28th August, 2015.

Animalife has unveiled a new, state-of-the-art website that gives retailers and end users an easy way to view and order online.

Animalife is the creator of the Vetro Collection of supplements which includes Vetrofen, Vetroflex and Vetrocalm.

The site offers Animalife accredited retailers the chance to login to their own individual portal and order directly from the website quickly and easily.

There is no minimum order and orders over £50 are carriage free.

The new website, which already provides access to downloadable information, is to introduce a selection of training and educational courses for retailers. The aim is to help stockists develop their product knowledge and therefore be best placed to advise their customers.

Team Animalife riders can login to their own area on the site too. Well-known members of the scheme that encompasses riders of all levels and in all disciplines include Piggy French, Izzy Taylor, Austin O’Connor, Trevor Breen, Nicole Pavitt and Gareth Hughes.

“In a world where digital presence is so important, we are really excited to launch our brand new website and believe it takes a forward-thinking approach to meeting the demands of our customers,” said Ross Riley, company director of Animalife.

See the new website at


25th August, 2015.

Insurance claims for stolen tack are up by 45% compared with a year ago.

The south-east of England is being particularly hard-hit, according to figures from NFU Mutual.

“We’re frequently being told by Horse Watch Schemes that tack theft is becoming a huge problem and this is backed up by our claims data,” said Victoria Walton of the insurer.

“The internet has helped to drive a buoyant second-hand tack market and anecdotal evidence suggests that thieves could be using it as their shop-front to sell on stolen tack.”

She went on to warn that thieves are moving away from an opportunistic theft of one or two saddles to targeting entire tack rooms.

NFU Mutual’s annual rural crime data is based on claims received in 2014.

• How secure is your shop? Find out in the September issue of ETN.


25th August, 2015.

Schockemöhle Sports is the new sponsor of the BETA International Coffee Shop under its TONICS footwear brand.

“Over the past two to three years, the UK has grown to be one of our most important markets,” said Dennis Brömlage, head of marketing and communications for the German company.

“BETA International is the perfect platform for marketing our brands and products in the UK and beyond. Sponsorship of the Coffee Shop gives us the opportunity for extra brand recognition before, during and after the show.”

The Schockemöhle Sports TONICS Coffee Shop will offer a relaxed and informal meeting area for visitors and exhibitors at the heart of BETA International.

“Schockemöhle Sports has exhibited at BETA International since 2010, so it has first-hand experience of just how influential a presence here can be,” said Claire Thomas.

“We already enjoy a fantastic relationship with Dennis and the rest of the Schockemöhle team and we’re really looking forward to working alongside them as we move towards 24 January.”

BETA International 2016 takes place on 24 – 26 January. Find out more about exhibiting and visiting at


25th August, 2015.

Maternity jodhpurs are among the new products shortlisted for awards at spoga horse autumn.

The winners of innovation, sales concepts and sustainability categories will be announced during the trade show that takes place in Cologne later this week (30 August to 1 September).

Short-listed companies and their products are:

Innovation Category

• Ariat Europe Ltd.: Ariat Women's Maxtrak UL Zip / Shoe
• euro-star Reitmoden GmbH: Shana Energear / Jodhpurs
• FREEJUMP: PRO GRIP Mono / Stirrup Leathers
• Gloria Brushes: Wooden Sweat Scraper / One-handed Sweat Scraper
• H+P Handels GmbH & Co. KG / Suedwind Equestrian: IceLock 3S / Sole Technology
• Horseware Products Ltd: Rambo Stirrup / Stirrup
• Komperdell Sportartikel GmbH: Cross Vest Light / Safety Vest
• PFIFF Pfitzner Reitsport GmbH & Co. KG: Maternity Jodhpurs
• Theo Sommer Sattelwarenfabrik GmbH: A.P.S. - Amatomic Protect System / adjustment plate that controls the traction of the saddle.
• Veredus srl: Armonia Accordo / Riding Boots

Sales Concepts Category

• Ariat Europe Ltd.: Ariat Shop in Shop System
• Cavallo A. Sahle GmbH & Co.KG: Cavallo Benefits Packages / Special Boots Service
• EQUIscan e.K.: Mobile APP
• HKM Sports Equipment GmbH: Shop Furniture Horse
• Horseshape GmbH & Co. KG: 3D scanner for horses' backs
• Horseware Products Ltd: Mini blanket stand
• Horseware Products Ltd: / Download Centre
• Horseware Products Ltd: / Online Training Centre
• Waldhausen GmbH & Co. KG: Waldhausen Saddle Seminar
• Kentucky Horsewear: Sales Promotion Videos

Sustainability Category

• HKM Sports Equipment GmbH: Photovoltaic Systemsv
• Kentucky Horsewear: Sheepskin Tendon, a synthetic sheepskin.


25th August, 2015.

Countrywide Farmers is set to acquire the trading business of all 12 Cornwall Farmers stores across the south-west.

Under the £6.05 million deal, Cornwall Farmers Ltd will retain the freehold property, with Countrywide entering into long lease agreements as tenant.

The acquisition is expected to be completed early next month (September).

The 12 Cornwall Farmers stores will take the Countrywide store portfolio to 66, making it the largest retail chain of its kind in the UK.

It’s scheduled to open new stores in Shrewsbury, Salisbury and Swansea this autumn.

Countrywide intends to retain the Cornwall Farmers name in Cornwall and Devon. It also plans to introduce its free click and collect service and extended product range to its new stores.

Countrywide Farmers chief executive, John Hardman, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring together these two highly respected brands to create a stronger offering to our customers.”

Simon Birch, his counterpart at Cornwall Farmers, added: “This deal is good news for our customers in the south-west. It combines our local knowledge and expertise with Countrywide’s national buying power and multiple sales channels, which include online and click and collect services.

“In agreeing a sale we wanted to find a partner who would continue to serve our rural communities across Cornwall and Devon and provide greater customer choice. The deal with Countrywide does all these things and allows Cornwall Farmers to retain a strong property asset base with recurring income from a secure long-term tenant.”

IT investment

In addition to opening more stores, Countrywide is investing more than £5 million in a new IT platform.

John Hardman said it will “deliver a seamless customer experience across our country stores, sales teams, online, catalogue and loyalty card scheme.

“Once the new system roll-out is completed by summer 2016, customers will be able to use their mobile, tablet or PC to click and collect at a store of their choice, as well as continuing to use all the traditional sales teams and stores to access our products and services,” he added.

Bank arrangements

Countrywide is supporting its ongoing investment with revised banking facilities via HSBC Bank plc. These comprise a revolving credit facility of £20 million repayable in full in September 2018 and an overdraft facility of £5 million reviewable annually.


25th August, 2015.

The NOPS scheme is set to become a stand-alone, internationally recognised code run solely by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

NOPS was set up in 2009 to help reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances in equine feed.

This latest development will see it continue to grow and develop its international presence, says BETA.

The NOPS scheme is currently run as an appendix to the Agricultural Industries Confederation’s (AIC) UFAS/FEMAS Code (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme/Feed Materials Assurance Scheme).

From February 2016, when it falls completely under BETA’s control, the list of naturally occurring prohibited substances is likely to be amended.

The final list will be published following discussions with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Chris Gordon, chairman of the BETA NOPS Working Party, said: “Although the assurance schemes with NOPS as an appendix had been a great success, the revised NOPS Code controlled fully by BETA will better serve both existing and future BETA NOPS companies and enable the trade association to grow and expand the code internationally,”

• Read the full story in the September issue of ETN.


25th August, 2015.

Retailers are invited to apply for a money-can’t-buy opportunity - a visit to the famous Eilberg dressage family’s yard.

Organised by Zebra Products and happening next month (September), the day will include riding demonstrations by Michael and Maria Eilberg.

There will also be presentations by saddle brand Amerigo, bit manufacturer Sprenger and Veredus equine boots.

“We’re very fortunate to work with riders like Michael and Maria who are so willing to open up their yards for us,” said Simon Middleton, managing director of Zebra Products, the brands’ UK distributor.

“It’s a great insight for all those who attend and we find the mix of practical talks, alongside the opportunity to see the riders in action, is of real value. It promises to be a great day.”

Maria and Michael, a member of Britain’s silver medal winning European championship team earlier this month, have a string of 13 horses. The siblings are trained by their father Ferdi Eilberg, himself a former international rider.

To express an interest in attending the Eilberg yard visit, email


24th August, 2015.

More than £2,000 worth of prizes will be won by the 2016 Neue Schule Bitting Adviser of the Year.

Nominations are invited at for the award from anyone who has received good advice about bitting their horses.

The award will be presented during BETA International 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham, on 24 – 26 January. Neue Schule is the show’s main sponsor.

The award winner will receive £1,000 worth (at retail) of Neue Schule products plus £1,000 worth (RRP) of equestrian vouchers, as well as a certificate and celebratory champagne.

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International. The official show preview is to be published in the ETN January 2016 issue. Find out more at or contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 or


19th August, 2015.

Equestrian Trade News (ETN) - BETA International’s official media partner - is to sponsor the show’s Innovation Awards for another year.

BETA International 2016 takes place on 24 – 26 January at the NEC, Birmingham.

The BETA International Innovation Awards celebrate and reward products displaying flair, creativity, cutting-edge technology and inspirational invention.

“Some great products and ideas have emerged via these awards over the years, so it’s a privilege for ETN to be their sponsor,” said ETN editor Liz Benwell.

“It will be exciting to see who wins in January 2016 and, as usual, ETN will be first with the news in our weekly e-newsletter and coverage in the February issue.”

There are ten categories in the Innovation Awards – Country Fashion & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horsecare Equipment & (horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing, Rider Footwear & Chaps, Saddlery & Tack, Safety & Security and Technical Outdoor Clothing & Footwear.

The awards are open to all exhibiting companies. Entry is free, provided that items featured have been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the show and did not appear at BETA International 2015.

Entries are judged by a panel of industry experts during the first day of the show, with trophies presented to the winners during an awards ceremony on the Fashion Show stage.

“We’re extremely pleased that ETN is to lend its support to the Innovation Awards,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“The magazine enjoys a fantastic reputation among the equestrian trade for its news reporting and products coverage, and I can’t think of a more fitting sponsor.”

• Catch up with the latest BETA International news every month in ETN. The show’s only official preview will be published in the January 2016 issue of ETN. To get involved, contact Nicki Lewis on 01937 582111 or email


19th August, 2015.

Equestrian wholesaler Westgate EFI has appointed Louise Harman as telesales manager.

Louise previously worked as a team leader in customer services and as a call centre supervisor.

Most recently, she was an account manager for a car leasing company working with trade customers and end-users.

Outside work, Louise enjoys “experimental” cooking, art and up-cycling old furniture. She says she’s currently attempting to reignite her passion for gym classes too.

• Tell ETN readers who’s new in your company by emailing


18th August, 2015.

There’s an all-women line-up of six finalists for this year’s Virbac Equine SQP of the Year award.

They are:

• Nikki Harris from TFM Country Store

• Mary Lennon from Pro-FEC Services

• Domino Phillips from Carrs Billington

• Kay Roper from Parklands Equestrian

• Joanne Taylor from Wynnstay

• Hannah Wild from Supplement Solutions

The winner will be announced early next month (September).

The winner will receive more than £2,000 worth of prizes. These include a VIP hospitality evening at the Horse of the Year Show with overnight accommodation for themselves plus one guest, £500 of Virbac 3D Worming clothing, dual embroidered with their company logo and name, plus a trophy and certificate.

Virbac is the manufacturer of Equimax and Eraquell wormer brands

• See the September issue of ETN for our latest AMTRA accredited SQP CPD feature.


17th August, 2015.

ETN diarist and show trader Guy Roper reports from a glorious Gatcombe.

I'm beginning to feel like a ping pong ball this summer. After an arctic CLA Game Fair, it was back down south to a glorious Gatcombe in Gloucestershire.

We were due a good one after two years of rain at what’s properly called The Festival of British Eventing; and the weather gods obliged with three excellent days when it counted.

This is one of my favourite shows. I've never made a fortune there, but I like how it combines the friendliness of a regional event with the vibrancy of an international fixture. You can be talking to a local farmer one minute, and an evening superstar the next.

This year's cross country courses were amongst the most technical for a while. Demanding concentration and stamina like never before, they delivered drama to the end.

It wasn't just the weather that was refreshingly different. Last year, event director Tim Henson asked for feedback from us traders. Well, it appears that he must have listened…

Card terminals worked! The trade stands included a lot of new faces mixed in with the old chums giving a varied and interesting shopping offer. There were quad bikes doing stunts in the arena; plus a carriage driving scurry which was incredibly dramatic and a huge crowd pleaser.

And all those extras paid off: The buzz was buzzier, the crowds more crowded - and the whole feel of the place more upbeat than for a few years.

Addressing the troops at the BETA tradestand holders’ breakfast - over a mountain of excellent bacon rolls and through the aroma of kick-start coffee - Tim again paid tribute to us humble foot soldiers as “an integral part of the event.” He again asked for feedback, either positive or negative, and acknowledged the difficulty of trading on a site where there was "rarely a square metre of flat ground.”

Tim, I have news for you. The terrain I cope with; WiFi I need like oxygen or a good glass of wine at the end of the day. Given what it costs to provide, it should be in the price of the stand. The punters don't pay extra for checking my prices against an internet garage trader on their smartphones, so why should I take another slice out of my margin to process a deal?

Selfless deed

Forgive me a brief reflection. I can hardly believe that it's ten years since BETA stepped in to sponsor and therefore rescue this event after Hunter pulled out at short notice. As a member, I was bemused at the time. But actually it was a brilliant decision that’s done so much for the profile of the whole industry, manufacturers and traders alike.

One last thing. I've often pondered upon how the show circuit is like an itinerant village. It's definitely a community, with all the friendships and tensions that that entails. At Gatcombe, I was pleased to discover that I'm not alone in feeling this.

After a long day sorting out his own pitch, Kevin Galbraith from Ayr Equestrian went above and beyond to help Townfields Saddlers, who’d been delayed by a medical emergency, get their vehicle on site and their stand set up.

Where else would that happen? Would the MD of John Lewis spend his downtime getting his opposite number at M&S out of a hole? (Assuming that either of them had the appropriate class of HGV licence...)

Thanks to BETA and Gatcombe’s Peter Phillips, this selfless deed didn’t go unnoticed. Kevin, I hope you enjoyed the bubbly. But that was short term; respect for what you did will last much longer.

Overall impressions on the 2015 Festival of British Eventing? Good weather, good trading and excellent sport. Plus a renewal of my belief in the better aspects of human nature. What's not to like?

Cheers, Guy


11th August, 2015.

Equestrian fans can follow the action from this summer’s European championships on Horse & Country TV.

The channel offers online reports and videos during the competitions, plus extensive TV highlights shown soon after each event.

The last major championships before the Rio Olympics get underway in Aachen, Germany with dressage this week followed by jumping next week (19 – 23 August).

Attention then turns to Blair Castle in Scotland for the eventing on 10 – 13 September. The Horse & Country reporting team will be at both venues.

Viewers in the UK and Ireland can watch highlights via Sky 253. Coverage begins on Friday, 21 August with the team dressage competition. It continues with the grand prix special and freestyle, the team and individual showjumping and the eventing competition.

“We often hear people say there isn’t enough horse sport on television,” said managing director Richard Burdett.

“But with more than six hours of TV highlights plus our online coverage, Horse & Country is the place to follow the FEI European Championships in 2015.”

Horse & Country TV is also available in Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia.


10th August, 2015.

Members of the equestrian industry are flexing their muscles for good causes.

BETA International press officer Deborah Hayward and her son Alex are to tackle a 26 mile walk along Hadrian’s Wall on Saturday (15 August). Macmillan is their chosen charity.

“Unfortunately, there are not many of us who do not know someone who has suffered from cancer - or perhaps have experienced it first hand - and Macmillan does a great job in helping patients and their families cope during really frightening and difficult times,” said Deborah.

“I feel really humbled to do my bit to help raise money for these fantastic people and the service they provide.”

To sponsor Deborah and support Macmillan visit

● The following weekend (22 August), solicitor James Teagle – a member of the Blacks team behind ETN’s Legal Digest - is preparing to cycle non-stop from Newcastle to London.

He aims to cover the 300 miles in 24 hours and raise £1,500 for The Candlelighters Trust. The Leeds based charity supports children and the families of children affected by cancer.

“I keep reasonably fit by doing a little running and cycling but this is a physical and mental challenge far above and beyond anything I have done before,” said James who claims he will also have the energy to tweet (@JamesLawBlacks) during the bike ride.

Keep James pedalling by donating to The Candlelighters Trust at

● Meanwhile Barnaby Franklin, the manager of Chesterfield, Derbyshire based Thomas Irving’s Equestrian Superstore, is to run the Berlin Marathon on 27 September.

Running for Team Men United, Barnaby aims to raise £750 for Prostate Cancer UK.

To support Barnaby, donate at


7th August, 2015.

The government is inviting retailers to give their views on Sunday trading ahead of a relaxation of the regulations.

In particular, the consultation will look at whether the government should devolve Sunday trading rules to local areas, such as cities run by elected mayors and/or local authorities.

Currently, stores with a relevant floor area of over 280 square metres or 3,000 square feet (known as large stores) have restricted opening hours on a Sunday, but smaller stores can open all day.

No changes are to be made to the restrictions on trading on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.

See the full consultation document at


5th August, 2015.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from last weekend’s CLA Game Fair, held this year at Harewood House in Yorkshire.

There's quite lot to be said for transparency. Like most traders on the show circuit, I drive a lot of miles in a year - and find it an admirable quality in a windscreen… It's also pretty useful when working out where to put your pitch.

Knowing how much it's going to cost, and well in advance, is part of managing the risk we face. What products I can move, at what margin and at what cost in overheads are calculations hard-wired into the brains of every trader.

Not good then, to find that my 2015 CLA Game Fair pitch - same size as last year’s at Blenheim and with the same provision too - suddenly experienced a 500% rise in the cost of my electric hook-up.

Err yeah. Let's think about that. Given Saturday’s weather, let’s think of it in terms of Wellies. To get one 13 amp socket (which is pretty much as vital to me as coffee and Ginsters during a long night on the road) meant I needed to sell four pairs and a stray Wellie more than last year just to pay for power.

Was it the difficulties of the site? Was it the position? Apparently not, but nobody could explain what it was.

So, back to transparency. Just to get this straight, I love the Game Fair. That's why I was there and not at Hickstead for the Royal International or a number of other conflicting events. But it was interesting that a number of familiar faces had apparently been put off by the long road to the deep north.

I was talking to a new chum on the Saturday evening who put his finger on it for me. "People here," he said, "have respect for each other.” He's right. The Game Fair is probably the politest show I go to. And the stewards are great too. But the money doesn't quite stack up.

Some said they thought this year was “quieter”. The organisers report attendance over the three days was 131,250 compared with 143,500 at Blenheim last year and that they were “very pleased” with it.

Great that under 16s get in free. But Friday’s tickets on the day cost £35 per adult or £34 in advance (whoo hoo!). Add in the food offer at £5 for a basic catering grade burger or £13 for a pizza (yep, really) and we’re already taking a few Wellies out of my turnover.

I'm told the event doesn't turn a profit. Given what I paid for the pitch and what the punters paid to get in, how can it not be profitable?

And next year…well, the 2016 venue of Ragley Hall in Warwickshire was being promoted on dates of 29 – 31 July.

For me and most of my chums, Harewood’s was an OK Game Fair. But it was only OK. In business, breaking even is not a long term strategy.

Cheers, Guy


5th August, 2015.

As the Rio Games open a year from today (5 August, 2016), companies are urged to take care when jumping on the Olympic bandwagon.

Lawyers are waiting to pounce when profit is made through unauthorised use of Olympic related trademarks, says Ailsa Pemberton of Black Solicitors.

Tomorrow (6 August) sees the Olympic Equestrian Test Event taking place in Brazil.

Representatives from 16 national federations, including athletes and officials from Britain, will be at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro for the CIC2* competition.

The warm-up event allows for the testing of facilities such as arenas, stabling, spectator flows and media accreditation ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.

Anti-doping processes will also be tested, with human and equine sampling being conducted during the event.

• Read Ailsa’s advice in Legal Digest the August issue of ETN.


3rd August, 2015.

Forty seven years after she won an Olympic gold medal, Jane Holderness-Roddam is to go eventing for charity.

The BETA president is leading by example too. Participation is the theme of this autumn’s BETA Conference.

Later this month (18 August), Jane rides the veteran Tiger’s Eye 11 in a British Eventing (BE) one-day event. She’s aiming to raise funds for World Horse Welfare and the Brooke.

Jane’s age, combined with her horse’s, is 87 years. She won a team gold medal riding Our Nobby at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

The 2015 BETA Conference & AGM takes place on Monday, 2 November at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire. More details from the BETA office on tel 01937 587062.

To support Jane’s fund-raising ride, visit