FAYRE TO CELEBRATE BEST OF BRITISH

30th April, 2013.

The Bradshaw family – dad James, mum Emily and two-year-old Lucan – is part-way through a project to see if they can survive normal family life on only British goods and services.

And now they’re taking their celebration of all things British a step further by running an exhibition of British only manufacturing and production.

British manufacturers, farmers and producers from every sector are invited to participate in the not-for-profit British Family Fayre (31 August – 1 September). The family expects more than 200 business to take stands and/or give workshops, with in excess of 10,000 visitors expected.

The outdoor event will be held in the family’s home town of Westerham in Kent, in the grounds of the Squerryes estate.

“Feedback suggests that the British public no longer believes that the UK is capable of making anything,” said Emily Bradshaw.

“We hope that our efforts will show them otherwise. It can only be good for us as a country, both economically and in terms of the pride we have in our nation, for people to reconnect with our domestic market.”

Find out more at www.britishfamilyfayre.co.uk

To take part in ETN’s upcoming celebration of British companies and manufacturing, contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 email nickil@beta-int.com


SCIENCE BASED SUPPLEMENTS LAUNCH TO THE TRADE

30th April, 2013.

The Science Supplements range, developed by equine physiology expert Dr David Marlin, launches to the UK trade this month (April).

Since in 2003, racehorse and endurance racing trainers, as well as professional showjumping, dressage and eventing yards, have used the products which are now offered to retailers.

Last year, Science Supplements formed a partnership with US pet and equine product giant Purina Animal Nutrition, introducing the range to the American trade. Under the management of Aspen Business Solutions, Science Supplements are now available to the UK trade too.

According to David Mitson of Aspen, the effects of the new liaison could be far reaching. “Now we have a link with Purina, there’s plenty of potential for their pet and equine products to come here,” he told ETN.

Clinical trial work on the range has been ongoing at its scientist inventor’s insistence that each product is based on fact, not fiction.

David Marlin, author of more than 200 scientific papers, hit the equestrian trade headlines when he presented his work, commissioned by Equilibrium Products, on protective equine boots a couple of years ago.

Read the full story in the May issue of ETN.


FREE SERVICE OFFERS BEST BUSINESS ENERGY DEALS

29th April, 2013.

Cheap, short term deals are not necessary the best bet when it comes to buying energy for your company.

In a climate where prices are set to rise still further, longer-term contracts frequently pay off, according to Julian Morgan of Energy Advice Line.

Business electricity prices have spiralled by more than 11% on average in the past 12 months, according to the price comparison service.

Firms that signed up to one, two and three-year energy contracts in the first quarter of 2012 paid an average 9.98p/kWh for electricity, compared with 11.12p/kWh during the same period in 2013.

Energy Advice Line’s quarterly review of energy prices shows that firms that signed up to one-year energy contracts at the beginning of 2012 were hardest hit by the price rises.

A year ago, electricity tariffs under a one-year contract cost an average 9.56p/kWh. By the time the contracts expired in the first quarter of 2013, prices had risen to 10.99p/kWh – an increase of almost 15%.

By contrast, businesses that signed up to 3-year deals at the start of 2012 would have paid slightly more for their energy at the start of the contract – 10.58p/kWh. However, these firms will now be paying less than average today and the low tariffs are locked in for a further two years.

“Firms that signed up to the shortest-term deals a year ago would have been financially better off signing up to a more expensive three-year year deal,” said Julian Morgan.

According to Energy Advice Line’s review, however, 78% of UK firms continue to opt for the cheapest short-term deals.

The free service from Energy Advice Line enables firms to compare the market for the best possible business energy deals within minutes. Its business energy experts provide a contract management service including advice about business energy contracts, how to avoid expensive rollover contracts and a renewal reminder service.

The Energy Advice Line also campaigns for a better deal for business energy users from suppliers and has lobbied the government and energy regulator Ofgem for greater protection from practices such as cold calling.


FERTILISER IS HORSE FRIENDLY

26th April, 2013.

G-upp is a new liquid fertiliser from Agribio which avoids the growth spurts of lush grass that horse owners don’t want.

Supplied in packs weighing less than a kilo before dilution, the product retails at £59.99 per unit, sufficient for 2.5 acres.

AgriBio offers a sales displays holding 12 packs for in-store merchandising.

Application is via a knapsack or mounted boom sprayer from quad bike or amenity tractor. Animals do not need to be removed from paddocks being treated.

G-upp is a foliar fertiliser which means it spreads into the leaves and roots without the need for rain.


EQUESTRIAN TRADE SUPPORTS CLAIRE LOMAS CYCLE CHALLENGE

25th April, 2013.

Equilibrium Products and a group of retailers are supporting Claire Lomas in her latest fund-raising initiative for Spinal Research.

Claire, who was paralysed following an eventing fall in 2007, famously walked last year’s London marathon in a robotic suit.

This summer she’s aiming to cover 400 miles in a hand cycle. The Equilibrium Products team are getting on their bikes to back her up as she travels through Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Local retailers are joining in by selling £1 tickets in store, giving customers the chance to win a £275 Equilibrium Therapy Massage pad.

Participating retailers are Equestrian World of Henley on Thames,  G.J.W. Titmuss of Wheathampstead, Eileen Douglas Tack Shops of Wokingham, RB Equestrian of Great Brickhill, Classic Dressage Collection of Chesham and Bury Supplies of Slapton.

To donate Text LEGS 60 £3 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/claire-lomas


SCAM WARNING TO EXPORTERS

24th April, 2013.

Companies receiving a letter quoting EU directives and offering to register VAT numbers are warned it may be a scam.

Stephen Biddlecombe of Equine Management, who received the letter by fax from the Brussels based European Central Register for the Collation and Publication of VAT Registration Numbers, described it as “an absolute corker”.

“Basically, they’re wanting £760 for registering your details. It’s voluntary, but it might catch suppliers who are new to exporting if they don’t read the small print,” he told ETN.

Earlier this month, BETA International exhibitors were warned that signing up to a bogus fair guide could leave them several hundred euros out of pocket.

Trade fair organiser EMC cautioned about responding to communications from FairGuide.com, a directory purportedly published by Construct Data Verlag.


LAND ROVER SUPPORTS ROYAL WINDSOR

23rd April, 2013.

Land Rover is to remain principal sponsor of Royal Windsor Horse Show for the next five years, to 2017.

The show, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next month (8 – 12), was originally started to raise money for Wings for Victory Week in World War 2.

The five days of Royal Windsor Horse Show are the only time of year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public.


CAMILLA TO PRESENT BADMINTON PRIZES

22nd April, 2013.

Prize winners at Badminton will receive their awards from HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Duchess is Patron of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and has had a lifetime’s enthusiasm for horse sports.


BIOSECURITY “MUST BE A PRIORITY”

22nd April, 2013.

DuPont, the company behind Defra approved disinfectant Virkon S, has issued biosecurity advice in the wake of recent equine health scares.

“Outbreaks of equine herpes virus (EHV-1), the virus that causes abortion, respiratory disease and neurological disease in horses, have been affecting areas of Devon, Somerset, East Anglia and Gloucestershire since November 2012. All six outbreaks have caused neurological signs in the affected horses and horse owners in affected areas have been warned to watch out for signs of the virus — which include coughing, a raised temperature, dullness and the horse appearing wobbly.

As one of the original EHV-1 outbreak areas, Badminton Horse Trials has carried out extensive biosecurity measures to ensure the safety of visiting competitors. However, Badminton has cancelled the Sports Horse Stallion Parade as a result of concerns for the health of both the 3-day event competitors and stallions, which seems a very sensible precaution.

The Animal Health Trust which is confirming the EHV-1 outbreaks recommends that if owners are concerned that their horse may have been exposed to EHV-1, they should consult their vet for advice. They also recommend that if owners suspect that a horse is infected or has been exposed, they are asked to act responsibly and avoid moving the animal until it has been given the all clear by the vet.

Transmission of the virus is usually via the respiratory route, such as contact with infected nasal secretions or contact with contaminated drinking water. Close contact facilitates the transmission of the virus but importantly owners and yard managers should be aware that the virus can remain viable in the environment for several weeks once it has been shed from the horse which means that effective biosecurity must be a priority.

Should owners be unlucky enough to have a new EHV-1 outbreak suspected or confirmed, strict biosecurity measures and isolation should be put in place as soon as a horse shows signs of infection. Infected horses should be isolated within a biosecurity perimeter with restricted entry into the designated isolation area. Only essential staff should have access to the infected horses and they must use well marked foot-dips filled with an approved disinfectant such as DuPont Virkon® S at a 1:100 dilution. The disinfectant must be changed on a daily basis. All other visitors should be kept outside the biosecurity perimeter.

Virkon® S is a scientific breakthrough with performance characteristics that have defined biosecurity standards. Virkon® S is selected by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and Governments worldwide to secure biosecurity and strengthen Emergency Disease Control (EDC) contingency planning.

After the quarantine period is completed, usually 28 days, cleaning and disinfecting the isolation stables, farm buildings and adjacent pathways should be carried out in accordance with a procedure used for pig and poultry houses which is known as a ‘terminal biosecurity programme’. Protective equipment comprising of respirator face mask, eye protection, DuPont™ Tychem® coveralls, heavy duty rubber gloves and rubber or polyurethane boots should be worn and the buildings should be left to dry for 24 hrs after cleaning and disinfection.”

For advice on how to carry out terminal disinfection programmes, or for assistance with the development and implementation of biosecurity programmes, including Virkon® S usage, contact the UK DuPont Animal Health team on 0800 316 8060 or visit www.virkons.com

• See the May issue of ETN which highlights health and hygiene in stable yards.


BETA INTERNATIONAL 2013: INCREASED ATTENDANCE CONFIRMED

22nd April, 2013.

Independent auditors have confirmed that 4,551 visitors attended BETA International 2013 in February. The figure compares with 4,373 in 2012.

The trade exhibition’s attendance is measured and verified by ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations).

The attendance figure, confirmed by ABC last week, is based on ‘total unique attendance’. This means that anyone re-entering BETA International on the same day counts as one visitor – not several.

ABC, a not-for-profit body, sets industry standards for exhibition attendance and publication circulations. It sets stringent rules for organisers and publishers seeking what are known as ‘ABC figures’ and carries out independent audits on data provided.

BETA International 2013’s ABC certificate can be viewed at www.abc.org.uk

BETA International 2014 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February. More details at www.beta-int.com


A SHOW TRADER'S BLOG

19th April, 2013.

Sarah Poucher whose family firm, Emerald Green Feeds, is taking its tradestand around the UK show circuit this season, files her latest report for ETN from Eland Lodge Horse Trials (13 - 14 April).

“Another weekend, another show. While one of the big International events [Belton] was taking place in our home county [Lincolnshire], we decided to head across the Midlands to Eland Lodge in Derbyshire.

Why choose the smaller event, I hear you ask. Well, the advantage for us was that we could wander freely around the horseboxes and give out samples to potential new customers. At the big shows we have to stay on our stand and don’t see as many people.

Finally, some sun at a show - shame it was one of the windiest weekends of the year so far. From our stand, with a gale gusting straight at us, there were fantastic views across to the cross country course. The final fence was directly behind our exhibition unit, so we were perfectly positioned to see some great riding. The combination of the wind and the view did make my eyes water, though.

One advantage of smaller horse trials is fewer trade stands. This not only makes for less impact on my purse, but also ensures that customers tend to stay at our stand and talk for longer. The doughnut stand next door was ideally positioned for visitors to get refreshed and pick up a sample or leaflet from us at the same time.

Regardless of how good our products are, the biggest draw to our stand this weekend was two puppies owned by one of the partners in Emerald Green Feeds. Delightful 20 week old black Labradors curled up in their travel cage got everyone talking; the event commentator even mentioned them once or twice.

I find myself mesmerised at these events by the competitors on the cross country. The determination and the excitement all rolled into one on their faces is fantastic to watch. It’s almost as amazing to watch the looks on spectators’ faces as the riders jump the last fence of the cross country course - especially the little jumps of delight from mothers as they see their pride and joy achieving a dream. You just don’t get that at big events.

This was another event when the weather wasn’t on our side. But regardless of that, Derbyshire was very welcoming and we met lots of interesting people. Next stop Northallerton!”

• 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.


HORSE MAGAZINE CHANGES HANDS

19th April, 2013.

IPC Media has sold Horse magazine to MyTimeMedia.

The new owner publishes specialist hobby magazines including Hi Fi News, Home Cinema Choice, Homemade with Love, Stamp Magazine, The Woodworker and Model Engineer.

“We are delighted to welcome Horse magazine and its staff to our business,” said Owen Davies, CEO of MyTimeMedia.

“The magazine will be a perfect fit with our print portfolio and we look forward to developing the website to increase its reach within the equestrian community.”

Horse targets the serious leisure rider who wants to get the most out of their horse and riding. It contains training and horsecare advice, news, product reviews, celebrity interviews and competitions.


PRODUCT INVENTOR’S BLOG

19th April, 2013.

Julie McCombe started and sold a timber decking business; indeed, she can lay claim to getting the heading into Yellow Pages. Now South Devon based Julie has hit upon an exciting new equestrian product – and has agreed to share with ETN her endeavours to bring Flint’s Remedy to market.

“Flint arrived in time for my daughter Clare’s October half term. A 14.2hh Connemara and very handsome, we were told that he was prone to mild sweet itch but that didn’t put us off as he was the boy for us.

That winter, Clare and Flint started hunting and were having a great time. Then spring came and with it sweet itch, so I went to the tack shop and bought a bottle of something to keep the midges at bay. As I was rubbing the stuff onto his neck I noticed that my hands were becoming hot and red; blimey, what must this feel like for Flint? Another week and I tried another product; it worked well, but what a job to catch Flint and convince him it was for his own good as he hated the smell.

By June, Flint had rubbed his neck so badly that he ended up with an open wound and subsequent infection. Richard, our vet, advised poulticing and gave Flint various jabs to stop the itching. At this point I realised that sweet itch is potentially devastating for both horse and rider.

A few days later, we had a family outing to Dartmoor and spotted some native ponies. As we watched them, foals playing and mothers keeping a close eye out, it dawned on me that none of these ponies had sweet itch – or any skin conditions by the look of it. My curiosity increased and subsequent research suggested that native ponies, in their wild state, don’t get sweet itch. WHY?

At the kitchen table
I set about making all sorts of lotions and potions as the kitchen table, blending and trialling plants and herbs, the properties of which I had read about on the internet, in old books, anywhere I could think of.

Eventually, I came up with a rough, lumpy gloop which Flint loved the smell of and enjoyed me putting it onto his skin with my bare hands. He stopped itching. His skin was looking heaps better and when Richard came by to TB test the cattle, he commented on how Flint’s mane was growing back and asked what I was using. I told him about my ‘gloop’ and he asked if he could try it on his own sweet itch horse.

Richard’s feedback was extremely positive, and we began to wonder if there was actually an opening for this to be made available to others.

The learning curve
So, I had a recipe which worked and kept the midges away – but what next? My first problem was the lumps in my lotion.

I needed to learn how to blend the ingredients together so that each bottle is the same. So I enrolled on a two-day Aromatherapy Product Blending course in London. My husband and two children went sightseeing while I got busy in this new world. I was advised to watch out for EC regulations, medicinal claims, health and safety, batch blending. Most importantly, I discovered that oil and water don’t mix unless you have an emulsifier (hence the lumps).

Feeling quietly confident about my venture, I set to with my new knowledge, then hit another issue - bulk! It’s relatively simple to knock up a lotion for one or two bottles at a time; but when you want big quantities, everything changes. You need a bigger floor space, a stronger arm, a bigger mixer, a different recipe.

Eureka moment!
It was midweek and I was in the supermarket, thinking “why on earth should I bother with all this?” when I got a call from Alan who was supplying the aloe vera for the base. Asked how things were going, I told him about the pitfalls of blending it myself. “That’s OK,” he said, “I can blend it for you!”

From then on, Alan was a huge support and very patient as I requested sample after sample. Eventually, I (and more importantly, Flint) was happy with the lotion.

Suits and smart cars
Next came the legalities and formalities of selling to the public. I contacted Business Link and another massive new world of people in suits and smart cars opened up to me. I was invited to numerous courses and they put me in touch with the University of Plymouth’s Research and Innovation Department. I was lucky enough to be linked up with a mentor named Tony Randall, who was able to access European funding for research and development.

Richard, the vet, agreed to invite his equestrian clients to trial the lotion on their horses. So I sourced some 100ml bottles with pump lids and printed out some ‘sample’ labels. The bottles, along with directions for use, were handed out to all those who wanted to get involved with trialling. This was extremely worrying; what if they didn’t like it, what if it didn’t work?

I needn’t have worried. The results came back with a very positive 83% of those who tested it saying it was the same, or better than, anything they had tried before. We were in business!

Labels minefield
That summer, I decided to dip my toes into the water with local tack shops.

Labels were a bit of a minefield. A rather monotone guy from Trading Standards wasn’t too keen on giving advice. In fact, he had more of a “well send me an example of your label and I’ll tell you if it’s ok” type of attitude. This was frustrating. I didn’t know what you could legally say or not. However, after many faxes, my man was happy.

The actual licence from the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) was a tricky one too. I read 94 pages of blurb just to find out how to complete the forms. They must all have their own Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number and there is much form filling.

I also discovered that information about safe disposal, not to use near watercourses and so on, must not be smaller than a certain font size on the label. Also that some bits had to be put into a box and that the licence number must be clearly displayed. Something else to consider is that funny (℮) on packaging...It’s all about “a mark required to be appended to the nominal mass or volume printed on pre-packaged goods for sale within the European Union”!

What now?
My daughter Clare has finished her AS levels, has been working for a local marketing agency and is now my business partner. Our product is HSE licensed and we are certain of its effectiveness.

Now a new adventure begins as we decide on the packaging, the route to market, a website and new products to complement the midge repellent.

The launch will be at BETA International 2014. So watch this space!”


SADDLES STOLEN IN RAID ON ROBINSONS

18th April, 2013.

More than 30 saddles worth around £10,000 have been stolen from Robinsons’ Cannock store.

“The police are investigating and have some leads,” Paul Bentham, sales and marketing director of the equestrian retail group, told ETN.

Thieves broke into the store just after midnight on Thursday, 4 April. A van was filmed on CCTV in the car park while a number of individuals entered the premises before taking the saddles.

The stolen stock includes an Apollo Nevada Western saddle, plus saddles branded Bates, Optimus, Thorowgood and Wintec.

Anyone who can provide further information or is offered unused saddles at suspiciously low prices is urged to contact Staffordshire police.

“Our chief concern is not necessarily the loss of the goods but the threat posed by the individuals involved who may do this again,” added Paul.


RETAIL STAFF WIN £1,000

18th April, 2013.

Staff at Derbyshire retailer Thomas Irving’s are celebrating after winning £1,000 in the TopSpec building block game at BETA International 2013.

Anna Franklin and Debra Best created a stack almost 6ft high in under three minutes to scoop first prize.

“It was great fun,” said Anna, who is assistant manager at the Chesterfield store. “We always enjoy BETA International but to have the chance to win £1,000 at the same time was great.”

The Thomas Irving’s staff are to split the £1,000 – and spend it on TopSpec feed for their horses.


SUPPLEMENTS: PRICES SLASHED AND RESEARCH UNVEILED

18th April, 2013.

The feed supplements sector is thriving with many new developments and products appearing this spring.

MaxaBiotic from Maxavita has a new price for 2013. Its RRP is now just £24.94 (down from £29.85) for 900g/30 day supply.

Life Data Labs, the American manufacturer of Farrier’s Formula, has a ‘calmer’ called Compose 2x containing nutrient ‘nerve regulators’ including tryptophan, thiamine, and magnesium.

In Germany, St. Hippolyt, is making advances in the management of insulin response. Its Glucogard product has been the subject of research carried out jointly by Mühle Ebert Dielheim, St. Hippolyt’s research and development manager, and the University of Warsaw.

Meanwhile UK based Science Supplements has forged an alliance with US pet product giant Purina. The company has also shared with ETN the results of clinical evaluation work on its FlexAbility joint supplement.

Get the full stories on these supplements and more in the May issue of ETN.


PR GURU TACKLES THREE PEAKS FOR CHARITY

17th April, 2013.

The infamously gruelling Three Peaks Challenge beckons for well known equestrian PR and marketing guru Tim Smith.

Next Monday (22 April), the managing director of leading agency TSM will attempt to conquer Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdonia in 24 hours.

Tim is aiming to raise money for Riding for the Disabled (RDA).

If you would like to sponsor Tim, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Tim-Smith19


FAMOUS NAMES BACK BETA INTERNATIONAL 2014

17th April, 2013.

Three of the equestrian industry’s best known brands have signed up to sponsor BETA International 2014 (NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February).

Equine feed and balancer specialist TopSpec returns to support the Coffee Shop for a fifth consecutive year, clothing label Caldene will continue to add its name to visitor goody bags and glossy regional monthly Equestrian Life Magazine returns as second-time sponsor of exhibitor goody bags.

“We are extremely pleased that these companies have opted to continue their support for the trade fair,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Each is highly regarded and considered an expert in its own field. We’re proud to be working alongside them again.”

· For further information about BETA International 2014, contact James Palmer, telephone 01937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com. ETN is the exhibition’s official media partner.


BATTLES DISTRIBUTES DEFRA APPROVED DISINFECTANT

16th April, 2013.

Virkon S is a Defra approved, broad spectrum virucidal disinfectant of particular interest to customers concerned about equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

Highly versatile, Virkon S can be used for surface, equipment, water and ariel disinfection. It’s ideal for stable blocks, horseboxes, tack and cleaning and disinfection.

Each 5g tablet makes up 500ml of ready-to-use disinfectant with application rates for various disease threats as well as routine biosecurity clearly specified.

Virkon S is available to the trade in 1kg, 5kg or 10kg containers from Battles.


SHIRES DISTRIBUTES SYNTHETIC SADDLERY RANGE

15th April, 2013.

Shires Equestrian Products has taken on the distributorship of the Tekna saddlery brand in the UK and Ireland.

The synthetic collection, which looks like leather, has been revised with additions to appeal to the UK market.

Tekna saddles come in jumping, dressage and general purpose styles, all with a five-year structural warranty. Bridles, reins, girths, stirrup ‘leathers’, horse boots and accessories also carry the Tekna label.

“Price points have been adjusted in order to offer excellent value retail prices along with good margins for retailers,” said Louise Ainge of Shires.

“We’re looking for good stockists and professional saddle fitters to work with us on this range of products.”


EQUESTRIAN VISION GOES INTO BOOKS

12th April, 2013.

DVD specialist Equestrian Vision (EV) is to launch a gift book range.

EV has an agreement with publisher G2 Entertainment exclusively to distribute five equestrian ‘Little Books’.

The titles are The Little Book of Badminton (by Julian Seaman), The Little Book of Burghley (Kate Green), The Little Book of Dressage (Jon Stroud), The Little Book of Show Jumping (Jon Stroud) and The Little Book of Eventing (Julian Seaman).

With an RRP of £10.99, each book has 144 pages with about 100 illustrations, mostly by Kit Houghton. The books measure 152 x 152mm and make ideal gifts.

The Little Book of Badminton launches at next month’s event, with the other titles to follow this summer.

EV is also entering the country sports market with the Little Book of Flyfishing for Salmon and the Little Book of Flyfishing for Trout under its sister label Country Vision.

Further Little Book titles in the equestrian, racing and country sports world are planned for 2014.


ANOTHER WINNER FROM ZEBRA PRODUCTS...

11th April, 2013.

A horse belonging to Lindsay and Simon Middleton, owner of Zebra Products, scooped the GFS Elementary Open Freestyle at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships yesterday.

Ridden by Ruth Edge, Rock Me Amadeus blew away the opposition with a final score of 77.82%.

Ruth, also a top eventer sponsored by Zebra Products, has ridden the Oscar-sired gelding since last September. “He’s such a trier,” she said. “Riding the extended trot was just pure pleasure.”

Rock Me Amadeus, who’s also entered in today’s Equitop Myoplast Elementary Open Championship and Sunday’s Albion Medium Open Championship, is for sale.

He was originally intended for Lindsay to event, but has clearly found his vocation in the dressage arena.


A SHOW TRADER'S BLOG

11th April, 2013.

Sarah Poucher whose family firm, Emerald Green Feeds, is taking its tradestand around the UK show circuit this season, files her latest report for ETN from Burnham Market Horse Trials in Norfolk (28 - 30 March).

“At the end of a long lane near the lovely Norfolk town of Burnham Market, I found the international horse trials.

Our exhibition unit was soon in place on a hillside overlooking the cross country course. Following a wintry outing at Lincoln a couple of weeks earlier, we were fully prepared for the weather. Thermals were on under company branded coats with hats worn by all; it was a good job, once again we had snow, rain, wind and occasionally sun.

Even the untrained eye, this was clearly an international event. The considerable number of tradestands and size of the horseboxes gave it away at a glance! Taking our usual walk around the lorry park to hand out feed samples, we were greeted by many riders and grooms. With stars such as Zara Phillips and William Fox Pitt there, we were guaranteed some great action over the weekend.

The event organisers told us that the Diamond Fence used in the 2012 Olympics was the final cross country here - exciting stuff!

Even though it was the Easter holidays, it was a fairly quiet on Thursday and Friday. But Saturday was fantastic with loads of people buzzing around the trade area, many with shopping bags. The Yorkshire Clothing Company was doing a roaring trade, while the pick and mix stand in the food court seemed to be a popular choice (with us too!).

I was dying to join the children for a go on the huge bouncy castle that was just across the way from us, it looked like such fun. However, I did spend rather too much time at The Alpaca Barn. Not only were they selling products made from alpaca wool but the actual alpacas too. I nearly invested in one or two.

Top riders, horses, alpacas and even birds of prey from Ridgeside Falconry doing displays made this a great few days in Norfolk.”

• 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.


RIDE-AWAY GETS A FACELIFT

11th April, 2013.

Yorkshire retail store Ride-Away has been refurbished following the company’s acquisition by Pets at Home in December.

The facelift includes new fixtures and fittings, a refreshed layout and clear signage.

The refit coincided with the launch of the new Ride-Away mail order catalogue, while new ranges are available in store and from its website.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming people into our refurbished store,” said Mike Southwick, store manager. “Whilst the store might have changed, our team haven’t.”


WEFI DISTRIBUTES HYPOCARE

10th April, 2013.

Westgate EFI has been appointed sole equestrian distributor for Horseware’s first aid product, Hypocare.

Speaking of the new agreement, Horseware’s Martin Jennings said: “While our customers can still obtain Hypocare direct from us alongside their rug orders, WEFI’s extensive catalogue is better suited to the needs of retailers that place regular orders across a wider range of products.

“We are confident, therefore, that this arrangement will prove to be the more convenient option for many.”

Hypocare is a topical application that mirrors the body’s immune system and works naturally to kill bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

It’s used for cleaning and flushing open wounds and injuries, and on areas prone to stubborn fungal conditions such as ringworm, mud fever and thrush.

Hypocare is supplied in spray top bottles in a range of sizes.


THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING

9th April, 2013.

A new sterling silver snaffle friendship bracelet, from Your Gift Horse’s Carina collection, will make your customers look good – and feel good too.

With every bracelet sold, Your Gift Horse is sending a new snaffle bit to the Gambia, to support The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust in its welfare work.

Tough enough for everyday wear and suitably elegant for evenings out, the RRP of £39.99 puts it at the perfect price point for a meaningful gift.

Christina Jones of Your Gift Horse explained that owning a working horse or donkey enables Gambian families to earn up to 500% more than those without. 

“Unfortunately the traditional Gambian bits cause horrendous mouth injuries to the horses,” she said. “As well as the animal suffering, the human impact is huge too, as the main transport and farming tool is out of action for some time. 

“A simple snaffle bit is an easy solution to the problem.”

As well as encouraging retailers to stock and sell the bracelets, Your Gift Horse is seeking retailers willing to act as collection points for people to donate unwanted or spare bits from their tack rooms. 

“We will arrange collection of the bits from you and forward them on the Gambia,” said Christina.  

Contact Your Gift Horse tel 01454 202033


WEATHER HITS RETAIL FOOTFALL - BUT FORECAST IS BRIGHTER

8th April, 2013.

Retail footfall levels across the UK rose by 3.8% in March over February, but were 6% down on last March, according to the latest monthly Retail Traffic Index (RTI) compiled by Ipsos Retail Performance.

Fresh falls of snow and the enduring cold weather punished retail stores particularly hard over the fortnight commencing 10 March, when 12.8% fewer shopping trips were made. 

“Weather conditions could not have been more different from last year, when March was the sunniest on record since 1929 and the warmest since 1997,” said Tim Denison at Ipsos Retail Performance.

“This clearly had a dramatic impact on shopper footfall in March just gone, with many deciding to remain at home.”

Looking ahead, there’s cause for mild optimism for retailers in the short term, particularly as the weather across the UK begins to warm up at last, he added. Real disposable income levels are in better shape, rising by 2.1% in 2012, their strongest growth since 2003.

The Asda income tracker reported another modest increase in household discretionary income of £3 per week. There was also good news in the Budget with fuel duty being held static and increases to income tax personal allowances.

“We sense that with the first rays of sunshine and warmth, consumers will be keen to get out and shops will see a surge in footfall,” continued Mr Denison.


FAIR GUIDE RIP-OFF WARNING

4th April, 2013.

BETA International exhibitors are warned that signing up to a bogus fair guide could leave them several hundred euros out of pocket.

Over the last decade, the trade fair organiser EMC has cautioned its exhibitors about responding to communications from FairGuide.com (and its print predecessor), a directory purportedly published by Construct Data Verlag.

According to the Association of Exhibition Organisers’ (AEO) website, Construct Data Verlag ceased to exist in Austria on 30 January, 2010 following legal action by the Austrian Agency against Unfair Competition.

Now a new organisation has emerged and is contacting BETA International exhibitors.

Expo-Guide, working from an address in Mexico, is approaching companies in a similar way to FairGuide. Its activities are not confined to the equestrian industry and current activities cover Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Expo-Guide joins FairGuide in claiming to offer online listing services. It uses a form which resembles an exhibition organiser's free catalogue listing service, inviting exhibitors to complete the form for an entry in an on-line directory.

Exhibitors who sign and return the form become contracted into a three-year agreement. According to paperwork seen by ETN, signing up would have cost one BETA International exhibitor €1,271 per year.

It is alleged that the debt collection agency Gravis Inkasso Gmbh and its Swiss counterpart Premiumn Recovery AG (a Construct Data subsidiary) work in partnership with the various guides.

A company trading as Expo-Guide has sent information to BETA International exhibitors. “The information appears to be from the organisers but is in fact a scam. Anyone contacted by Expo-Guide should discard all the information immediately,” said James Palmer of BETA International.


WORLD CLASS JUMPING COMES TO LONDON

3rd April, 2013.

The world’s top show jumpers are coming to London on 6 – 9 June for the first Global Champions Tour (GCT) show to be held in the UK.

Organised by former Olympic gold medallist, Dutch entrepreneur Jan Tops, the series takes show jumping to glamorous locations such as Shanghai, Monaco and Vienna.

In London, the prize fund will total €750,000, with the grand prix purse alone at €450,000. The world’s highest ranked 30 riders and Britain’s 2012 Olympic gold medalists will compete.

To be broadcast by Eurosport, the London GCT will be staged next to the Olympic Stadium. An application to run the event at Kensington Gardens was turned down by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

A grandstand for 3,000 spectators, paying between £10 and £50, will be erected around the arena with corporate hospitality marquees for 700 people alongside.

A shopping village and a giant TV screen will also be available for the public.


TOPSPEC LAUNCHES CANINE COLLECTION

3rd April, 2013.

TopSpec, well-known in equine nutrition, has launched a new range of canine supplements.

VetSpec hypoallergenic supplements include probiotics to maintain a healthy gut environment. Probiotics cannot currently be found in dried or tinned dog food.

Many horse owners also have dogs, according to Philip Tyler of TopSpec. “We want to extend our expertise in the equine market into this area, allowing dog owners the same confidence in our products,” he added.

The VetSpec range consists of VetSpec prefixed Joint Mobility, Calm and Focused, Coat and Skin, Healthy Dog, Active and Senior.

There are two tub sizes: 200g (4 weeks supply for a 20kg dog) and 500g (12 weeks supply for a 20kg dog).


NOMINATE YOUR TOP APPRENTICES FOR AWARD

2nd April, 2013.

Current apprentices and employers are encouraged to enter the 2013 National Apprenticeship Awards.

Nominations close on 26 April for the awards, now in their tenth year, that cover all industries including the craft sectors.

Previous winner, Jenny Westworth from BAE Systems, has gone on to share a speaking platform with the Deputy Prime Minister and taken part in a job swap with Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock.

This year will see an additional award category for the best Apprenticeship Employer Newcomer. This accolade will celebrate employers that have begun employing apprentices within the last two years and can show the immediate benefits this has brought to them.

The Awards ceremony takes place at The Skills Show in November, the UK’s biggest careers event sponsored by the Edge Foundation and City & Guilds. The best employer entries will also feature in the annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, published in partnership with City & Guilds.

David Way, chief executive of award organisers, the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “Entering is a real opportunity for employers and individuals to gain the recognition they richly deserve for building the national skills base.” To find out how to enter, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk/awards.


DRIVING HOURS RELAXED FOR FEED DELIVERIES

2nd April, 2013.

An emergency relaxation in driver hour regulations has been introduced to help deliveries of animal feed get through during the current extreme weather conditions.

The flexibility applies immediately and will run until midnight next Monday (8 April). It applies only to those drivers involved in the distribution of raw materials to feed mills and prepared feed to livestock farms located in Britain.

It will mean:
Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 10 hours;
Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 hours to 9 hours;
Postponing the weekly rest requirement by up to 24 hours, following which drivers should take their weekly rest as normal. Drivers will however be required to take a minimum rest of 24 hours beginning no later than the end of the eleventh day since the end of his/her last weekly rest period.

The requirement to take a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced. For more details contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency on 0300 1239000 or via email at enquiries@vosa.gov.uk


PUBLISHER CAUTIONED OVER CIRCULATION CLAIM

2nd April, 2013.

Statements about magazine circulations should be backed up with evidence, publishers have been warned.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been investigating a complaint that MCL Publishing claimed an inflated circulation for its Horse Scene title.

The publisher also described the free monthly title as "Horse Scene The No.1 National FREE magazine. Targeted Circulation: 53,000 copies Picked Up Every Month."

The case was resolved informally when the ASA asked MCL Publishing to substantiate the statement and the publisher agreed to remove the claims from its media pack.

“Advertising claims about the circulation of any publication must be backed by appropriate evidence such as independently audited figures,” Matt Wilson of the ASA told ETN.