30th June, 2014.

Budget supermarket Aldi launches equestrian clothing next month (July).

The collection includes a ladies’ polo shirt at £8.99, cable knit sweater at £12.99, jodhpurs at £12.99, yard boots at £12.99 and socks at £4.99 for two pairs.

Children’s polo shirts are £4.99 and jodhpurs £7.99.

The range will be introduced on 24 July under Aldi’s ‘Specialbuys’ scheme.

Specialbuys go in-store every Thursday and Sunday and are only available while stocks last.


26th June, 2014.

Next Monday (30 June) sees the start of a summer parcel discount from The Post Office.

Small business customers and online sellers can get up to 50% off when they use the fast-track Drop and Go service.

The discount is available at more than 11,000 Post Office branches across the UK and runs until
July 27.

The Drop & Go sale offers the opportunity to send Royal Mail Medium Parcels (up to 2kg) for the price of a Royal Mail Small Parcel.

In addition, Drop & Go customers are offered 25% off Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm, when sending parcels between 1-2kg.

The offer is available to existing Drop & Go customers and new ones who sign up during the offer period.

Customers using Drop & Go, which is free to join, hand over their mail at fast-drop counters at participating Post Offices. Payment is taken from customers’ prepaid Drop & Go cards.

The Post Office is now independent of Royal Mail.


26th June, 2014.

Laura Cackett is due to join Matchmakers International as European sales director next month.

She was previously with Horseware Ireland for more than a decade, latterly as UK business manager.

Laura is part of a fresh management team working on what Matchmakers International describes as “an exciting facelift” of its Harry Hall, Caldene, Masta, Cottage Craft and Tottie brands.

Find out more in the July issue of ETN.


25th June, 2014.

Overweight horses represent a growing welfare issue according to new research.

The study by the Animal Health Trust (AHT), published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, was funded by World Horse Welfare (WHW).

Factors that increase the risk of equine obesity include native ponies and cobs having readily available, good quality feed rather than the sparse grazing for which they are adapted.

Ridden horses were less at risk of being overweight than their unworked peers, with well managed competition animals being at least risk of obesity.

Excess weight is one of the greatest challenges facing UK horse owners, claim the authors of the research.

“Being overweight can be just as much, if not more, of a health concern as being underweight, “ added Sam Chubbock of WHW.

A new AHT study, in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College and funded by WHW, will look at the management factors which may increase the risk of laminitis in the British equine population.

The study, called CARE About Laminitis, launches next month (July) and will ask owners of laminitic and non-laminitic horses or ponies to complete monthly online diaries.

“Helping owners identify when their horse is overweight or obese is an essential aspect of reducing the welfare impact of equine obesity,” said AHT researcher Charlotte Robin.

• The abstract of the recently published research paper can be found here:


24th June, 2014.

ETN is offering companies the opportunity to have their products appear on its front cover.

“It’s a money-can’t-buy opportunity,” said ETN editor Liz Benwell. “We are particularly keen to see original images that haven’t appeared elsewhere, such as in brochure and websites.”

As well as featuring on ETN’s front cover, the winner’s product will receive editorial coverage inside the issue.

Liz went on to provide a few hints for producing that winning cover shot. “It needs to be an A4 portrait (upright) format, a powerful image with an uncluttered background and without overt branding,” she said.

“Many companies will be doing photo-shoots this summer, and might like to consider snapping something special with a view to entering it for the ETN cover competition.”

Send your images to (initially no larger than 1MB for assessment purposes).


23rd June, 2014.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) recently announced that the following have qualified as SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters:

Laura Kitchiner - West Essex Saddlery
Alison Kinge - Pointings Saddlery
Garry Garcia - Metropolitan Police Mounted Regiment
Marja Isotalo -, Finland
Satu Peltomaki -, Finland
Vincianne Wittamer – based in Belgium

A number of saddle fitters have also just qualified as Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (MSFC) and therefore become members of the MSFC Society. They are:

Lynda Swindells - Saddle Sense
Lisa Theron - LT Equestrian
Helen Stone - Fieldhouse Riding Equipment
Sarah Rymer - North Yorkshire Saddles
Frida Nilsson – based in Holland


17th June, 2014.

Jabez Cliff Limited, best known for its Barnsby saddlery brand, has been placed into administration it was announced today (17 June).

The Walsall based business has closed with 26 staff made redundant.

Andy McGill, of accountants Smith & Williamson, has been appointed as administrator for the 221 year old company. He said that moves to restructure the business had proved unsuccessful.

“We are working to sell the assets of the business, including the respected Barnsby brand, in order to maximise the realisation for creditors including employees,” he added.

Read the full story in the July issue of ETN.


17th June, 2014.

Around £1.5 million is set to be ploughed into improving conference and event facilities at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

Grandstand – Stoneleigh Events, sister company to HOYS organiser Grandstand Media, plans to upgrade conference space and exhibition halls over the next 12 months.

The organisation took over the event business management at Stoneleigh Park last January.  It has been joined on site by its parent company, event management specialist Grandstand Group, which has moved its headquarters from Hertfordshire.

 “Stoneleigh Park is renowned for hosting large-scale agricultural and equestrian events and we want to enhance its high profile as an event venue within those sectors as well as the corporate market,” said Helena Pettit, managing director of Grandstand – Stoneleigh Events.

Stoneleigh Park, former home of The Royal Show, hosts the likes of Your Horse Live and the Trailblazers championships.


17th June, 2014.

Westgate EFI has permanently lowered its carriage paid level to £100 for deliveries to the UK mainland.

The change came into effect yesterday (Monday, 16 June).

“Although the economy is showing signs of recovery, market conditions can still be tough and we have taken this step to increase support for our retailers,” said WEFI sales and operations manager Tracey Woods.

“The move will give more flexibility to our customers, enabling smaller businesses to purchase more manageable quantities, as well as allowing larger outlets to better manage stock levels and place top-up orders as required.”


16th June, 2014.

Saddlery trainer Mark Romain was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list on Saturday (14 June).

Mark, who owns the Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury, has been recognised for services to the saddlery industry and saddlery training in the UK and overseas.

Read the full story in the July issue of ETN.


16th June, 2014.

The best stand awards at last weekend’s Bramham International Horse Trials were presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

It was also BETA’s second year as sponsor of the CIC 3* competition at the Yorkshire event which attracted 54,226 visitors over the four days.

The winners of the BETA Best Stand Awards were:

Best Large Stand
Winner - Ayr Equestrian (retailer)
Runner-up - R & R Country (retailer)
Highly Commended - In the Saddle (riding holiday company)

Best Small Stand
Winner - Hugo & Hennie (luxury dog beds)
Runner-up - So Cosy (maker of alpaca woollen throws and blankets)
Highly Commended - Interior Flair (online country interiors store)

Find out how BETA promoted its work at Bramham and read our show reporter Guy Roper’s diary in the July issue of ETN.


13th June, 2014.

Ekkia is set to return to BETA International 2015 as fashion show sponsor for a second consecutive year.

Named the Equi-Thème Fashion Show after the French wholesaler’s flagship brand, it features up to ten different exhibitors’ equestrian and country clothing collections.

“Ekkia’s sponsorship brings a sophisticated, continental stamp to proceedings and serves to endorse the trade fair’s strong international credentials,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“We are looking forward to our return visit as sponsor of the fashion show,” said Ekkia chairman Jean François Vignion.

“It proved a highly effective way of presenting our Equi-Thème range to an international audience of industry buyers and made our regular appearance in this extremely attractive and appealing feature even more special.”

BETA International is the world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product markets.

The 2015 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 February. For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


10th June, 2014.

The 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) will be held in Canada.

The multi-discipline world championships will be based around the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, venue for the 1976 Montreal Olympics equestrian competitions.

Lexington in the US was the other remaining bidder for the 2018 Games.

The 2014 WEG takes place in Normandy, France from 23 August until 7 September.


10th June, 2014.

Jess Forgie is a new account manager for equine and poultry bedding brands easibed and easichick.

The Shropshire based 25 year old has worked as an AI [artificial insemination] technician at Twemlows Hall Stud.

More recently she was a retail supervisor and equine specialist for Wynnstay Group.


9th June, 2014.

In a first for the company, NAF is to sponsor international showjumping.

The supplements and horsecare specialist is supporting another first – the inaugural international show at Bolesworth Castle this week (12 – 15 June).

Located near Chester, the show has been a popular national fixture for six years. This year it’s taken on international status to be known as Bolesworth CSI***.

NAF has taken title sponsorship of the show’s opening class, the NAF Five Star World Ranking Class which carries points for the FEI Longines Rankings.

The Monmouthshire based company is also backing the NAF Five Star Owners and Riders Lounge, which looks out over the main arena to the castle beyond.

“We’re looking forward to working with the ambitious Bolesworth team, and meeting many equally ambitious national and international show jumpers,” said NAF chairman Richard Cleeve.

NAF is an official supplier to Equestrian Team GBR.


5th June, 2014.

The Devon County Show has offered tradestand holders a 25% refund on stand fees after its third day was abandoned.

Organisers say they lost an estimated £500,000 after heavy rain caused the car parks to become potentially unsafe during last month’s show.

Letters are going to the show’s 800 traders this week giving them the choice of a refund or making a donation to the Devon County Agricultural Association (CDAA) which stages the show.

“Although we have a ‘force majeure’ in our regulations, the board agreed to offer tradestand exhibitors a partial refund as a gesture of goodwill,” said show secretary Ollie Allen.

The deadline for refund claims is the end of June. The 2015 Devon County is scheduled for 21 – 23 May.


4th June, 2014.

BETA has published a new body protector poster. It’s free to retailers.

The A3 sized BETA Guide to Body Protectors poster is perfect for in-store display or as a pin-up poster in the tack room.

It identifies old and new body protector standards and has tips on caring for, fitting and replacing body protectors.

“The poster is a great way to highlight all aspects of body protector wear,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“Producing a clear graphic aid, packed with all relevant information, helps to ensure that rider safety remains a priority for everyone.”

To obtain free copies of the poster for distribution in-store, contact Tina Hustler at BETA (the British Equestrian Trade Association), tel 01937 587062 or email


2nd June 2014.

The number of visitors who attended this year’s BETA International has been verified by independent auditors.

ABC (Audit Bureau Circulations) issued the three-day trade exhibition’s 2014 attendance certificate last week.

Total unique attendance at BETA International in February was 4,358. In addition, there were 725 re-entries on separate days.

“Achieving an ABC attendance figure is an exacting exercise,” said Claire Thomas, organiser of BETA International.

“However, we believe our exhibitors deserve an independently verified figure each year.”

ABC was established in 1931 to measure circulation, engagement and loyalty. Its integrity is recognised across international publishing and exhibition sectors.

BETA International 2015 returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 14 February. For details, contact James Palmer on 01937 582111 or


2nd June 2014.

Louise Kittle is the new editor of Horse&Rider magazine.

She takes over on 23 June from Alison Bridge who retires from the post after 25 years.

Louise started her career at publisher DJ Murphy in 2005 on PONY magazine. More recently she has worked as magazine group editor in the B2B sector.

She has a number of British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications, owns Cino, a TB/Irish grey gelding and has competed at novice level in eventing, show jumping and dressage.

Read more about the equestrian media in ETN June issue.


2nd June 2014.

Robert Johnston of supplements company Horse First died unexpectedly last Monday night (26 May).

His funeral took place last Thursday.

Robert was a hugely popular figure and regularly seen around the show circuit on the Horse First stand.

The company’s managing director Paddy Hughes told ETN: “We are shocked and devastated to lose our close friend and colleague.”

As a mark of respect, the Horse First offices were closed last week but have reopened from today (2 June).

A tribute to Robert Johnston appears in the July issue of ETN.