29th November, 2017.

Animal medicine advisors urged to take advantage of opportunities to earn the CPD points needed to maintain their SQP qualification.

After an encouraging early uptake at the start of the current AMTRA SQP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) period, regulatory body AMTRA is reminding SQPs to stay ahead of the game and top up their CPD points regularly.

“It is quite common to see a surge in training at the early stage of a new CPD period,” says Stephen Dawson, general secretary of AMTRA.

“Unfortunately, this is often followed by a drop-off, once initial awareness has faded, and the daily routine takes over.”

While this may not be a problem in the short-term, it is all too frequent to see complacency take over and deadlines suddenly looming, he warns.

“We may have only recently started the current CPD period in July 2017 - and this runs through until June 2019 - but commitments can change so we always encourage SQPs to get the points under their belt as soon as they can.

“CPD helps with confidence and knowledge to go that extra mile with customer service. It is not only for the SQP’s professional development, and is essential to retain SQP status, but CPD also helps both the business and individuals’ own personal and career progression.”

SQPs are also urged to look out for communication from AMTRA, either directly or via employers. While some pieces of CPD are available over an extended period, others such as particular events may only be available once.

“Seize opportunities while you can, and don’t leave things till the last minute,” adds Stephen.

“Each time, a few SQPs miss the deadline, and have to sit an exam to retain their SQP status. Perhaps one or two might consider that a fun challenge, but for most it is something to avoid, particularly as it is not a cheap option either.”

• There are various channels to obtain CPD points. Look out for features in ETN and seminars BETA International. The AMTRA website www.amtra.org.uk holds full details of events, quizzes and other point-earning opportunities.


27th November, 2017.

The aftermath of a factory fire is interrupting supplies of vital ingredients in equine supplements.

Production of vitamins A and E has been temporarily halted at global chemicals company BASF.

The move follows a fire at its factory in Ludwigshafen, Germany on 31 October in which one person was reported to have been killed and six seriously injured.

The blaze occurred during the start-up of BASC’s citral plant in Ludwigshafen. The company then declared a force majeure for its citral and isoprenol based aroma ingredients.

The effect was to terminate any contracts to supply due to circumstances beyond the company’s control.

BASF says its vitamin A and E plants are also shut down for scheduled, routine maintenance. However, it will only be able to restart these plants once supply of citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for vitamin A and E become available.

“As the cleaning process, follow-up inspection, repair and restart of the citral plant will take several weeks, BASF is forced to extend the force majeure to vitamin A and E,” said a spokesman for the company.

He added that “BASF is implementing measures to limit the consequences of the situation… and will continuously inform its customers about the development and the details regarding the supply capability of the affected products.”

BASF’s dominance in the sector means supplement manufacturers are likely to see price rises in vital ingredients. An industry source told ETN that the price of their vitamin A supplies had more than doubled recently.


24th November, 2017.

A long-time exhibitor at the show on 21 – 23 January will host informative talks on its stand.

Abbey England is to host two Ask the Experts talks on leather and saddlery on its stand during BETA International.

The company - an advocate of traditional British manufacturing - supplies tools, leather and materials to the saddle-making industry.

Speakers include Mike Dodd, sales director at technical leathers manufacturer Pittards.

For his presentation on Leather and Its Uses on Sunday at 10.30am and Monday at 3pm, Mike will be joined by Richard Farrow. Richard is the former managing director of Sedgwick & Co, producer of British hand-finished leather and now part of the Clayton Leather Group.

A second talk - Saddlery Training and the State of UK Production – A Bright View of the Future will be presented by Mark Romain of The Saddlery Training Centre and Patrick Byrne of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Timings are Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 10.30am.

Each presentation will include a question and answer session.

“Traditional manufacturing is at the heart of the Abbey England business and securing the future of these techniques and practices is vital,” said a company spokesman.

• BETA International hosts a series of lectures and seminars – some with CPD points available - throughout ‘Training Tuesday’ on 23 January. Free coach travel is available to visiting retailers and their staff on this day too. Find out more at www.beta-int.com


24th November, 2017.

easibed appoints former retail employee to its sales team.

easibed has appointed Maisie Rutter as a customer sales advisor.

She is supporting easibed equine bedding and easichick poultry bedding stockists in the north-west and south-west.

Maisie previously worked in sales in a busy retail store.

easibed is next month’s Liverpool International Horse Show’s official bedding sponsor.


20th November, 2017.

Network or relax; the choice is yours as BETA International organisers lay on after-hours drinks and nibbles for everyone.

Exhibitors and visitors are invited to join the BETA International organising team, friends and colleagues for free after-show drinks on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm.

Glasses of bubbly, soft drinks and canapés will be served at the Fashion Show stage.

“This is the first time we have held this event, which promises plenty of valuable networking and the opportunity to toast the successful first day of business,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“There is no need to book beforehand – simply come along on the day and take your place at this informal, friendly gathering over a drink and nibbles.”

The BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Business Awards and Gala Dinner, which traditionally happened on the evening of the first day of BETA International, is on Monday 22nd January, 2018.

• BETA International is at the NEC, Birmingham, on 21 – 23 January, 2018. Admission is free with pre-registration at www.beta-int.com


20th November, 2017.

Helen Thompson, who joined Armstrong Richardson & Co as an account manager 15 years ago, has become a director.

Armstrong Richardson & Co has welcomed Helen Thompson to its board of directors.

Helen started with the North Yorkshire based feed distributor in 2002 as an account manager. She went on to work in purchasing.

For many years since, Helen has run the wholesale business of Armstrong Richardson, overseeing significant expansion. AR Wholesale now services customers from Aberdeen to Cornwall.

“Helen has shown outstanding professionalism within the company over the last 15 years,” said joint managing director Mark D M Jones.

“She has grown with AR Wholesale, and with her ongoing involvement and commitment we are sure she will continue to develop the business as wholesale director.”

Helen has been involved with many aspects of the family run business.

She had a notable input into the design of its current offices and warehouse in Stokesley which won the commercial category in the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Renaissance Awards 2008.


20th November, 2017.

More bargain hunters will go online than visit bricks-and-mortar stores next weekend. But is end-of-November sales fatigue setting in?

UK consumers are poised to spend billions of pounds over the Black Friday weekend.

The annual retail sales spree starts this Friday (24 November) and ends on Monday (27 November) – what’s become known as Cyber Monday.

Around a third (31%) of UK households will check out this year's special offers and discounts, according to new research by GoCompare.

Half (49%) will shop online with one in five saying they have no plans to visit a bricks-and-mortar store. 9% will shop exclusively via their smartphone.

For many, Black Friday signals the start of Christmas shopping, with 8% of those surveyed intending to buy most of their presents in the sales. 12% have delayed major purchases hoping to find them cheaper on Black Friday.

Shopping in the sales can lead to reckless consumer behaviour, it appears from the research.

Just 15% of bargain-hunters plan ahead by comparing prices before big sale events, one in ten admit to buying things they didn’t need, while 6% confessed to getting carried away and overspending.

So it's hardly surprising that, for many shoppers, sales fatigue and scepticism are setting in.

Nearly a fifth (18%) reported being “fed-up” with the end-of-November sales hype; while a quarter of those surveyed said they would be avoiding the Black Friday sales altogether.


17th November, 2017.

Top trade exhibitors received best stand awards from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) during last weekend’s event.

Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 11 and 12 November saw BETA promoting rider safety, rewarding best stands and highlighting the value of shopping with BETA member retailers.

The trade association offered free riding hat and body protector checks to visitors at the shopping and demos event. There were prizes to be won in a quiz rider safety quiz too.

BETA presented Best Stand Awards across three categories.

In the Lifestyle, Pet & Fashion section, gold was won by Snoozzzeee Dog, Katie Hough – who also won Best in Show – and Gray’s Country Gifts, with silver going to Forever Beads and Spinney Cottage Crafts.

In Equestrian & Saddlery, gold was presented to NAF, WOW Saddles, Townfields Saddlers, Wintec Saddles and Feedmark. Silver went to Equipe Saddles, Cavaletti Collection, Saracen Horse Feeds, Cheffings Equine and Dengie Horse Feeds.

In the Food & Beverages category, gold was awarded to The Fizz & Tipple Co, with silver going to New Cottage Fudge.

“Your Horse Live offers a fantastic opportunity for us to meet lots of switched-on horse riders and owners as they arrive for a weekend of fun and shopping with friends,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“We enjoyed meeting hundreds of new faces as people popped along to our stand, where we promoted the work of the trade association and its members. You can’t beat getting out and chatting to horsey people about the things that matter most to them and, this year, it was busier than ever.”


14th November, 2017.

The stereotypical behaviour may be related to a lack of the trace element – however, too much selenium is toxic, say researchers.

Crib-biting in horses – a distressing compulsive disorder – might be related to a lack of trace element selenium in their diets, according to new research.

The study suggests crib-biting shares similar characteristics with some human neurological or psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and autism.

The researchers, led by Dr Arash Omidi at Shiraz University in Iran, and including Dr Matthew Parker at the University of Portsmouth, say their study is the first to test the role of trace elements in crib-biting.

It is published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour.

Dr Parker, of the university’s School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, said: “Selenium deficiency has been linked to some human psychiatric conditions and even to bad moods, but until now, there has been no research on the effect of trace elements in crib-biting horses.

“Crib-biting is a compulsive disorder that can be distressing for owners, can cause damage to teeth and has been linked to colic. Owners and vets worldwide have tried numerous ways of fixing it without success.

“It’s too soon to know for certain if selenium in the diet will help or even cure the condition, but the crib-biting horses we tested were deficient in selenium.”

He urged caution over selenium dosages, though, warning too much would be toxic to horses.

The recommended daily amount of dietary selenium is 0.1mg/kg of daily diet, but more than 2mg/kg is toxic.

For horses, selenium is found naturally in hay, pasture and grain. It is also commonly added to commercial horse food, underlining the importance of owners checking their horse’s existing dosage from commercial foods and the foraging environment before adding more.

He said: “People should be very careful giving selenium supplements. Some soil, particularly in parts of the USA, have selenium-rich soil and adding a selenium supplement can be dangerous.

“Selenium is an important antioxidant that helps the body to protect itself from the damage caused by free-radicals, or oxidative stress. Our results suggest it could be that a lack of selenium in the diet increases the oxidative damage on neurological systems, causing or exacerbating the problem.”

Low levels of selenium have previously been recorded in humans with schizophrenia, a condition which, the researchers say, is more common in areas where the soil contains very low levels of selenium. For humans, selenium can be sourced from Brazil nuts, eggs, chicken and a range of other foods.

The researchers tested the blood of crib-biting and non-crib-biting horses for nine trace elements during crib-biting and afterwards. The trace elements measured were selenium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

All mammals, including horses and humans, need tiny amounts of these trace elements to function well and all can be sourced from food, if the diet is good.

They also tested for enzymes, glucose, endorphins and some hormones, including cortisol – the so-called stress hormone.

Crib-biting has been recorded in a small proportion of the horse population for centuries but no conclusive reason for the behaviour has yet been found. It has been called “strange” and “incurable” and has been blamed on a host of different things including boredom, a side effect of ulcers, or too much sugar in the diet.

Some believe the behaviour gives horses an endorphin rush, making a horse want to keep doing it. It is almost always seen in horses who are stabled.

In the next phase of their research, Dr Parker and his team will be examining the effects on crib biting of dietary supplements, in particular, diets high in selenium and other antioxidants.

The published paper can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1558787817301776


14th November, 2017.

Saddle fitters are the latest group of qualified experts to be offered the chance to accrue CPD points when they visit the show at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January.

Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) qualified saddle fitters can earn three CPD (continuous professional development) points when they visit BETA International 2018.

Compulsory CPD was introduced by the society this autumn (ETN November, News). It is now a requirement for SMS saddle fitters to maintain their qualification.

In order to claim the points, saddle fitters must report to the SMS stand (J11.1) during BETA International for sign-off.

For many, it will be a return visit to the show where saddle fitters can see the latest saddlery innovations and launches from leading global brands.

This year, BETA International also hosts a seminar presented by renowned saddle fitter Kay Hastilow.

Kay is among the speakers lined up for the show’s new Training Tuesday programme.

Happening on Tuesday, 23 January, there will be appearances by experts in worming, retail display, consumer rights, safety equipment, customer service and bitting.

More CPD points are available to SQPs via an AMTRA approved seminar.

Attending a presentation by Claire Williams of BETA will accrue CPD for BETA trained City & Guilds riding hat and body protector fitters.

• ETN’s December issue has another CPD earning opportunity for saddle fitters with an SMS accredited feature and quiz. Written by SMS president Sue Norton, it covers the horse’s early days under saddle.

• To find out more about attending BETA International, visit www.beta-int.com or call +44 1937 582111. Admission is free on pre-registration.


13th November, 2017.

As keeping hens at home grows ever popular, a leading distributor offers equestrian retailers the chance to diversify.

Battles has become the official wholesaler for Hentastic poultry feed.

The complementary range is aimed at the ever increasing number of smallholders and poultry keepers.

“This new addition to our catalogue endorses Battles’ ongoing commitment to retailers to continue to expand and update the portfolio of products available,” said a spokesman for the Lincoln based distributor.

Other brands joining Battles recently include haylage specialist Silvermoor, with added lines from Animology pet products, LazyOnes sleepwear and Suet to Go wild bird food.


13th November, 2017.

Special offer to retailers runs until the end of this month (November).

UK distributor Zebra Products Ltd is offering a 10% discount on all Equipe saddles purchased during November 2017.

The discount celebrates the Italian saddle brand’s 20th anniversary.

Zebra Products says the offer is also a ‘thank you’ to its trade customers for their continued loyalty.

“This opportunity is available to all Equipe retailers and is to be passed on to end consumers,” added a spokesman.


10th November, 2017.

New owner has growth plans for famous equestrian and sailing label.

Norwegian outdoor clothing company Helly Hansen has agreed to acquire Musto from investment company Phoenix Equity Partners and other shareholders.

Musto, founded in the 1964 by Olympic yachtsman Keith Musto, is well-established in the equestrian, country and sailing markets.

Established in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen is best known for its skiing and outdoor apparel.

Peter Smith, CEO of Musto, will continue to lead the business. He will report to Paul Stoneham, CEO of Helly Hansen, who also becomes executive chairman of Musto.

"Musto accelerates Helly Hansen's long-term aspiration to become a global leader in sailing, matching our leadership position in professional skiing,” said Mr Stoneham. “Our focus will be to expand Musto internationally as an iconic British lifestyle brand.”

Mr Smith said the acquisition was “an incredibly exciting next phase in Musto's evolution… We look forward to leveraging Helly Hansen's global network and R&D capabilities as we grow our market leading position in sailing, country and outdoor apparel."

The deal is for an undisclosed sum.


7th November, 2017.

Wholesaler begins distributing well known horse clothing brand to retailers.

Trilanco is supplying Masta products exclusively to the UK trade alongside the Harry Hall and Caldene ranges

All three brands are owned by Harry Hall, which changed its name from Matchmakers International.

Trilanco opened a new £7 million HQ and warehouse in Lancashire earlier this year. An “ongoing transition of stock from Harry Hall’s [Yorkshire] premises” is currently underway, according to the wholesaler.

“The introduction of brands, such as Masta, is part of our overall strategy to help bring together great equine, pet and agricultural brands so that we can provide our customers with the best range of products and service in the industry,” said Martin Balmer, managing director of Trilanco.

“Our new warehouse has created the space we needed to increase the breadth and depth of products we stock and supply.”


6th November, 2017.

Agents’ performance and distribution agreements are on the agenda at the evening event in London later this month.

Distributors, agents and companies using their services are invited to a seminar hosted by solicitors Fox Williams. Attendance is free.

On the agenda during the ‘agentlaw’ event are:

• Performance managing agents and distributors – how to put yourself in a better position to terminate an agent or distributor. Or at least improve their performance!
• Mean what you say: how the latest Supreme Court rules on interpretation are to be applied to distributorship agreements.
• Maximising commission – how to put yourself in a position to maximise your commission as well as statutory entitlements on termination of your agency agreement.
• Using agents and distributors outside the EU – why you still need to take care.

The event takes place on 21 November at Fox Williams’ offices, 10 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AF.

Registration is from 6pm, followed by the seminar and networking with drinks and canapés.

To reserve a place, contact slsidkin@foxwilliams.com or events@foxwilliams.com


6th November, 2017.

ETN sponsors the annual accolades that highlight exciting new products and will be judged by a panel of experts during BETA International at the NEC, Birmingham on 21 – 23 January.

Winners of the BETA International 2018 Innovation Awards will be chosen by the following judges:

● Clare MacLeod – independent consultant equine nutritionist.
● Michelle Miller – master saddler and harness maker, and owner of M Miller Saddlery.
● Tracey Morley Jewkes – managing director of Blacks Vets and dog grooming product company Born to Bark.
● Wendy Beal – retail manager at R&R Country's store in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
● Wendy Hofstee – vet and owner of equestrian holiday company Unicorn Trails.
● Allister Hood – celebrated show rider and producer, and winner of this year's HOYS Champion Cob on Our Cashel Blue.

“The Innovation Awards are an extremely important part of the show and have been the launch pad for many successful equestrian products,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Our judges play a crucial role in considering all aspects of the entries, including their commercial viability.

“Winning an award is a massive achievement for companies that have often invested heavily in the production of a product and we always make sure that we have the right people for the job.”

The Innovation Awards are judged in the following categories: Country Clothing & Footwear, Feed & Supplements, General, Horse Equipment & (Horse) Clothing, Pet Products, Rider Clothing & Footwear, Saddlery & Tack and Safety & Security.

Judging takes place on Sunday 21 January, with awards presented on the Fashion Show stage later that day as part of the show's awards ceremony.

Admission to BETA International is free on pre-registration at www.beta-int.com


6th November, 2017.

Feed company scoops an award for firms with promising future.

Thunderbrook Equestrian won the Future50 One to Watch prize at the Eastern Daily Press Business Awards 2017 last week.

Sponsored by enterprise agency Nwes, the award recognises an early stage business which shows the potential and drive to become a success story.

Thunderbrook Equestrian supplies horse feed and herbal supplements to the UK and western Europe. The Griston, Norfolk based business is beginning to explore export opportunities to the USA, Middle East and Australia too.

Company founder Dr Deborah Carley said Thunderbrook’s success was down to the team’s belief in their brand.

“We really believe in what we do. You can’t run a business just to make money – you have to have the heart and passion behind it to drive it,” she said.

The award judges said they saw “unrivalled passion” from Thunderbrook Equestrian’s owners.

Business development manager Eddie Linehan said he was “delighted” for Thunderbrook’s staff and customers.

“We have customers who have stayed loyal to us right from when we were making horse feed in the kitchen, so this is not just for us, it is for them,” he said.

Eddie added that the company “would not be where it is” without the support of Nwes and Future50, a business growth programme for Norfolk and Suffolk.

“When someone believes in you and they invest their time and money in you, it makes all the difference,” he said.