26th November, 2014.

Specialist retailers such as tack shops and country stores “need to take Christmas seriously”, says a leading supplier.

Steve Faulks, of tubs and tools experts Faulks and Cox, also has experience in the retail trade. ETN asked him to share his tips for a profitable Christmas countdown.

• Practical presents are appreciated these days, making tools, tack and feed treats great gift items. Display them in festive mode, as other stores promote ties and perfume.

• Advertise and decorate your shop. Consider opening for extra hours and maybe have a late night event or two with mince pies.

• Is your car park is well-lit and suitable for customers in normal day-clothes who might drop in to buy presents?

• Customers don't want to look for a bargain, they want to be shown one... Use merchandising stands that put products into the hands of the harassed shopper.

• Encourage multi-sales by grouping items such as packets of treats in tubs or create a mucking out kit. This increases the value of a single sale without extra effort.

• Gift wrapping is a great service for last-minute shoppers. But do make sure it's done properly; a badly wrapped present looks terrible - practice is required.

• Are you and your staff into the swing of Christmas, enjoying it to the full? Customers can get stressed, so need help when buying what might be unfamiliar kit.

• An assurance that presents can be exchanged after Christmas often clinches a sale.

• Record all extra seasonal expenses and purchases in your accounts as they are likely to be tax-deductable.


25th November, 2014.

Nearly 14,000 people responded to what’s believed to be the largest ever ragwort survey last summer.

Results measuring awareness of and concerns about the yellow flowering weed have led to the British Horse Society (BHS) and Defra launching a plan to tackle the problem.

The BHS is to produce a toolkit for local equine groups giving advice about ragwort control on own land and the legal responsibilities in connection with it.

In addition, the BHS is calling for the establishment of local Ragwort Action Partnerships between local authorities, public and private landowners, and local equine groups.

See the results of the survey in the January issue of ETN


24th November, 2014.

Jaime Finch has joined Dengie Horse Feeds as area sales manager for the south-east.

She previously worked as a nutritional adviser for Kent retailer Frogpool Manor Saddlery (now part of Speedgate).

Jaime, who has a masters degree in equine science, has also been a showjumping groom and an instructor for the Ebony Horse Club, the Brixton, south London based children’s charity.

“I’m passionate about equine nutrition and the benefits of feeding good quality fibre,” said Jaime who owns Moreno, a 26-year-old Westphalian gelding.


21st November, 2014.

ETN is offering SQPs extra opportunities to earn CPD points.

The AMTRA accredited features and quizzes on worming and nutrition that appear regularly in the magazine are now also available online.

By reading the features, correctly answering the quiz questions and returning them by post or electronically, SQPs can earn two CPD points per feature.

The next AMTRA accredited worming feature appears in the February issue of ETN; while a nutrition feature is scheduled for the April 2015 issue.

SQPs [suitably qualified persons] are required by AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) to gain a number of CPD [continuous professional development] points in a given period in order to maintain their qualification to prescribe and supply animal medicines such as wormers.

To see the latest ETN SQP CPD features, click here


19th November, 2014.

James Hitchen, former managing director of collapsed saddlery company Jabez Cliff & Co – best known for its Barnsby label, is behind new saddle brand Barclay & Co.

The range is being made by Ideal Saddle & WRS with whom Mr Hitchen is working. The Walsall based company is understood to have acquired the Barnsby saddle patterns.

“The name may be new but the products will be the same,” said Mr Hitchen.

He added that the saddles are being built on “the same Beebee & Beebee saddle trees” and will be sold to the trade “at the same prices as the original Barnsby range.”

The Barnsby trademark and other intellectual property assets have been acquired by sports brands company The Sports HQ [ETN, November].


19th November, 2014.

Rosie Askham, an equine management student at Hadlow College in Kent, has been awarded the Lyndon-Dykes Saddleworld Fellowship 2014.

She will be guided by the well-known saddler Ken Lyndon-Dykes throughout her Fellowship.

“I’m proud and delighted to support this research programme and I very much look forward to helping Rosie,” said Ken.


18th November, 2014.

Today marks ten years since the Hunting Act 2004 passed through Parliament. Three months later, on 18 February 2005, it became law.

Those who thought hunting would disappear have been proved wrong. A decade on, practically every hunt that was operating when the ban came in is still doing so.

"The determination of hunts, and the continued support of the wider rural community, has ensured that hunting is still thriving ten years after the Hunting Act was passed,” said Tim Bonner, director of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance.

“But the law has proved just as unworkable, pointless and wasteful as we predicted.”


18th November, 2014.

Early signs indicate a busy but highly competitive pre-Christmas shopping season.

Liz Hayman, managing director of clothing label Equetech, has come up with a retailer’s seasonal checklist.

1. Offer pre-Christmas drinks in store with mince pies etc and maybe a raffle.
2. Offer bundles of products as specials, put them in gift baskets or bags to make them look unique and tempting.
3. Place stocking fillers by the counters.
4. Shoppers spend more if they’re advised about new products and gifts in November.
5. Offer a wish list service in store and on-line. Regular shoppers can register their wish list, making it easy for non-horsy family and friends to make the right purchases simply.


17th November, 2014.

Equilibrium Products was the winner of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Best Stand Award (large) at Your Horse Live (YHL) last week (8/9 November). Horslyx was runner-up.

The best small stand was Chestnut Horse Feeds, with IDOLO as runner-up. The awards were presented by Claire Williams, executive director of BETA.

As well as sponsoring the main arena sponsor at YHL, BETA provided free checks on visitors’ riding hats and body protectors.

The show coincided with the 30th anniversary of the trade association’s first retailer training courses to fit safety garments.

“Sponsoring the main arena was a great way in which to flag up the importance of riding safely,” said Claire.

Dressage star Carl Hester was among the well known equestrians to give demonstrations in the BETA arena.


12th November, 2014.

Helen Stone is to leave Fieldhouse Riding Equipment at the end of December to set up as an independent saddle fitter.

Trading as Midland Saddle Fit, she will be working with various brands including Utopia Saddlemakers, a business set up in Shenstone near Lichfield by her husband Nick Stone in May this year.

Nick was previously a saddlemaker with Albion Saddlemakers in Walsall for 14 years.

“Nick and his father Bramwell Stone [a master saddlemaker for many years at Barnsby] had set up the new business together. But Bramwell sadly died six weeks ago and I feel I must support Nick,” Helen told ETN.

Helen, a qualified Master Saddle Fitting Consultant (MSFC), added: “I love saddle fitting and I’m looking forward to working independently.”

Earlier this year, in a three-year agreement, Carl Hester became a brand ambassador for the PDS range of saddles developed by Fieldhouse Riding Equipment with input from the dressage star.

At the time, it was said to be “probably the largest equestrian sponsorship deal” although the sums involved remain undisclosed.

Geoff Fieldhouse, founder of Fieldhouse Riding Equipment, was not available for comment.


12th November, 2014.

A retailer who broke Animalife’s ‘no online sales’ rule by sub-supplying an e-commerce website has had its account terminated.

The firm behind Vetrofen and Vetroflex launched its Accredited Retailer scheme earlier this year to support bricks and mortar stockists.

Nearly 250 businesses have since signed up to the initiative which requires agreement to terms and conditions and approval by Animalife.

“Recently it was discovered that an Accredited Retailer was sub-supplying products to one of the biggest online equestrian retailers in the UK,” said Animalife in a statement.

“The unfortunate result of this has been termination of the account in question.”

Animalife is constantly checking that its terms are adhered to by stockists, said director Ross Riley.

“I’m disappointed that a few accounts can cause bad feeling amongst the team of Accredited Retailers.

“We feel it’s our duty to conduct fair business with all of our partners – especially as so many of them are working with us to adhere to the conditions and promote our products to their customers.”


11th November, 2014.

Pat Harris, director of science at Mars Horsecare, received the Veterinary Award at last week’s Animal Health Trust Awards in London.

More than 400 people gathered at the annual ceremony that celebrates equestrian excellence.

Well-known commentator Mike Tucker presented the awards.

Dr Pat Harris MA VetMB PhD DipECVCN MRCVS was recognised for her contribution to equine nutrition over the past 30 years.

She is the author or co-author of more than 500 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters. Most recently she co-edited and wrote in the 2013 textbook Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition: Health, Welfare and Performance.


10th November, 2014.

As Your Horse Live (YHL) closed at Stoneleigh yesterday, the organisers confirmed that its sister show will go ahead next Spring.

Total Confidence Live, named after a franchise in Your Horse magazine, is scheduled for 25/26 April 2015 at the South of England Showground in West Sussex. This year’s inaugural edition was postponed.

The event will combine YHL’s celebrity and shopping formula with the chance for visitors to bring their own horses for tuition from famous riders and equestrian experts.

Indoor and outdoor tradestand space is available. Organisers Bauer expect a minimum of 8.500 visitors over the two days. Standard adult tickets will be priced at £12.

Read ETN’s report from Your Horse Live and more on Total Confidence Live in the December issue.


7th November, 2014.

Domino Phillips, from Carrs Billington in Cumbria, has been named 2014 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year.

The award was presented by top show producer and Virbac sponsored rider Katie Jerram at a champagne reception hosted by the animal health company at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

Now in its fourth year, the accolade recognises SQPs [suitably qualified persons] demonstrating a high level of competence and support for their equine customers.

Domino has worked for Carrs for 18 months and owns an ex-racehorse.

Find out more about the competition and how to nominate entries for the 2015 Virbac 3D Worming Equine SQP of the Year in the December issue of ETN.


5th November, 2014.

Equestrian fashion label Equetech has ditched duck down in favour of man-made filling for its latest collection.

The switch has been made on moral grounds and following customer feedback, says managing director Liz Hayman.

“The process in which duck down is collected is cruel and unnecessary,” she added.

Read the full story in the November issue of ETN.


4th November, 2014.

Probiotic supplements supplier Protexin has appointed two new territory managers.

Kirsty Holmes, who’s covering the south-east, was previously the manager at Ingatestone Saddlery Centre in Essex for nearly six years. She’s also been a showjumping yard manager.

Jessica Bowen, covering the south-west of England and South Wales, is an equine sports science graduate and keen rider who has previously worked in sales.


3rd November, 2014.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) sponsors the main arena at next weekend’s Your Horse Live.

The initiative marks the 30th anniversary of BETA’s first safety courses on which retailers are trained to fit riding hats and body protectors.

“Improving rider safety is a crucial part of our work,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“Your Horse Live visitors are always hugely enthusiastic and we’re looking forward to finding out what they have been up to over the past 12 months – and bringing everyone up to speed with how BETA can help them.”

Your Horse Live, featuring equestrian celebrities and shopping, takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on 8/9 November.

Throughout the show, BETA will be offering free safety checks on riding hats, body protectors and tack. Those taking part will receive a discount voucher for 10% off a new safety garment when bought from a participating BETA retailer.

BETA, to be found on stand M63, also hosts the Your Horse Live best stand awards and a BETA members’ breakfast.