HORSE DEALER'S ADVERT WAS "MISLEADING"

31st October, 2012.

A horse dealer misled potential customers by advertising a horse as older than it actually was.

York based Judi Thurloe Sportshorses advertised a black and white gelding called Cosby on the internet and in a national magazine advert as a six year old.

But a potential buyer, who had been to view the horse, contacted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to challenge whether the advert was misleading and could be substantiated, because the horse's passport showed he was younger than described.

Judi Thurloe Sportshorses acknowledged that at the time the advert appeared, the horse was five years old rather than six and stated that that was due to an error rather than an intentional attempt to mislead consumers. It said that the complainant was made aware of the horse's real age prior to purchase.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA said: “[We] welcomed Judi Thurloe Sporthorses’ (JTS) willingness to correct the error. However, we were concerned that the error had remained present for some three months after JTS became aware of it, despite the fact that the price of the horse had been amended twice during that period. We concluded that the ads were misleading.”

The ASA told JTS to ensure that horses were described accurately in future.


NEW BLOOD ON BETA COUNCIL

31st October, 2012.

Ian Hassard of Dengie Horse Feeds took office as the new chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) following the association’s AGM on Monday (29 October).

Vice chairman is Lynda Mortlock from Essex retailer Ingatestone Saddlery.

Simon Parker stepped down as honorary treasurer, with Peter Phillips of Abbey England taking on the role.

There are also five new members of the BETA Council:
Hayley Cox - Anything Equine
Sara Blackshaw - Countrywide Farmers
Catherine Hale - LFA Celtic
Tracey Morley-Jewkes - Belstane Marketing
Heather Hyde - Neue Schule Bits


They join existing council members Alison Sherwood Bruce - Equilibrium Products; Andy Haines - Redpin Publishing; Chris Gordon - Dodson & Horrell; David Dyer - David Dyer Saddles; Ian Mitchell - Heritage Marketing; Ian Silman - Equicraft Saddlery; Malcolm Ainge - Shires Equestrian; Michael Mullavey – Weatherbeeta; Nicky Mackenzie – SEIB; Nikki Newcombe - Bliss of London; Peter Wilkes - Vale Brothers; Richard Lawrence - Matchmakers International; Simon Wetherald - Bardsey Mills; Tremayne Roden – Aerborn; Wendy Hofstee - Unicorn Trails.

The BETA AGM was followed by the 2012 BETA Conference. A full report appears in the December issue of ETN.


WORMER ADVERTISING TO BE BANNED

30th October, 2012.

Advertisements for horse wormers are to be banned from consumer magazines from October 2013.

The blanket ban on magazine and internet advertising to the equestrian public refers to all veterinary medicines, including wormers and some flea treatments, that require a prescription from a vet or SQP (suitably qualified person).

Changes to the rules on advertising veterinary medicinal products have been imposed by the European Commission and will be implemented by government agency the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

The ban on wormer advertising affects all media in the equestrian market except those with readers qualified to prescribe veterinary medicines ie. vets and SQPs.

As such, VMD has confirmed that ETN is exempt and may continue to carry advertisements for wormers. ETN runs trade AMTRA accredited CPD feature three times a year which enable SQPs to maintain their qualification to prescribe wormers.

Read the full story in the November issue of ETN.


EQUESTRIAN OLYMPIC COVERAGE "WORTH £30 MILLION"

30th October, 2012.

Coverage of equestrian sports before, during and after London 2012 has been valued at more than £30 million.

The figure, recently released by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), values exposure via written media from daily and regional newspapers to celebrity news and women’s fashion magazines.

Covering the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the statistics clearly demonstrate that equestrianism now has a strong profile in the public domain, added the BEF in a statement which emphasises the importance of capitalising on the publicity to create a lasting legacy.

Find out how the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is encouraging more people to ‘Take Up The Reins’ in the November issue of ETN.


VAT VICTORY FOR BETA INTERNATIONAL

29th October, 2012.

Overseas exhibitors at BETA International no longer need to pay VAT on the cost of their stands.

The breakthrough, confirmed by HM Customs and Revenue last month, represents significant savings for exhibitors from outside the UK. More than 50 overseas companies exhibited at the trade fair this year.

Claire Thomas, commercial manager of BETA International organiser EMC, explained the new VAT free status for overseas exhibitors.

“Where stand space is provided with accompanying services as a package, this package will no longer be seen as a supply of land with land-related services, but will be taxed under the general place of supply rule (customer location) when supplied to business customers,” she explained.

“We have confirmation from HMRC that BETA International 2013 fulfils the criteria required not to charge VAT to overseas exhibitors.”

BETA International takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 17-19 February. Visit http://www.beta-int.com for details.


BITS ARE TOP TITANIUM PRODUCT

26th October, 2012.

A titanium bit collection from Italian manufacturer Lorenzini has won an international accolade for its use of the element.

The range of bits and stirrups is distributed in the UK by IV Horse.

The annual Titanium Applications Development Award is presented annually by the International Titanium Association to recognise innovative and expanding use of titanium.

Lorenzini bits beat off competition from other titanium products such as medical equipment, gas-turbine engine coatings and military weapons.

Find out about the benefits of titanium bits in ETN November issue.


BIT FIRM OFFERS FREE DISPLAY STANDS

25th October, 2012.

Free in-store display stands are on offer to approved Neue Schule bit stockists during November and December.

Retailers must order 15 bits to receive a single wall mounted stand and 30 bits for a double version.

“Presentation within your store can say a lot about your business,” said Amanda Smith of Neue Schule.

The company has bits for every discipline and from pleasure riding to grand prix dressage.


BADMINTON BACK TO THURSDAY TO SUNDAY

24th October, 2012.

Badminton is to abandon its May bank holiday scheduling and revert to a Thursday to Sunday format from 2014.

After next year, the event will take place the weekend after the bank holiday; 8 – 11 May in 2014, 7 – 10 May, 2015 and 5 – 8 May, 2016 which is Rio Olympics year.

Badminton has also agreed a new contract with the BBC. “We are of course very pleased to continue our unbroken coverage with the national broadcaster,” said event director Hugh Thomas.

“There is always a knock on effect when big sporting dates change, but equestrian enthusiasts and our many exhibitors will be happy that the Royal Windsor Horse Show has also moved one week later so there will be no clash,” he added, confirming that a clash with Kentucky 3-Day will also be avoided.

Badminton 2013 (Friday 3 to Monday 6 May) will be sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors for the 22nd consecutive year. Its current agreement runs to at least 2015; it also includes the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships which take place the day before the international horse trials starts.


HOOF BOOT DISTRIBUTOR WANTS FARRIERS' VIEWS

23rd October, 2012.

Hoof boot distributor Trelawne Equine is urging farriers to complete an online survey.

The aim is to collate farriers’ views on ‘barefoot’ hoofcare and the management regimes connected with it.

“We work closely with many farriers and know that barefoot trims are being increasingly performed in the UK. But the industry needs some more data highlighting the issues facing owners, and that helps identify the prevalence of barefoot hoofcare nationally,” says Trelawne Equine’s Lucy Nicholas.

The survey is live now. One farrier, drawn at random from those who respond, will receive 50% off a hoofboot FitKit, used to size equine clients for hoof boots.

Visit - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LWWVQ7Z .


CRUEL AUTHOR'S BOOK WITHDRAW

22nd October, 2012.

Publisher J A Allen has withdraw from sale a book by Lesley Skipper, the equestrian author convicted of cruelty to horses.

Let Horses Be Horses, which first appeared in 2005, has been made “immediately unavailable.”

Skipper and her husband Brian were banned from keeping horses for life last week (15 October) following their conviction at Darlington Magistrates Court for causing unnecessary suffering to their horses and failing to meet the animals’ needs.

In a statement, Skipper’s former publisher J A Allen said it was “dismayed to learn of [her] recent conviction. Let Horses Be Horses, which itself in no way advocates cruel methods, is no longer available.”


GIFT FIRM TO DROP SHIP FOR CHRISTMAS

18th October, 2012.

Gifts wholesaler Your Gift Horse has launched a drop ship programme with Christmas in mind.

The scheme allows retailers to take orders online or in-store and have the goods shipped directly to the customer.

The first products to be included in the scheme are the cold cast bronze sculptures, similar to those Your Gift Horse supplies to Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as trophies.

“With 17 sculptures in the range, including the new dog designs, it’s almost impossible for a shop to display them all. Now there’s no need to miss out on sales,” said Christina Jones of Your Gift Horse.


JENKINSONS SCOOPS HAROLD MOORE DISTRIBUTORSHIP

17th October, 2012.

Jenkinsons Equestrian Wholesalers is now distributing the complete Harold Moore stable and yard collection.

The scoops and stable tools, available in an array of bright colours, are made in Sheffield by Harold Moore. The company is well known in the hygiene sector for its precision made, injection moulded plastics.

Popular products for the feed room include a Jug Scoop, Universal Stirrer, Pouring Jug and Hand Scoops in various sizes.

Tools range from a Shavings Shifter to a Harold Moore Unifork.


WHERE TO MEET A GOLD MEDALLIST

17th October, 2012.

Gold medallist Sophie Wells, a member of Britain’s paralympic dressage team, talks about her London 2012 experience at the BETA Conference later this month.

Major players in the equestrian trade will be attending the 2012 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Conference on Monday, 29 October at a new venue in Northamptonshire.

Other speakers include Guy Blaskey of Blue Chip Feeds and Pooch and Mutt on growing sales through online media; while there will be presentations on improving relationships with banks, what employers need to know about social media, avoiding the pitfalls of distance selling and how to get research and development funding.

The one-day BETA Conference, always a popular networking opportunity, incorporates the trade association’s AGM and lunch.

Some tickets are still available at £45 plus VAT to members and £60 plus VAT for non-members. Preferential rates are available for overnight stays at the conference venue, the Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa near Towcester. Contact BETA on 01937 587062 or email tinar@beta-int.com .


BAILEYS LAUNCHES FIBRE FEEDS

16th October, 2012.

Baileys Horse Feeds is to launch three new fibre products at the end of next month (November).

Alfalfa Plus Oil, Light Chaff and Ultra Grass are British-grown, molasses free and developed to complement Baileys’ compound feeds.

Attractively packaged and competitively priced, the products will be backed by national advertising.

Fibre feeds are expected to be in high demand this winter, following a difficult hay harvest. Find out more in the November issue of ETN.


MORE FREE COACHES TO BETA INTERNATIONAL

15th October, 2012.

Free coach trips to BETA International 2013 (17 – 19 February) will be back with an extended service.

Visitors can catch coaches bound for the trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham from Norwich, Ipswich, Peterborough and London as well as the existing services from Exeter and Carlisle, with pick-ups en route.

Coaches will leave early on Sunday morning. An extra coach will travel from Exeter on Monday, providing an additional opportunity for a day visit to the show, as well as collecting retailers who have been passengers on the previous day.

It’s advisable to book early, say BETA International organisers. Reserve your seat at www.beta-int.com or contact trade fair manager Lynn Pattison on 01937 582111 email tradefair@beta-int.com .


BRAMHAM'S FOUNDER HAS DIED

11th October, 2012.

George Lane Fox, who started Bramham Horse Trials in 1973, died peacefully at home on Tuesday (9 October).

The ninth generation of his family to live at Bramham Park in Yorkshire, George followed his father into the Household Cavalry. After 20 years’ service, he returned home, set the estate on to a modern business footing, developing the farming and forestry enterprises.

The first Bramham was a one day event with George as event director and course designer. A year later it returned as a three day event and seven years on, it was awarded international status.

George never missed a prize giving and was always smartly attired in his bowler hat and suit. His eldest son Nick said: “I will always remember Dad taking me, as a boy, to choose trees to turn into his cross-country fences and I’ll keep a picture in my mind of him sitting at the marquee door, greeting every guest at the Bramham Cocktail Party.

“His tenacity in keeping the horse trials going for the first ten years, when it cost him money, is an example to me and everybody else.”

The funeral will be held in All Saints Church, Bramham at 11.30am on Wednesday 17th October.


HOYS IS TONIC FOR TRADERS

11th October, 2012.

Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) was a welcome tonic for traders who suffered a series of rained-off events on this summer’s show circuit.

Many performances at the show, which ended at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday, were sold out; retailers were reporting better sales figures than they had dared hope for.

“We’ve been very busy,” said Kevin Galbraith of retailer Ayr Equestrian which lost 17 shows to cancellations this season.

Next stop for many trade exhibitors is Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire on 10/11 November with the new HorseWorldLive the following weekend (16/17/18 November) at ExCel in London.

Read the full HOYS story in the November issue of ETN.


BIOFLOW SIGNS NEW DISTRIBUTOR

10th October, 2012.

Magnetic products specialist Bioflow – best known for its dog collars and wrist bands - has entered the equestrian market.

Its magnetic horse boots and sports wristbands for riders are newly distributed by wholesaler Walk Trot Canter (WTC).

Bioflow is also sponsoring top eventer Harry Meade.


BARBOUR PROFITS SOAR

9th October, 2012.

Outdoor clothing brand Barbour saw its profits increase by 51% during 2011 compared with the previous 12 months.

J. Barbour & Sons returned a pre-tax profit of £17m, according to accounts file at Companies House.

Dame Margaret Barbour has been company chairman since 1972. As sole shareholders, the Barbour family took an equity dividend of £10m in 2011.


COURSES PUT SCIENCE INTO SADDLE FITTING

4th October, 2012.

A Dutch saddle fitting course that combines practical experience with academic study has opened its doors to UK retailers, saddlers, physiotherapists, vets and trainers.

The Academy for Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (MSFC, also the name of the qualification to be gained) and Equine Studies, is directed by Dr Gerry van Oossanen. The veterinary scientist also runs a horse and rider rehabilitation centre in Dwingeloo, Holland.

The academy runs training courses in saddle fitting, saddle making and degree level equine sports therapy. The saddle fitting courses have been popular in Holland since 2006, but a quest to educate more people about saddle fitting and how it relates to back problems and horse welfare has prompted Gerry to promote them internationally.

Find out more in the October issue of ETN.


FEED FIRM'S GRASS GETS EVEN 'GREENER'

2nd October, 2012.

An East Yorkshire feed manufacturer has unveiled a 500kW biogas plant enabling it to operate on renewable energy.

The anaerobic digestion plant at Northern Crop Driers generates electricity from maize and grass silage grown on the company’s Melbourne site. It’s also fed with slurry from sister company Melrose Pigs.

“Drying horse bedding and grass to produce feed is pretty energy intensive, so we’ll be using some of the electricity for that, while the surplus will go into the [national] grid,” said Pam Dear, a director at Northern Crop Driers.

“Our Graze-On product range and Megazorb bedding are now produced using our own 100% renewable electricity.”

See the November issue of ETN to find out about the benefits of dried grass for horses.


PREPARE FOR NEW PAYE REPORTING, TAXMAN WARNS

2nd October, 2012.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is writing to more than 1.4 million employers this month to prepare them for the new way of reporting PAYE data starting in April 2013. PAYE itself will not change – just the way, and how often, employers send this data to HMRC.

“April 2013, when Real Time Information (RTI) becomes a reality, is now less than six months away,” said HMRC’s director general Ruth Owen.

“Employers in the pilot who are already using RTI are telling us how straightforward and easy to use it is, once you prepare.”

From April, employers will send PAYE data electronically to HMRC each time they pay their employees as part of routine payroll processes rather than sending a separate return at the end of the year. Returns will include details of all employees’ pay, tax and deductions.

PAYE RTI will provide information about wages and tax for the forthcoming Universal Credit, so eligible employees will get the right amount of benefits.


R & R COUNTRY TO OPEN NEW STORE

1st October, 2012.

R & R Country is hunting for a site on which to open a third store.

“We’re looking around 100 miles further south down the A1,” managing director Sue Moxon confirmed to ETN, “somewhere in the Hertfordshire area.”

The retailer already has two shops; its original one near Selby, North Yorkshire and a second in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, which opened in March 2011.

Sue added that the third store was a long-term project. “It took us two years to find this one [the Melton Mowbray site] so I can’t see us opening a new one next year. We keep looking though; we want to be just north of London.”

She added that business had been “extremely busy” during September at both R & R Country stores.