RURAL RETAILER REPORTS RECORD PROFITS

29th August, 2013.

Countrywide Farmers has reported record operating profits for the year to 31st May 2013.

Figures released today by the rural retailer show an operating profit of £4.3m, against £1.3m for the corresponding period last year.

Group revenues grew by 15% to £306.0m (2012: £266.7m) reflecting volume growth in the agriculture sector, increased retail sales, an expanded trading area and contributions from recent business acquisitions.

“The results are particularly pleasing following the disappointing year we experienced in 2012, and support the swift actions taken to ensure performance has not only been restored, but significantly improved,” said Countrywide Farmers chairman Nigel Hall.

Last year, the company reduced its annual operating costs as part of a strategic review.


HORSE AND CAR COLLISION CAUGHT ON TV CAMERA

28th August, 2013.

The now infamous cross country collision between a 4WD and a horse Hartpury horse trials was captured by a television film crew.

Horse & Country TV, which was filming the event for future broadcast, has forwarded the footage to British Eventing (BE) which is investigating the incident.

"We didn’t think it appropriate to show this on the channel, nor to make it available online or via social media,” said Richard Burdett, managing director of Horse & Country TV, in a tweet.


SPECIAL DEALS ON STABLE SUPPLIES

28th August, 2013.

Faulks & Cox, which does deals for BETA International visitors each February, is to run an interim offer next month (September).

The special offer will apply to the stable and paddock equipment specialist’s Profit Packs and bundles on tubs and tools.

“Giving consumers choice and a wow factor when they arrive to buy something as essential as a muck fork or feed bucket is crucial to stamping your authority as the leading retailer in your area,” said national sales manager Chris Birch.

“The old retail saying ‘if you haven’t got it, you can’t sell it’ comes to mind; consumers love to tell friends how they’ve bought new kit from ‘that place that has everything’!”

This is the first year Faulks & Cox has run interim offers between BETA International trade fairs. The company surveyed major equestrian retailers before going ahead with the plan.


CONFERENCE IS TOP NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

27th August, 2013.

The chance to mingle with key people in the equestrian industry is why many head for the annual BETA Conference.

The 2013 edition takes place at Whittlebury Hall, Towcester, Northamptonshire, on Monday, 14 October. Places are still available.

Open to BETA members and non-members, the BETA Conference offers plenty of networking opportunities. Expert speakers will address credit card fraud, protecting intellectual property, digital marketing and customer service.

Pre-conference overnight stays with dinner are available. Conference prices have been held from 2012.

Details from Tina Hustler, tel 01937 587062 email tinah@beta-int.com


HOYS TRADESTANDS SOLD OUT

27th August, 2013.

All 250 tradestands in the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) retail village are sold.

Trade exhibitors at the show, at the NEC, Birmingham (9 – 13 October), include 60 first-timers.

Equestrian products and clothing, plus art, home wares, gourmet food, jewellery and antique furniture will vie for pre-Christmas shoppers’ attention.

More than 75% of the tradestand space has been taken by 2012 retailers, say HOYS organisers.


FRESH FACES SIGN UP FOR TRADE FAIR

22nd August, 2013.

Many new companies will exhibit at BETA International 2014.

Already 28 newcomers have signed up for February’s trade fair alongside the show’s regular exhibitors.

“Fresh faces exhibiting for the first time will give retail buyers a great opportunity to see something different,” said James Palmer of BETA International.

Around 260 exhibitors from the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet sectors will be at BETA International 2014, at the NEC, Birmingham, on 16 – 18 February.

More than 5,000 trade visitors attend annually; numbers are independently audited by Audit Bureau Circulations (ABC).

Find out more about visiting or exhibiting at BETA International 2014 at www.beta-int.com


NEW HOME AND NEW PEOPLE FOR WHOLESALER

22nd August, 2013.

Weatherbeeta has moved into its new UK headquarters.

The wholesaler’s modern offices near Banbury, Oxfordshire cover 3,000 sq ft. A 5,000 sq ft showroom covers two floors.

“The showroom is a showcase of our brands and products for our customers to browse, choose ranges for their stores and see the marketing support packages available,” said managing director Ellen Bates.

Weatherbeeta has made two appointments. New UK sales manager John Tremble has 30 years’ experience in sales, working most recently for the Pentland Group with outdoor retailers.

Doug Walker, chief marketing officer for Weathebeeta’s global group, has previously worked with Heineken, Newell Rubbermaid, Nestle and Coca Cola.


RETAILER SIGNS UP AS HOYS SPONSOR

22nd August, 2013.

Naylors Equestrian is to sponsor the national 138cm show jumping championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS, 9 – 13 October).

The final, for riders aged 14 and under on ponies up to approximately 13.2hh, will be contested over a course up to 1.25m.

Naylors Equestrian has a 10,000ft2 equestrian superstore in Lancashire and retails online too.

“We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality customer service and offering top branded products in equestrian and country wear,” said James Atkinson of Naylors Equestrian. “This is something we feel everyone involved in HOYS will appreciate.”


RETAILER OFFERS DISCOUNTS AND PRIZES AT OPEN DAY

21st August, 2013.

A new riding arena will be unveiled by R & R Country during an Open Day at the retailer’s Melton Mowbray store on Saturday (24th August).

Everyone is welcome to try saddles on a mechanical horse (riders receive free goody bags), meet the suppliers and discuss saddles and fitting.

An SMS qualified saddle fitter will be available to check and fit saddles (with booked slots).

R & R Country is also offering free refreshments, the chance to win a £500 saddle voucher plus 10 % discounts off saddles purchased on the day.

The store’s all-weather arena will be used for on-site saddle fitting plus demonstrations. It will also be available for hire to customers.

“We intend to start selling show jumps, stabling and small horseboxes and trailers early next year,” said Sue Moxon of R & R Country.


INNOVATION AWARD FINALISTS NAMED

21st August 2013.

Finalists for the innovation awards to be presented at the spoga trade fair (Cologne, Germany,
8 – 10 September) have been announced.

Forty-nine entries were originally received, from which the following were short-listed.

Horse & Stud category:
• Ako: “Litzclip” (electric fence connector)
• Busse: “Smart” (belt holder)
• Greenans Products: “Smart Bunker” (feed storage and dipensing system)
• Haas Bürsten: “Diva” (lambskin currycomb)
• Prestige Italia: “Capri” (bridle)

Equestrian category:
• Busse: “Defender Pro” (riding helmet)
• Casco: “Prestige Air” (riding helmet)
• Cavallo: “Carbon Boot” (riding boots)
• Helite Airbag: “Helite Soft-Shell Air Concept” (air bag)
• Scarabeus: “Scarabeus Mon-Amie” (breeches)

Saddles & Accessories category:
• Equiline: “Grip Control Technology” (saddle flap insert)
• Equiline: “Integrated Gel System” (seat cushion)
• Equiscan: “Equiscan Horseback” (model of a horse’s back)
• Koole Sedelogic: “Equalizer” (saddle pad)
• Stübben: “Equi Soft” (saddle)

Judging is by an expert panel. Visitor votes make up one third of the final result


INSURANCE BOSS IN WATER JUMP GAMBLE

20th, August, 2013.

A managing director who competes in eventing is hoping he won’t make too much of a splash with his latest promotional venture.

Equine insurer Amlin Plus sponsors the new water complex next weekend’s Firle Place International Horse Trials (August 31/September 1). Among the competitors aiming to stay dry will be company boss David Ashby who rides Ivanstown in the event.

“It’s thought the old water jump was as old as the event itself – 37 years,” said organiser Jo Carr.“We’re hugely grateful to Amlin Plus for sponsoring the new one.”

David Ashby described Firle Place International, held near Lewes, Sussex as “a hidden gem in the eventing calendar.”


30 FIRMS JOIN BETA EXPORT MISSION

19th August, 2013.

BETA accompanies more than 30 UK companies on a trade mission to Spoga next month.

Abbey England, Airowear, Charles Owen, Grays of Shenstone, Carrots UK, Neue Schule, Keratex, NAF, Fairfax Saddles and Blue Chip are among those set to exhibit in Cologne, Germany on 8 – 10 September.

BETA trade missions are open to members and non-members. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) funding, secured by BETA, is available for eligible companies.

Still to come in 2013 are the China Horse Fair, in Beijing, 17-19 October, and Equitana Asia Pacific Fair, in Melbourne, Australia, 7-10 November.

For details, contact Tina Hustler in the BETA office, tel 01937 587062 or email tinah@beta-int.com.


ILLEGALLY OFFERED WORMERS SEIZED

15th August, 2013.

Animal health officials have seized wormers from a feed merchant that was illegally retailing veterinary medicines.

A person not permitted to supply horse wormers was offering them for sale at Killingholme Animal Feed, of South Killingholme near Grimsby.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) enforcement team removed from the business on 20 May nine Panacur granules 1.8g, three Panacur granules 4.5g, 11 Equest, two Panacur Equine Guard, six Equimax syringes and six Eraquell syringes.

Only suitably qualified persons (SQPs) and vets can prescribe and supply medicines classified
as POM-VPS.

SQPs are required to accrue CPD points to maintain their qualification. An AMTRA [the regulatory body] accredited feature and quiz, which enables SQPs to earn CPD points, appears in the September issue of ETN.


SADDLERS INVITE RIDERS TO SADDLE FITTING SEMINAR

15th August, 2013.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) is to run a ‘Fit for Purpose’ day to educate consumers about the importance of saddle fit and fitness of horse and rider.

Aimed at riders, owners, vet students and trainers, it’s on Saturday, October 19 at The Unicorn Equestrian Centre near Stow-on-the-Wold. 

Chaired by saddler Ian Hastilow, speakers include Dodson & Horrell nutritionist Louise Jones, ‘Ride with Your Mind’ coach Dorothy Marks, vet Jane Nixon, SMS veterinary consultant Stewart Hastie and horse and human chiropractic specialists Winston Williams and Emma Phillips.

Tickets cost £60 to include refreshments, lunch and a goody bag.


INSECT REPELLENT ACCESSORIES ARRIVE

14th August, 2013.

There’ll soon be a Buff with built-in insect repellence.

Insect Shield Buff is a seamless tube of Coolmax Extreme fabric offering up to 95% protection from harmful UV rays.

It’s also treated with Insect Shield technology for long lasting, effective and odourless protection from insects.

The collection will be available to retailers in March 2014.


MAGAZINE CHANGES HANDS

13th August, 2013.

Hertfordshire based KCD Publishing has acquired Horse Scene magazine from MCL Publishing.

The free, glossy monthly has been established for seven years.

The new owners have equestrian interests and will work as a team across editorial, design and advertising sales.

They are Kate Douglas, a graphic designer who was already working on Horse Scene, her daughter Charlotte Douglas and Anita Hoyle.

“The magazine will remain a national, free publication with good articles to appeal to a mass market,” said Kate.

The new publisher may be looking for additional outlets via tack shops in future, she added.

Former Horse Scene editor Pascale Armitage is no longer involved with the title.


HATS OFF TO RETURNING SPONSOR

12th august, 2013.

Riding hat specialist Charles Owen & Co is to return as sponsor of BETA International’s Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena.

Live product displays and retailer information sessions will happen in The Charles Owen Learning Centre during the three-day trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February.

“BETA International is very special in its offering and we are excited to be part of its mission to educate the shop owner to sell smarter and be more successful,” said Roy Burek, managing director of Charles Owen.

The company, which celebrated its centenary in 2011, has exhibited at the trade fair for more than 20 years.

The Charles Owen Learning Centre @ the Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena will chart the brand’s heritage and present an interactive guide to hat manufacture, testing and fitting. Charles Owen-sponsored riders will be present, with questions taken from the audience.

Charles Owen joins fellow show supporters Caldene, Equestrian Life, SsangYong, The Wine & Hamper Company, Toggi, TopSpec and main sponsor Neue Schule.

For further information or to book a stand at BETA International 2014, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com


BRAND NAME GETS BRUSH-UP

8th August, 2013.

Salmon horse grooming brushes are being re-branded Equerry.

The change-over will occur as stocks sell through.

Vale Brothers, said to be the only equestrian brush manufacturer in the UK, purchased the rights to manufacture, market and sell the Salmon brush range in 2011.

“As the licence for the use of the Salmon name has now expired, it makes sense for us to incorporate the Salmon range within the Equerry brand,” said Peter Wilkes managing director of Vale Brothers. “The product range and quality of the brushes will remain the same.”

Vales Brothers holds a Royal Warrant for the supply of grooming products to HM The Queen under the Equerry name.


SHOPPERS “FIND THEIR FEET”

7th August, 2013.

More non-food shopping trips were made in July than any other month so far this year.

Last month’s Retail Traffic Index (RTI) from Ipsos Retail Performance recorded a 6.4% increase over June.

“There were more shopping trips made in July than any other month this year so far,” comments Dr Tim Denison, Director at Ipsos Retail Performance.

“The latest RTI results are further evidence that shoppers are gradually finding their feet again as the year wears on,” said Tim Denison, director at Ipsos.

“The improvement is neither quick nor strong, but it is steady and becoming more constant.”


DEVON CHARITY SHOW HAS STAND SPACES

6th August, 2013.

A few tradestand spaces are available for a big charity horse and dog show taking place in Devon this weekend.

The eighth Brooke Rescue Horse and Dog Show takes place at Chevithorne Barton on Sunday (11th August).

The fund raising event hosts a horse agility competition and lots to do and learn for owners of rescued horses and dogs.

Tradestands are £25 each or £10 to charities.

Details from Jane Schofield tel 01884 861181 email: blackdog.jane@gmail.com


NUMNAH DESIGNS WANTED

6th August, 2013.

A manufacturer is challenging budding designers to come up with a new numnah or saddle pad.

Griffin NuuMed will invite the winning innovator to its Somerset factory to get the new style finalised and see it go into manufacture.

Retailers are urged to take part. “They are in the position to talk to the end users and find out exactly what people want,” said NuuMed’s Ros Burridge.

Entries close on 30 September.


RETAILER GETS THE CREDIT

5th August, 2013.

Crofts Equestrian and Pet Supplies has won £250 worth of credit on its account with equestrian distributor Westgate EFI.

The company was chosen at random from those retailers that have registered for online trade accounts on WEFI's new website.

"It couldn't have come at a better time as we are a new business so every little helps," said Rosanna Branton of the East Yorkshire based business.


THIEVES CHANGE TACK AS RURAL CRIME FALLS

5th August, 2013.

Rural theft cost an estimated £42.3 million during 2012 across the UK, an annual fall of 19.7% year-on-year, says insurer NFU Mutual.  

Around £1.3 million involved items commonly used by horse owners including trailers, fencing equipment, tack and feed according to the company’s claims data.

“In 2011, tack and horseboxes topped the thieves’ wish list,” said Nicki Whittaker, equine specialist at NFU Mutual.

“However, thanks to improved security measures and increased vigilance, these items are proving harder to steal and thieves have now turned their attention to horse trailers and electric fencing equipment.

“While a 20% drop in crime is encouraging, it’s important to remember that rural crime is still taking place at significant levels and any items which cannot easily be secured are at increased risk of theft.”

A worrying aspect of the theft of gates and fencing is the risk of horses straying onto roads, she added.


NEW LAW TO MAKE CRIMINALS OF COPIERS

2nd August, 2013.

The Government intends to protect innovators by introducing criminal sanctions for deliberate registered design infringement.

The Intellectual Property (IP) Bill was passed in the House of Lords on Tuesday (30 July) and goes to the Commons this autumn.

It proposes changes to reduce the need for costly litigation to protect innovations and technologies.

An important element is the introduction of criminal penalties for copying UK registered designs and the strengthening of design protection. This is already the case for copyright and trademark disputes and brings parity to this area of IP law.


HORSEMANSHIP SHOW STANDS “AT MINIMAL RENT”

1st August, 2013.

Europe’s first natural horsemanship competition has tradestand pitches available “at minimal rent”.

The Horseman’s Calling event is due to happen at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire on 4/5 April 2014.

Similar competitions are well established in the USA where the likes of the Road to the Horse and Way of the Horse shows attract tens of thousands of spectators.

Horseman’s Calling organiser Grant Bazin of Practical Horsemanship says the UK fixture will be the first of eight events across Europe.