24th June, 2016.

Stephanie Henderson has joined Battles as digital executive.

A sport and business management graduate, she has been working for the Lincoln based wholesaler for one month.

Stephanie previously worked for England Golf [the governing body for amateur golf in England].

At Battles, she’s combining her digital marketing experience with a passion for horses.


24th June, 2016.

Retailers and companies are urged to make sure their resident SQPs are in with a chance of winning a VIP Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) experience.

The all-expenses paid trip with overnight accommodation and champagne hospitality is the star prize for the 2016 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year.

Nominations close at the end of next month (31st July).

Designed to highlight equine-SQPs’ hard work and dedication, the award recognises professionals who go the extra mile to advise customers on the correct worming approach.

The award also delivers profile and publicity for the company or store with which the winner is associated.

Nominations can be made at


24th June, 2016.

Small businesses are set to benefit from energy market reforms.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today announced a move towards the publication of comparable tariffs.

The aim is to make it quicker and easier for small firms and sole traders to compare energy prices and choose the best contracts.

Until now, these firms have had to go through the time consuming process of negotiating complex deals with multiple providers.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has campaigned to bring more transparency to the energy market.

It says the CMA recommendations will bring an end to unfair auto-rollovers.

“While many energy companies have voluntarily removed restrictive auto-rollovers, today’s decision will guarantee businesses are not automatically locked in to further fixed-term contracts, against their will, with unfair terms and conditions,” said an FSB spokesman.

A third of small firms highlight the cost of energy as a barrier to growth and success of their business, adds the FSB.

Correction of the market falls to energy regulator Ofgem.


23rd June, 2016.

The UK Game Fair has been called off four weeks before it was due to happen at Stoneleigh Park this month (22 – 24 July).

Trade exhibitors and visitor ticket holders have been offered transfers to another new show, The Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire the following week (29-31 July).

The cancelled UK Game Fair was one of a series of new events aiming to replace the CLA Game Fair which ran for the final time last year.

It was to be organised by Blaze Publishing which was sold by owner Wes Stanton to publishing group Future plc earlier this year. Mr Stanton stayed on as a consultant to the new show which the acquisition put into Future’s hands.

Announcing the cancellation, UK Game Fair organisers said in a statement: “It’s clear that the industry wants and needs a single, large-scale event where their interests can be best served and that event will be The Game Fair, Ragley Hall.”

Wes Stanton said he was “massively disappointed ” about the cancellation, but “realise this is the right decision.”

The Ragley Hall game fair is organised by many of the CLA show’s original contractors.


17th June, 2016.

Equestrian consumers are more likely to vote to leave the EU than to remain in it.

A poll taken on behalf of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) reveals that 41% wish to leave compared with 33% wanting to remain. The rest are undecided.

The overwhelming majority are likely to vote in Thursday’s referendum. But half feel they lack sufficient information to make an informed choice.

Equestrian consumers were also asked how leaving or remaining would affect them and their horse ownership. Not surprisingly given the reported lack of information, many were unclear.

Among the perceived impacts of remaining were good access to products, easier exporting/movement of horses and EU interference.

Potential impacts of leaving the EU included less paperwork/red tape, difficulty for equine travel/transport and rising costs of feed and products.

Consumers were undecided how leaving or remaining would affect equine welfare, some saying negatively and others positively.

Many said that the outcome of the referendum would have no real impact on them as equestrian consumers.

The poll surveyed members of the National Equestrian Panel, established by BETA to gauge consumers’ opinions on a wide range of equestrian and related issues. Survey results are collected and collated by independent researchers.


16th June, 2016.

Swedish clothing brand Didriksons has appointed Mary Williams as sales agent for London and the south-east.

Mary has previously worked with equestrian companies Westgate and Aerborn.

More recently she was the principal sales agent for Joules in London and the south-east.


16th June, 2016.

TV cricket commentator Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew has taken up riding.

He took to the saddle after being asked to present horse sports from next month’s Olympic Games.

“No-one was more surprised than me when I was asked,” said Jonathan who’s been learning Western riding.

“I had never ridden before or ever wanted to. Now I’m on the road to Rio.”

Jonathan is the star guest in this week’s episode of Horse & Country TV’s Rudall Rides With series in which presenter Jenny Rudall hacks out with a celebrity.

The programme is on Thursday, 23 June at 9pm on H&C TV, Sky Channel 253.


16th June, 2016.

Battles is to wholesale and distribute Noble Outfitters’ (Europe) accessory lines.

"We want to streamline our service to retailers to ensure that the accessory side of our range is available 24/7,” said Matt Cummins, Noble Outfitters’ sales manager UK and Europe.

The Noble Outfitters clothing collection - to feature menswear for 2017 - continues to be managed by the UK sales team.

The brand is to exhibit at Spoga this autumn and BETA International in January.


15th June, 2016.

The results of the BETA Best Stand Awards were announced during a tradestand holders’ breakfast, hosted by the trade association, at Bramham last weekend.

BETA also sponsored the CIC 3* and Pony Club showjumping competitions during the West Yorkshire event.

Run under a new format in three categories, the BETA Best Stand Awards were judged according to set criteria with winners awarded silver or gold standards.

In the Equestrian & Saddlery section, silver went to sign maker, engraver and rosettes specialist Richardson Designs, feed company Dodson & Horrell and equestrian retailer R & R Country, while retailers Equine & Country, Ayr Equestrian and Inch's Saddlery were awarded gold.

Under the Lifestyle, Pet & Fashion category, silver went to small animal feed specialist Harringtons, ladies' tailored fashion retailer Brace and pet retailer The Waggy Tails Store. Gold was won by jewellery company Hi-Ho Silver, ladies' shoes, bags and accessories retailer Carl Scarpa and footwear and accessories retailer Fairfax & Favor.

Food & Beverages saw caterer Crispy Duck Wraps take silver and family drinks company Condessa Welsh Liqueurs win gold.

“It was great to be back at Bramham [this was BETA’s fourth year of sponsorship] and a privilege to sponsor riders at the very top of their game and young equestrians at grassroots level,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“The event is a fantastic opportunity for us to get out and meet people of all ages and abilities who are really passionate about horses and riding. It gives us a chance to tell them about the latest BETA initiatives and explain what we can do for them.”


13th June, 2016.

Small businesses are unfairly carrying the cost of cyber-crime in an increasingly vulnerable digital economy.

Such firms are collectively attacked seven million times per year, according to a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

These cyber-crimes are costing the UK economy an annual £5.2 billion. The figure shows smaller firms are harder hit than big businesses after size adjustment.

Despite the vast majority of small firms (93%) taking steps to protect themselves from digital threats, two thirds have fallen a victim of cyber-crime in the last two years.

Over that period, those affected have been hit four times on average, costing each business £3,000 in total.

The FSB is calling for more support for smaller firms least able to bear the burden of the increasing global cyber threat.

Almost all (99%) of the UK’s 5.4 million small firms rate the internet as highly important to their business, with two in three offering, or planning to offer, goods and services online.

Without intervention, the growing sophistication of cyber-crime could stifle small business growth and in the worst cases, close them down.

The types of cyber-crime most commonly affecting small businesses are phishing emails (49%), spear phishing emails (37%) and malware attacks (29%).

Small firms are also concerned about hacking and fraud when the card is not present, with the average information breach setting them back 2.2 days.

To combat this, four in five small firms use computer securing software, and well over half (53%) perform regular updates of their IT systems.

The FSB report also found room for small firms to improve security. Currently just a quarter of smaller businesses (24%) have a strict password policy, 4% have a written plan of what to do if attacked online and just 2% have a recognised security standard such as ISO27001 or the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.


13th June, 2016.

Peter Bell has joined softwood shavings brand Thoroughbred as business development manager.

He was previously area sales manager with Shires Equestrian and has worked in the equestrian sector for nine years.

Thoroughbred bedding is owned by Stoke-on-Trent based SCA Timber Supply.


7th June, 2016.

Saddles and saddle fitting come under the spotlight in this month’s ETN.

The focus falls on saddle-makers in a new directory. And ETN goes behind the scenes at leading saddle label John Whitaker International.

In a CPD feature, Dr Gerry van Oossanen - director of the Academy for Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (MSFC), considers the future of saddle fitting. The accompanying quiz is designed to test readers’ knowledge.

In common with all ETN’s CPD features – which also cover worming, nutrition and farriery – the MSFC CPD feature also appears online at

● The SMS logo incorrectly appears on the printed version of the feature, an error for which we apologise.


7th June, 2016.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart will be back at BETA International in January.

He returns to host the 2017 trade fair’s Talking Business feature. The forum sees prominent figures from the international equestrian industry debate the latest hot topics.

“I’m delighted to be taking part once again in this premier event for our industry,” said Alastair.

“Intelligent conversation is guaranteed from a top-class panel on all that matters to our sport and the brilliant industries that support it.”

Alastair presented BETA International’s first Talking Business debate earlier this year. It proved to be a big hit with visitors and exhibitors.

“We’re extremely pleased that Alastair has accepted our invitation to continue in his role as Talking Business host,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“We definitely have the right man for the job. He is polished, professional, entertaining and fantastic at ensuring that all members of the panel have the opportunity to express their views.

“We were incredibly impressed with his performance in January and so was the audience – you could certainly say that Alastair is back by popular demand!”

The Talking Business panel will be confirmed nearer the time of the show.

BETA International is the world’s leading equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product trade exhibition. The 2017 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January. For information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International.


7th June, 2016.

Research behind the EquiSal Tapeworm test has been peer reviewed and published in the scientific journal Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

The product from Austin Davis Biologics enables owners to take saliva samples from their horses.

After posting for analysis, results are reported via stockists of the saliva collecting kits.

Research to validate the EquiSal test included taking samples from horses examined post mortem plus comparison with a blood test. The work has shown the test to be accurate.

Publication in a peer reviewed journal demonstrates good quality of science, reliability of findings and that the research is of an accepted standard.

Dr Corrine Austin, director of Austin Davis Biologics, said that the company is now investigating encysted redworm diagnostics, among other projects.


6th June, 2016.

A collection of walking sticks – including some with an equestrian theme – comes under the hammer later this month.

British rabologist [walking stick enthusiast] the late Ray Moore hunted down many remarkable examples from the UK, Europe and the US.

The collection spans several centuries and encompasses exquisite designs.

There are walking sticks with porcelain tops, one that adapts to a horse measuring stick and another incorporating a working flute.

The oldest date from the mid-eighteen century. Prices are estimated to range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

The first sale takes place at Chiswick Actions, London on 21 June.


6th June, 2016.

There is such a thing as a free breakfast after all… the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is to treat Bramham trade exhibitors and their staff to bacon rolls and coffee.

While traders tuck in, the BETA Best Stand Awards will be presented.

The BETA Tradestand Holders’ breakfast is at 7.30am on Saturday (11 June) in the Members’ Bistro at the West Yorkshire event.

BETA sponsors Bramham’s CIC 3* for a fourth consecutive year. The trade association uses the exposure to promote rider safety, highlight its work and its members’ profile.

“We’re extremely excited to be back at Bramham, particularly in the run-up to Rio,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“The event always attracts a really clued-up crowd of riders who are keen to find out more about our latest initiatives and to seek advice.”

The BETA team will be at Bramham from 9 – 12 June offering free safety checks for riding hats and body protectors. Consumers receive vouchers for 10% off the price of a new garment bought from a participating BETA member retailer.

BETA also supports the Pony Club Team Show Jumping for a second year, and is running a prize draw on its stand to win £1,500 worth of equestrian items.

BETA goody bags and doggy bandanas will be handed out too.


3rd June, 2016.

A feed company is “incredibly proud” of Carl Hester for his most recent accolade, an honorary Fellowship of the British Horse Society (BHS).

Saracen Horse Feeds has worked with Carl and his team for more than ten years.

“One of the best equestrians of our times,” was how Michael Bacon, sales and marketing director of Saracen Horse Feeds described the London 2012 team gold medallist.

“Saracen Horse Feeds are incredibly proud that Carl has been awarded the highest BHS accolade which has only ever been given to an elite group of equestrians,” added Michael.

“As an exceptional athlete, he very much deserves this recognition for all his achievements both on the Team GBR medal table and, equally, for training and mentoring the next generation. Congratulations, Carl!”


3rd June, 2016.

Battling red tape is hampering small firms’ growth.

On average, business owners spend 33 hours a month on internal administration.

The figure represents almost a quarter of their working hours, according to new research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

In addition, the average small firm sees around 70 hours of employee time tied up in red tape.

Two in three smaller businesses say the administrative burden is preventing them from focusing on their business’ primary purpose.

Meanwhile three-quarters of business owners spend more time than they would like on compliance - tackling issues such as tax, employment law, insurance, workplace pensions, accounting tasks and health and safety.

Business administration isn’t just a burden on time, it can also have major cost implications.

Companies surveyed spend an average of £3,600 on help with tax compliance alone.

Proprietors say they could use the time spent on red tape more productively. 61% would devote it to extra sales development.

Currently, the average small business owner spends 8 hours 50 minutes per month on new business development - around a quarter of the time they spend on administration.

Out-sourcing administration is one solution, but it comes at a cost – the average spend being £14,000 a year.

So when it comes to red tape, what are the top five time-consuming culprits?

1. Accounting duties - 14 hours 45 minutes per month

2. Business banking – 9 hours 19 minutes per month

3. Tax – 6 hours 38 minutes per month

4. HR issues – 5 hours 14 minutes

5. Health and safety – 5 hours 6 minutes