31st July, 2014.

Animalife is the new title sponsor of this weekend’s British Riding Clubs (BRC) National Horse Trials Championships.

The event, for which more than 150 competitors have qualified from across the UK, takes place at Swalcliffe Park Equestrian, near Banbury, Oxfordshire on 1 – 3 August.

"We very much look forward to partnering with British Riding Clubs and following the progress of so many aspirational and talented horse and rider combinations,” said Ross Riley, director of Animalife, creator of Vetrofen and Vetroflex supplement brands.

This year is the first of Animalife’s title sponsorship of the BRC horse trials championships under a three-year deal.


29th July, 2014.

The way complaints about advertisements are investigated has been refreshed.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says the changes ensure complaints are processed by transparent, proportionate, targeted, evidence-based, consistent and accountable means.

A self regulatory body, the ASA adjudicates under the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code. Under the code, ‘advertisements’ also covers sales promotions and direct marketing, online and in print.

Among the revisions announced last week are new policies on restricting repetitive complainants, confidentiality and deadlines.

They cover complaints made by members of the public and competitor companies. See the revisions in full here


28th July, 2014.

Virgin Trains is offering a 25% travel discount to BETA International visitors.

The offer applies to all visitors heading for Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International train stations.

Both stations are within easy reach of the NEC where BETA International takes place on 22 – 24 February, 2015.

Contact BETA International operations manager Jackie Woolley on tel 01937 582111 or for more details


25th July, 2014.

Cornwall Farmers officially opens a new-look country store in Helston tomorrow (Saturday, 26 July).

The launch of Patch & Acre marks a fourth new outlet for the group.

Product ranges in store cover horses, farming, clothing, pets, homes and gardens.

As part of the opening, Patch & Acre will host a family fun day with bouncy castle, face painting, a rodeo sheep and a pets’ corner.


25th July, 2014.

A survey to assess awareness of and concern about ragwort has been launched by the British Horse Society (BHS) with support from Defra.

The yellow flowered plant that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, harm to horses.

“Every year the BHS is inundated with concerns from members about ragwort, which can cause much damage to horses,” said a spokesman for the charity.

“Many of those responsible for horses’ care invest large amounts of resource, both through labour and expense, in trying to control this weed.”

The new research project will assess the impact of ragwort on horses in England. It’s hoped the results will ensure appropriate use of the Weeds Act 1959, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and other relevant legislation.

The survey runs until Friday 15 August 2014, and can be found at


24th July 2014.

Dodson & Horrell has recalled batch numbers week 20-28 of its Alfalfa Oil Plus product “as a precautionary measure.”

The move follows news that a number of racehorses, including the Queen’s 2013 Gold Cup winner Estimate, have tested positive for the banned substance morphine.

John Warren, the Queen’s racing advisor, said in a statement that “initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product.”

Dodson & Horrell, a Royal Warrant holder as feed supplier to the Queen, has blamed the presence of morphine in its feed – most likely due to stray poppy seeds - on one of its raw material suppliers.

In another development, Allen & Page uses the same supplier and has found a low level of contamination among raw materials at its mill.

Although this manufacturer has no connection with any positive test results, it has identified and quarantined any traces of contaminated ingredient.

Only those Allen & Page feeds with a batch date of between 18 June and 7 July 2014 might potentially be affected. As a precaution, the company has contacted riders and merchants who regularly use and sell its feeds.

The BETA NOPS Assurance Scheme, of which Dodson & Horrell and Allen & Page are members, was set up to minimise the risk of feed contamination by naturally occurring prohibited substances.

Dengie yesterday confirmed that none of the feed contamination cases are linked to its alfalfa-based products. A spokesman for the BETA NOPS member company said that Dengie’s Alfa-A Oil feed should not be confused with similarly named products.

For more details, visit


23rd July 2014.

Bedding manufacturer Bedmax has appointed Barbara Scott as regional sales manager for the East Midlands and East Anglia.

She was previously an area sales manager for Dodson & Horrell for eight years, and has also worked for Dengie.

Based in Weedon, Northamptonshire, Barbara enjoys riding in her spare time.


22 July, 2014.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from last weekend’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

What's in a sausage?
Saturday's sausage supper seemed superb. No, it’s not a new tongue twister, Just a short sermon on stock.

If you haven't got it you can't sell it ....the trick is to get the right amount at the right price in the right place at the right time. Which my sausage supremo friend hadn't quite.

As a newbie exhibitor with a fresh product, he faced a dilemma common to most of us. How much of which product to take along? And what's it worth to the passing pound?

Trouble is, being by the main exits on a sizzling Friday, the savoury sausage seemed a great idea for a quick meal to the departing crowds. Plus, attractively packaged, award winning and on offer at four packs for a tenner, even Saturday's storms didn't deter the punters.

So by the time I was looking for something simple to cook after a long day's trading, he was down to his last 100 or so packs, with no more stock coming in for Sunday. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

As I relaxed with a cold beer behind the stand waiting for my succulent supper, I asked myself whether I would have stuck with the four for a tenner offer when stock was flying out of the chiller unit and single packs were fetching four quid elsewhere......what would you do?

Overall, as shows go ‘the CLA’ was reasonable. Some people must have done very well as the tannoy declared at 3pm on Saturday that the shop and drop was full. At £2 a bag, there were some dedicated shoppers out there between the thunderstorms. Maybe they were all down in what one of my pals called ‘the car boot’ at the bottom of the hill, although Gunmakers’ Row and the re-branded ‘Horses and Hounds’ were steady, the PBQ* was only moderate on most of the site.

Hot dogs
After Saturday's storms, we all had high hopes for Sunday, and indeed numbers were up. But as the cloudy start lifted and the sun began to blaze down, the lack of the usual standpipes became an issue.

Responsible stand holders were in a relay to fill up their complimentary dog bowls, and Fido frolicked in the fountains and water features, but where were the usual water points? For a dog friendly event, owners got a bit vocal on the point, and also on the lack of the usual signage.

There was nothing like the usual number of signposts where the aisles met, and finding the loos if you didn’t have a map was a real challenge. Come on organisers, with that number of exhibitors on site and that number of visitors with dogs, it's not rocket science.

Maybe it was sausage science - how many people can you stuff into a show without spending on the utilities?

*PBQ = plastic bag quotient, the internationally agreed standard for how successful an event is. This is a complicated formula based on the number of bags, the size of each bag and the estimated value of contents based on the branding.

Cheers, Guy

• Read Guy Roper’s report from the Hickstead Derby meeting in the August issue of ETN.


22 July, 2014.

BETA International’s Innovation Awards have a new category for 2015 – Technical Outdoor Clothing & Footwear.

The move reflects a growing number of outdoor companies exhibiting at the three-day trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham each February.

“Diversification continues to be a driving force for both exhibitors and visitors, and we are extremely pleased to welcome trade members from a range of related industries,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

The Innovation Awards, sponsored by the show’s media partner Equestrian Trade News (ETN), now consist of ten categories: Country Fashion & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General (formerly Other), Horsecare Equipment & [Horse] Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing, Rider Footwear & Chaps, Saddlery & Tack, Safety & Security and Technical Outdoor Clothing & Footwear.

Exhibiting companies’ products that have been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the show can be entered for the awards. Judging is by an independent panel of experts in their own fields.

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


16th July, 2014.

James Hitchen, the former managing director of Jabez Cliff, has started a new job with Ideal Saddle Company.

“I don’t have an official job title, but I’m really enjoying it,” he told ETN, before confirming that he was employed by the Walsall based manufacturer.

Jabez Cliff, best known for its Barnsby saddlery brand, went into administration in June.


16th July, 2014.

New Spillers leisure nutritionist Nicki Smith is touring yards across the south of England.

With the aid of a portable weighbridge, she’s offering free advice to horse and pony owners.

Before joining Mars Horsecare’s horse feed brand, Nicki worked in sales for Wrigley, part of Mars, and for Nestle.

She previously worked with event horses too.

Long-term Spillers leisure nutritionist Isabel Harker continues to cover the north of the UK.


16th July, 2014.

Ill-fitting saddles can cause rider back ache as well as muscle asymmetry, stilted gaits and back pain in horses.

A study conducted by equine orthopaedic expert Dr Sue Dyson at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) also highlighted the need for regular saddle fit checks.

In addition, riders and trainers should learn to identify ill-fitting saddles and recognise lameness, saddle slip and rider crookedness.

Part of the study involved a survey of more than 200 riders, their horses and saddles.

“Worryingly, 30% of horses that had had their saddles checked at least once yearly still had an ill-fitting saddle,” said PhD student Line Greve who worked on the study.

Full results will be presented at the second Saddle Research Trust International Conference, to be held in Cambridge on 29th November 2014. The conference is supported by World Horse Welfare (WHW), preferential rates are available to BETA members.


15th July, 2014.

Charles Owen & Co (Bow), returning sponsor of the Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena at BETA International 2015, wants to help retailers become increasingly profitable.

For a third year, the British riding hat manufacturer hosts The Charles Owen Learning Centre, the setting for live product displays and retailer information sessions during the three-day trade exhibition.

Charles Owen’s mission is to focus on the education of retailers – helping them to develop their businesses and become increasingly profitable,” said Roy Burek, managing director.

“Sponsoring this feature certainly helps us to do that.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas described Charles Owen’s decision to support the trade fair once again as “a tremendous endorsement of the show.”

The world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product markets takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 February.

For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email


10th July 2014.

Kelly Whapples has joined Trilanco as the wholesaler’s area sales manager covering the south of England.

Kelly has worked in the equestrian trade for six years, previously for Shires Equestrian, Westgate EFI and Tredstep Ireland.

She has been involved with horses since she was five.


9th July, 2014.

New research reveals that people who shoot spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services.

The figure appears in The Value of Shooting, a report by Cambridge-based Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) published this week.

Their independent study looked at the economic, environmental and social contributions of shooting in the UK.

“These figures show that shooting is good for the economy, good for jobs and good for the countryside,” said Richard Ali, chief executive of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

At Wadswick Country Store, shooting accounts for a small (5%) but significant proportion of trade.

“If [equestrian] retailers have the space, it’s definitely something worth looking at,” said Carolyn Barton, proprietor of the Wiltshire based retailer.

Stocking shooting equipment and accessories often brings new customers into the store.

“More ladies are shooting, or they want to accompany their husbands and look the part,” Carolyn added.

More information about The Value of Shooting can be found at See the August issue of ETN for more on this story.


8th July, 2014.

Julie Harding leaves Eventing magazine on Friday (11 July) after 11 years as editor.

She originally joined IPC’s monthly title as assistant editor in 1993.

Eventing, sister title to Horse & Hound, will be managed by content director Sarah Jenkins.

The move is part of the restructure that sees the IPC Equestrian editorial team creating content for its audiences across print and digital platforms.

Horse & Hound editor Lucy Higginson left a fortnight ago.

This story was first reported in ETN July issue.


3rd July, 2014.

Shires Equestrian Products is to sponsor BETA International’s New Product Gallery for a second consecutive year.

The feature area highlights the latest lines, brands and designs to visiting buyers at the annual trade exhibition.

“The sponsorship is part of a vital initiative for us to reach out to the equestrian retailers that are an integral part of our business,” said Malcolm Ainge, managing director of Shires Equestrian.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We have welcomed Shires to the trade fair as an exhibitor for many years and are thrilled that they have decided to remain a key sponsor for 2015.

“Shires is a great company with a fine reputation and we are very pleased to be associated with it.”

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

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


2nd July, 2014.

Sports promoter Frank McCourt has acquired a 50% interest in the Global Champions Tour (GCT) show jumping series.

Jan Tops, GCT founder and former Dutch Olympic rider, said the deal would take the sport to “new audiences, new markets and new heights.”

GCT riders compete in cities from Cannes to Doha, London to Shanghai for a prize fund of more than £7.1 million.

Frank McCourt is best known for reviving the fortunes of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Show jumping pundits hope his McCourt Sports Limited can boost their sport’s television coverage and sponsorship.

“The sky is the limit for the sport of show jumping,” he said.

“We look forward to working with Jan and his team to grow the sport for the benefit of all stakeholders including the riders, the fans and future equestrians the world over.”


2nd July, 2014.

Tagg Equestrian has won a four year contract to supply the Metropolitan Police.

The deal involves William Funnell branded breeches and SSG riding gloves.

The company had registered with the Blue Light police tendering system.

“Not only is this a great product endorsement but also recognition that Tagg can fulfil the requirements of a professional organisation,” said Tom Eastwood, managing director of Tagg Equestrian.

Read the full story in the July issue of ETN.


1st July, 2014.

British Eventing (BE) has created a charitable arm, it was announced last week (26 June).

The BE Charitable Foundation has four trustees. They are BE chairman Hugh Thomas, former principal of Hartpury College Malcolm Wharton, ex international event rider Lady Madeleine Lloyd Webber and course-designer and event organiser Mike Etherington-Smith.

The new foundation aims to increase opportunities for individuals of all capabilities and backgrounds to participate in eventing, as well as training amateur riders.

“This is exciting news for eventing, and provides us with an opportunity to open up the sport to a far wider audience, encouraging participation not just from riders and volunteers but by spectators and followers too,” said Hugh Thomas.

When British Dressage (BD) achieved charitable status in January, the organisation said it hoped the move would reap an extra £100,000 a year via ‘gift aid’ tax exemptions.