NEW AGENT FOR WHOLESALER


30th August, 2016.

Dutch equestrian wholesaler Horka International BV has a new agent for the south-west, The Midlands and Wales.

Penny Stainthorp is based in Stratford-upon-Avon.

She is visiting retailers with Horka and products from sister brand Red Horse.


EQUESTRIAN COMPANY FLIES THE FLAG FOR SMALL FIRMS


30th August, 2016.

A BETA International Innovation Award winner is among 100 small businesses to be highlighted by a nationwide initiative.

HUF Design is one of the ‘faces’ of Small Business Saturday ahead of the event on 3 December.

The Wiltshire based company, founded by Emma Lawton, won an innovation award for its Sküp feed scoop at BETA International 2015.

“It takes a great deal of courage for an individual to set up their own enterprise,” says Emma.

“I want to be one of those small, innovative and entrepreneurial companies that the government is relying on to grow the economy.”

Small Business Saturday campaigns to promote, support and inspire small businesses. HUF Design will be one of 100 firms featured in daily previews.

“The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue to see that grow year on year,” said campaign director Michelle Ovens.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day [3 December], the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.”

Small Business Saturday, a not-for-profit campaign, was founded by American Express in the US in 2010. It remains the principal supporter.

The UK campaign has backing from the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation, with support from PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint, Post Office and Clear Channel

Participation is free to small firms. Find out more at www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com


FINALISTS NAMED FOR SQP OF THE YEAR


30th August, 2016.

Those in the running for the 2016 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year have been named.

The finalists are:
• Alix Williams Brown - Mole Country Stores, Darley Dale
• Sarah Brands - Norvite, Insch, Aberdeen
• Anne-Marie Brown - Ripon Pet Shop, North Yorkshire
• Joanne Taylor - Wynnstay, Stafford
• Domino Phillips - Carrs Billington, Cumbria
• Liz Harwood - Hook Norton Vets, Oxford
The award recognises the hard work undertaken by SQPs (suitably qualified persons) so that they can offer horse owners up-to-date advice on the best worming approach.

The winner will be revealed next month (September).

“We aim to find the very best SQPs across the country to contest the final,” said Virbac equine product manager Davina Godwin.

“We’re confident that, once again, we’ll have a top class winner from what is a high quality and very knowledgeable field of finalists.”

The 2016 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year will win a VIP hospitality evening for two at the Horse of the Year Show with overnight accommodation, among other prizes.

Virbac is the manufacturer of Equimax and Eraquell wormer brands. As professional animal health advisors, SQPs are required to accrue proof of on-going education to retain their qualification.

· SQPs can top up their CPD points via ETN’s next AMTRA accredited SQP CPD feature in our September issue.


TV WATCHING AT WORK FACES LICENCE CLAMPDOWN


30th August, 2016.

Firms whose workers watched the Olympics at their desks this month could risk breaking the law after Thursday.

Currently, any business showing television programmes as they're broadcast on TV must be covered by a valid TV Licence.

This applies to watching or recording programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV – or live on an online TV service - regardless of channel or the device used.

From 1 September, however, if anyone on the premises downloads or watches BBC programmes on iPlayer, this too requires a licence. Catch-up TV is included.

Last month, many people followed the action from Rio 2016 on BBC iPlayer – often at their desks or on mobile phones during working hours.

Employers and their staff who live ‘over the shop’ are not exempt.

“If there is living accommodation on the business premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence,” a spokesman for TV Licensing told ETN.

“Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.”

A TV licence costs £145.50 and can be bought online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo

Business owners and managers can download the Workplace Viewing Guide for display in the workplace, so everyone is clear when a licence is needed.

Firms that already have a TV licence will be covered automatically for the changes from September 1 and don’t need to do anything.


ETN CONGRATULATES BRITAIN’S EQUESTRIAN OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS


24th August, 2016.

Olympic gold medals were won by Nick Skelton riding Big Star and Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro at Rio 2016 earlier this month.

ETN marks this historic achievement with a special souvenir front cover on our September issue.

We hope you enjoy it – and join us in celebrating a remarkable double British equestrian success by two incredible riders and their horses.


WHAT PRICE TRAINING?


23rd August, 2016.

You pay for an employee to go on an expensive training course, only for them to resign and go to a competitor. But this potentially damaging situation can easily be mitigated, says Paul Kelly.

The employer’s natural instinct is to deduct the cost of the training from the employee’s final salary.

However, making this decision unilaterally could well leave an employer facing an Employment Tribunal claim for unlawful deduction of wages.

Businesses need to train staff for the better performance of their duties - but this comes at a cost.

So what can an employer do to ensure that, having invested in a staff member, they are able to secure their services for the foreseeable future and so recoup their investment in training?

The simple answer is to ensure that before sending an employee on a training course you ensure that the employee has signed a training agreement.

A training agreement will stipulate that the employee will repay the whole or part of the cost of any training (or professional fees) that the company incurs on the employee’s behalf if they leave shortly following receiving the training.

Vitally, the agreement must also set out that the employer can recover that cost by way of deduction from salary.

However, this is not always straightforward. A poorly drafted agreement risks being interpreted as seeking to impose a ‘penalty’ – which is fatal to enforceability.

A training agreement should:

• Stipulate the period of time within which the employee must repay the training cost if they leave the organisation. For example, the obligation for repayment might only be triggered if the employee leaves within, say, twelve months after receiving the training. By this time the employer is likely to have had a reasonable opportunity to get something back from their investment.

• State that the sum repayable will reduce the longer the employee stays in employment. The claw-back can be ratcheted. For example, if the employee leaves within three months after the training, then 100% of the fees will be repayable. If the employee leaves within six months, then 50% of the fees will be repayable – and so on.

A training agreement should be entered into every time an employee is sent on a course. Better still, an employee’s contract should contain an overarching claw-back provision covering the recovery of training and professional fees whenever they might be incurred during employment.

• Paul Kelly is a Solicitor Partner at Blacks Solicitors. If you need help with this or other employment issues, Paul can be contacted in tel 0113 227 9249, email pkelly@lawblacks.com or visit www.lawblacks.com


NEW DATA PROTECTION LAWS TO AFFECT EVERY FIRM


23rd August, 2016.

Every business that holds data will be affected by new laws just signed off by the EU.

And Brexit doesn’t mean that UK companies are exempt, because almost all process EU citizens’ details.

The new data protection legislation imposes additional rights on consent, especially for children.

There are also new rights on data erasing, taking/selling data to another firm – and fines of up to 4% of global turnover for breaches.

The legislation, due to be implemented in May 2018, will have an impact on businesses of all sizes, say experts.

Find out more in detail in the September issue of ETN.


ENTREPRENEUR DIES AT 66


22nd August, 2016.

Brian Fillery, the founder and chairman of Haygain hay steamers, died in South Africa on 9 August.

He was 66 and had had a short battle with cancer.

A natural entrepreneur, Brian was involved with numerous business ventures - from selling mops and buckets in South Africa to importing knitwear to the UK for re-distribution around the world.

With the help of his business partner Tim Oliver, he developed Propress Steamers.

They ran the business for more than 30 years. They helped transform charity shops by showing them a new way to present clothes as well as supplying top fashion brands.

Brian was a Master of the Avon Vale Hunt for nine years and a racing fan.

These equestrian interests inspired him to create Haygain hay steamers.

Brian was father to Tom, Jack and Hugo, and friend to many around the world.


SPONSOR SAYS ‘HY’ TO BETA INTERNATIONAL VISITORS


22nd August, 2016.

Battles’ Hy brand returns to BETA International 2017 as sponsor of the show's ‘welcome pack’ visitor bags for a third year.

The Hy range covers products for horse and rider. Battles, one of the UK’s longest-established equestrian wholesalers, has exhibited at BETA International for more than 35 years.

“We are extremely pleased to back BETA International once again,” said Battles’ commercial manager Anna Clarke.

“Hy is always very well received by retailers and we want to ensure that this fantastic collection of equestrian essentials remains in the spotlight. Sponsoring the show's visitor bags is a fantastic way to do this.”

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas added: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Hy to the show once again. Battles has exhibited at the trade fair since the very early days and we are thrilled that it has decided to support this initiative for another year.”

The sponsorship will see Hy-branded bags handed out to visitors on arrival at BETA International 2017.

The brand joins fellow sponsors Battles, Charles Owen, Ekkia, Equestrian Trade News (ETN), Henson Franklyn, NAF, Shires Equestrian, Schockemöhle Sports, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

BETA International is the world’s leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2017 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January.

For further information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com


RETAILER WINS DISPLAY COMPETITION


16th August, 2016.

The team at Russell’s Country Store in Larbert, Stirlingshire are celebrating after winning Horse of the Year Show tickets and champagne.

They scooped first place in a retail display competition organised by TopSpec.

The feed company chose winners from 11 regions across the UK, with Russell’s Country Store topping a vote on social media.

“We were delighted to win,” said proprietor May Russell. “The team put in a lot of effort.”

Russell’s Country Store was established in 1986 by farmers Willie and May Russell as a diversification project.

Their original store, then called Woodside Farm Feeds, is based on the family farm near Linlithgow, West Lothian. It supplies animal feeds to small farmers, pet owners and the equestrian sector.

In 2001, the Russells took over another similar business in Larbert - and the name Russell’s Country Store was adopted for both stores.

The larger premises has allowed the retailer to expand into new product lines. Hardware, feed supplements, country clothing and a wide selection of equestrian goods have been added.


TAKING ON APPRENTICES? SMALL FIRMS IN LINE FOR CONCESSIONS


16th August, 2016.

The Government has announced its proposals for how the new funding arrangements for apprenticeships will work.

The plans, unveiled last week, detail what proportion of the cost of training an apprentice will be borne by individual businesses.

Small firms are set to benefit from a proposal that companies with fewer than 50 employees which take on a 16-18 year old apprentice will not be required to make any financial contribution towards the cost of training.

Businesses which take on these younger apprentices will also be offered a cash incentive of £1,000 per apprentice.

The concession is seen as vital to achieving the Government’s target of three million new apprentices by 2020.

An online calculator is to be made available at www.gov.uk to help businesses work out how much training an apprentice is likely to cost.

There will also be practical advice on how firms can support apprentices.


PRICE HIKE WARNING AS INDIAN GARLIC CROP FAILS


11th August, 2016.

The price of garlic – a popular ingredient in horse feeds and supplements – is set to soar.

The subject came up for discussion at a recent meeting of the BETA Feed Committee.

Members heard that the wholesale price of garlic, currently around £1.80 per kilo, could rise to as much as £6 for the same weight.

Flooding in India has reportedly ruined much of the country’s garlic crop.

And as the new season’s harvest comes to market this month and next, some Chinese producers are stepping in to fill the gap – but at newly inflated prices.

Garlic is popular both as an ingredient or fed ‘neat’ by adding to feeds in dried or granulated form. It’s said to help repel annoying horse flies as well as having other equine health benefits.


POLICE PROBE FIRE AT CLOTHING COMPANY


9th August, 2016.

Police are continuing to investigate a fire at Sherwood Forest Ltd’s Nottingham premises.

Six fire crews attended the blaze at the clothing company’s New Basford factory, warehouse and offices at 7am on 8 July.

55 people were evacuated from local homes and businesses as huge plumes of smoke engulfed the area.

The following day, two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of arson and later released on bail.

This week, a Nottinghamshire Police spokeswoman told ETN that officers were taking no further action against the pair.

“But the investigation is still open and on-going with a suspicion of arson remaining,” she said.

Sherwood Forest is currently being run by a skeleton staff of three – directors and brothers Krishan and Hari Sohal with head designer Danielle Riggott – from a temporary base owned by the family.

The majority of the staff have been laid off.

“We lost everything [in the fire],” Danielle told ETN. “We only had a very small amount of stock in an external warehouse and that is mostly end of line stuff.

“We’re waiting for the insurance company to give us an answer to see where we go from here.”

Sherwood Forest Ltd, previously Gangotra Enterprises, was established by Krishan and Hari’s cousin Atma Gangotra in 1974.

Earlier this year, the company relinquished the Puffa licence acquired four years ago to concentrate on its own brands.

Sherwood Forest’s premises has previously been hit by fire. In 2006, a blaze – said at the time to be Nottingham’s biggest ever – razed its factory to the ground.


OLYMPIAN EFFORT NEEDED FROM EQUESTRIAN FANS


8th August, 2016.

As the action gets underway in Rio, the equestrian industry is urged to show its support by watching on TV or commenting on social media.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is monitoring all sports during the Games to see which are most popular – and therefore should stay in the Games.

By watching the battles for equestrian medals on TV and the internet, or highlighting them on social media, you can help boost measurements of engagement.

The Olympic eventing and dressage competitions take place this week, with showjumping happening next week.

“It’s not just a great opportunity to share the excellence of our teams and inspire participation – we also need to be mindful that equestrianism’s place on the Olympic stage is at risk if we don’t use this opportunity to demonstrate its widespread appeal,” says the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).

The IOC is monitoring print, broadcast and online coverage of equestrianism until 28 August. Following a similar exercise at London 2012, equestrian sport was downgraded from a category C to a category D sport and therefore judged to have a lesser fan base.


ETN SPONSORS BETA INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION AWARDS


8th August, 2016.

BETA International official media partner Equestrian Trade News (ETN) is to sponsor the show's Innovation Awards for an eighth year.

The annual accolades reward products for thoughtful design, robust research and inspirational invention.

ETN readers’ retail businesses thrive on ingenious ideas for new products, so we are thrilled to continue supporting the BETA International Innovation Awards,” said ETN editor, Liz Benwell.

“Winners can be assured of maximum publicity across the equestrian trade’s favourite monthly magazine and weekly e-newsletter.”

The Innovation Awards feature eight categories – Country Clothing & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horsecare Equipment & (horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing & Footwear, Saddlery & Tack and Safety & Security.

All BETA International exhibitors are eligible to submit products free of charge, provided that they have been introduced to the market no more than 12 months before the show and did not appear at BETA International 2016.

Entries will be judged by a panel of industry representatives – each an expert in his or her own field – during the first day of BETA International 2017.

The awards will be presented to the winning companies during a ceremony on the Fashion Show stage on Monday, 23 January.

“We can think of no better sponsor of the Innovation Awards than ETN,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“As the leading equestrian trade title and official media partner for the show, the magazine plays a pivotal role in the industry it serves.

“It seems extremely fitting, therefore, that ETN should support a competition that puts members of the trade under the spotlight and rewards their hard work in this way.”

ETN joins fellow BETA International supporters Battles, Charles Owen, Ekkia, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian, Toggi and main sponsor Neue Schule.

BETA International is the world’s leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2017 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January.

Entry is free on pre-registration at www.beta-int.com. For further information, contact operations manager Jackie Woolley, telephone 01937 582111 or email jackiew@beta-int.com.


HORSE/PET PICTURE COMPETITION CELEBRATES SPORTING SUMMER


8th August, 2016.

The sporting summer of 2016 is being marked by NOAH (National Office of Animal Health) with an Active Pets photo competition. Horses can enter too.

The competition aims to highlight the importance of keeping horses and pets happy, healthy and active.

One lucky winner will receive a £125 voucher for horse/pet treats and supplies.

“With 2016’s summer of sports in full swing, there’s never been a better time to think about the vital role exercise plays in pets’ wellbeing,” says NOAH’s chief executive Dawn Howard.

For more information or to submit your horse and pet pictures to the gallery, visit www.pethealthinfo.org.uk/gallery.

Entrants must ensure they click the pink tick-box to enter the competition when uploading their photos.


NEW APPOINTMENTS AT FEED COMPANY


5th August, 2016.

Catherine Rudenko has joined Dodson & Horrell as head of equine nutrition.

She previously worked as a nutritionist for 13 years for Irish company Connolly’s Red Mills, focusing on racing and high performance feeding in the USA, Asia and Europe.

In a second appointment by Dodson & Horrell, Alice Thomas becomes Thoroughbred and performance nutritionist for the south-west.

After many years of training and producing racehorses in the UK, USA and Australia, Alice became a vet. She has worked in equine practice in New Zealand and the West Country.


WOCKET WOY GALLOPS INTO BETA INTERNATIONAL


1st August, 2016.

Internet phenomenon Wocket Woy is to appear live at BETA International 2017.

Professional jump jockeys Mattie “Batch” Batchelor and Marc “the Pwoducer” Goldstein will take part in interviews, awards and activities on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 January at the NEC, Birmingham.

“This is a tremendous coup for the trade fair,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “The Wocket Woy team has attracted a huge following throughout the equestrian world and we can't wait to welcome Mattie and Marc to the show.

“Our visitors and exhibitors will be able to enjoy the pair's hilarious antics first-hand, as well as find out more about the serious side to this iconic ‘brand’.”

Mattie and Marc, who have been friends for 12 years, first captured public attention on social media after their hilarious videos – filmed on mobile phones while riding out on cold, wet mornings on the South Downs – were posted on Facebook.

Mattie loves being in front of the camera, while Marc is happy to provide the creative direction. The Wocket Woy brand continues to gather momentum and now has more than 106,000 Facebook followers, as well as its own YouTube channel and website.

Fans just can't seem to get enough of the jockeys’ exploits ably abetted by racehorses Wocket Woy and Nobby.

“We’re really looking forward to coming to BETA International and meeting loads of people from the equestwian industry,” said Mattie.

“Claire and the organising team have even told us that we can have a ride on BETA's mechanical horse, WoboCob, which is so exciting – we've just got to keep that bit to ourselves, as Nobby is a bit on the jealous side!”

Marc added: “We can't wait to find out exactly what the team has planned for us, but one thing's for certain – it's going to be great fun, so make sure that you come along and join us!”

BETA International is the world’s leading equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product trade exhibition. The 2017 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January. For information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email jamesp@beta-int.com

● ETN is BETA International’s official media partner.


YOUTH APPEAL GROWS AS EQUESTRIANS LINE UP IN RIO


1st August, 2016.

A total of 200 horse and rider combinations from 43 countries are set to compete in the Olympic equestrian competitions when the Games open in Rio later this week.

According to the FEI, the international body for horse sports, the number of people engaging in equestrianism around the globe continues to grow dramatically.

“Since 2007, there has been an 83% increase in the number of international competitions, and young people are being drawn into equestrian sport in greater numbers than ever before” says Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI secretary general.

“Our sport really appeals to the youth culture. The Brazilian Dressage team is a good example, with all four members below the age of 25.”

The oldest equestrian Olympian is 62-year-old dressage rider Julie Brougham from New Zealand, with Britain’s favourite show jumper John Whitaker not far behind at 60.

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Germany has won the most medals, collecting a total of 75 to date.