29th June, 2017.

Using bedding in horses’ paddocks can improve grazing.

The discovery was made by Swedish scientists whose work is published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Sprinkling absorbent, biodegradable material onto paddocks traps nutrients such as carbon, phosphorous and nitrogen in the soil to nourish grasses, they found.

A thin layer of bedding also helps prevent the leaching out of manure and urine into nearby streams, therefore keeping water sources clean.

• Find out which type of bedding performed best in paddocks in the July issue of ETN.


26th June, 2017.

Distributor Simon Middleton celebrated turning 50 last week with a charity zip wire challenge.

The managing director of Zebra Products hopes his daring dash down a mountain in Snowdonia will be rewarded by donations to the Brooke and Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).

Young eventing stars Emily King and Sam Ecroyd joined Simon as he careered down the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe.

“I didn’t just want to have a party for my fiftieth,” said Simon. “I wanted to do something different.”

“Everyone was pretty nervous beforehand. But we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves - it felt like flying!”

Last year, the IJF helped Simon recover from a riding accident.

Zebra Products regularly supports Brooke which counts the company’s sponsored rider Charlotte Dujardin among its ambassadors.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zippysimon


26th June, 2017.

Michelle Worrall has joined Trilanco as marketing manager.

Hers is a new role for the equine and animal health wholesaler.

Michelle has worked in marketing in the B2B and consumer sectors, most recently in financial services in Manchester.

Michelle has a working cocker spaniel called Mowgli with whom she’s to appear on TV this summer. More news on that to follow in ETN.


26th June, 2017.

The Horse of the Year Show’s (HOYS) trade stand area is to incorporate a stage show for the first time this year (4 – 8 October).

The HOYS Live Zone will host guest speakers, interactive sessions, celebrity rider signings and talks from industry experts.

Topics already confirmed are equine pilates and muscle therapy for riders, a veterinary presentation plus nutrition advice from two (unnamed) feed companies.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (the show’s charity) will give a display in the HOYS Live Zone too.

Thursday will see a live Q and A session with dressage star Charlotte Dujardin. Wocket Woy and the Pwoducer appear on Sunday.


26th June, 2017.

An international team of experts is collaborating on a project designed to take saddle fitting to the next level.

The outcome will be a wide-ranging training programme for all equestrian professionals.

The initiative has been instigated by Dr Gerry van Oossanen who founded the Academy of Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (MSFC) 12 years ago in Holland.

“The influence of the rider and the saddle is enormous and was for a very long time underestimated and even denied,” she said.

“Working on a multidisciplinary base has been one of the primary goals of the MSFC from the start.”

Animal physiotherapists, vets, farriers and trainers as well as saddle fitters already attend MSFC courses.

“It’s now time to take saddle fitting to the next level and put it into a broader spotlight,” Dr van Oossanen told ETN.

“An international team of highly knowledgeable professionals, all specialised in back problems in relation to ill-fitting saddles and bad rider influence, have therefore put their heads together.”

A number of intensive continuous professional development (CPD) courses are currently under development. Plus a series of online video presentations by internationally renowned specialists.

Research projects in collaboration with veterinary universities are also in the pipeline.

Dr van Oossanen said that by increasing knowledge about the horse/rider/saddle relationship, it would become “the accepted norm” for equestrian professionals – including saddle fitters – to work together.

“Back problems and lameness caused by saddles and/or riders can therefore be spotted sooner and serious problems much more frequently prevented,” she added.


20th June, 2017.

Dodson & Horrell is to invest £3.5 million in modernising its Northamptonshire plant.

Plans include automated manufacturing plus innovation in packaging, product flavours and textures.

Previously working across two sites near Kettering, the completed project will see the feed company operate solely from its head office site at Islip.

“The funding we’ve received from Lloyds Bank will allow us to continue to build on an already solid foundation, growing our brands as well as offering new customers more choice when it comes to animal nutrition,” said CEO Sam Horrell.


20th June, 2017.

Musto and FalPro England have signed deals with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to supply kit to the senior equestrian teams.

Musto is to provide clothing with FalPro England supplying rugs and saddle pads.

BEF chief executive Clare Salmon thanked current clothing supplier Toggi for its support over the past 12 years.


20th June, 2017.

Schockemöhle Sports returns to BETA International in 2018 to sponsor the Coffee Shop under its TONICS footwear brand for the third consecutive year.

“BETA International offers us a fantastic opportunity to reach out to existing and potential customers throughout the world,” said Franz Schockemöhle, managing director of the German company.

“Over the past few years, the UK has grown to be one of our most important markets and the sponsorship presents the perfect opportunity to secure additional brand recognition before, during and after the show.”

The Schockemöhle Sports TONICS Coffee Shop offers a comfortable and relaxed meeting area for visitors and exhibitors.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Schockemöhle Sports back for another year of sponsorship,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“This highly respected company has exhibited at the show since 2010, leaving Franz and the rest of the Schockemöhle team in no doubt about the competitive edge that having a presence at BETA International can bring.”

Schockemöhle Sports joins fellow sponsors Battles (Hy brand), Charles Owen and Airowear, Ekkia (Equi-Thème), ETN, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

BETA International 2018 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January.

To exhibit, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com

• ETN is BETA International’s media partner. To get involved with show previews published in ETN from now until BETA International opens, contact Beth Crow tel +44 (0)1937 582111 or email bethc@beta-int.com


19th June, 2017.

An VIP trip for two to the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) is the top prize in a competition to find the UK’s outstanding equine SQP.

The Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year award recognises a suitably qualified person (SQP) who goes the extra mile to offer good worming advice to customers.

SQPs are qualified to prescribe and supply certain animal medicines including wormers.

Find out more and nominate a deserving SQP at www.3dworming.co.uk


13th June, 2017.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from last weekend’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (8 – 11 June).

Not the dampest ever Brammers, and nor the driest… Actually the weather was a bit like the trading - variable.

However, this year’s Yorkshire event focussed a few questions that have been on my mind all season.

My musings got started at another great stand holders’ breakfast bash courtesy of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA). Over sausage and bacon butties - with a healthy option raising the possibility of bacon and strawberry baguettes (trust me, it'll be on Masterchef) - Bramham president Nick Lane Fox reaffirmed the tradestands offer as crucial to the event’s public appeal.

Then the awarding of the BETA best stand awards made me think about how things have changed in the last ten years. All Gold award [top rated] winners had some things in common; mostly presentation and attention to detail. And those attributes reflect both the change in the people who come to these events and the evolving expectations of our core market.

A few years ago, an event like Bramham or a county show was the high point in a particular area as well as part of the bigger circuit for followers of the sport. People came with money to spend, and they sought out things to buy. Often, there was a bit of a drive to get back the cost of the entry ticket, as well as finding things that weren't on offer locally.

Three things have changed all that. Firstly, t'internet (as they say in these parts); secondly, a lot of uncertainty - particularly right now – that’s keeping the passing pound more firmly in the passing pocket.

Urban audience

The third change is who comes into shows. Tired of campervan cooking, I took myself off to a local eatery where the waiter asked if I was "at the show". It transpired that a lot of his mates had visited for the first time and had had a good day out. It was as if the old country fair had been rediscovered by an urban audience.

My guess is that is the lifestyle stands – and particularly the more 'readable' operations with well-presented stock, clearly priced in defined areas, and visibly branded staff - seemed to be doing better than some more traditional looking stands.

The way punters find things to buy has changed, and we need to adapt to that too. Ultimately, the edge we have over the multiple retailer or the Internet in either tradestand or shop is in service and advice based on expertise.

Nowadays, people want to find things before they ask. The sale is made in the "can I help you?" moment. It's just one element of the state of flux we’re in right now. This year's trading hasn't been helped by the political uncertainty, or the weather.

In the end, it's about where our effort is best invested to get the margin we need. One chum has gone down from spending half the year at shows to concentrate on half a dozen events, and it's paying off for him. Another had a sign declaring it was his last ever show and was offloading stock.

In a world where the South of England (8 – 10 June) had empty pitches stretching between inhabited areas - rather in the manner of 1950s bomb sites, and the Royal Welsh is touting for business, then it looks to me as if the organisers have a few questions to consider.

This year's Bramham was saved for me by Friday’s late shopping - I was trading my boots off until gone 8 o'clock fuelled by an incoming tide swept in on the offer of free entry after 4 pm - and the better than expected takings between the rain at the weekend.

Overall, however, it was only average. What will bring me back to Bramham is the organising team and the fact that they listen to traders’ concerns, plus the atmosphere. There's always a buzz at Brammers and I know I get business later on from being there.

The world's changing, the market's changing. I have to change my business model to meet that. Maybe show organisers should reflect on that too?




12th June, 2017.

Westgate EFI has revamped its Mark Todd and Jumpers Horse Line rug ranges.

The distributor is also launching the JHL Essential Collection - a compact equine wardrobe at competitive prices.

The move means Westgate EFI can offer retailers a comprehensive choice of good quality rugs across all price points.

“This exercise was an opportunity to update and overhaul our Mark Todd and JHL brands and give them a fresh, modern and cohesive feel,” says operations director Tracey Woods.


12th June, 2017.

A Dutch firm has become the first from continental Europe to join the BETA NOPS feed assurance scheme.

Hepromij has been audited and accredited for its range of feeds manufactured for the equine market under private label.

Membership of the scheme, run by British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), indicates every possible measure has been taken to avoid NOPS (naturally occurring prohibited substances) in horse feed.

“With the acceptance of Hepromij into the scheme, an Australian company in the midst of the auditing process, members in the UK and Ireland – and a great deal of interest from other overseas companies – the BETA NOPS scheme has now become truly international,” said Claire Williams, BETA’s executive director.

Belonging to the BETA NOPS feed assurance scheme shows that a company has followed industry best-practice procedures, manufacturing in dedicated, non-medicated production lines to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Members are checked annually and are eligible to feature the green BETA NOPS logo on feed packaging.


6th June, 2017.

Equestrian Clearance Warehouse Ltd went into administration on Friday (2 June).

The Halifax based online retailer, founded more than 20 years ago by Lorraine Meadowcroft, had re-branded as Equestrian.com.

Administrators told ETN the business had suffered from cash flow difficulties and falling sales volumes.

Most of the company’s 12 members of staff have been made redundant and trading has ceased.

Administrators Howard Smith and Jonny Marston of KPMG are seeking buyers for Equestrian Clearance Warehouse.

They are looking to sell stock that is not subject to retention of title claims, fixtures and fittings and the company’s IT systems.

“This case demonstrates the pressure that cash flow difficulties can put on a business and its ability to trade,” said Mr Smith.

“All interested parties in buying the business or its assets should come forward as soon as possible.”

Equestrian.com had sponsored high profile shows in recent years, including the Hickstead Derby meeting.

Stock enquiries to Richard Starkey on 0113 231 3079. All other enquiries to Kevin Flatley on 0113 231 3155.


1st June, 2017.

Rolex has dropped its title sponsorship of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, American media is reporting today.

The brand has supported the annual international competition held in Lexington, USA since 1981.

Announcing that Rolex will not be renewing for 2018, organiser Equestrian Events International (EEI) unveiled a new logo and website for the event.

The Kentucky Three-Day Event traditionally happens in late April.


1st June, 2017.

A British company has secured export deals with wholesalers in Australia, Canada and Belgium after exhibiting at BETA International 2017.

HŪF Design exhibited its SKŪP – the only feed scoop with teeth – at the annual trade show in January.

Last week, export deals with Tallahesse in Australia, Canadian Saddlery and Gobel Belgium were confirmed by company founder Emma Lawton.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to sell the SKŪP abroad,” said Emma, who invented the product to break up and measure her horse’s feed.

“Our export success simply wouldn’t have happened without BETA International,” added Emma who won an innovation award for SKŪP on its launch at the show in 2015.

Wiltshire based HŪF Design returns to BETA International 2018. The show is on 21 – 23 January at the NEC, Birmingham.

To find out about exhibiting, contact James Palmer tel +44 1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International.


1st June, 2017.

Sales, admin and management roles in equestrian companies are being filled in record numbers.

“Jobs across the sector are going like hot cakes,” says recruitment expert Emma Dyer of Equine Careers.

She urges firms to advertise their upcoming job vacancies ahead of the academic summer holidays too.

“Companies who have positions to fill are best advised to crack on,” says Emma.

“With the class of 2017 about to graduate, firms who calculate their staffing needs now have the best chance of securing the pick of the candidates.”

Equine Careers’ confidential head-hunting service has also been busy lately.

“A great deal of movement has been happening,” says Emma, who regularly facilitates discreet contact between potential movers and new employers.

“It’s a positive sign and good to see people entering our industry as well as changing roles within it.”