29th November, 2018.

An experienced figure in the equestrian industry fills the post.

Haylage and equine treats specialist Silvermoor has appointed Georgina Teece as head of sales.

Georgina has worked in the equestrian industry for ten years. She started in the buying department of Armstrong Richardson before joining Global Herbs as an area sales manager. Georgina then covered north of England sales for Bedmax.

At Silvermoor, she will be leading the company’s sales strategy within the UK and overseas for all products.

A keen rider since the age of five, and holder of British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications, Georgina owns two horses and competes in show jumping and dressage. She and her whippet Betty enjoy dog agility.


27th November, 2018.

The inspirational sports star who famously swapped saddles will meet visitors and exhibitors at the show.

Victoria Pendleton, the Olympic track cycling champion who captured the horse world’s heart when she took up jump racing, is to appear at BETA International.

A multi gold medal winner on her bike in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, Victoria set herself the target of riding in the Foxhunters race for amateur riders at Cheltenham – despite having never ridden before.

Riding Pacha Du Polder, the cyclist turned jockey finished fifth. She also notched up a win at Wincanton on the same Paul Nicholls trained horse.

Among Victoria’s other adventures are taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and a recent televised attempt at climbing Everest.

Victoria will be at BETA International on the middle day of the three-day show, Monday 21 January. She will tour the halls, meeting visitors and exhibitors.

BETA International attendees can also hear her interviewed when Victoria will talk about her cycling, race riding – and share her future plans.

Admission to BETA International is free on pre-registration at


26th November, 2018.

With plans to “widen the commercial offering to members”

The Pony Club Shop is to be hosted by Harry Hall’s e-commerce website.

Members and supporters of the youth organisation can shop for Pony Club books and posters, Pony Club badges and ties, socks and more 24/7 at the site.

Harry Hall says its new partnership with The Pony Club is set to expand further in the spring.

Liz Hopper, managing director of Harry Hall, said the company was “delighted” to be working with The Pony Club.

“As a leading e-commerce country and equestrian site, we know how much the equestrian market values the convenient, swift and dependable service which is our speciality.

“We also have a customer care line manned by local people who really understand horses and riding,” she added.

Rhian Gibson, who became chief executive of The Pony Club in September 2017, said: “As The Pony Club reaches its 90th year, it is vital that [the organisation] continues to grow and develop, and we are confident that this new relationship will enable us to widen the commercial offering to our members in a positive and useful way.”

The Pony Club was founded in 1929.


26th November, 2018.

Recruit will be covering northern England.

Rachel Thomas has joined NAF as area sales manager covering northern England.

Rachel comes from an equestrian family. As a working pupil, she was shortlisted for both the junior and young rider British teams in eventing.

“I’m very excited to be joining the team at NAF,” said Rachel. “I’m passionate about horses and competing and look forward to bringing my experiences to the role and to the new challenges that lie ahead.”


26th November, 2018.

A show organiser makes a plea to the show trader and ETN diarist.

Dear ETN,

I have been following Guy Roper’s accounts of various events across the UK this year and have just read his report of Your Horse Live (ETN e-news, 20 November).

As an organiser myself, I want to put what I see as our side of the story; though obviously I cannot speak for all the event organisers out there.

My take on the situation is this. We are all facing increasing challenges within the events industry, whether we run game fairs or equestrian events.

Our costs are increasing; we have to pay for venues, contractors, advertising (now not only print but the whole social media spectrum), arena displays and entertainment. Then there are health & safety, risk assessments, fire regulation, public liability insurances and adverse weather cover – none of which were a massive headache which when I first started in the events industry 24 years ago.

Visitors to events require more and more too, because there’s much more choice out there. They are constantly viewing their phones in a way that butterflies pitch onto flowers and then move onto the next thing; so to get their attention, hold it and then get them to commit is quite a feat.

We have held the price of admission and trade stands for our events for over six years and, as you will understand, that takes some creative accounting with these increasing costs.

I feel that as a company we give good service to our exhibitors and our visitors. We try to please and in most cases go beyond the bounds of what most people do.

My office staff have been on the receiving end of some very abusive and aggressive exhibitors. That’s never easy, and I would ask that those responsible remember that we are human beings.

What I want to ask is - when will the first person step forward and say ‘let’s all get together and talk this through and try to find some way forward’? We need to do this before the negative attitude of articles such as Guy Roper’s jeopardises the show circuit further.

Yours etc

Sandra Turner, managing director, Contour Exhibitions & Events Ltd.

• Air your views: If you’d like to write to ETN, please email


26th November, 2018.

Wholesaler turns to air freight to meet demand for porcine themed product.

A small holed haynet is proving so popular that extra supplies are being flown in ahead of BETA International.

Such has been the uptake of Elico Little Piggy haynets that wholesaler Jenkinsons Equestrian is making pigs fly – by air freighting in extra stock - to avoid disappointing its retail customers.

“We realised that the sea shipment was not going to be sufficient, and so we fast-tracked another delivery, as consumers just adore the cute little piggy,” said Elizabeth Ellis of Jenkinsons Equestrian.

“The small holed nets reduce the speed of consumption of hay and help to keep horses and ponies happy and healthy.”

You can see Elico Little Piggy haynets, fresh off the plane, on stand C1.1 at BETA International on 20-22 January.

• Visiting BETA International is free on pre-registration. See to find out more.


19th November, 2018.

Katharina C. Hamma, a key figure in the running of Cologne’s exhibition centre Koelnmesse, left her job on Friday.

Koelnmesse “terminated the working relationship” with Ms Hamma, its chief operating officer (COO) of seven years’ standing, on Friday (16 November).

The board of the German exhibition centre that hosts Spoga said it had parted with its high profile COO “with immediate effect”. The reason given was “differing views on the future strategic direction of the company.”

Until further notice, Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse is to take over Ms Hamma's previous responsibilities.

Before joining Koelnmesse in 2011, Ms Hamma (52) was at the Messe München, an exhibition venue in Munich, Germany.


19th November, 2018.

A geography teacher, student veterinary nurse and a falconer are among eight contestants hoping to impress the judges with their horsemanship.

The five-part, equestrian reality Horse & Country TV show Omega Equine All Star Academy starts on Sunday (25 November) at 9pm.

Each hour-long programme provides warts and all coverage as contestants learn and compete during their stay with Pammy Hutton at The Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire.

“Providing plenty of laughs, highs and lows along the way, the Omega Equine All Star Academy is set to prove very entertaining and great viewing over the forthcoming weeks,” said a spokesman.

Sponsors Airowear, Bucas, Charles Owen, Equithème, Tredstep, easibed, Haygain, Jump 4 Joy and Intelligent Horsemanship join title sponsor Omega Equine to support the series with products and services.

Contestants include 30-year-old falconer Guy Simmonds from West Wales, Nikki Sinclair (35) a geography teacher and student veterinary nurse Gabrielle Wheatley from Wiltshire.

Sibling dressage riders Charlie and Pippa Hutton and eventer Harry Meade are among the big names due to encourage and judge them.


19th November, 2018.

Show trader and ETN diarist Guy Roper reports from an expanded Your Horse Live (Stoneleigh, 9 – 11 November).

It’s always interesting when organisers tinker with an established formula. Most of the show circuit trundles on from year to year, everything fitting into a pattern; after Badders’ breakdown, it’s along the M4 to set up at Windsor, and so on.

Taking a two day show to three days (50% extra free? – more of that later) was the logical next step for Your Horse Live (YHL). Last year, the show was so full that shoppers couldn’t shop and traders couldn’t trade. And - as I understand it from a brief chat with one of Stoneleigh’s NAEC (National Agricultural & Exhibition Centre) team - the venue was absolutely up to its fire safety limits with late-coming ticket holders in danger of being turned away.

Trouble is, the extra day puts up costs for all of us. Obviously there’s an extra day’s wages for staff, and an extra night’s accommodation to pay for, plus another couple of lavish meals for everybody. But you can add to that staff days off in lieu and extras in dog and horse care. So the extra day has to equal extra trading, and in the first years it rarely does.

Leap of faith

Don’t get me wrong: three days is probably where this show will find its new balance. And you can’t judge things on the first year. But it hasn’t got there yet and at the end of a very tough season, taking the third day was a leap of faith, or desperation.

Chatting to the punters produced some interesting responses. On the Friday, there was a mix of people who’d never been before because of the legendary crowds and who felt that the extra day would spread things out. Then there were some regulars who came on the Friday, avoiding Saturday “cos it’s always rammed” and coming back on Sunday to see the arena events and find the end-of-show bargains. All in all, trading was brisk, and the shop’n’drop had to open extra rooms.

I’ve seen this show grow and change over the years and it reflects other trends across the show scene. Frankly, years back, the unheated cattle sheds with their box-cutting, car-boot sale presentation were pretty awful. The atmosphere fuelled a “whadaya want for this?” attitude in the punters that just got a bit wearing.

Some had an absolute ball

It’s true there is still an element of that around, but it’s minimal. So far as the public is concerned, YHL is still the place to come for shopping, maybe find a bargain, and take in a few of the demos. And it’s good. It was about as good as last year.

Talking to a few trader chums, some did about average, nobody did that badly, and some had an absolute ball. Unfortunately, the new format just seemed to spread the trade over the three days and by mid-afternoon on Sunday the place was almost empty.

It was interesting to go to the BETA evening drinks reception and hear from one of the YHL organisers about How Important and Valued we tradestand holders are. Nice to be appreciated. The reception was a very welcome time to relax after a long day. Aside from some delicious food and plentiful drinks, it was good to have the chance to chat with chums and compare notes, albeit on a sparse season. There were a few surprises among the best stands awards too. Overall, a nice ‘do’.

No food – not even biscuits

What a contrast, then, with what the YHL organisers themselves provided. Despite the fine words, the “exhibitors’ lounge” was a down-at-heel and depressing experience, even after you’d climbed over the overflowing horse feed bags from the stand next door and forced open the warped door.

Stumbling up the sticky stair carpet, at the end of a long gallery, was a dented tea urn, a jar of instant coffee and a box of tea bags. A scant supply of styrofoam cups lurked behind a notice exhorting us to respect the limited supplies. There was no food. Not even biscuits. There wasn't even any food to buy.

I was at the show to trade. I was told that my trade-stand was important. But I wasn’t given a chance to avoid the long queues in the food court (£7.90 for a ham-slice-thin cod fillet with chips).

When YHL first started, there was a food offer in the exhibitors’ lounge. It was basic, mostly sandwiches in a chiller, but there was even a hot option. I seem to recall a lasagne that probably saved my toes from frostbite in the early years.

Drinks with the great man

Comfort of exhibitors is a small but serious issue, especially when the trading day is extended to 8 o’clock at night. Evening shopping rarely works unless there is careful planning and a serious attraction. In this instance, prospective punters had to stump up an extra £30 for an evening with Geoff Billington (£10 on top to go to pre-performance drinks with the great man).

Whoever came up with the timetable for this hadn’t really thought it through. Stands had to stay open until 8pm. Drinkies with Geoff were from 6pm until his act started at 7pm. The first intermission was at 8.30pm. You don’t have to be a genius to spot the problem there. Predictably, footfall was pretty well non-existent after about 6.30pm. One or two chums made some good sales, but overall it was a waste of time, stretched the working day to around 12 hours and took another two hours’ wages off the bottom line.

Wasted time queuing

“By thine actions shall ye be judged” as it probably says somewhere in somebody’s special book. On that basis, I didn’t feel particularly appreciated by YHL organisers, neither did my team. We all resented the time we wasted queuing with the public for hot drinks and lunch, let alone the extra money we spent.

Candidly, YHL are not the worst. I could mention a few others. The basic point is that in an age of decreasing margins and increasing online competition, if organisers want us at their shows they need to talk to us about our costs and concerns.

Squeezed between rising stand fees and a declining spend caused in part by over-the-top admission prices, I’m not the only trader who will be taking a close look at where I go next year.

Time to reflect

Possibly it’s time for some of the events to reflect that they are static and we are the mobile ones. It’s up to me where I drive the lorry. With regret, and it’s already happening, I’m being forced to see if I can do better away from the big events at smaller, cheaper venues.

I’m not criticising YHL in particular here, I’m pretty sure the new format will work - with a bit of tweaking. But let’s not forget where it’s held. I seem to remember there used to be quite a big show each year at Stoneleigh once upon a time...




16th November, 2018.

This area manager takes belief in what you’re selling to new heights.

Saracen Horse Feeds’ northern area sales manager Sarah Rushby and her horse Ottawa star on the new packaging for Saracen Cooling Mix and Cooling Cubes.

Sarah and her 16hh grey gelding are joined on the feed bags by Saracen brand ambassador and show rider Lilly Ahern riding her pony Thistledown Las Vegas.

The feed company regularly features Saracen fed horses on its sacks. So now Sarah and Ottawa join an illustrious group of models which includes dressage ace Carl Hester.


16th November, 2018.

BETA International organisers reveal who’s on the panel for its Talking Business live debate at January’s show.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart is to host Talking Business, a live debate during BETA International 2019.

The show is at the NEC Birmingham, on 20 – 22 January.

On the Talking Business panel are:

• Philip Tyler - executive chairman of the TopSpec Group

• Martin Balmer - managing director of Trilanco

• Lisa Lemieux - director of Horse Health

• Doug Walker - president of the Weatherbeeta Group (North America and Europe)

• Kevin Galbraith – proprietor of Ayr Equestrian

“This is the key gathering for the trade suppliers whom we equestrians rely on,” said Alastair. “They'll have tough questions in tough times. Join me as we shed light on what really matters to a vital industry.”

Talking Business is on Sunday, 20 January at The Charles Owen Spotlight. BETA International visitors and exhibitors can watch for free without leaving the exhibition halls.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Alastair back to the show and can't wait to hear the discussions unfold,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas. “They are always thought-provoking, truly inspiring and entertaining to boot, as Alastair expertly steers the panel through some really challenging issues.”

• ETN is BETA International’s official media partner. Find out more about the show at and to get involved with ETN’s preview, call Beth Crow on 01937 582111 or email


15th November, 2018.

Tim Stockdale – self-made success and great communicator - was a favourite with the equestrian trade.

British Olympic show jumper Tim Stockdale died today, a month after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was 54.

Tim represented his country in more than 50 Nations Cups, and at world and European championships. He was on the British team that just missed a medal in fourth place at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Other career highlights include the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead in 2010. He was still winning internationally this season.

But Tim was almost as well-known off a horse as he was in the saddle. To sports fans he was an insightful BBC pundit. To the show jumping authorities, he was occasionally outspoken. To aspiring equestrians, he was an inspiration.

Tim was proud of his self-made achievements and became an astute businessman. “I can’t feed my kids on red rosettes,” he told delegates at the inaugural BETA Conference in 2006 where he was the keynote speaker.

An outstanding ambassador for his sport and riding in general, Tim became a household name when 3.5 million viewers tuned in for the reality TV series Faking It and Only Fools on Horses.

As a high profile sponsored rider for Toggi and Spillers among others, he set a standard which probably remains unmatched.

Above all, Tim Stockdale was a brilliant horseman and energetic, positive person with time for everyone.

He leaves his wife Laura and sons Joseph and Mark.


13th November, 2018.

SQPs are being reminded that they should ask to see horses’ passports before prescribing medicines such as wormers. But it’s not the end of the world if they don’t…

Horse owners and livery yard managers are being advised to bring horses’ passports when purchasing animal medicines such as wormers.

The warning follows a horse medicines guidance update from the VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate) which says that prescribers should ask to see the passport.

But there’s no need for prescribing SQPs or owners to panic, says Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA, the regulatory authority representing some 7,000 AMTRA SQPs [suitably qualified persons or registered animal medicines advisors].

“While we are encouraging owners to bring their passports along, not bringing the passport doesn’t prevent the horse being wormed or benefiting from other medicines,” he said.

“It just means that if the vet, pharmacist or AMTRA SQP prescribing and supplying medicines has not recently seen the horse’s passport, and been able to confirm personally that it has been signed out of the food chain, they have to act accordingly.

“As the horse is a food-producing species under EU law, then without the passport it must be assumed the horse may enter the food chain, and the wormer or other medicine chosen accordingly.

“Some medicines cannot be supplied without sight of the passport as they are only suitable for horses signed out of the food chain.

“However, most horse medicines are okay to prescribe in either case, so it’s just a question of the range to choose from being a bit smaller.”

AMTRA SQPs have a legal requirement to ascertain the status of any animal before prescribing or supplying medicines. The new update is simply reinforcing this existing requirement.

The current status of the horse is determined by checking the declaration in the passport. While the owner will be able to advise the medicines prescriber of the horse’s status, the updated guidance clarifies that AMTRA SQPs should only rely on the passport’s declaration when they have seen it personally.

Where livery yards buy in bulk on behalf of owners, then presenting multiple passports is not likely to be practical, says AMTRA. So prescribers will again choose from medicines which can be safely and legally given to horses that might enter the food chain.

• ETN publishes regular AMTRA accredited features and quizzes to enable SQPs to earn the CPD points they need to maintain their qualification.


13th November, 2018.

Prominent equestrian business-people reveal why three days in January are blanked out in their diaries.

You won’t find anyone in our trade busier than two women who each head up a major retail operation. Yet they’ll both be dropping everything on 20 – 22 January to go to the NEC, Birmingham for BETA International 2019.

“I don’t understand why any retailer of any size doesn’t attend for at least one day,” says Sue Moxon of R & R Country.

“There’s so much under one roof and in a fantastic environment. There is always something new to see and learn, it’s great to catch up with the trade and chat to other retailers.

Being among the first to see the latest innovations is important to Serena Jones of Millbry Hill.

“What I enjoy most is seeing what the up and coming trends are and what new, innovative products are launching to the market,” she said. “It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with a wide range of suppliers and other retailers.

Renowned saddle fitter and experienced retailer Ken Lyndon Dykes hasn’t missed many trade fairs during his long career. But his enthusiasm for BETA International remains undimmed.

“I’m constantly amazed at how quickly new products and materials can change within a very short time,” he explained. “And simply waiting for a rep to call round doesn’t even touch the tip. So go to the show!”

The chance to find out more about products and meet the people who’ve worked on them is why Sarfraz Mian, of the show’s main sponsor Neue Schule, recommends a visit.

“Of course, through the year we have regular contact with our stockists,” he said. “However, BETA International delivers a unique opportunity for our retailers to see the full spectrum of our products, discuss with the design team queries that have been raised by consumers and see new products we have in the pipeline before launch.”

Staying ahead of rival retailers is another reason to get along to the NEC, says Sarfraz

“The trade fair provides an excellent one-stop-shop for retailers looking to freshen up their offering to their customers and see product lines from diverse exhibitors that they are not currently stocking.”

Size doesn’t matter when considering whether BETA International is worth a visit, according to Marcus Cridland of Shires Equestrian Products.

“Retailers of all sizes should take at least one day to visit BETA International,” he said. “It’s the only opportunity in the year to see all the leading brands under one roof.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to compare product and pricing to maximise margins and offer customers the best products available. Many companies, including ourselves, offer all retailers show specials only available at BETA International.”

• ETN spoke to members of the BETA trade fair committee to compile this article. The committee comprises representatives of the trade who contribute to and consult on the running of BETA International.

• Admittance to BETA International is free on pre-registration at


12th November, 2018.

Two equestrian stars will be interviewed on stage during BETA International 2019.

Eventing’s world champion Ros Canter and international para-dressage rider Sophie Christiansen will talk about their gold medal winning careers during BETA International (20 – 22 January).

Ros and Sophie will be interviewed in the show’s theatre, The Charles Owen Spotlight, on Monday 21 January.

All BETA International visitors and exhibitors can join the audience without leaving the exhibition halls.

Riding Allstar B, Ros won individual and team gold medals at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, earlier this year.

Sophie, a stalwart of the all-conquering British para-dressage team with eight gold medals to her name, returns to BETA International following her inspirational appearance at the 2018 show.

“We feel so privileged to have two female riders currently at the top of their game taking their place in The Charles Owen Spotlight at the trade fair,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January. Entry is strictly trade only, with free registration at For further information about the show, please contact Clair Webster, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111, email


12th November, 2018.

Company’s planned expansion to create 15 UK jobs.

Equine supplements manufacturer Science Supplements has invested £1.1 million in a new production and research and development facility at its base in Hartwell, Northamptonshire.

The new systems increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities for liquid, gel, paste and powder products and add to its existing UFAS and NOPS approved facility.

Science Supplements, which has offices in five countries, says the installation is the start of greater expansion plans in the UK and abroad, including the creation of 15 jobs in the UK.

“Our continued investment in the research and development of new products and the increased capacity that the new facility brings paves the way for the exciting future ahead,” said Vicky Mitson, commercial director.


12th November, 2018.

New deputy general manager already has a strong track record in the trade.

Wintec and Bates saddles distributor Saddlery Brands International has appointed Claire Galer to the newly created role of deputy general manager for the UK and Europe.

Claire is supporting the company’s distributors, agents and retailers across Europe. She established rider underwear specialist Derriere Equestrian in 2014.

Earlier in her career, she trained in equine and human sports therapy and ran her own equine therapy business for ten years.

Lilly Redbourn has also joined Saddlery Brands International as business development account manager for the south of England and Wales.

The main point of contact for Bates and Wintec saddle retailers in these areas, Lilly is a keen rider – with her eye on a new Bates Advanta evening saddle.

“With Saddlery Brands International gearing up for an exciting year ahead, we’re thrilled to welcome Lilly to the team,” said Ellen Bates, general manager, Saddlery Brands International UK.


6th November, 2018.

Honouring the horses and dogs that gave their lives alongside our soldiers.

On the centenary of the armistice of World War One on Sunday 11 November, pet charity Blue Cross is honouring the role animals played.

Horses and dogs were not just a vital part of the war effort, but companions with whom soldiers forged unbreakable bonds.

In World War One, horses and dogs were indispensable. Horses were at the heart of the cavalry, carrying gun carriages, wagons, ambulances and munitions trucks. Dogs played important roles as lookouts, messengers, carriers of ammunitions and first-aid packs and helping transport injured soldiers.

But the animals were also flesh and blood and extremely vulnerable. It was estimated after World War One that almost 226,000 horses drafted into the British Army lost their lives, by 1917 there were 869,931 horses in active military service.

While the Red Cross brought relief to the human victims of war there was no similar service for the war’s animal victims, until the Blue Cross arrived to help them.

Then known as the Our Dumb Friends League, Blue Cross set up veterinary care on the front lines, treating injured and sick horses and dogs involved in conflict. By the end of the war, the charity had treated over 50,000 sick and injured horses, and 18,000 dogs, funded entirely by donations from the public.

Blue Cross also helped soldiers who befriended dogs while posted overseas – they had shared food and fears together and many soldiers could not bear to leave them behind. But the price to quarantine the dogs to bring them home was too expensive for most soldiers to afford, so Blue Cross took over the Carlton Kennels in Shooters Hill, London as a dog quarantine station.

Once dogs had passed the required time in quarantine, Blue Cross reunited the pair – often by packing the dog onto a train to be met by their owner at their destination.

Blue Cross deputy chief executive Steve Goody said: “At Blue Cross we know animals change lives every day, but there is no time we see this more profoundly than in times of war.

“We think it’s vital to remember the lives of animals who were forced into battles that they had no say in, and to honour the role they played.”

Watch the short film below:

Last year, Blue Cross helped almost 30,000 pets with veterinary services at its clinics, rehomed nearly 9,000 pets including horses, and supported over 8,000 grieving people who had lost their pets through its Pet Bereavement Support Service.


5th November, 2018.

Chosen boots brand also appears on this month’s ETN front cover.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex donned boots by The Original Muck Boot Company on a rainy day during their recent Antipodean tour.

The Royal couple had joined local schoolchildren in a welly-wanging contest while on a visit to a conservation project near Auckland, New Zealand.

Meghan chose women’s Reign riding boots; Prince Harry wore the unisex Chore model.

It was the Duchess who secured the prized welly trophy.

This month’s (November’s) front cover of ETN features boots from The Original Muck Boot Company’s women’s Vibram Ice collaboration, plus the men’s Outpost - part of its new leather collection.


5th November, 2018.

The winner of this month’s ETN/SMS Saddle Fitter of the Month award has 45 years’ experience and enjoys carriage driving in his spare time.

Martin Wilkinson of Hertfordshire based Martin Wilkinson Master Saddler has been named ETN/Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) Saddle Fitter of the Month.

The award recognises those whose good practise is making a difference to horses, riders and the saddlery industry.

Martin was nominated by dressage rider and trainer Tabitha Perry who says: “Martin Wilkinson always provides a professional and diligent service, taking the time to ensure that our horses are correctly fitted with their saddles which he also services and maintains faultlessly.”

Our winner’s own business Martin Wilkinson Master Saddler was launched in 1973. Before that he trained under and worked with some notable luminaries in the trade.

Martin says he loves his job most when someone comes to him with a horse that has behavioural problems or is not fulfilling its potential - and with the right saddle he’s able to transform the horse’s comfort and movement.

With more than 45 years’ experience in saddle fitting, Martin enjoys carriage driving and match ploughing in his spare time.

Read more about his career to date in the November issue of ETN.

How to nominate a saddle fitter

Please tell ETN if you know of someone who deserves to be named ETN Saddle Fitter of the Month. Candidates must be SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters based in the UK or overseas. To nominate a saddle fitter (or more than one), email Please include the saddle fitter’s name and business name – and why he or she should be rewarded with this award.


5th November, 2018.

A number of appointees were announced at last week’s BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) AGM.

Ian Silman from Equicraft Saddlery, Somerset is BETA’s new chairman.

He took over the role at the trade association’s AGM last week (29 October). The meeting preceded the annual BETA Conference.

Malcolm Ainge of Shires Equestrian is the new BETA vice chairman.

Former chairman Nikki Newcombe, of Bliss of London, has remained on the BETA Council.

She is joined by new council member Vicky Highfield from Staffordshire based Highfield Equestrian.

Alison Sherwood Bruce, from Equilibrium Products, stepped down from council and as the long-standing chairman of the BETA PR committee. A presentation was made to thank Alison for her hard work for BETA.

Wendy Hofstee, of Unicorn Trails, has taken over as PR committee chairman. Sara Blackshaw, of Mole Valley Farmers, now chairs the retail committee having replaced Ian Silman.