28th May, 2019.

Congratulations for putting Britain on the podium!

Kathy Stringer, part of the Equine Productions team who were filming at BETA International 2019, has won a bronze medal at the world duathlon championships.

The competition, held in Pontevedra, Spain, involved a 10km run, 40km bike ride and a 5km run.

“Never did I think I’d win a bronze,” Kathy told ETN. “It was pretty surreal standing on the podium holding up the Union Jack.”

Kathy’s medal means she automatically qualifies for the 2020 championships in Almere, Holland. “I’ll be going for gold next time,” she added.

• Video footage from BETA International 2019 can be seen at


28th May, 2019.

New recruit has worked in the equestrian trade for 12 years.

James Palmer has been appointed business development manager by flax seed supplement specialist PureFlax.

James, who’s been involved with the equestrian and pet product sectors for almost 12 years, is working with PureFlax on an agency basis.

“We’re thrilled to have James on board to help drive the brand forward,” said Grace Liddle, director of Yorkshire based PureFlax. “Our business is in an exciting stage of growth.”

James was previously sales manager for the BETA International trade exhibition.

“I’m delighted to be joining the PureFlax team,” he said. “PureFlax oil for horses and dogs is an excellent product, sold at a sensible price and I look forward to working with all of the brand’s customers.”


28th May, 2019.

Popular figure served stores across East Anglia.

John Self died peacefully on Saturday, 11 May after a short spell in hospital. He was in his early 60s.

John was a popular sales agent in the country leisure sector across East Anglia. Among the brands he represented was Grubs boots.

“We worked with John for 20 years. He was great to work with and will be very much missed,” said David Foster of the footwear supplier.

John had been a well-respected sales agent based in the east of England for many years.

“He was extremely lucky to have many of his customers as personal friends, and he will be sadly missed by us all,” said a spokesman for his family.

“We would like to thank everybody for their kind words and support, it is very much appreciated.”


28th May, 2019.

Celebrations at the organisation that plays a key role in developing equestrian safety equipment.

SATRA – the test house that works with riding hat and body protector manufacturers – marked its centenary with a visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester last week.

The Duke unveiled an outdoor sculpture at the body’s Northamptonshire base. The artwork by Martyn Steele is designed to represent 100 years of research and testing.

The royal party along with local dignitaries and guests toured SATRA’s testing laboratories. They watched demonstrations of the machines and test methods that play a role in helping manufacturers create safer, better performing products.

Formed in 1919, SATRA was initially involved in the footwear industry before branching out into areas as diverse as furniture and personal protective equipment.

SATRA’s highlights include helping develop the assault boot worn by Edmond Hillary and the British Expedition team for the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953.

And its work on an innovation that reduced the time needed to make a pair of shoes from weeks to hours earnt SATRA the Queen’s Award to Industry in 1969.

The organisation now has technical facilities in Europe and China.


22nd May, 2019.

Experienced appointee to uphold the late Roy Burek’s legacy.

Ricky Hone has been appointed managing director of Charles Owen with immediate effect.

He takes up the role with the equestrian safety equipment manufacturer following last month’s untimely death of its chairman Roy Burek.

Ricky joined Charles Owen in 1982, quickly progressing to operations director. He worked alongside Roy throughout his career.

As managing director, Ricky is to focus on Charles Owen’s global activities alongside Roy’s son and the new company chairman, Owen Burek.

“Ricky has the company and its values within his DNA,” said Owen.

“His appointment reinforces my father’s remarkable legacy and ensures that Charles Owen is well-positioned to continue growing and saving lives worldwide.”

Acknowledging the “fantastic team” at Charles Owen, Ricky added: “With their support, I look forward to continuing Roy’s passion of making horse riding, in all its forms, ever safer.

“Over the year ahead, we have a number of exciting new products to be launched, all manufactured in our factory in North Wales.”


22nd May, 2019.

ETN has had a make-over.

A bright, new Equestrian Trade News (ETN) will drop onto equestrian retailers’ doormats next week

Now in its 40th year of publication, the monthly magazine has been given a fresh design by its new printers, Leeds based Resource.

“When readers open ETN’s June issue, they’ll find their favourite, familiar content – but with a spruced-up look,” says editor Liz Benwell.

“The move to new printers also means we can deliver ETN to readers faster.”

The switch to new designers and printers also opens up new opportunities – from the tactile to the technical - to ETN advertisers. For details, speak to Beth Crow on 01937 582111 email

ETN is part of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Group. Profits from its publication are used to fund the trade association’s work for the benefit of members and the wider industry. ETN is the official media partner of BETA International.


22nd May, 2019.

Savings and best stand positions available to companies committing before 30 September.

Companies wishing to exhibit at BETA International can benefit from significant savings of around 3 per cent per square metre thanks to the show’s new early booking rate. To qualify for the reduced rate, stand application forms must be submitted, along with a 10 per cent, non-refundable deposit, by 30 September 2019.*

“Supporting the industry is really important to us and the special rate is a great way to show our commitment while offering companies a fantastic incentive to sign up for 2020,” said BETA International sales manager Darren Mottershead. “Exhibiting on this powerful international platform is a fantastic opportunity for all companies wishing to take full advantage of this global business, buying and networking event.”

Meeting the early booking deadline also puts companies first in line when it comes to securing the most sought-after locations in the show’s three large halls when stand allocation begins.

BETA International 2020 will take place from 19 to 21 January at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. It is the leading trade show for the equestrian, country, pet and giftware sectors. For further information about exhibiting, contact Darren Mottershead, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

*Terms and conditions apply


22nd May, 2019.

This week marks 12 months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) arrived on 25 May with much uncertainty. So what have we learnt?

This time last year, GDPR was the hot topic of conversation as its introduction promised to impact nearly every organisation across Europe, says Julia Seary, partner at Roythornes Solicitors.

The regulation was introduced to strengthen personal data privacy laws in light of technological advancements and put all European organisations on an equal footing in terms of compliance requirements.

In a heavily data-driven world, GDPR was an attempt to update the law in response to the volume, variety and speed of personal data production and its global circulation.

Now that the dust has settled, how is the regulation working in practice.

Overall, it appears that significant enforcement activity is minimal, but that’s not to say investigations aren’t taking place behind the scenes.

There have been more than 50,000 data breach notifications across Europe since GDPR came into force and here in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has received more than 8,000 notifications of data breaches since the end of May 2018.

The largest GDPR fine issued to date has been the €50 million against Google by the French data privacy regulator for lack of transparency, inadequate information, and lack of valid consent in relation to its use of personal data for the purposes of personalising advertisements.

A maximum fine of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover - whichever figure is greater – can be imposed on businesses which do not conform with the updated regulation.

Lack of consent

It appears that transparency and consent (or the alleged lack of them) remains the most popular ICO complaint, particularly relating to the level of detail that people expect to receive. We therefore advise businesses to revisit their privacy policy in order to make content as specific as possible.

The use of data subject rights is becoming another business issue. GDPR grants individuals more extensive rights regarding their personal data which has generated a culture of individuals making repeated and extensive subject access requests (i.e. requesting emails going back many years), often simply to cause annoyance, waste time and incur costs for the data controller.

Immediately following 25 May 2018, there was a surge in erasure requests as individuals sought to clean up their online privacy and security. This seems to have slowed down in recent months – perhaps due to the realisation that the right to request erasure is subject to business requirements, rather than an absolute right to have all information deleted.

Finally, the last emerging data protection trend and a potentially concerning development is the increase in class action-style litigation and so-called ‘data protection ambulance chasers’.

Some claimant law firms are attempting to build business off the back of data breaches – even if the breach gives rise to little risk of damage.

In order to avoid business impact and interruption, organisations should review and update data privacy documents, implement GDPR training, and assess all data flow and transfers.

More information from


13th May, 2019.

Promotion finishes at the end of this month.

A Spring promotion on Sprenger stirrups is underway from UK distributor Zebra Products.

When trade customers buy 20 pairs of stirrups, they get two extra pairs free.

“The stirrups must be in the same order and of same style,” says Simon Middleton of Zebra Products. “But they can be across the sizes in our joint stirrups which include System 4, Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups.”

The offer is available until the end of May.

• Suppliers: If you have special offers running, or promotions of genuine benefit to retailers, do let us know at ETN. Email with details and expiry date.


13th May, 2019.

Same-day 24/7 fulfilment is the future of e-commerce, say experts.

One of four consumers would be happy to pay at least £3 extra for 24/7 deliveries, according to new research by ParcelHero.

“Next-day deliveries are really yesterday’s news,” says David Jinks of the home delivery expert.

“Where the battle for [consumers’ spending] is really taking us is 24-hour, night and day deliveries.”

While UK online retailers may baulk at the suggestion, David adds that 24/7 deliveries are already commonplace in areas of China.

“Increasingly in e-commerce, where China - and in particular Alibaba – leads, the West follows. And already Alibaba-owned Hema supermarkets in Beijing and Shanghai offer a round-the-clock 30-minute delivery service that has proven highly popular with nocturnal shoppers.”

Already, one in ten consumers are still ordering things up to 3am.

“In a society increasingly used to instant gratification, shoppers see items they must have right now – and night owl consumers are prepared to pay handsomely for late-night deliveries.

“Retailers need to wake up to the potential opportunities for increased sales and better margins,” says David.

“Amazon spent an eye-watering $61.7 billion on logistics last year, that’s 26.5% of its net sales, because it knows deliveries are a marketing tool, rather than just a necessary evil.

“That’s why our research shows 78% of logistics companies expect to provide same-day deliveries by 2023. For many shoppers night-time deliveries could prove a vital life line, and certainly win new sales.”

Read the full study on the demand for 24-hour deliveries at


13th May, 2019.

International and online are growth areas, says new appointee.

Nick Jones, who ran Asda’s George clothing brand, is to join Joules as chief executive officer (CEO).

Nick (46) has worked in retail for 25 years, with Marks & Spencer on his CV. He’s also a director of Oakham School.

He’s due to start with Joules before the end of the year, following a handover from current CEO Colin Porter who’s moving to Moss Bros.

Looking ahead to his new role, Nick said: “Whilst the [Joules] business and brand has achieved fantastic growth over recent years, I share the board's view that there are tremendous growth opportunities ahead, driven, in particular, by further international expansion and online growth.”


13th May, 2019.

An appearance at an international trade fair opened doors for inventor.

Taking a stand at BETA International 2019 delivered a small British company a deal with a Dutch distributor.

Amanda Lennox developed Ultimate Muzzle as a horse friendly way to restrict grass intake.

“Equine obesity is on the up, but attitudes towards grazing muzzles vary,” she said. “I decided to produce a new style after discovering there is very little choice, particularly if you have a big horse that needs weight management.”

Amanda reports that exhibiting at BETA International earlier this year attracted “plenty of interest with retailers both in the UK and overseas.”

Dutch retailer Hofman Animal Care, whose wholesale arm Holland Animal Care had a stand at the show, “quickly placed an order.”

BETA International 2020 is at the NEC, Birmingham on 19 – 21 January. Find out more at


7th May, 2019.

ETN diarist and show trader Guy Roper on clouds and losses at last weekend’s Badminton horse trials.

Some shows are noted for their levels of theft, so you take appropriate measures. But this was an unusual one….

During the early stages of set-up, on a site with only two entrances both of which were locked, a popular chum lost tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of high-end stock overnight (ETN Newsletter, 30 April).

A Sprinter van-load of the latest ranges of premium items could apparently pootle through ‘security’ and disappear.

The whole debacle goes to the heart of the increasingly asymmetric relationship between show organisers and traders. Where was ‘Security’? More and more, it begs the question ‘what do we traders get for what we pay?’

Under a cloud

Badders started under a cloud. Actually, three. There was the blatant and unimpeded theft already mentioned, the rain which dampened the end of Wednesday’s trading, and news of the deaths of several chums during the quiet season.

It makes you think. The show circuit is a community. Truth to tell, for about half the year during the show season, we traders see each other and share experiences more than we do with people at home.

Badders is the first chance to catch up, and that’s why the untimely death of respected individuals such as Ian Blackburn from Hide Park Leather Co and Roy Burek from Charles Owen cast such a shadow over the start of this year’s event.

It was also sad to hear about some other chums who have given up the struggle after last year’s trading desert.

Bit of a racquet

As to the event, well it was Badminton. A bit up and down, a bit back and forth, no visible net but, with the stand fees and the fact that a stand can be looted on a closed site without the organisers appearing overly concerned, a bit of a racquet.

After last year’s heatwave, which saw punters too hot to shop, this year was perfect trading weather. And it went pretty well - despite the uncanny ability of the Gloucestershire skies to open at exactly the wrong moment sending punters heading determinedly to the car parks rather than pausing to follow up on the shopportunities they’d spotted earlier in the day.

Mercifully, the WiFi worked OK most of the time. It’s taken a while, but it looks as if the organisers have finally realised that decent internet connections are as essential to the conduct of modern business as running water and electricity are to the smooth running of the event itself.

The few glitches early on were rapidly sorted by a posse of BT Openreach vans which corralled the temporary mast and apparently sorted the problem.

The CBQ (carrier bag quotient - the internationally recognised standard for evaluating trading at equestrian events) was actually pretty good. Most chums were there or thereabouts with last year’s figures, some even bordering on “actually quite worthwhile”.

Passing pound

One or two had a cracker of a show, breaking previous totals on both Friday and Saturday.

Increasingly, it proves the point that you have to be agile - either in the offer or the merchandising. Some punters will come and find you year on year, but more and more you have to tempt the passing pound from the passing pocket.

People come to Badders for a day out. Part of that is the buzz they get from buying, even if it’s something they could have bought from their usual retailer. One local tack shop proprietor had a bit of a moan to me saying that they saw their regulars happily buying standard kit at higher prices than they offered. Frustrated didn’t cover their feelings. Making the experience special is where the margin lies.

Badders often sets the tone for the coming season. Let’s hope that the albeit slim improvement in the trading climate continues.

Let’s also take time to appreciate chums who are no longer with us for whatever reason and celebrate their part in our community and the times we spent together.




7th May, 2019.

His original rug patterns are still in production today.

Philip White, a founding member of Shires Equestrian’s manufacturing business, has died. He passed away peacefully aged 95.

Known as Phil, he was Shires’ founder Malcolm Ainge’s father-in-law.

Phil developed Shires’ manufacturing operation first in Pershore, Worcs and then in Bromyard, Herefordshire.

He designed the original patterns for the rugs Shires still manufactures. And, thanks to his vision, they have received many accolades for their good fit over the years.

A family man and a keen lawn bowler, Phil retired 35 years ago but retained a lively interest in the business. Today, three of his grandchildren work with Shires.

“Phil will be sadly missed by his many friends and family,” said Malcolm Ainge. Shires Equestrian celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.


7th May, 2019.

Leather craft skills to be recognised and rewarded.

ETN is to launch a new awards series in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).

Each month, ETN will feature a Bench Saddler of the Month – someone who upholds the highest standards of leather craft skills.

The idea was inspired by current SMS president Chris Taylor. He told ETN: “Being a bench saddler is not a job – it’s a way of life and a passion.

“Saddle fitting always seems to be in the lime-light, and quite rightly so. But I feel the bench saddler’s craft is sometimes forgotten. I would like to find a way to promote craft skills alongside saddle fitting.”

So, working in conjunction with the SMS, ETN is taking up Chris’s challenge to highlight the skills of leading bench saddlers and their careers to date.

This new award succeeds the ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month award which has run for just over a year and produced 14 worthy recipients.

How to nominate

Everyone is invited to nominate candidates for the ETN/SMS Bench Saddler of the Month award. Nominees can be bench saddlers working in a factory or workshop setting, for an employer or self-employed. They can be based anywhere in the world.

To nominate a bench saddler (or more than one) email and tell us why this person deserves to be recognised. Please include the saddler’s name and where they work too.