31st July, 2012.

Sarah Dodd, purchasing manager at leading wholesaler Westgate EFI (WEFI), was looking forward to a relaxing Saturday last weekend when she got an urgent telephone call.

A cry for help had come from Greenwich Park. When it became apparent there were no number bibs for the Olympic eventing competitors, someone suggested contacting Bruno Goyens, former international event rider and joint managing director of Westgate EFI.

Sarah confirmed with Dan Nicholls, WEFI warehouse manager, that there were the required 80 bibs in stock and the pair collected them from the company’s Kent warehouse. Then, with Dan at the wheel and Sarah navigating, they drove the bibs to Greenwich Park where the first day of dressage was already underway.

As the British team won a silver medal with five faultless cross country rounds, Sarah, Dan and WEFI could feel very proud of themselves.


31st July, 2012.

The Equestrian Trade News (ETN) newsletter has officially become a hit.

Launched earlier this year, the weekly bulletin of equestrian trade news and views has an open rate of 7.5% higher than the industry average for e-newsletters.

And now ETN’s business partners have the opportunity to gain exposure on the newsletter.

Companies supporting the leading equestrian trade journal by booking series advertising of at least three slots within the upcoming 12 months will be invited to display their logos with links through to their websites on the ETN newsletter.

“It’s a great and fast way of encouraging customers and potential customers to connect with your products and services,” says ETN advertisement manager Nicki Lewis. Find out more from Nicki on 01937 582111 or email info@equestriantradenews.com

If you don’t already receive the ETN newsletter, sign up at www.equestriantradenews.com and click on ‘newsletter’.


31st July, 2012.

Bogus emails which appear to be from colleagues or friends finding themselves in trouble while visiting London for the Olympic Games are being circulated to equestrian businesses.

At least four have arrived at the ETN office, some apparently from contributors to the magazine, asking for cash as their belongings have been stolen.

“They do sound plausible as they come from known names,” said ETN editor Liz Benwell. “The senders can even answer questions about the business of the person’s computer that they have presumably ‘hacked’.

“One sent us an address to which money should be sent; it turned out to be a Chinese restaurant. No money has changed hands.”

If you come across a scam that you feel might affect other members of the equestrian trade, do let us know on editor@equestriantradenews.com


30th July, 2012.

The story behind the world’s best sprinter - Black Caviar - is told in a pair of half hour programmes on Horse & Country TV this week.

Part one Australian Story: Black Caviar goes back to where it all started, a stud farm in Victoria. Viewers can discover how this horse has transformed the lives of everyone involved in her day-to-day life, and meet her trainers, jockeys, owners, breeder and grooms.

Part two Black Caviar: To Set Before a Queen brings the story up to date to follow the mare’s training in the lead up to this year’s Royal Ascot, where she raced in front of the Queen and extended her unbeaten record to 22 races, albeit not without controversy.

Parts one and two are broadcast on Wednesday and Thursday (1 and 2 August) at 7.30pm. Horse & country TV is on Sky channel 280.


27th July, 2012.

If you fancy a flutter this weekend, look no further than Stratford races on Sunday (29 July) when a horse called Olympian is running.

The topically named horse is trained by permit holder Phil Middleton whose ‘day job’ is running supplements specialist Equine America.

Olympian is already a winner, being one half of a Middleton-trained double at Towcester in May. Phil’s other successful runner was Like Ice, named after Equine America’s popular leg cooling product.

And if you’re wondering whether Olympian has a chance on Sunday, he’s to be ridden by A P McCoy.


25th July, 2012.

The X Air ventilated riding hat, new from Champion, meets BSEN1384 2012.

 Retailing from £57.50, it represents great value for money.

 With an attractive faux suede covered outer and integrated ventilation system for exceptional comfort, sizes are 6 1/4 - 7 1/4. The X Air comes in black and navy.

For more new products, see the August issue of ETN – out soon.


24th July, 2012.

Wholesaler Battles has raised £490,000 from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

“This shows that RBS will lend to business,” said Battles’ owner and managing director Jim Bowen.  “You do have to go through more hoops than previously as the attitude of the banks to risk is diminished, but we had coherent plans and up to date management accounts so that we could show that we knew and understood our business.”

Next month [August] will see Battles’ sales team increase from six to eight. A spokesman for the Lincoln based company said there were “many more plans to follow.”

Battles’ own brands include Lincoln horse and leathercare, Super supplements, Hy clothing and saddlery accessories and Townend clothing.


23rd July, 2012.

WE Jameson is to open a new country store at its Masham, North Yorkshire-based mill in September.

The family-owned business already retails a variety of horse and pet food, DIY and gardening products, plus livestock feed and fertiliser. However the new store will carry a much wider range, explained WE Jameson director Graham Jameson.

“[Our customers] have regularly asked us for clothing, gifts and equestrian equipment while they were collecting their feed supplies,” says Mr Jameson. “We have plenty of space at our site in Foxholme Lane, so it seemed like a natural progression.”

The new country store will use part of the original store building. The ground floor will cover almost 280 square metres (3,000 square feet) and a mezzanine level is also being built.

Equestrian and outdoor clothing and equipment, gifts and cards with a rural theme, gardening and pet supplies will be stocked. Clothing is to include Toggi, Hunter, Sherwood Forest and Lazy Jack brands.


20th July, 2012.

Today (Friday, 20 July) marks the 30th anniversary of the Hyde Park bombing which killed four soldiers and seven horses from the Household Cavalry in central London.

The occasion has a special poignancy for The Horse Trust in Speen, Buckinghamshire where surviving cavalry horses Sefton and Yeti and Metropolitan police horse Echo were retired from their duties to live out the remainder of their days in peace.

In the bombing, Sefton suffered 38 penetrating wounds in his body and a piece of metal had severed a main artery in his neck. Grey gelding, Echo also carried the marks of the atrocity with a piece of shrapnel embedded in his side, but he found friendship with Yeti at The Horse Trust. They were joined by Sefton when he retired from public duties and celebrity appearances.

“It was a privilege to be able to repay these horses, who had given a life of service,” said Shirley Abbott of The Horse Trust. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the soldiers that lost their lives and were injured, and our special thoughts are with the horses that ended their days peacefully with us, on this 30th anniversary.”

The Horse Trust, founded in 1886, provides a place of retreat for working horses that have served their country or community and also funds non-invasive research that advances knowledge of equine diseases, improving diagnosis and treatment and reducing suffering among equines worldwide. The charity also offers training for professionals and owners, with a focus on equine welfare and quality of life assessment.

For more information, or to donate to The Horse Trust, visit www.horsetrust.org.uk, or contact the charity on 01494 488 464 or info@horsetrust.org.uk .

The Horse Trust is open to the public Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday throughout the summer from 2 – 4pm. Entry is free but donations are welcomed in the donation boxes on the yard.


19th July, 2012.

Companies that sponsor Olympic or Paralympic riders are warned not to use those riders ‘in any media capacity’ – including advertising - during specified periods surrounding London 2012, says the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).

As a condition of entry into the Games, participants agree to follow the terms of the Olympic Charter or Paralympic Handbook. Flouting the ‘no media’ rule could disqualify them from the Games.

The relevant periods for not using Olympic riders in advertisements are from now until 15 August 2012 for the Olympic Games and 21 August –12 September 2012 for the Paralympic Games.


19th July, 2012.

Ben Maher, part of the British Olympic show jumping team, is to appear at Your Horse Live, the consumer show at Stoneleigh on November 10/11.

A former winner of the Hickstead Derby, Ben been on numerous nations cup teams and is enjoying success on the current Global Champions’ Tour.

Your Horse live has also announced its chosen charity – Riding for the Disabled (RDA).


19th July, 2012.

Organisers of the Great Yorkshire Show will offer to reimburse tradestand holders for the two days they lost as a result of the cancellation of last week’s show.

In a move expected to cost the Yorkshire Agricultural Society around £700,000, the Society will write to the 600 or so businesses offering two thirds reimbursement which covers the cost of their stands.

The Great Yorkshire had to cancel the final two days of the three day event after unprecedented wet weather resulted in the car parks being unsafe to use.

Nigel Pulling, chief executive said: “It was a heartbreaking decision to have to make but we said immediately that we regard our tradestand exhibitors as important partners in staging the event. Under our terms and conditions no refund is due, but we recognise that for many, the loss of two days’ business will have a severe impact at a time when trading is already challenging. Therefore, we have taken the decision today to offer this refund.”

The cancellation will cost the organisers around £2m in ticket refunds, remedial work to the car parks, cancelled attractions and displays plus reimbursement of tradestands.


18th July, 2012.

Trusted partnerships is the theme of a new equine wormer campaign launched by Virbac Animal Health this week.

The first of a series of full pages advertisements featuring international show jumper Ellen Whitaker appears in tomorrow’s (19th July) Horse&Hound, the magazine’s Olympic preview number.

“Our new marketing campaign explores unique partnerships on many levels,” revealed Tom Blacklock of Virbac, manufacturer of Equimax and Eraquell wormers. “It could be the partnership between a top rider and her horse, or a child and her lead rein pony. Then there are partnerships between consumers and SQPs [suitably qualified persons, to sell wormers] and many more.”

Find out more in the September issue of ETN, also containing a feature for SQPs to earn CPD points.


17th July, 2012.

Redpin Publishing is to sponsor the New Product Gallery at BETA International 2013 (17-19 February at the NEC, Birmingham).

For the third year running, the Wiltshire-based producer of equestrian regional magazines lends its name to the exhibition’s showcase for new launches.

“The New Product Gallery highlights those brands that are pushing the boundaries and expectations of customers, and that’s something that sits very well with our own ethos,” said Redpin Publishing owner Sara Haines.

Items displayed in BETA International’s New Product Gallery are labelled and marked with stand numbers. The feature area is due to be re-designed for next year’s show.

BETA International’s main sponsor is Virbac Animal Health. TopSpec and Caldene have also signed up. BETA International is the leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet products and country clothing markets. For further information or to book a stand, contact James Palmer, telephone 01937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com.


16th July, 2012.

There’s nothing new about field shelters, but this one appears to eradicate potential pitfalls of existing designs. The Horse Arc, from Lincoln based Pan Products, is made from pressure-treated, forestry managed timber. But it’s the shape that’s so unusual. The curved structure means it can withstand gale force winds up to 80mph, while rain and snow clear quickly to prolong the life of the wood. What makes the Horse Arc so appealing to equines is that, with two open ends, no horse or pony will fear being trapped inside and thus be reluctant to use it. A variety of sizes, plus optional extras such as canvas ends are available. The manufacturers are currently experimenting to see if horses will push through hanging fly netting too.


13th July, 2012.

The CLA Game Fair, due to be held at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire next weekend (20-22 July), was cancelled yesterday.

“I am extremely sad to say the heavy rain in the run-up to this year’s CLA Game Fair has left us with no choice but to take the heartbreaking decision to cancel the show,” said CLA director general Helen Woolley. “It is a devastating blow for the CLA team, contractors, exhibitors and the hoards of visitors and guests who make the CLA Game Fair the world’s greatest country show.

She added that the exceptionally high level of rain in the weeks running up to the show made it impossible to build the event and to run it safely.

This was to be the first CLA Game Fair under new director Andrew Crawford. “We will, of course, honour the terms and conditions of all contracts, and members of the public who have bought advance tickets should visit the CLA Game Fair website at www.gamefair.co.uk to apply for refunds.”


12th July, 2012.

A new seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS), announced in the 2012 Budget, is set to funnel cash into new businesses. SEIS aims to offer fledgling firms a financial boost by encouraging investors to provide funds by dangling the carrot of massive tax saving incentives.

Investors putting the maximum £100,000 into new companies with assets of less than £200,000 can reduce their income tax by 50% and grab a further saving of 28% capital gains tax if they raise the investment from disposing of other assets this tax year.

“For every £100 invested, the government will underwrite 78%. You are only on the hook for 22%,” said Conservative MP and former private equity investor Brooks Newmark who has been touring the country to stir up interest in SEIS.

“This is the most difficult area to get money. We need to get angel investors to invest as much money as they can.

“This is not going to solve the problems of everyone who needs money. It’s a niche area. This is not something you are able to flip but instead it is to be used to build a business. In return, the government is lowering the risk.

“There is a lack of liquidity in the market. The point is that businesses are finding it difficult to get hold of capital at the moment.

“The taxpayer has bailed out the banks but the banks have not been doing their bit.”

For more information, visit www.seis.co.uk


11th July, 2012.

There is no Great Yorkshire Show today or tomorrow (July 11/12). Continuing heavy rain has forced the organisers to close the Harrogate showground.

Yesterday the show went ahead with the public asked to use a park and ride system rather than bring their cars to the site. Later in the day, it was announced that all equine classes would be cancelled. But by teatime, the Great Yorkshire had been abandoned.

“It’s heartbreaking for all concerned,” said show director Bill Cowling. “The decision has been made because our car parks have become too muddy to use with any safety, and the safety of our visitors has to come first.”

Ticket holders will be refunded or can use their tickets for the 2013 Great Yorkshire Show. Tradestand holders are due to be contacted.

This was the 154th Great Yorkshire Show with more than 130,000 visitors expected over the three days.


10th July, 2012.

The five riders who will represent Britain at the 2012 Paralympic Games have been named.

Lee Pearson (Grade Ib) set to make his fourth Paralympics appearance alongside Deborah Criddle (Grade III), while for Sophie Christiansen (Grade Ia), London will be her third Games.

They are joined by Sophie Wells (Grade IV) and Natasha Baker (Grade II), both of whom achieve Paralympic selection for the first time.

Britain’s riders topped the medal table in Beijing in 2008, winning five gold medals including team gold for the fourth consecutive Games.


9th July, 2012.

This weekend’s Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), has become the latest high profile event to be cancelled due to waterlogged ground conditions.

The festival was due to take place at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, home of HRH The Princess Royal, on 13 – 15 July, two weeks earlier than usual to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games.

This would have been the seventh year BETA has presented the Festival of British Eventing.

“Of course we are enormously disappointed but understand the reasons for the cancellation,” said Claire Williams, executive director of BETA. “We feel for the organisers as well as those with tradestands who have now lost a highlight of the year in terms of both top level competition and trading opportunities.”


9th July, 2012.

Louise Woof, who invented the first neoprene brushing boots for horses, died on Thursday (5 July). She was in her mid 50s and had MS.

Louise developed Woof boots in 1981 when working as a groom in a hunting yard. With help from agent Tiger Davies, who introduced the boots to the trade, and endorsement from international eventer Ginny Leng, the brand became a household name.

Louise sold her business to Gul International in 1994 for around £1 million. She then established the Maximilian Stud where she stood the famous dressage and show jumping sire Saluut.

“I remember her most as a stickler for getting everything right,” said Tiger.

Woof Wear is now owned by John and Ali Felton who acquired the brand in a management buy-out in 2009.


9th July, 2012.

Equestrian Olympic action with expert analysis will be broadcast daily by Horse&Country TV during London 2012.

Every evening of equestrian competition, H&C TV will broadcast an episode of Rudall’s Round-Up magazine show from a location just outside Greenwich Park.

Presenter Jenny Rudall will discuss the day’s action with experts from each discipline plus special guests from the equestrian world. Already lined up are dressage rider Andrew Gould, show jumper Trevor Breen and eventer Sharon Hunt.

Rudall’s Round-Up airs at 10pm each evening with repeats the following day at 11am and 5pm. H&C TV is on Sky channel 280.


6th July, 2012.

A training course on bits and the equine mouth takes place in North Yorkshire on 31 July.

Led by Heather Hyde, founder of bit supplier Neue Schule, the day is suitable for retailers, saddle fitters, equine physiotherapists and equine dentists.

One of a series of courses run by the company, topics to be covered include the history of bits, materials used, technologies for design of bits, mouth management, common misconceptions, coping with evasions and dressage legal snaffles.

See the August issue of ETN for a feature on bits and bridles.


5th July, 2012.

Retailers – particularly those who trade online - are underestimating the extent of the disruption that could result from the Olympic Games, warns a parcel delivery company.

DPD is calling on retailers to consider arranging additional collections, bringing forward main daily collections by an hour and talking to customers about potential delays between the peak period of mid July to mid September.

Olympic organisers are starting to change road layouts to prepare the Olympic Route Network which will have a significant impact in the coming weeks. A spokesman added: "Companies with head offices in London are generally being more realistic. Outside London, awareness of the potential impact is much lower.”


4th July, 2012.

Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch have been selected to compete for Ireland in the Olympic show jumping competition.

Billy rides Edwin and Sue Davies's mare Tinka's Serenade; while Denise has Thomas Straumann's gelding Abbervail van het Dingeshof.

Ireland did not qualify a show jumping team for London 2012.


4th July, 2012.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has secured funding to support a trade mission to the China Horse Fair in Beijing on 16-18 October.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) funding of £1,800 is available to eligible companies for allowable expenses.

BETA’s executive director Claire Williams has visited China. “With the rise in living standards and a changing attitude towards [horse] sport, riding has become more affordable and more fashionable than it has ever been before,” she said.

Find out more in the July issue of ETN.


3rd July, 2012.

Nicola Wilson (35) riding Opposition Buzz, owned by Miss Rosemary Search, will be part of the British eventing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Yorkshire based combination, originally named as team reserve, replaces Piggy French whose ride DHI Topper W has been injured. "We are thrilled for Nicola to be on the Olympic team, and would like to wish the British team good luck for London 2012. It is very sad news for Piggy, as horse owners ourselves we understand the highs and lows of producing horses and know the disappointment she will be feeling," said Katy Mickle of TopSpec.

The feed company has been a long-time supporter of Nicola and Opposition Buzz.


3rd July, 2012.

Online directory www.britishequestriandirectory.com is celebrating its first birthday by introducing a new search tool called Ask ED.

The cheeky equine cartoon appears on the cover of the July issue of ETN.

ED’s Weekly Whinny – a competition giving website visitors the chance to win a china mug decorated with Ed’s portrait – is launched on 20 July.

Find out more in the July issue of ETN.


2nd July, 2012.

The four combinations selected to form the British show jumping team at the Olympic Games are:

Scott Brash (26) riding Hello Sanctos owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham.

Peter Charles (52) riding [Murka’s] Vindicat W owned by Olga White, Tara Charles & Team Murka.

Ben Maher (29) riding Tripple X III owned by The Quainton Stud and rider.

Nick Skelton OBE (54) riding Big Star owned by Mrs Beverley Widdowson.

Tina Fletcher (47) riding Hello Sailor, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham, is named travelling reserve. It will be a seventh Olympic Games for Nick Skelton who also rode in the ‘alternative’ Olympics in 1980.