so many times…The horse I rode was called Pontevedra,” she explained.

Kathy is hoping the name-check is a good omen as she swaps horses and cameras for running shoes and a bike ready to take on the world.

Video footage from BETA International 2019 can be seen at


12th March, 2019.

Retailer’s competition raises funds for talented young show jumpers.

Selby, North Yorkshire based retailer R&R Country has raised £846 for the Tim Stockdale Foundation.

Last November, the store ran a competition to name the life-sized wooden horse which is a feature of the entrance to R&R Country.

The name ‘Stockdale’ was chosen in tribute to the late Olympic rider who had recently died aged 54, four weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

R&R Country launched a second competition in December to guess Stockdale’s height – which is 16.2hh - promising to donate the one-pound-per-entry to the charity.

On hearing about the donation, Tim’s wife Laura Stockdale, said: “We are so grateful to R&R Country for running this competition and to everyone that entered. £846 is a huge amount to have raised and so generous of R&R Country.

“This will make a fantastic contribution to our plans to enable greater participation in sports. Thank you from me and my sons Joseph and Mark.”

Sue Moxon, managing director at R&R Country, added: “We're absolutely thrilled to be donating £846 to the Tim Stockdale Foundation. The number of entries we received in such a short space of time was fantastic and knowing the money is going to be utilised to increase youth participation in sport and promote emerging talent makes us really happy.”

R&R Country, which has a second store at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, is to continue supporting the Tim Stockdale Foundation.


11th March, 2019.

Newcomers are specialists at problem solving.

Louise Consterdine and Charlotte Cross have joined the team of specialists at online retailer Supplement Solutions.

Louise Consterdine graduated with an MSc in equine science from Aberystwyth University. She received a merit for her thesis which looked at the effect of molasses-based licks on horse weight, behaviour and gut metabolome.

“The sheer volume of supplements we [Supplement Solutions] stock can be overwhelming for customers who are not sure exactly what it is they’re looking for,” said Louise.

“I work with our customers to identify their animals’ individual needs and find a product which will suit them.”

Charlotte studied animal science at the University of Nottingham, where her course included placement on a dairy farm.

Alongside customer service, Charlotte manages the strategic worming programme at Supplement Solutions. The scheme was launched by company director and SQP [suitably qualified person] Hannah Wild in 2017.

“We have customers with as many as six horses on our programme,” said Charlotte. “Life with horses can be busy enough without the challenge of remembering who was wormed for what, and when.”

Supplement Solutions celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.


11th March, 2019.

How a visit to the local saddler’s workshop inspired an award winning saddle fitter.

Helen Reader is this month’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month.

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

Helen, who runs HR Saddlery in Carmarthenshire, was nominated by Nikki Newcombe of saddle-maker Bliss of London.

“Helen really does have the full skill-set in our industry,” said Nikki. “She is a competitive rider and also recently achieved Master Saddle Fitter status to add to her Master Saddler, Master Bridle Maker and Master Harness Maker [qualifications] - that’s a lot of hard work and dedication.”

It was a visit to the local saddler’s workshop when her first pony’s saddle needed a repair which inspired a five-year-old Helen to make a career in saddlery.

Today, as well running her business, Helen is a saddle fitting assessor for the SMS saddle fitting qualification. She also competes her two 17hh grey geldings in dressage, show jumping and eventing.

The secret, she says, is an early start. Helen regularly completes a ridden training session on her local beach before most of her customers are awake – then she heads off for a day’s saddle fitting.

How to nominate a saddle fitter

Everyone is invited to nominate saddle fitters they feel deserve to be named ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month. Candidates for the award must be SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters based in the UK or overseas.

To nominate a saddle fitter (or more than one), email and tell us why this person deserves to be put in the spotlight. Please include the saddle fitter’s name and business name too.


7th March, 2019.

But fewer households own horses, according to new statistics released today.

An increase in horse riding over the past five years has been revealed by the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA’s) National Equestrian Survey 2019.

The first stage of the survey was presented by BETA executive director Claire Williams at the National Equine Forum, in London, earlier today (7 March).

The initial research - focusing on the number of horse riders and owners in Britain, the scale of lapsed riding and the barriers that prevent return and take-up - provides a clear and accurate picture of this part of the British equestrian landscape.

The specially commissioned survey, which takes place every five years and was based on 6,151 nationally representative interviews, showed…

Number of horse riders: In 2014, there were 2.7 million riders following a steady decline in horse riding over the previous ten years. Today, rider numbers are at 3 million, showing an indication of recovery, with not only an upturn in the number of people who have ridden in the past 12 months, but also an increase in those regularly riding at least once a month. There are now 1.8 million regular riders – back to levels seen between 2005 and 2010 – compared with 1.3 million in 2014. The greatest rise has been among 25- to 44-year-olds, an age group that showed a dramatic fall in riding during the previous five years.

Number of horse owners: In 2014, there was evidence of a steady decline in the number of Britain’s horse-owning households, from 451,000 four years earlier to 446,000. The downward trend has continued, with the figure now standing at 374,000.

Scale of lapsed riders: Seven per cent of households in Britain have members who have ridden in the past 12 months. A further 20 per cent have lapsed riders, while 73 per cent have never ridden.

Barriers to returning to the saddle: The survey shows that there are five million lapsed rider households in Britain, but 650,000 of them are interested in riding again. The two key growing barriers to this are access and proximity to horses.

“Although this is just the first stage of the National Equestrian Survey – we still have the detailed reports on the equestrian economy, spending and population to come – the future of equestrian sport looks encouraging,” said Claire Williams.

“The decline in rider numbers has been halted and the number of people riding on a regular basis has grown to give a far more positive outlook compared with five years ago. We are really looking forward to seeing the other parts of the survey, which are currently at fieldwork stage, with publication due in April/May.

“We are extremely grateful to Sport England, which through the British Equestrian Federation part-funded the survey work, which in 2019 has been the most robust ever and conducted online for the very first time.”

BETA members will each receive a free overview document; orders are now being taken for copies of the 2019 BETA National Equestrian Survey. For costs and to place an order, contact Philippa Macintosh, telephone 01937 587062 or email


6th March, 2019.

Long established business was named Retailer of the Year just six weeks ago.

The Ride-away retail shop near York is to close later this month.

Parent company Internet Fusion Group (IFG) is in consultation with the store’s staff who face an uncertain future.

Ride-away, established in 1980 and based ever since at Sutton-on-the-Forest, North Yorkshire, won the SEIB Retailer of the Year title at the 2019 BETA Business Awards in January.

Earlier this week, Emma Lobb, buyer for IFG, wrote to suppliers to say the store’s last day of trading will be 24 March.

The reason for the closure, she said, was a “legal break in the lease contract” with the site’s landlords who wished to take the building back for their own use with immediate effect.

ETN understands the landlord and owner of the premises to be Stephen and Angela Clarke who founded Ride-away and ran it until selling the business to Pets at Home at the end of 2012.

Ms Lobb said in her letter that IFG had “considered opening another store in the local area. But due to the lack of suitable availability and a shop led program not being the core of IFG’s strategy, this is something we have decided not to proceed with.”

Jenny Parker, group head of marketing at IFG, confirmed that Ride-away would continue trading under the same brand name as an online only retailer, dealing with the same suppliers.

“This is a natural progression for us,” she told ETN. “Ride-away will become more tech-focussed to give customers an even better experience. It’s sad for the store, but it’s our only bricks [outlet] and we want to give customers an even better journey.”

IFG specialises in hosting niche e-commerce sites concentrating on outdoor and action sports. The company was previously called Newtyle Nominees, which acquired Derby House out of administration 2013 and bought Ride-away from Pets at Home in October 2016.

Ms Parker said the 24 March closing date was “to be confirmed, but it will be late March.”


4th March, 2019.

Equestrian industry agrees a plan to mitigate the effects of an infectious equine disease outbreak.

Industry leaders and vets have been working with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases across UK horses.

A COBRA-style Emergency Response Group has been established and a plan ageed.

“The recent outbreak of equine influenza has demonstrated not only the important role that vaccinations can play, but also how vital it is to educate equine owners about how they can help prevent the spread of diseases,” said a spokesman for the BEF, of which the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is a board member.

Equine flu has had a significant impact in recent weeks, including a week’s suspension of racing by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the introduction of extra precautionary measures by some event organisers.

An outbreak of other infectious – and potentially more harmful – diseases would have an even greater impact, says the BEF.

“This could include obligatory movement restrictions which would pose a significant risk to the calendars of sporting bodies as well as to the large recreational sector. Unlike equine flu, there is a risk that some of these diseases can be passed onto humans.”

To tackle the problem, the BEF has secured wide agreement to a plan to mitigate the impact should the worst threat be realised.

BEF board director and consultant equine vet Jane Nixon gathered together stakeholders representing equine health, breeders, the competitive disciplines, horse racing, farriers, hunting and equine charities to contribute to what’s known as the High Health Steering Group.

The agreed strategy takes two approaches:

Education of all equine owners on how best to prevent the spread of disease.
The establishment of a COBRA-style Emergency Response Group for rapid response in event of an outbreak.

The Emergency Response Group first met in response to last month’s equine flu outbreak.

“Our message is simple: to promote good habits to prevent disease spread in the horse and subsequently incursion on human health and wellbeing,” said Jane Nixon.

“I believe that when we work together, and take collective responsibility, that can be a very powerful tool in enhancing disease prevention.”

• See the May issue of ETN when Jane Nixon explains how the trade can do its bit to help stop the spread of equine disease – and therefore enable equestrian businesses to thrive.


4th March, 2019.

Three appointments to boost logistical and administrative services.

Saddlery Brands International UK has hired Simon Osborne as warehouse supervisor, Andrew Bush as warehouse senior operative and Alice Petrie as accounts and administration assistant.

The UK, Scandinavia and continental Europe distributor of Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles says the new appointments will enhance logistical and administrative services to stockists.

Between them, Simon and Andrew have more than 25 years’ experience of managing warehouse operations.

Alice, an equine business management graduate from the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, is a keen rider and horse owner.

“With Saddlery Brands International UK gearing up for a very exciting year ahead, we are thrilled to welcome Simon, Andrew and Alice to the team to service our dedicated network of dealers and the continued growth of our Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles brands,” said Claire Galer, deputy general manager.


4th March, 2019.

Funding still available to help with training and IT costs.

Business owners should consider three steps to ensure their businesses can continue to trade with the EU if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, says HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

The first step businesses need to take is to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number. UK businesses that have only ever traded inside the EU will not have an EORI number. In the event of a no deal exit, businesses will be unable to continue trading with the EU without an EORI number; however, HMRC figures show that so far just 17% of these businesses have registered.

After getting an EORI number, businesses need to take the second step and consider how they want to make customs declarations. Businesses can appoint a customs agent if they want someone else to do it. Most businesses with customs obligations choose to use a customs agent.

For businesses that import goods into the UK from the EU using roll on roll off locations, they can take a third step and register for new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP). TSP will allow businesses to import without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and postpone paying any import duties. For imports using other locations, and for exports, standard customs declarations will apply.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride MP said: “We want businesses to be able continue trading with minimal disruption in any scenario but we also know that people tend to leave things until the last minute and we would urge against that.

“We are specifically advising businesses to take some simple steps to be prepared – the first thing they need to do is register for an EORI number, it is free and takes less than 10 minutes.

“Step by step advice can be accessed via GOV.UK – the help is there, we just need business owners to take action.”

In September 2018, December 2018 and January 2019, HMRC wrote directly to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses that only trade with the EU advising them to start their preparations and apply for an EORI number. There are another estimated additional 95,000 non-VAT registered businesses that also need to take action. Despite these letters, only 40,973 have registered for an EORI number since October.

To help businesses make import and export declarations, HMRC has made £8 million in funding available for traders and intermediaries to support them with training and IT costs. There is still £3m remaining of this funding, so there’s still time to put in a bid.


4th March, 2019.

Offer due to end this Friday.

Cavallo is offering staff at its stockists 50% off trade price across its autumn/winter 2019/20 collection.

As well providing an on-trend uniform for work, this is clothing many staff will want to wear off duty too, says UK distributor Zebra Products.

Cavallo’s A/W 19/20 range features winter coats, gilets, hoodies and breeches; plus accessories such as socks, hats, headbands and snoods.

The brand uses what it predicts will be the hottest fashion colours for next season - wild berry, graphite, truffle and olive.

“Please place orders before 8 March,” adds a spokesman for Zebra Products.