31st May, 2016.

A supplements supplier has been rapped after making potentially misleading claims for its products.

Assertions made in text on Freestep Ltd’s website have been investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The probe followed complaints from Rumenco Ltd and a member of the public.

Freestep Ltd stated at that its calming spray Instamag was over four times faster acting than its competitors.

The company also claimed that trans-dermal [via the skin] application was the fastest way to deliver magnesium into the tissues/blood and onto the brain.

The ASA upheld the complaints that these claims were likely to mislead.

The watchdog told Freestep Ltd to ensure it does not make efficacy claims in future advertising unless it holds adequate evidence to substantiate them.

In addition, Freestep Ltd was ruled to have made medicinal (veterinary) claims for its product Lamalert C.S.H.

In its report, the ASA points out that the company did not hold marketing authorisation for this from the VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate).

The full ruling, including Freestep Ltd’s response, can be found at


31st May, 2016.

Matchmakers International has promoted Liz Hopper to managing director.

Liz joined the company in January 2014 when it was bought by International Riding Company Ltd.

Neville Lawrence was managing director until the acquisition. Since then, the company has had two operational directors - Liz Hopper as commercial director and finance director Nicholas Ridings.

Speaking of Liz’s promotion, announced last week, Matchmakers’ International co-chairmen Edward Wakefield and Oliver Hoare said: “Liz is an outstanding professional whose skills, experience and energy have delivered a transformation in Matchmakers’ professionalism – to the benefit of our customers, our team and all of our other partners.”

Liz Hopper joined Matchmakers International after five years with Hallmark UK.


27th May, 2016.

Poorly maintained roads are adversely affecting rural firms.

Half of all small companies think the UK’s roads have deteriorated in recent years, according to a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The figures demonstrate a need to invest in local and rural road networks alongside big projects, it adds.

Small businesses reported being overwhelmingly reliant on roads. Nine in ten have little or no access to public transport links such as rail or buses.

“This shows how congestion, poorly maintained local roads and a lack of regional strategic planning are combining to pose a significant economic barrier to economic growth – particularly in rural areas,” concludes the FSB report entitled Going the extra mile.

The top three issues reported by rural businesses were congestion on local roads, potholes and the cost of fuel.


26th May, 2016.

Retailers, riders and trainers can learn how bits work by signing up for a new online course.

The Bitting Analyst course, from Neue Schule’s Academy, runs for eight weeks from 6 June.

Taking part costs £75. The fee includes a spring balance enabling delegates to measure forces exerted by various parts of a bit.

The course syllabus comprises primarily case studies and concludes with a scientific analysis of a bitting situation.

The Academy was founded by Neue Schule to share its research and knowledge with the equine community.

The new Bitting Analyst course is one of a series run by the bitting company.

To find out more, register and enrol, visit


23rd May, 2016.

Michael Geaves has joined NAF as international sales representative for Europe and Scandinavia.

Michael has worked in sales with a number of top equestrian brands for more than ten years.

“I’m really looking forward to working with our distributors and riders in Europe and to be part of the continued growth of the NAF brand in these exciting markets," he said.

Michael’s strong equestrian background includes working for Olympic riders in the UK and Europe. He also holds an international teaching qualification which he took in Italy.

A keen dressage and showing competitor, Michael’s first home-bred coloured Irish sport horse is now a yearling.


23rd May, 2016.

Royal Warrant holder Shires Equestrian is to sponsor the New Product Gallery at BETA International 2017 for a fourth year.

The popular showcase, which highlights latest lines, brands and launches at the show, always proves a big hit with visiting retailers on a mission to track down new stock for their stores.

Shires’ sales and marketing director Marcus Cridland said: “Backing the British equestrian industry is vital to us and sponsoring the New Product Gallery for a fourth consecutive year is a great way for us to do this, as well as providing the perfect opportunity to connect with the retailers that are fundamental to our business.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “Shires and the trade fair share a long history. The company has exhibited since the early days and we are thrilled that Marcus and the rest of the team have decided to come aboard as sponsors once again.”

BETA International 2017 is at the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24 January. To find out more, visit or contact James Palmer on tel 01937 582111 email


20th May, 2016.

A parcel delivery firm is tackling the problem of missed deliveries with a new app.

DPD’s system automatically alerts the delivery driver when an app user returns home.

So if a parcel couldn't be successfully delivered earlier in the day, the driver can now make another delivery before he finishes his round.

The app user is sent a notification to advise that the driver is returning with their parcel.


18th May, 2016.

Nikki Collins, trade sales manager for Spillers, had the ride of her life to take fifth place in Badminton’s amateur championship earlier this month.

Nikki was riding her homebred mare Jumbo’s Rose II in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup (formerly Badminton Grassroots Championships).

The pair were joint leaders after the first day of dressage on a score of 25.9.

They were faultless in the show jumping and went on to jump a clear cross country round, coming home 13 seconds inside the optimum time.

Nikki has dedicated her win to her inspiring, horse loving Mum, who lost her battle against bowel cancer in 2014.


18th May, 2016.

A new, no frills PR and communications service is launched this week.

EMC PR is from Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC) which also runs the BETA International trade fair.

The new PR service works on a pay-as-you-go basis. It does not require clients to sign up to retainers or contracts.

Various packages are available from one-off press releases to bespoke campaigns.

“EMC PR offers simple, honest-to-goodness arrangements to companies wanting a little extra help as and when they need it,” said James Palmer of EMC PR.

● Find out more in the June issue of ETN when we feature media, marketing and PR.


17th May, 2016.

EAF (Essex Animal Feeds), manufacturer of BedSoft bedding and Haysoft haylage, has appointed David Taylor as sales manager.

David was previously a sales director at Baileys Horse Feeds and more recently a key account manager for Anglia Farmers.

Find out who else is new and who has moved in ETN’s People page every month.


17th May, 2016.

Trilanco has recruited 12 new employees as it continues to grow.

The animal health and equine products wholesaler has taken on eight new people in its warehouse, a new credit controller in accounts, two new customer service staff in sales and a new graphic designer in the marketing department.

“We’ve taken on 12 new members of staff across four departments to ensure that as we grow, we’re still able to deliver the high level of customer service, support and efficiency our customers deserve and expect,” said Martin Balmer, Trilanco’s managing director.

Read updates on the company’s £7 million relocation every month in ETN. The project will see Trilanco move to larger, purpose built premises at the end of the year.


17th May, 2016.

You and your customers are urged to participate in a nationwide equine health survey next week.

Results from the latest National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) will prove useful to manufacturers and retailers as well as vets.

The NEHS is run by animal charity Blue Cross, in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). It’s supported by other equestrian charities and organisations.

Lameness was the highest reported syndrome in last year’s survey. So this time it’s to be explored in greater depth to see which types of lameness are most common.

Since its launch in 2010, the NEHS has become one of the UK’s most significant equine disease monitoring initiatives. The results are referenced in veterinary and equestrian publications and papers and are regarded as valuable benchmarks for general knowledge of horse health.

In 2015, survey records were returned for almost 15,000 equines, helping veterinary experts identify, prioritise and address the most common equine conditions and diseases.

The survey is live next week - from 23 to 30 May.

Participation takes just five minutes and is anonymous. Go to or email


10th May, 2016.

ETN blogger Sarah Poucher, whose family firm Emerald Green Feeds takes to the show circuit each year, reports from Badminton.

After a busy first week of grass drying on our Lincolnshire farm, it’s time for our biggest and favourite show of the year – Badminton.

Everyone is getting ready checking things. Do we have enough leaflets? Have we filled enough sample bags? Who’s taking what food to feed the team staying in the cottage?

It seems an age since we filled in the form and booked space in The World of the Horse marquee at back in December. But here we are with the trailer packed and the first half of the team heading south toward the M5.

It’s Tuesday and by 5.30pm the stand is set up and the team are heading for the cottage to unpack and relax before the upcoming five days of smiling, chatting, making goodie bags and – hardest of all - being on their feet for between ten and 12 hours a day. It’s the calm before the storm…

Being in a large marquee at Badminton is a completely different ball game for us in terms of exhibiting. At a ‘normal’ show, we take our exhibition unit, open it up and, hey presto, we’re done! However, in a shared marquee we have to build our stand and even put back-drops in place to hide the storage area.

On the up side, it means you get to know the other traders around you – and they become your show family for the week. For example, we took the tea and coffee onto our stand and Paul from Aquamax provided the biscuits. And it was really great that the Salamo ladies kept an eye on our children, who were at the show for the weekend, while they played on the grass outside the marquee.

Everyone works together and helps out when needed. It’s a great way to exhibit at a big show like Badminton. I’ve looked into exhibiting out of the marquee, but the walkways are very wide and I’m just not sure we would see as many people as we do inside. EV Events are great to work with too, so I think we’ll stick with what we know for now.

Our team covering the first half of the show did such a wonderful job at giving out samples and goodie bags that we had to load the back of the pick-up with more to go down on the Friday.

3pm Friday saw us loaded with samples and children; all that was needed was to swing by the school gates and pick up the oldest child before trying to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic. A quick food stop on the M42, and we eventually reached the cottage by 7.30pm. It was a good job the others had left us a key as they still weren’t back from the show!

As always, cross country day is the busiest. So the team were up and out of the cottage before 7am Saturday morning. I set about the mammoth job of packing more goodie bags, with help from the children. The older two have now got this down to a fine art, although they’re no longer happy to do it for fun - I had to promise them £1 each!

By the time the marquee was closed at 8pm, everyone was ready for home, in 12 hours’ time we’d be back on the stand.

Anyone who visited Badminton this year will agree that the weather was beautiful. Yes, there was the odd shower, but it didn’t put anyone off visiting such an amazing event. The crowds were fantastic, as of course was the shopping. It goes without saying that the standard of horses and riders was tremendous too.

On Sunday afternoon, we all huddled around the radio to hear how the event was unfolding. It was very exciting listening, just a shame we couldn’t all sneak off to the arena to see it in real life.

Sunday was busier than expected. While the team were out front chatting to customers, the children and I hung out behind the stand filling goodie bags as fast as they were giving them away.

Eventually 5.30pm came around. And by 7pm we were all packed away and heading towards the motorway ready for another day’s grass drying in the morning.

Once again, a great Badminton. Next stop Bramham…

● Emerald Green Feeds specialises in Grass Pellets, Alfalfa Pellets and Grass-tastic pure grass chop, all produced from crops grown on the A. Poucher & Sons family farm in Lincolnshire. Find out more at


10th May, 2016.

The Worshipful Company of Saddlers is to chair a steering group looking at education, training and qualifications for saddle fitters.

Those invited to attend include the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), British Horse Society (BHS), British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), Master Saddle Fitting Consultants Society (MSFC) and the Saddle Research Trust (SRT).

The group will consider the current provision of saddle fitting education, training and qualifications - and guide a response to the needs and changes identified for the future.

“As an interested but impartial party, we’re pleased to accept the invitation to chair this new steering group, the need for which was made to us by a number of the organisations now invited to participate in the first meeting,” said Charles Barclay, prime warden of the Saddlers’ Company.

Pointing out that saddle fitting has grown substantially as a recognised profession over the past 15 years, BETA’s executive director Claire Williams said: “As a core member of the Saddle Fitting Steering Group, we hope to help highlight the need for more education and training opportunities among the trade, as well as greater levels of information being needed by the riding public to understand better the role of the saddle fitter.”

At its first meeting, the group will draw up terms of reference. It will also consider those with additional expertise who might be invited to attend as co-opted members from time to time.

A broad plan of action will be agreed with an open mind to potential opportunities, says the group.

● Read more reaction from members of the new Saddle Fitting Steering Group in the June’s ETN. This issue also includes an MSFC accredited CPD feature for saddle fitters and the latest saddlery news.


6th May, 2016.

Equine SQPs can earn 24 CPD points via a free-to-attend event next month.

Wormer manufacturer Virbac and wholesaler Trilanco are hosting the CPD day for E-SQPs at Rossdales Equine Hospital, Exning near Newmarket on Tuesday, 14 June.

The course starts at 10am with registration and coffee.

The morning speaker is Virbac technical director Chris Taylor MRCVS who will present the 3D Approach to equine worming.

Following a buffet lunch, the afternoon session will address SQP frequently asked questions and solutions.

The day concludes at approximately 3pm.

The seminar is worth 24 CPD points in total.

Attendance is free of charge to delegates, email Sam Weir at or tel 07799 692923.

● SQPs (suitably qualified persons) are entitled to prescribe and supply certain animal medicines including wormers. They are required to earn CPD points as proof of continuous professional development to maintain the qualification.


4th May, 2016.

Joules has confirmed it’s to float on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £140m.

Tom Joule, who founded the lifestyle brand in 1989, is expected to earn £40m.

The much anticipated initial public offering is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2016.

Last year the company, which has almost 100 stores across the UK and Ireland, reported sales worth £116.4m.

Demand for Joules was reported to be particularly strong in Germany and North America.