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


31st May, 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  Houghton International Horse Trials (23 – 26 May).

Wow, what an approach! Driving down the tree lined road to Houghton Hall reminded me of something out of Pride and Prejudice...

The lovely white painted houses at the end the road just before the imposing metal gates to the hall added to the quaint outlook of the village. However, the actual entrance to the horse trials was further on, down what I would call a side entrance to the estate - and consisting of a muddy path over rough ground. And surprise, surprise, it was raining as we arrived!

Week days at a horse trials are always quiet, with very few people looking around the trade stands, and Houghton was no exception. The outlook from our unit was bleak Thursday and Friday, after our daily visits handing out samples around the horse boxes, the days were taken up by chatting with fellow traders and watching what can only be described as crazy people show jumping in the rain.

The weekend made up for it though; the sun shone and there were people everywhere. The man selling fudge next door finally made a sale and we gave out samples to anyone who passed by. The delivery boys with their barrow were out and about dropping off bags of feed at horse boxes and cars. No time for me to go shopping today.

Earlier in the event, I’d braved the weather for a look around, only to find my old favourite - the Alpaca Barn. The three residents had had haircuts, poor things, and were seeking shelter in a cattle trailer at the side of their pen. I decided the Joules tent made a far better hiding place, although it was a good job I’d left my purse behind...

Looking across the clothing rails, beyond the jumping rings, I could see our unit looking fantastic, its lovely sky blue colour shining through the rain. I had a proud moment, thinking ‘look what one family can achieve with hard work and dedication.’

  Never having been to Houghton before, I was expecting the event to be bigger. In fact, it was the perfect size; there was enough time to watch the eventing, look around the tradestands, sample the delights of the food court (pie, mash and peas for £5, you couldn’t go wrong) and even have a go on the fair if it took your fancy.

Houghton International, Emerald Green Feeds will see you next year!

• 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.


30th May, 2013.

The entire stock of Belstane Marketing Ltd is to be auctioned next week in Manchester.

Around £400,000 worth (at cost) of Myler bits, Rok and Superlite footwear and other clothing and equipment will come under the hammer in trade-sized lots on Tuesday, 4th June.

Auctioneers Robson Kay are selling the goods, most of which remain in the manufacturers’ original packaging, on behalf of the administrators of Belstane Marketing Ltd.

Gary Harper of Robson Kay told ETN the company had collected the stock from a warehouse in Rotherham. “There were six articulated lorry loads stacked floor to ceiling,” he said.

More details from Robson Kay tel 0161 998 8111.


30th May, 2013.

BETA will have a strong presence at next week’s Bramham horse trials (6 – 9 June).

The trade association, which sponsors the CIC3* competition and has a stand at the Yorkshire event, will be urging visitors to ‘shop where they see the BETA sign’.

The BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) team will also be checking hats and body protectors, running a prize draw and handing out goody bags to promote member companies.

Course-designer Ian Stark has created some new cross country fences for what is Bramham’s 40th anniversary. He’s assisted by David Evans whose chain saw art is a regular feature of the BETA International horse demonstration arena fencing.


29th May, 2013.

Today – the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Everest - the laboratory used by BETA to test body protectors can celebrate its involvement in mountaineering's greatest achievement.

The previous year (1952), scientists at SATRA were asked by the British expedition to design, build and test a high altitude boot for its planned assault on Mount Everest.

Four prototype pairs were tested in the French Alps. Weighing just 1.9 kilograms, they were far lighter than rival designs. Thirty-five pairs of the chosen boot were produced, each handmade for the European and Sherpa members of the team.

After Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached Everest’s summit on 29 May, 1953, expedition leader John Hunt wrote to SATRA's director of research, Harry Bradley, saying that the boots were a great success.

Unlike any previous Everest expedition, not one of the British led team suffered from frostbite in their feet.

SATRA is one of two test houses (the other is Intertek) that tests garments submitted for approval to the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Body Protector Standard. SATRA has research and technology centres in the UK and China.


29th May, 2013.

Ariat has recruited Duncan Bembridge – who’s previously worked with Adidas, Dr Martins and The North Face - as European sales director.

At Ariat, he leads team of 13 employed area managers operating across the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, plus four sales agents in other European countries.

Find out more about Duncan in the July issue of ETN.


28th May, 2013.

Horse Deals, which was acquired by Your Horse publisher Bauer Media in June 2010, is to become a digital-only brand.

The June 2013 edition of Horse Deals, on sale from today, is the last to appear in print.

Said Emma Bedford, associate publisher of Bauer’s equine portfolio, of the new digital only format: “Features such as video uploads are hugely beneficial for customers buying and selling in this valuable market.”

More developments will be unveiled in early autumn, she added.


28th May, 2013.

New tree technology features in every SLK in Albion Saddlemakers’ most popular range of dressage saddles.

The Adjusta-Tree, introduced this spring, is believed to be the first, fully adjustable wooden tree specifically manufactured for adjustment by pressure.

The tree’s width can be altered without damage or distortion to the headplates or rivets of the tree assembly, while remaining within the saddle. It allows the Adjusta-Tree to be opened or closed by up to two fittings from the original - medium to wide or medium to narrow.

The metalwork complies with and exceeds the British Standard specification BS6635.

Read more on saddles in ETN June issue.


23rd May, 2013.

The boss of Benetton has admitted a link with the collapsed Bangladesh garment factory where 376 people died recently.

Rumours began when blue shirts labelled ‘United Colors of Benetton’ were photographed by a news agency at the scene.

The Italian fashion label, a regular exhibitor on the UK county show circuit, had sourced shirts manufactured by New Wave Style which was based in the stricken Rana Plaza building.

Yesterday, in an interview with The Huffington Post, Benetton’s chief executive Biagio Chiarolanza admitted the connection.

“The New Wave company, at the time of the tragic disaster, was not one of our suppliers, but one of our direct Indian suppliers had subcontracted two orders,” he is reported to have said.

Benetton had decided to stop production with New Wave one month before the deadly collapse, due to the manufacturer's inability to meet “strict quality and efficiency standards,” he added.

Mr Chiarolanza went on to say that abandoning manufacturing in Bangladesh was not the solution. “Benetton and other international brands can help these countries improve their condition. But we need a safe and happy working environment and we need to have better conditions."


23rd May, 2013.

Employment within the equestrian industry is buoyant, according to a specialist recruitment agency.

“We’ve seen a sharp rise [in activity] in the last few months as more people become aware of our bespoke and industry specific services,” said Emma Dyer of Equine Careers.

Recent appointments brokered by the job and staff finder include Lucy Taylor, new office manager at Chestnut Horse Feeds; Jodie Baker who started as northern field sales rep for Horsehage last month; Nicola Harrison, Matchmakers International’s new south-west area sales person; Dean Mastouras, a former BETA Sales Rep of the Year and now looking after regional UK sales for Ekkia; plus Laura Howshall, the new office manager at Beaufort Embryo Transfer.

Equine Careers is also set to appear on Horse & Country TV, having won free advertising with the channel via a competition run at BETA International 2013. The campaign is due to run during Horse & Country TV’s Badminton coverage.


23rd May, 2013.

Jeffries Saddlery has appointed Michael Darley as sales agent for the south of England and Wales.

Michael, whose father Dave Darley is the Walsall company’s managing director, previously worked for Jeffries as a sales representative.

He left in 2011 to establish his own agency which also handles Point Two and Griffin Nuu-Med sales. Prior to working in the saddlery trade, he was in the Royal Marines.

Michael and his wife Jo live in Chessington, Surrey with their three year old son, George. The couple are expecting their second child in July.

Dave Cook is the Jeffries sales agent for the north of the UK.


23rd May, 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 Badminton Horse Trials.

“Cottage booked, samples, leaflets and two small children packed (we’re a family business), uniforms pressed, car passes and smiles in place - and we were ready to tackle our first Badminton.

We had a stand in The World of the Horse marquee for the duration. Our shift started on the Sunday morning, the first team having done the set up and first three days. We crossed paths for de-briefing in the cottage on Saturday evening.

By 7.30am Sunday morning we were on our way to the show site, winding through pretty villages with thatched cottages. I was excited as we pulled into the car park, only to be refused at the first fence!

• Read the rest of Sarah’s blog in the June issue of ETN.

• 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 May, 2013.

Clothing supplier Equetech has created a new freestyle dressage to music competition to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Riders can win a first prize of £200 Equetech gift vouchers by entering the online competition hosted by Dressage Anywhere.

“I was rescued by Thames Valley Air Ambulance when I fell from my horse last year,” explained Equetech director Liz Hayman, “I want to support them so they can help other riders.”

Read more news from other leading clothing suppliers in the July issue of ETN.


21st May, 2013.

Eskadron stockists can get involved with a competition to win places on a weekend clinic with Ludger Beerbaum.

Twenty horse/rider combinations will visit the showjumping legend at his yard in Germany during September.

Consumers purchasing Flexisoft Tendon Boots from participating Eskadron retailers are entered into a prize draw.

Retailers must register and purchase 20 pairs of the tendon boots to participate. They’ll receive counter-top displays, entry tokens for customers and e-promotion cards.


20th May, 2013.

Horse & Country TV has been nominated for Best Factual Channel in the Broadcast Digital Awards.

The channel lines up against BBC Four, Discovery and History for the accolade to be presented in London on 3 July.

“To be shortlisted alongside channels of this calibre is a great achievement for H&C,” said managing director Richard Burdett.

“It shows that the current broadcast landscape offers real opportunities for tightly defined thematic channels that know how to really connect with a passionate niche audience such as ours.”

For the fourth successive year, Horse & Country has also been nominated for Best Specialist Channel, an award it last picked up in 2011.


17th May, 2013.

When international show jumpers receive presentation rugs following the nations cup competition in La Baule, France, this afternoon, little could they guess that a British company came up trumps to deliver them in time.

Let down over an order for 100 rugs embroidered with sponsors’ logos, the show organisers contacted Nottingham based Harpley Equestrian just over a week ago.

“It’s been all hands on deck, working the early, mid and late shifts,” said business owner Kath Harpley. “Cut off point was 3pm yesterday and with just 30 minutes to spare, the parcels were delivered to a courier for an evening flight to Paris and delivery to the show.”

The world’s top eight teams are competing in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at La Baule CSIO 5*. The British squad is Ben Maher, Tina Fletcher, Robert Smith, Scott Brash and Nick Skelton.


14th May, 2013.

Five thousand additional car parking spaces, new temporary roads and more drainage will feature at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

 Around 130,000 visitors are expected to attend the event in Harrogate on 9 – 11 July.

Drainage in the show’s White Rose Ring, used for many of the equestrian classes, has been improved at a cost of around £15,000.

The work follows the cancellation of the last two days of the 2012 show, when many parking areas became unusable due to waterlogged ground. The cancellation cost Great Yorkshire organisers around £2m.


13th May, 2013.

All SQPs must have met their personal CPD points target by the end of next month [June].

Anyone who fails to do so will not be permitted to renew their SQP status for 2014.

“The only alternative is to sit and pass a ‘CPD exam’ to show you still have the right knowledge,” said Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA, the body that registers SQPs.

“That is not an easy option, and fairly expensive too; we’d much rather people gained enough CPD points.”

The requirement is to have earned those points by the 30 June deadline, he added.

“Inevitably, some [points] earned close to the deadline won’t be added to records until later on, but that’s fine as AMTRA notes when the points were earned. Anyone who has just qualified as an SQP in 2013 doesn’t need to do CPD at the moment, but will do in the next CPD period which starts on 1st July.”

AMTRA regularly sends points updates to SQPs by email or in the post, and these are also available by logging in on the AMTRA website.

“There are still CPD opportunities before the end of June – make sure you know whether you still need more points, and if you do, think now about how you will get them,” said Stephen.

• Two CPD points are available to SQPs needing a top-up by reading the AMTRA accredited feature in the June issue of ETN before answering and returning the quiz that also appears in that issue. • SQPs are suitably qualified persons, registered by AMTRA as qualified to prescribe and supply animal medicines such as wormers and flea treatments. In order to maintain SQP status, CPD (continuous professional development) points must be earned via AMTRA accredited sources such as seminars or magazine articles.


10th May, 2013.

Trade stand bookings for the 2013 CLA Game Fair are 5% up on the same time last year, say the organisers.

To be held from Friday, 19 July to Sunday, 21 July, in the grounds of Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, the countryside show aims to attract more than 144,000 visitors.

“Around £36million is spent on site during the three days, with a resultant additional £44million done around the show,” said Ed de la Rue, head of exhibitions at the CLA Game Fair.

Last year’s equivalent, scheduled for Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire, was cancelled due to waterlogged ground.


9th May, 2013.

A documentary following the fortunes of Badminton competitor Francis Whittington will be broadcast by Horse & Country TV later this month.

During the Saracen Horse Feeds sponsored programme, presenter Jenny Rudall visits Francis at his yard to see him training his Badminton ride Sir Percival.

The cameras then track the rider’s progress throughout the international four star event. And by now, of course, you’ll know how Francis and Sir Percival fared.

Francis (pictured) has been a brand ambassador for Saracen Horse Feeds for more than seven years.


8th May, 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 launch a range of horsecare products called Flint’s Yard. Part two looks at packaging and branding.

So, packaging...Is it really that important? Will it make much difference to how successful a product is?

Clare [my daughter and business partner] and I booked tickets to a packaging exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham earlier in the year.

We had already watched and learned from seasoned exhibition visitors that a small, wheeled suitcase is a must (for the huge amount of leaflets and samples) as are comfy shoes and lots of stamina.

Our aim was to find a bottle which suited both our midge repellent lotion and other new products. It had to be tall enough to stand proud amongst other brands, tough enough to withstand the rough and tumble life of a tack room as well as practical for all to use.

Our second mission was to find a label manufacturer who would understand us and what we needed.

We want to develop a brand with a twist from what’s currently on the market, and have a product that consumers know exactly what it does in one glance.

At the exhibition, we attended a couple of workshops; the speakers were incredibly interesting. A young woman from a well-known premium crisp company explained how, even if products on the shelf are similar to your own, you must be very careful about your packaging and branding to get across what makes yours better or different.

The second speaker, a woman who owned a successful upmarket beauty and skin care brand, advised her audience to trust one’s  instincts. Don’t be afraid to keep asking and only work with people you get along with, she told us.

There were hundreds of companies at the NEC and one by one, we saw them all. We wrote copious notes, eliminated companies we didn’t want to work with and came up with a list of those whom we did.

It’s all well and good having a decent bottle and someone physically to print the label – but what do you put on it? Clare did us proud and found the names of many designers. We contacted five and one stood out; Mark Tipton, a freelance graphic designer. From the moment we spoke to him, he was friendly, patient and very talented with a good portfolio. We’ve been meeting Mark over the last month and gradually our label for the midge repellent lotion is taking shape.  

Early on, it became evident that our original brand name Flint’s Remedy wasn’t right for us, and so we came up with Flint’s Yard which reflects the company better and enables us perhaps to have a bigger product range.

We contacted the HSE (Health & Safety Executive, see Julie’s previous blog about product licensing) so the company name could be altered. The administration charge for this is £150!  

Hopefully, in the next week or so, the label for our midge repellent lotion will be mocked up and we can go back to some of the companies we met at the exhibition and actually go to print. It will be so exciting to see the packaged product for real.


8th May, 2013.

Consumers’ attitudes to buying horse feed is among the topics to be aired at next month’s British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Feed Industry Conference.

The event, aimed at anyone working in the feed and supplements industry, including suppliers, retailers, nutritionists and university lecturers, takes place at Whittlebury Hall near Towcester on Thursday, 27 June. It’s open to BETA members and non-members.

Eminent speakers will address the challenges of sourcing non GM raw materials and give a retailer’s view on the feed industry. There will also be a legislation update from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), while the results from a survey into consumers’ attitudes will be unveiled.

Tickets cost £85 plus VAT to BETA members and £110 plus VAT to non-members. To book, contact Tina Rogers at BETA, tel 01937 587062 or email tinar@beta-int.com


7th May, 2013.

Boris Johnson got into the saddle earlier today - complete with trademark cycle helmet.

The Mayor of London joined Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton to launch the arrival of the Global Champions Tour in the capital on 6 – 9th June.

The UK round of the world’s richest show jumping series will be staged adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The world’s top 30 riders will compete.

“I’m thrilled to welcome yet another elite sporting event to London,” said Boris Johnson, adding he had no doubt it would be an “unbridled success.”


7th May, 2013.

There’s still time for you and your customers to take part in the National Equine Health Survey (NEHS).

Running all this week until Saturday (11th May), the survey can be found at www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS

The survey is run annually by the Blue Cross animal charity in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).

It aims to help safeguard the future health and welfare of the UK’s horses and ponies by providing a snapshot of common equine health issues.

NEHS data collected so far has revealed crucial information. For example, the high incidence (15.2%) of skin disease recorded to date suggests a need to raise awareness of skin management.

Everyone taking part is entered into a competition to win prizes including tickets for four to Olympia, three lots of £100 Spillers feed vouchers, a jump made by Northants Show Jumps, a behind the scenes tour of the Equine Referral Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College, London and six pairs of Ariat Mudbuster boots.

Results of previous surveys can be found at www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS


3rd May, 2013.

The organisers of The Ultimate Horseman, at Oakridge Arena near Newark, Notts on Saturday, 1st June, are offering free trade stands to equestrian companies.

Around 1,000 people are expected to attend the event which is within easy reach of the A1 road.

Two shows take place during the day, featuring Olympic dressage rider Emile Faurie and Australian horseman/dressage rider Tristan Tucker.

The latter was a speaker at the 2012 Global Dressage Forum and is visiting the UK for the first time.

Electric hook-up is available for trade stands.

The show is raising money for Spinal Research, The Nicholls Foundation and Emile Faurie Foundation. Traders are asked to donate a small prize to the charity raffle.

For details, contact David Gardner on 07788 881791 or Anna Warrior 07904 659707.


3rd May, 2013.

Rural retail chain Countrywide has acquired the Chilterns based business, Gommes.

Founded at the turn of the 20th century, Gommes retails equestrian, rural and smallholder products to customers in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Mike Gommes, the third generation involved in the family business, and equine specialist Chris Potts will now be based at Countrywide’s Thame store.

“We are delighted to have joined with Countrywide,” said Mike. “This integration now means that we can continue to offer our own brand of personal service but with the added benefit of an increased product range, and services too.”

Countrywide’s Thame store was re-launched in 2012 following the acquisition of H&C Pearce and Sons, one of southern England’s largest animal health and farm supply businesses.

Countrywide now has 50 country stores and employs more than 1,000 staff including 200 AMTRA qualified SQPs (animal health advisors).


2nd May, 2013.

Understanding supplement labels is the only way to compare one product with another, says Tom Barrett of manufacturer TRM.

“The key thing to look for on labels is a clear list of how much of each active ingredient is included in the recommended daily serving of a supplement.

Active ingredients have a beneficial nutritional influence on the horse – so this is the only way to know what you are giving the customer for their money. It’s also the only meaningful way to make an accurate comparison between similar product types.

While TRM has always declared all active ingredients on its labels, not all manufacturers have historically done so. And new EU labelling requirements have not yet been as widely adopted in the UK as in most other EU countries, with Ireland taking a strong lead.

These requirements impose a standard format that, in its simplest form, includes the product’s composition, plus detail on all nutritional additives and its analytical constituents. This information should, in theory, make it easier more reliably to compare different products.

However there’s still potential for confusion. For example, the form in which certain minerals are included in nutritional supplements makes a significant difference to how well they are absorbed from the digestive tract and hence, how bio-available they are to the horse.

Not all products contain the more expensive chelated minerals, but some labels don’t make that clear. So it’s difficult accurately to compare the respective costs of superficially similar products.

In general, products with the same quantity of active ingredients will have a similar price tag. Cheaper invariably means inferior quality raw materials, which will not offer the same nutritional benefits to the horse.

When you look at labels, think about breaking it down to the daily cost per serving for the recommended quantity of active ingredients.

A supplement’s label is the primary interface between the manufacturer and the horse owner. That less than half of the nutritional supplements on sale in the UK carry comprehensive, detailed labels is a problem.

For retailers to build sales and retain customers for nutritional supplements, detailed labelling is in effect their guarantee that products will achieve results – something that’s essential for repeat business.”


1st May, 2013.

This month (May) sees the release of the latest - and biggest - catalogue from Snowhill Trade Saddlery.

Approximately 20% bigger than any of the leading wholesaler’s previous editions, it’s packed with exciting products - many of them brand new for 2013.

There are additions to Snowhill’s rugs, leatherwork, clothing and accessories ranges. The company has also developed much of its packaging to provide even more attractive, user friendly solutions.

The catalogue’s glossy pages also reveal the new Patent Leather range and brand new rug designs from Rhinegold.

There’s new leatherwork from Heritage and a wider range of John Whitaker International products, all available on Snowhill’s usual 24 hour delivery promise.

Snowhill Trade Saddlery only deals with trade customers so the catalogue is available in two varieties: a ‘priced’ retailer version and an ‘unpriced’ counter version to use with your customers.

For more details contact Snowhill Trade Saddlery on 01243 672323, email sales@snowhill.ltd.uk or visit www.snowhilltradesaddlery.co.uk


1st May, 2013.

Horse droppings can be sent through the post, Royal Mail has confirmed.

ETN checked out the rules after receiving an anonymous tip-off that the practice had been outlawed.

Laboratories that analyse equine faeces for worm egg counts routinely deal with samples posted to them by customers. A ban would have been commercially damaging to these businesses.

However, there are rules about maximum weight and containers for posting droppings.

Read the full story in the May issue of ETN