31st October, 2014.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) has announced the names of six new Qualified Saddle Fitters.

The following passed the SMS' City & Guilds Certificate in Saddle Fitting making them SMS Registered Qualified Saddle Fitters:

Emma Ardern, of Calton Saddlery Services, Buxton
Catherine Baker, of Wylye Valley Equine, Warminster
Caroline Doolittle, of Equimix Saddlery, Stourport on Severn
Maxine Sayers, of M J Saddlery, Dorchester
Victoria Sheehy, of Victoria Sheehy Saddlery, Deepcut, Surrey
Emily White, of Cirencester Saddlery, Cirencester.

• See the December issue of ETN for a saddle fitting feature and quiz enabling SMS saddle fitters to earn CPD points.


29th October, 2014.

Robinsons, the UK’s largest equestrian retailer, is to open a fifth store.

The 15,000 sq ft superstore will be in Leeds on the Leeds City South Retail Park, in the Hunslet area of the city –close to the M621.

Formerly known as the Tulip Retail Park, it’s also home to a Range discount store and a PureGym, amongst others.

“It’s been over three years since our last store opening, so we’re delighted to add this new store to serve customers in another part of the country” said Paul Bentham, sales and marketing director.

“We’ve always been proud to have so many customers from Yorkshire, ever since we first took a show stand at the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate nearly 40 years ago.

The new Robinsons store, which is expected to open this year, is within easy reach of Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and Wakefield.

The equestrian retail giant is said to be planning more stores when suitable sites can be found. Its current stores are in Ashton-in-Makerfield in Lancashire, Basingstoke in Hampshire, Cannock in Staffordshire and Cardiff.


28th October, 2014.

A horse care products manufacturer is donating its surplus stock to equine charities.

Carr & Day & Martin is inviting organisations that care for neglected, abandoned, sick or injured horses to help themselves from a ‘charity bay’ in its warehouse in Lytham, Lancashire.

“We have very high standards at Carr & Day & Martin so any products with slightly substandard packaging or labelling cannot be sold and would previously have been sent for disposal off site,” said marketing manager Amanda Flowers.

“However, they are still perfectly safe to use and we want to ensure that charities benefit from that by coming to us for donations of products.”

The initiative is the latest in the company’s charity programme which includes work with the Horses & Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA), World Horse Welfare (WHW), the Blue Cross and the RSPCA.

As well as products, Carr & Day & Martin - part of The Tangerine Group - donates prizes for fund-raising events and gives help and advice on horse care issues.

“Our new charity bay will provide products to the charities we already work with and we hope that it will also prompt other charities and horse sanctuaries to come forward and speak to us about ways that we can help,” added Amanda.


28th October, 2014.

Rachael Thompson is NAF’s new area sales manager for the north-west and North Wales.

“I’ve fed NAF products for many years and am thrilled to be working for a market leading brand,” she said.

Canadian born Rachael began her riding career Western style. She took up eventing when she moved to the UK and became a Young Riders European gold medallist in 2003.

She competed at advanced level until her stallion Upton’s Deli Circus was retired.


27th October, 2014.

More than half (60%) of all animals are distressed by fireworks, warns an insurer ahead of next weekend’s Guy Fawkes celebrations.

Petplan Equine says that horses living outside may be particularly vulnerable to being affected by loud bangs and flashing lights.

“Being flight animals, even the most sensible horses can be prone to bolting when frightened which can lead to injury to the horse or others,” says the company’s veterinary expert Gil Riley.

“The most important advice I can give horse owners is to be aware and prepared by making sure your horse is as safe and secure as possible.


22nd, October, 2014.

Retailers who don’t go to BETA International next February are “being naive”, says an expert in the sector.

Sue Moxon, managing director of R&R Country with stores in Leicestershire and Yorkshire, says a visit to the annual trade fair is essential for anyone “serious about running a successful business.”

Attending BETA International can also invigorate sales staff, save time and money when ordering stock and secure good service from suppliers, she adds.

“If you are serious about running a successful business and feel it’s OK not to go to BETA International, you’re being naïve,” says Sue.

BETA International 2015 is on 22 – 24 February at the NEC, Birmingham. Visitor admittance is strictly trade only and free on pre-registration. For details, visit

• Read more of Sue’s views on visiting BETA International in the November issue of ETN.


22nd, October, 2014.

TV farmer Adam Henson will open Cornwall Farmers’ new £500,000 Patch & Acre store in Truro next Thursday (30 October).

The official opening by the Countryfile presenter will be followed by a family fun day from 11.30am.

Simon Birch, chief executive of Cornwall Farmers, said: “Our Truro opening is a significant milestone in our £2.3 million turnaround plan.”

The company has invested in five other Patch & Acre country stores across Cornwall and Devon.


22nd October, 2014.

British Horse Feeds is to conduct a trial on its super fibre conditioning feed Fibre-Beet.

The company is seeking 30 horse owners to take part. Members of ‘Fibre-Beet 30 Team’ will keep feeding diaries and document their horses’ condition for six months.

As well as free Fibre-Beet, each owner will receive a branded saddle cloth and baseball cap.

Applications should be made via the British Horse Feeds’ Facebook page before 30 November.


21st October, 2014.

Vets and SQPs will answer horse owners’ equine worming questions on Norbrook’s stand at Your Horse Live.

Faecal egg count (FEC) experts from Westgate Laboratories will be on hand to talk about testing for worms too.

Complementary winter warmers of mulled wine will given away during the Q & A sessions.

Consumers will be offered free FEC kits and tapeworm test kits from Equisal, on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s also the chance to win a Norbrook branded rug.

Your Horse Live is at Stoneleigh Park on 8/9 November.


20th October, 2014.

Researchers at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) are appealing for horse and pony owners to participate in one of the largest studies into laminitis ever undertaken.

Their aim is to discover more about the frequency of and risk factors associated with the disease.

Owners of animals that have never had laminitis are needed to take part just as much as those that have been affected.

PhD student Dee Pollard said her team hoped to recruit more than 3,000 equines for the remote study.

“We will follow them for up to two years via a dedicated website and monthly online questionnaire updates,” she said.

“We are especially interested in those [laminitis] risk factors which are modifiable and can be changed by owners on a management-level.”

You and your customers can get involved by visiting


15th October, 2014.

Tangerine Holdings, the company behind the Carr & Day & Martin horse care brand, has been named Lancashire’s Manufacturer of the Year.

The accolade was presented during the BIBAs (Be Inspired Business Awards) at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Tangerine Holdings manufactures 85% of the products it sells at its Lytham factory, said company chairman David Haythornthwaite.

“We currently export products to 46 countries and have our own fully owned subsidiaries in Ireland, Spain and Germany. Our exports continue to grow and now account for 42% of our sales,” he added.

Tangerine Holdings, which also owns the likes of VetPlus, Agri-Lloyd and Farm Sense, has invested more than £3,000,000 in the business over the past eight years.

Earlier this year, Carr & Day & Martin won an ETN sponsored BETA International Innovation Award for its Equimist 360 spray dispenser.


14th October, 2014.

Lynda Mortlock, of Ingatestone Saddlery Centre in Essex, took office as chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association during the BETA AGM yesterday.

The new vice chairman is Nikki Newcombe of Bliss of London. Former chairman Ian Hassard of Dengie remains on the BETA Council.

The AGM was followed by the 2014 BETA Conference. A packed house at Whittlebury Hall Hotel in Northamptonshire heard speakers address digital marketing and media. Delegates also networked over lunch and tea.

“Coming today has been of great value to my business,” said retailer Julia Storey who runs The Horse Resource in Ashington, Northumberland.

See the November issue of ETN for a full report, reaction and pictures.


14th October, 2014.

A waste and recycling company’s proclamation that riders should pick up horse droppings left on the roads initially set my blood boiling, writes ETN editor Liz Benwell.

“[People] are no longer impressed by the cry of "put it on your garden", and think that horse owners have been getting a free ride when it comes to this unpleasant responsibility,” said a spokesman for He went on to explain – rather dramatically – how ‘manure’ can be dangerous to traffic and hazardous to human health.

Then I began to wonder if perhaps there was an opportunity here. So I phoned the ‘waste and recycling expert’ quoted in the piece. “How exactly should riders pick up their horses’ droppings and then what should they do with them?”

Silence ensued when I explained about having to get off and on again, potential dangers of carrying the necessary equipment and the fact that many non-drivers and children ride on the roads so can’t go back to collect droppings later.

He was also surprised to learn that the average dropping would nearly fill the average dog poo bin. “So what do you suggest?” I asked the ‘expert’ once again.

“I’ve no idea,” was his honest answer, “perhaps one of your readers could invent something.”


13th October, 2014.

A 45 year old bit helped showjumper Nicole Pavitt win the Senior Newcomers Championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) last week.

The West Sussex-based rider rode Tia Semilly in a bit loaned to her by former British international rider Malcolm Pyrah.

"I've got to give it back now," said Louise after her victory on the seven year old French bred mare.

ETN can reveal that the bit concerned was a Pelham with a butterfly shaped mouthpiece.


10th October, 2014.

Champion – the brand best known for its riding helmets and body protectors – puts its name behind a new clothing range this month.

The famous Champion laurel leaf logo appears on a jacket, hoodie, polo shirts, socks, cross country top and baseball cap.

The collection, developed by Champion brand owner Finest Brands International (FBI), highlights technical fabrics and streamlined silhouettes.

Find out more in the November issue of ETN.


6th October, 2014.

Members of Spillers’ sales team put their best feet forward to raise more than £1,000 for charity last month.

By taking the Thames Path 50km Challenge, they collected cash for Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Cancer Research UK.

Alexandra Ashley, Vanessa Macdonald, Nicki Grennan, Laura Meszaros, Rebecca Spencer and James Cassells walked from Putney Bridge, London to Runnymead in 11 hours.

“We slowed down for the last 10km when our legs didn’t want to move anymore and our feet were covered in blisters but we all managed to complete the walk,” said Alexandra, Spillers professional sales manager.

The team’s target is to raise £1,500. You can add your sponsorship donation at


6th October, 2014.

Michael Mullavey, who has left Weatherbeeta after 28 years, is to start his own business outside the equestrian industry.

Ellen Bates, Weatherbeeta’s general manager, said that Michael – the wholesaler’s marketing manager and a long standing BETA Council member – had parted on good terms.

“Mike started with Weatherbeeta as a teenager in our warehouse in Melbourne, before moving into sales and marketing and then 19 years ago came across to the UK ‘for a couple of months’ to help set up our then new UK business,” she said.

“Of course he stayed a fair while longer than that and has been an integral part of the management team in the UK throughout our growth to the business we are today.

“We are very sorry to be losing him from the team and wish him every success in his future endeavours,” said Ellen.


6th October, 2014.

Sports brands company The Sports HQ has bought the Barnsby brand.

The deal, orchestrated by intellectual property (IP) specialist Metis Partners, includes the Jabez Cliff name too.

The 221 year old Walsall based saddle maker collapsed into administration this summer.

Assets in the Jabez Cliff sale include a range of registered and unregistered trademarks, rights in the company's designs, organisational knowledge, domain names and the e-commerce website content.

The Sports HQ trades via its e-commerce website at

It’s part of Worcestershire based S247 plc which also has operations in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong. It owns brands such as Woodworm, Forgan, Prosimmon, Young Gun, Confidence and Ciro Citterio.

Simon Millington, chief executive of S247, said: "We’re passionate about developing the finest products and we’re constantly looking to purchase great sporting brands.

“Barnsby and Jabez Cliff are names with a great resonance among the sporting public and we are thrilled to have been able to add them to our extensive portfolio."

Nat Baldwin, of Metis Partners, who organised the global marketing drive leading to the sale, said: "We are delighted to have been able to produce such a successful result for the Jabez Cliff name and the Barnsby brand.

"The company has strong links with the British military and royalty and even made footballs which were used in four FA Cup Finals and the 1928 Olympic Games.

“The buyer has an excellent reputation for recognising the value in such brands and keeping them at the forefront of public attention."


6th October, 2014.

There’s good news for visitors planning to stay over in Birmingham before or after BETA International.

The city has been named ‘Best UK Destination to visit’ for a second consecutive year by readers of a tourism magazine.

The award was presented at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole last week to coincide with a travel show at the NEC, also the venue for BETA International.

British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Retail members who visit BETA International on more than one day are entitled to claim a travel subsidy.

To find hotels to suit all budgets within easy reach of BETA International, see

BETA International 2015 takes place on 22 – 24 February. More details from James Palmer on 01937 582111.


3rd October 2014.

Michael Mullavey, Weatherbeeta’s long standing marketing manager, is reported to have left the company.

ETN contacted the Banbury based wholesaler today to be told he “no longer works here” and had “left earlier this week.”

Weatherbeeta declined to comment further.

Michael, who hails from Australia, has been a member of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Council for some years.


2nd October, 2014.

A new Joint Venture between TopSpec and H J Lea Oakes aims to support the traditional manufacturer-wholesaler-retailer supply chain.

Central to the national arrangement, effective from yesterday (1 October), is the Equerry branded range of cubes and coarse mixes.

Manufactured in Cheshire by H J Lea Oakes and marketed by TopSpec, Equerry branded feeds are to be offered only to wholesalers for onward supply to retailers.

Read the full story and analysis in the October issue of ETN.


2nd October, 2014.

Battles is to sponsor the visitor bags at BETA International 2015 with its Hy brand.

The Lincoln based wholesaler is a long-standing exhibitor at the trade fair.

Meanwhile HorseQuest will put its name to the exhibitor bags distributed by the organisers at the show.

The online equine sales site is exhibiting at BETA International for the first time.

BETA International 2015 takes place on 22 – 24 February at the NEC, Birmingham. More details from James Palmer on 01937 582111 or email


1st October, 2014.

Lucy Higginson, the former editor of Horse & Hound, is among the speakers to address this month’s British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Conference.

The annual conference, incorporating the trade association’s AGM, takes place at Whittlebury Hall Hotel in Northamptonshire on Monday, 13 October.

Digital empowerment is the theme of the equestrian trade gathering which offers useful networking opportunities.

The results of a new survey exploring how riders use social media will be revealed during the conference.

Other speakers include digital marketing expert Tim Fidgeon, Trading Standards officer Sylvia Rook and video production specialist Jo Warrilow.

The BETA AGM, open to members only, starts at 9.30am with the first speaker on stage at 10.30am.

A limited number of tickets are still available; contact the BETA office on 01937 587062 or email


1st October, 2014.

Pre-tax profits at Hunter Boot are up by almost 8% to £14.6m, according to recently filed accounts.

Turnover is also rising, up by around 10% last year at the firm that made its name in wellies and has lately branched out into clothing.

Founded in Scotland in 1856, the company has been owned since 2011 by Searchlight Capital Partners, a private equity group.

Recent developments have included a distribution deal in Japan and more online sales, notably in the UK to North America.

Hunter Boots opens a Regent Street store in London at the end of this month [October].