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Equestrian Trade News

T h e Vo i c e o f t h e E q u e s t r i a n I n d u s t r y

August 2013 Volume 37, No 8 Monthly

Home-made Meet a great British manufacturer

NEC, Birmingham, UK 16-18 February 2014

Main Sponsor

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International

al n o i t a ern t n I A BET 14 main 20 named or s n o ile f p o s r p er Retail

... the magazine for the industry, about the industry, by the industry


Comment WHAT with Omega 3 being ‘big’ in supplements just now, a Daily Telegraph headline caught my eye. “Omega 3 could raise cancer risk” it read... The risk, according to an American study, was a slightly higher chance of men who ate lots of Omega 3 getting prostate cancer. Phew, all the women like me who take cod liver oil every morning thought on reading that - and another phew for our horses who are eating Omega 3 enriched supplements. While it’s easy to scoff at such studies and research, there’s no doubt that they do engage the consumer. And that’s why it’s important for manufacturers to back up any mention with transparent detail. Supplements are not medicinal products, so they’re not required to be tested for licensing. However, an increasing number of manufacturers are claiming that their products are ‘clinically tested’, ‘scientifically proven’ and the like. And it won’t be long before consumers start to question those claims. For instance, when clinical proof is said to be available, does it apply to horses – or has the product or its ingredients been tested on humans, rats, dogs or cattle? If a study on the effects of Omega 3 in humans refers to a specific sex, surely it’s not too much to ask for clinical proof to refer to an entire species? Clinic trial work is expensive, so it’s understandable if it’s not been done specifically on horses. But let’s be honest about that. RIDERS take a saddle off and check the horse’s back; they pick out its feet and glance over the shoes; they brush the horse and feel for lumps and heat. But do they look in their horses’ mouths to check for damage? I don’t think so! With bit specialist Neue Schule named as the new main sponsor of BETA International 2014, watch out for lorinery being a hot topic in the next few months. The Yorkshire based company with the German sounding name is determined to raise awareness of bits and bitting. Free lorinery seminars at BETA International next February are just one treat in store. WHAT a difference a year makes. Warm weather and optimism about the economy produced near record crowds at last week’s Great Yorkshire Show. 134,837 visitors over three days was the third highest attendance in the event’s 155 year history. Last year, the show was rained off. DIVERSIFYING into the pet market offers endless opportunities. The latest innovation is apparently tea bags for dogs...whatever next? Milk and two sugars?

Liz Benwell


NEWS COVER STORY BETA International 2014 main sponsor named .....4 BETTER RETAILING Advice from The Shop Doctor ................................10 PRODUCT NEWS Check out the latest launches ..............................11 PEOPLE ...................................................................15 LETTERS..................................................................16 WHAT A RIP-OFF! Protect your products from cheap copies ............17 SUMMER SKIN CARE Vet Tom Beech on the effects of a scorching 2013 so far ..........................................18 BETA MEMBERS’ PAGE ..........................................21 RETAILER PROFILE COVER STORY Meet Ben Burnhill, fifth generation of this Yorkshire business..........22 BITS, BRIDLES AND TRAINING AIDS Dressage legal bits.................................................24 Product gallery .......................................................25 A BRITISH CELEBRATION COVER STORY Meet a great British manufacturer.......................30 Who’s flying the flag?.............................................33 COUNTY COURT JUDGMENTS................................42 FRONT COVER: This celebration of British manufacturing is courtesy of NAF (Natural Animal Feeds). ETN has visited NAF’s massive, modern factory to find out more about how its products are made on home soil. Read our report on page 30. To find out more about NAF, visit

CPD introduced for saddlers

New main sponsor for BETA International 2014 BIT specialist Neue Schule has signed up as main sponsor of BETA International 2014. The North Yorkshire based company will host lorinery seminars as part of a high profile presence at the trade fair. “We’ve exhibited at BETA International for many years and recognise its great significance for the equestrian industry,” said Sarfraz Mian, Neue Schule’s chief executive officer. Claire Thomas, organiser of BETA International, said she was thrilled to welcome Neue Schule as main sponsor. “I’m sure the team will bring the same passion and energy they have for their products to

the sponsorship of NEC, Birmingham, UK the show.” 16-18 February 2014 BETA International 2014 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK on 16 – 18 February. Other sponsors are Caldene, Charles Owen, Equestrian Life, ETN and TopSpec. To find out more about BETA International, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email Main Sponsor

Celebrating Neue Schule’s main sponsorship of BETA International 2014, from left, Neue Schule CEO Sarfraz Mian and marketing assistant Rhiannon Lister, BETA International organiser Claire Thomas, Neue Schule director Heather Hyde, BETA International sales manager James Palmer and press officer Deborah Hayward, with Neue Schule technical director Dr Graham Cross and operations manager Jonny Worth.

THE Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) has introduced a system of continuous professional development (CPD) for members. Saddlers and saddle fitters are being encouraged to take part to further their knowledge and training. Participation is not compulsory. The scheme has been developed by the society’s CPD Steering Group. “CPD for saddlers and saddle fitters is not compulsory but we recommend that they should aim to gain 10 CPD points a year, averaged over a three year period,” said Hazel Morley of the SMS. CPD points can be gained by attending SMS saddle fitting seminars and courses; saddle, bridle and harness making qualifications; attending outside conferences, health and safety and first aid courses; reading books and periodicals; attending business courses and giving presentations. “Ideally a saddler’s and saddle fitter’s knowledge should be kept up to date and the standards gained on qualifying should at the very least be maintained,” added Hazel. “Whilst not exclusive, the accrual of CPD points goes some way to formally recognising this.


Equestrian Trade News Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW Tel: 01937 582111 Fax: 01937 582778 – Sales Email: Website: Publisher: Equestrian Management Consultants Ltd Editor: Liz Benwell Email: Tel: 0845 6185007 Advertising Sales: Nicki Lewis Email: Tel: 01937 582111 Fax: 01937 582778 Advertising Copy: Nicki Lewis Email: Tel: 01937 582111


Subscriptions Distributed on a controlled-circulation basis to the retail trade. Paid-for annual subscriptions are £39.95 (UK), £73.00 (Europe), £86.00 (rest of the world). The magazine is independent of all groups. Editorial views expressed in ETN are not necessarily the official view of any organisation or group. Copyright: All material is copyright Equestrian Management Consultants Ltd. Design & Print: G.H. Smith & Son, Market Place, Easingwold, North Yorkshire YO61 3AB Tel: 01347 821329 Fax: 01347 822576 Email: Web: ISSN 1462-9526

Abbey England............................................................37 Airowear .....................................................................11 Animalife ......................................................................3 Barrier Animal Healthcare.............................................20 Battles ..........................................................................9 Bedmax.......................................................................35 BETA International .......................................................32 Chatham Country ........................................................12 Citrus Lime ....................................................................6 Classified ....................................................................41 EquiAmi ......................................................................26 Faulks & Cox Ltd ..........................................................13 Finest Brands International...........................................39 Fludes S H ltd ..............................................................38 Hilton Herbs ................................................................40 E Jeffries & Son............................................................27 Kikon Equest ...............................................................28 Natural Animal Feeds ................................................OBC Charles Owen..............................................................36 Park Feeders/Haybar ....................................................38 Sherwood Forest/Puffa ................................................IFC Snowhill Trade Saddlery..............................................IBC South Essex Insurance Brokers........................................5 L S Sales (Farnam) Ltd ....................................................7 Westgate EFI ...............................................................15 Verdo Horse Bedding ...................................................40 Vetericyn .....................................................................19 Web Directory .............................................................42 Zebra Products ............................................................25

Re-organisation at Belstane THE equestrian business and distributorship of the Muck Boot brand, formerly both handled by Belstane Marketing Ltd, have been separated. All equestrian brands, including Pikeur, Eskadron, Myler, Samshield, Freejump, Doebert, Exoglo and Rectiligne, are now managed in the UK and Ireland by a new company Shaws Equestrian, run by Monty Stuart-Monteith and his wife Suzanna. The Muck Boot and Puddleton business continues to be handled by Belstane Ltd. The two companies are located in the same building with staff happy to answer queries on all brands. The new arrangement “will give more consumer and customer focus for each area of the business, with dedicated staff for support across customer operations, marketing and distribution,” said a spokesman.

Seminar highlights Chinese opportunities BETA is helping companies tap into the Chinese market. The trade association joined the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Great British Racing International (GBRI) to present a seminar last month. Opportunities in the Equestrian Market in China attracted more than 50 delegates. Lord Howard, chairman of Arena Racing Company, explored the potential for UK racing. Claire Urry, executive director of CBBC, gave an overview of the Chinese horse industry. BETA’s executive director Claire Williams spoke on the many opportunities available for companies wishing to explore this growing and lucrative market. “We were delighted to see so many delegates, many of whom are planning to accompany the BETA trade mission to the China Horse Fair in October,” said Claire. “The seminar was the perfect way for companies that are serious about exploring the possibilities of trade with China to find out more.”

China’s equestrian potential ● An increasing proportion of China’s 1.3 billion population is getting wealthier. ● Riding facilities are regarded as essential in any luxury property development with a number of ‘sports cities’ currently in the pipeline. ● There are about 300 exclusive equestrian clubs and 800,000 riders. ● Between 2,000 and 3,000 horses are imported into China every year.

Opportunities ● As many Chinese students travel to the UK for training and education, the country’s own colleges are beginning to set up equestrian courses in conjunction with UK establishments. ● Massive potential exists for providers of infrastructure and facilities. ● There is demand for horses (subject to regulations). ● Foreign brands are perceived to be of better quality than local ones, so there’s demand for all types of equestrian equipment. ● BETA will exhibit at the China Horse Fair, in Beijing, from 17 to 19 October, and provide participating companies with background market research and a visit to key centres in the area. The trade association is also looking into the possibility of hosting a reception at the embassy and a ‘British morning’ at the exhibition. UKTI funding is available for eligible companies (BETA members and non-members) wishing to exhibit. Potential participants or to find out more about future trade missions should contact Tina Hustler, telephone 01937 587062, or email Claire Williams,


German wholesaler reduces prices WALDHAUSEN has just launched its latest trade catalogue – with price reductions on many items. The spring/summer 2014 specialist retailer catalogue from the German wholesaler stretches to more than 400 pages. It contains the complete Waldhausen range for horse and rider. Also featured is the new ELT spring/summer 2014 collection as well as ‘horse fashion’ in coordinating colours. “We are pleased that despite the very high quality, we have been able to reduce the prices of many articles for specialist retailers,” said a spokesman for Waldhausen. t Waldhausen GmbH (from UK) +49 221 58801-0


Cheque scam warning A RETAILER has contacted ETN to warn others in the equestrian trade about what appears to be a scam. Charles Coleman of Just Riding, an online retailer with offices in the UK and Poland, was contacted by someone claiming to be looking for a pony for his son to the value of £15k - £20k. “He sends a cheque for much more than the intended payment, you [the victim] then banks said cheque,” said Mr Coleman. “He makes a song and dance about banking the whole cheque and needing you to send the balance to another recipient, which you do. His cheque bounces and you have lost the money he managed to get you to send.” There has been discussion on internet forums about a Collin Churchill who was targeting event management companies before turning his attention to equestrian businesses.

HERE FOR THE BOOTY: Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow set hearts aflutter as he raided the new clothing showroom at Aivly Country Store last month. “The whole shop is lovely,” said Liz Wright, a customer of the Ringwood, Hampshire retailer, “but even better when there’s a handsome pirate wandering about.” The new showroom has extra changing facilities plus wooden walkways and carpeting for what the store describes as ‘a John Lewis shopping experience.’ Pictured, from left, are Aivly team members Rachael Elliott, Gwen Challenor, Becky Foggin, Mervyn Lister, Kelly Lister, Sheila Lister, Jackie Florida-James and Kittie Chester.

BETA dishes up “best” feed conference THE third annual BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Feed Industry Conference was widely acclaimed as “the best yet.” Held at Whittlebury Hall, near Towcester, the 70 delegates represented major equine feed and supplement suppliers as well as retail and wholesale businesses. Tim Franck, of the Foods Standards Agency’s Animal Feeds Unit and the first speaker, covered latest legislation. Robert Clegg, of Mars Horsecare, explored the sourcing of non-GM soya as premiums rise on non-GM crops. He also highlighted how non-GM soya is increasingly used in feed for other animals such as chickens. The beneficial impact of the BETA NOPS Code - set up to reduce the risk of feed contamination by naturally occurring prohibited substances - was considered by Dr Mark Dunnett, of IEN (Independent Equine Nutrition). In an entertaining presentation, Simon Wetherald, of West Yorkshire feed merchant Bardsey Mills, looked at things from a retailer’s perspective. Ruth Bishop, of Ruth Bishop Consulting, guided delegates through the draft of the new BETA Feed Code, designed to help manufacturers interpret and comply with legislation. Nicky Talbot, of market research specialist Sportwise, reported that one in six horse owners are expecting to spend more on feed and supplements over the next six to 12 months, compared with one in 20 in 2011. The conference was chaired by Chris Gordon, chairman of the BETA Feed Committee. “Our speakers were first-class, the question-and-answer sessions at the end of each presentation resulted in lively debate and there was plenty of opportunity for networking too,” said BETA’s executive director Claire Williams. “We’ve already been asked to set the date for next year’s event.”

Wholesaler joins British team TAGG Equestrian has signed a four year agreement to become ‘Official Rug Supplier to the British Equestrian Team’. The deal with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) covers the 20132016 Olympiad. TAGG will provide British equestrian team members with horse rugs for European and world championships as well as nations cups plus the Olympic Games in Rio. “It will certainly be rewarding to see our rugs [from the Comfort Zone, Falpro, Funnell and Loveson ranges] being used by the British Equestrian Teams,” said managing director Tom Eastwood. “We were very impressed with the quality and variety of rugs that Tagg have available,” said Will Connell, BEF performance director. As part of the agreement, Tagg will be launching a new Comfort Zone lapel horse rug and lapel dog rug. The rugs will be available through the trade with a percentage of sales going to help fund Equestrian Team GBR. Other official Team GBR suppliers include (but are not limited to) Dodson & Horrell, Land Rover, Mears Country Jackets, Natural Animal Feeds, Griffin Nuumed and Toggi.

Supplement study accepted by vet congress AN independent study on a joint supplement is to be presented to an important veterinary conference. Science Supplements’ trial on its FlexAbility supplement has been accepted for presentation at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress in Manchester on 11 – 14 September. The triple blind, crossover design controlled trial was conducted at World Horse Welfare by Dr Rachel Murray, a vet and scientist from the Animal Health Trust, with analysis conducted by veterinary epidemiologist Dr Vicki Adams. The results showed that oral administration of this supplement was associated with reduced lameness, improved ridden/groundwork scores and improved ‘ease-of-movement’ in the field. Dr David Marlin, equine physiologist and CEO of Science Supplements said: “Only a small proportion of the abstracts submitted are accepted for presentation, so it is pleasing that BEVA has acknowledged the importance of this trial to the equine veterinarian” Dr Rachel Murray added: “As a veterinary surgeon and scientist, I have often been frustrated by the lack of evidence and science behind the claims being made about how various supplements work. “There is currently little industry requirement for scientific proof about supplements, and little incentive to do so because scientific proof is expensive to achieve. So I have been impressed that Science Supplements are investing in scientific investigation of how their supplements work in horses that are using them.” 8 AUGUST 2013 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Kitemarked German helmet gets the green light UVEX released its helmets from a six week ‘sales stop’ in the UK last month [19 July] – and moved quickly to recompense UK stockists. Retailers holding stock of the German made helmets, which carry the British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark, had been asked to refrain from selling them onto consumers due to an administrative issue. The only model not released is the exxential helmet which has been recalled by UVEX. According to the company’s website, this follows a report by a Swedish consumer agency and subsequent in-house testing. Earlier this year, UVEX signed up with UK distributor Zebra Products (ETN April issue). Managing director Simon Middleton told ETN: “UVEX has turned everything around in about six weeks, going above and beyond to aid UK retailers. “Credit account customers have had their invoices extended so, apart from the few proforma customers [who declined the full refunds offered], no retailer in the UK has paid a penny for the helmets to date,” said Simon. Uvex has offered its UK trade customers free sunglasses as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused. Retailers will be credited for exxential helmets and any outstanding public orders for helmets will be replaced with a free upgrade to a perfexxion helmet, saving the consumer £80. Retailers with stock orders of exxentials will be offered upgrades to perfexxion models under a buy five, get one free deal.

NEWS IN BRIEF EQUINE SUPPLIES has taken over Hailsham Feeds • FOLLYFOOT and Saddlery at Diplocks Way, Hailsham, Sussex. Feed and bedding continue to be stocked by the new management, with separate areas for rugs, clothing supplements and yard equipment. UNDER a new British Dressage (BD) rule, full face masks are • permitted during competition and warm up. Competitors need to obtain dispensation and provide a vet’s certificate. The BD rule says “only Equilibrium Net Relief Riding Masks or ones of a similar design are permitted.” Horse treats and licks are now distributed solely • HEAVENLY through the trade via Westgate EFI. Products include jars of treats, a Pick and Lick line of hanging stable treats with names such as The Minty Princess. Earlier this year, Heavenly Horse launched sugar free treats for horses. DENGIE HORSE FEEDS has sponsored a poster published by • the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) featuring the UK’s native horse and pony breeds. Eleven of the breeds are on the RBST’s ‘watchlist’ of endangered breeds and some, including the Hackney and Suffolk, are in the ‘critical’ category with fewer than 300 registered breeding mares remaining. The poster is available from the RBST for £5 including postage and packing. look Countrywide store has been unveiled in Exeter. • ATheNEW former Countrywide Town and Country has been refitted with a new layout and more products. The store houses a newly expanded equestrian area known as Equine World. Staff are trained to fit hats and body protectors. customers can save up to 15% on British wool numnahs • YOUR and saddlepads from Griffin NuuMed this summer. Throughout this month (August), the Somerset based manufacturer is offering stockists discounted trade prices to enable them to cut RRPs by as much as 15% on most NuuMed wool lines. “We’ve been telling people for over 20 years that British wool is the best fabric to put next to a horse’s back, especially in warm weather,” said Ros Burridge of Griffin NuuMed.

Just what the doctor ordered... Traditional specialist retailing won’t be consigned to history by the internet, says Bill Smith (aka The Shop Doctor), but a few adaptations may be necessary. he prevailing economic climate will almost certainly have added to the pressures faced in sustaining the economic vitality of your business. Unlike many high street retailers, those serving niche markets - such as many in the equestrian sector - often work from a remote location. They are also reliant upon the development and retention of a loyal client base formed over many years and founded upon the provision of the right products, at the right price, at the right time.


Shop doors need to be notice free and, where possible, left open. Those operating from a high street location benefit from the potential to develop footfall beyond their traditional customer base. This is usually achieved by ensuring that they diversify their appeal on the high street and take advantage of incremental sales that might be available to them. Whatever the location, specialist independent retailers have the opportunity to provide a bespoke offering to their customers; an offering frequently based upon practical knowledge of the sector developed into retailing reality. Combining hands on understanding of the needs of those looking after animals with the provision of product knowledge based on practical experience, individual flair and entrepreneurship provides

independent retailers with a unique opportunity to service their customers in a way that cannot be matched online. However online is where many traditional customers are now looking to purchase product, or where new to industry customers are searching for information or supply. All too often, independent retailers are not taking the opportunity to maximise their own web visibility. In a climate where search engines now provide an easy route to information, making sure that your business has web based credibility is an essential element of maintaining positive momentum in a constantly changing retail environment. Online retailing will undoubtedly continue to impact upon independent businesses, with customers tempted by effective product promotion through websites and where purchasing is simply a click away. This does not mean traditional retailing is doomed, but it does herald a need for adaptation and development to ensure that business momentum is maintained. Establishing an effective and fully functioning web based trading platform requires considerable investment in

both time and money. A decision to develop a business in this way needs to be as carefully considered as would be the case in setting up any new business venture from scratch. Success cannot be guaranteed. Whatever the decision, a website should ideally portray a dynamic and attractive image of the business it represents, an image supported by the reality of the shop itself; images that deliver the very best of impressions. Good retailers recognise that positive first impressions online are essential; excellent retailers deliver them. Unfortunately, the reality of the physical presentation of many businesses does not meet the perception created online. If customer expectation is impacted negatively on arrival, even the very best of customer service will start at a disadvantage. Shop frontages must be clean and weed free; shop fascias well signed, informative and engaging; paintwork regularly refreshed and windows sparkling. Doors need to be notice free and, where possible, left open. Customer movement around the shop should be maximised to provide effective exposure to a wide product range displayed utilising proven

merchandising techniques. As is the case online, giving customers the ability to locate a product easily is key. Finding routes to link it to other purchases is desirable, enticing additional impulse purchases is profitable and making the payment process as simple as possible is essential.

The physical presentation of many businesses does not meet the perception created online. Trading online may seem like the answer to a sustainable future. But knowing your customers and providing the very best of product knowledge and customer service in a modern, bright and well merchandised environment is something that web based retailing cannot easily replicate. In store customers don’t even have to wait for the product to be delivered!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bill Smith ‘The Shop Doctor’ has worked in customer service for Godfrey David (Car Hire) and helped develop convenience retailing in service stations for the likes of Shell, Esso and BP. Now based in Cumbria, Bill advises the independent market town and rural retail sector via bespoke consultancy and mentoring support. Nine years


ago, Bill and his son Andrew set up Lakeland Fells Furniture which employs four young craftsmen. Bill is chairman of the Bowness & Windermere Community Care Trust which, among other activities, manages eight public conveniences rather than see them closed by the local authority. Contact The Shop Doctor at

Lead has animal magnetism A BIG hit at Crufts earlier this year has been launched to equestrian retailers. Magloc uses magnets in dog leads and collars enabling them to be connected – and the dog put on a lead – with just one hand. The device, which has been welcomed by disability charities, has many other potential applications. Attaching a lead rope to the headcollar springs to mind. Magloc’s managing director Tony Garlick thought up the idea when walking his two dogs. “I was trying to get them back onto their leads quickly, and had managed to drop the leads and lose the dogs a number of times before I was successful,” he said. “It struck me that by magnetising the lead and the collar, there would be no need to seek out the right place to connect the lead and use two hands.” Magloc has an RRP of £9.99. t Magloc 07926 191064

Introducing spray-on hi-viz LIGHT reflective Albedo100 Horse and Pets is sprayed directly onto fur or fabric. It can be used on horses, dogs or clothing. Developed in Sweden, the product enhances visibility in low light conditions. Easy and safe to apply, the spray washes out with water, soap or shampoo and doesn’t affect animals’ fur. The spray consists of transparent glue, reflective microspheres and propellant gas (butane/propane gasmixture) and reflects the light in the same direction as the light source. Albedo100 comes in four variations: Light Metallic, Invisible Bright, Sparkling Grey and Horse & Pet. A permanent version is also offered. t Albedo 100 on 0113 395 5266

Spot the shoplifter... NOW for a different take on high visibility. As a retailer, have you ever wished that you had eyes in the back of your head to watch out for shoplifters? Well, now you can, thanks to Securikey safety mirrors. Designed to eliminate blind spots, the half dome mirror with acrylic face and reflective coating allows clear vision through 180°. It comes in three sizes, 450mm, 600mm and 900mm, offering viewing distances of up to 4m, 6m and 9m respectively.

Get sweet itch covered

New in natural parasite control

THE new Z-itch Sweet Itch Rug provides a barrier between the horse and biting midges. Made from soft, tightly woven polyester, it has elasticated edges to keep small insects out while allowing the horse to move freely. The rug is breathable, helps protect from UV rays and covers the horse from nose to tail. It has a belly pad, tail flap and hood that attaches at the shoulders plus a face mask. The rug can be used alone or in conjunction with Trilanco’s pour-on product Z-itch. In sizes 4’6” to 7’, the RRP is £80. t Trilanco 01253 888188

WURMAX, for the natural control of intestinal health, is new to Battles’ poultry range. Battles has “no plans as of yet” to launch an equine equivalent. Wurmax is billed as the natural way of supporting poultry during times of parasitic challenge. It contains a selection of nine herbs including wormwood and garlic, echinacea for the immune system and is fortified with iron to help protect against anaemia. “No other similar products currently available contain as wide a selection of herbs or the added benefit of iron and Echinacea,” said a Battles’ spokesman. Eggs from chickens given Wurmax can safely be eaten. The product comes in a 250g container at an RRP of £11 t Battles 01522 529206

For summer rain BOGS' lightest welly yet, the Rainboot (RRP £60 to £70), is ideal for summer shows and festivals. Made from soft, flexible, natural rubber, it features pull-on handles, an antimicrobial insole – and comes in fun colourways and patterns. Sizes 4 to 9 are available.

Top viewing MARTIN CLUNES – Heavy Horse Power, a 46 minute DVD of the television documentary presented by the popular actor, is available from Equestrian Vision. The RRP is £15.99. Review DVDs of some of this year’s top equestrian competitions so far have been released too. New titles available include the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2013 and Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013. t Equestrian Vision 01403 864173

Jazz up that schooling ‘WORKOUT’ music for horse and rider is new from The Musical Ride Company. The CDs contain music with right beats per minute to suit three different sizes of horse or pony. Each pack includes four different workouts to choose from depending on fitness levels and time available. Each workout has a warm up section, work sections with music for trot and canter and a cool down section. Vocal instructions indicate changes of pace. The CDs can be played on a portable player or an ipod or similar. Ideally, horses need to hear the music too. t Musical Ride Company 01353 810845

“How did I manage without it?” JUST occasionally, something comes along that truly prompts horse owners to say: “How did I manage without it?” As the owner of several horses and dogs, writes Liz Benwell, that’s exactly my experience of Vetericyn. The wound care products now sit firmly at the front of my equine and canine first aid cupboards – because they are brilliant. I first bought a bottle of Vetericyn Wound & Skin Care from my local saddlery shop on the retailer’s recommendation. I told her I’d just acquired a Spaniel. “You’ll be needing this, then,” she said, brandishing a bottle of innocuous looking clear liquid. And how right she was. Working Spaniels pick up thorns in their webbed-like feet requiring removal and cleaning if infection is to be avoided. Even when the presence of pus indicates the beginning of something nasty, a twice daily wash with Vetericyn – and the wound is clean and healing in 48 hours. The other day I used the Vetericyn Hydrogel Spray – great because it sticks to awkward places - on a horse which had been bitten by a fly. The place was hot and angry looking, so I clipped it and squirted on the Vetericyn. Hey presto, it was calm and mending in 24 hours. Most summers my 32 year old pony suffers from a runny eye which can become sore and inflamed. This year, however, I’ve irrigated it twice daily with Vetericyn Eye Care – and it’s just as bright and clear as the other eye! Vetericyn is clean and doesn’t leave residue. Best of all, it doesn’t sting on contact with broken skin, so application is stress free. In fact, I’m sure my old pony thoroughly enjoys her Vetericyn therapy. Vetericyn is available from wholesaler Battles. See page 422 of Battles’ 2013 trade catalogue. t Battles 01522 529206

Are you sitting comfortably? THE Paddock Chair by ProMech is ideal for outdoor events. Compact and easily portable, it comes in its own carry bag with shoulder strap. The seat has ’sports styling’ with individually padded sections for support. There’s also a headrest. The chair’s aluminium frame has a smooth, pop-up motion with easylocking device and contoured armrests. The RRP is £34.99. t ProMesh 01722 412233

Stockists benefit from £0.25m support package

A £0.25 million annual marketing budget has helped Animalife become one of fastest growing equestrian nutrition companies. In addition, the creator of Vetrofen, Vetroflex and Vetrocalm has invested in research and development to pioneer a range of ‘performance nutraceuticals’. These natural healthcare products are designed to encourage peak performance in competition animals and support those equines needing careful management due to particular health conditions. Thanks to Animalife’s substantial marketing spend, stockists benefit from advertising support across major equestrian publications and websites to drive sales. Meanwhile the company’s Team Animalife programme supports riders of all levels and disciplines to help gain ‘word of mouth’ promotion and raise awareness of the range. Animalife is so confident in the results of its products that it offers a money back guarantee, subject to terms and conditions. t Animalife 0845 365 0050

Home grown point of sale THEY’RE perfect for summer...and as the collection of SueMe Tees, Tree Trunks and Beech Shorties grows, UK and Ireland distributor Buffera has come up with new retail displays. The brand has responsibility and sustainability at its heart, so the new displays are home grown. Birch ply wood is laser cut and oiled for longevity before being assembled at the SueMe headquarters in Potters Bar. The display holds all items from the current range of Tees, Sweats, Tree Trunks and Beech Shorties with a central shelf for additional stock. Point of sale materials are free to SueMe stockists. Retailers new to the brand are offered staff training and test product samples. t Buffera 01707 852244

Premier rugs for ponies

Gaiters put gait into focus A GAIT analysis company is using Golly Galoshes equine gaiters to enhance its work. Centaur Biomechanics already has a clothing range, emblazoned with bright stripes, that helps riders judge if they are sitting correctly. “Golly Galoshes help illuminate horses’ stride patterns especially in the trot,” said Russell Guire of Centaur Biomechanics, “so as a training aid for both trainer and rider, they’re the ideal companions to our clothing range.” t Golly Galoshes 01465 861274

PREMIER EQUINE has launched a pony rug range. “We’ve manufactured rugs for more than 11 years and always resisted customer demand for pony-sized rugs – until now,” said a spokesman for the company. Premier Equine pony rugs are of the correct proportions for ponies, rather than scaled-down horse rugs, says the company. They come in sizes 4’ to 5’3” and include pony versions of the popular Winterbuster, Stormbuster and Trio Complete lines, along with new ‘no fill’ 200g and 450g designs. All pony rugs, except the Pony Buster Zero no fill, have outers in 1680D ballistic nylon. They are treated with Premier Equine’s breathable, waterproof system which helps keep horses warm and dry as well as regulating temperature. The range has anti-bacterial, breathable nylon linings and uses Premier Equine’s distinctive deep cut design based on the brand’s established Buster pattern. New features and colourways are set to ‘wow’ the pony rug buyer. Premier Equine’s pony rug range is available to the trade later this month (from mid-August). t Premier Equine 01469 532279 14 AUGUST 2013 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

• Early risers may have heard Horse&Rider

magazine editor Alison Bridge speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today last month. Alison contributed wise words to an item about World Horse Welfare’s ‘Need to Breed’ campaign. The initiative urges horse owners to think carefully before having a foal from a favourite mare – and adding to the current glut of unwanted and uncared for horses. “It's such a worthwhile campaign that World Horse Welfare is running, I’m glad to support it,” she told ETN. Alison, who has also appeared on BBC TV’s Countryfile talking about livery yard licensing, is pictured having fun on her horse Harry.

• Julia Smith has been appointed sales

director of Finest Brands International (FBI), home of the Toggi and Champion brands. Julia has worked for the company for more16 years; for the last ten, she has been its national sales manager looking after large and multi-store accounts and wholesalers, while also managing FBI’s field and office sales teams. Julia has a beautiful mare called Black Cherry.

• Megan Goff has joined Redpin Publishing as a sales co-ordinator. After graduating from Sparsholt College with a first class honours degree in equine studies, Megan spent a year interning in America at Kentucky Equine Research where she was involved in nutrition and exercise trials as well as the Thoroughbred industry. “I’m hoping to develop my business skills at Redpin while also applying my equine knowledge,” she said.

• Stewart Hastie is celebrating 15 years as veterinary consultant to the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS). Earlier this year, he was presented with the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award. “Stewart’s teaching has done much to improve the members’ understanding of the horse as an athlete in today’s environment,” said Hazel Morley, SMS chief executive. Pictured from left SMS course leader Mark Fisher, Stewart Hastie, Hazel Morley, SMS course co-ordinator Ian Hastilow and SMS course leader Sue Norton. • Hilton Herbs has recruited Allie Tayler to be responsible for retail business development in the UK. Allie joins the supplement manufacturer from Clipper Teas where she was involved in international sales. Married with three sons, she has two dogs and is a keen football supporter. In a second appointment, Stephanie Longin has joined Hilton Herbs’ French team. Previously employed in technical support by Clearstream Banking in Luxembourg, she looks after for sales development in the French market. Stephanie, who is bi-lingual, lives in Dorset. She has a horse and two dogs.

John Ayres: an industry champion

How we foiled the copiers... Dear ETN, Many years ago, we invented the name ‘Tubtrugs’ so that we had a unique name which was not a standard word in the English vocabulary. As such, we were able to register the name as our brand name. We did register it in UK and Europe to start and then, as our exports grew, we registered Tubtrugs around the world, using a firm of patent lawyers.

the day of his memorial service. Incentivise (left) Two of John Ayres’ racehorses were paraded on r is ridden by Michael Nolan in John’s colours. Gunne y Victor while William n Christe is ridden by

Dear ETN,

was a man in a million. Loving husband, supportive My late father John Ayres [obituary, ETN July issue] horseman and racing enthusiast, successful ted dedica father, compassionate boss, reliable friend, manufacturing, John was taken from us far too businessman and a passionate supporter of British he achieved and everything he was; he has left a hing everyt of proud young. However we are deeply phenomenal legacy that we will cherish. ds of messages of support and sympathy My family and I were overwhelmed by the many hundre lives of so many people around the world and the d following John’s death. We take pride that he touche at his memorial service clearly demonstrated the always in such a positive way. The massive attendance and business associates. Your cards and letters friends his by respect and genuine affection felt for John be forgotten. will always be treasured and your kind words will never working. Their first mail order saddlery business John and my mother Bridget were phenomenally hard years ago and is still going strong today. John Ayres Saddlery was started from their home 40 he soon developed an interest in safety headwear, John enjoyed many equine based enterprises, and our home. John fought long and hard to obtain the from 1978 in g acturin establishing Champion Manuf at one stage they were the only helmets hats; riding British Standard specifications for Champion approved by the Jockey Club. spattered faces of legends such as Ruby or Katie Nothing made my dad prouder than to see the mud and coming Micheal Nolan grinning at him from the up the or s William an Christi Walsh, ‘Choc’ Thornton, front of their helmets. the on zoned television screen with ‘Champion’ embla ented: “John was always far more interested in the On hearing of my father’s death, Ruby Walsh comm to him and his Champion helmets that I have thanks state and condition of my brain than I was, but it’s one that's fully intact. Thanks John. RIP." s International (FBI) and Toggi. Under his In 1991, John began his involvement with Finest Brand ted organisations in the industry. respec most the of one into stewardship, FBI has grown ation of John’s life at Chepstow Racecourse was The many hundreds of people who turned out in celebr hearts, in all corners of the world. and lives many so d testimony to the fact that he touche you all for your support and your expressions of sad My sister Charlotte, our mother Bridget and I thank who work for FBI and the wider team, will ensure ues colleag loss. We, together the rest of our family and and excellent customer service will live on and that that my father’s legacy and his dedication to quality many decades to come. for h flouris and grow his businesses will continue to Yours etc

s International.

Sarah-Jane Fedarb, managing director, Finest Brand


On several occasions, major retailers have been found selling similar goods to Tubtrugs in a way which amounts to ‘passing off’ in that they used our registered brand name either on labels, on point-of-sale material, on the till receipts or a combination of these. One budget supermarket passed us back to their supplier who had labelled the goods, but another supermarket and a sports retailer dealt directly with our lawyer. In each case, the dispute was settled out of court and fees recovered. If you have a good product and you take the trouble to promote and advertise it, then it’s worth defending it to the best of your ability. Product knock-off is a fact of life, but don’t make it easy for the perpetrators! Yours etc Stephen Faulks, director, Faulks & Cox Ltd, Leicestershire. • See page 17 to find out more about protecting your intellectual property.

ETN welcomes letters to the editor. Please write to The Editor, ETN, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, LS22 4AW or email Correspondents are asked to supply their name and business name; requests to publish letters with name withheld will be considered individually. Please note that letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.

What a rip-off!

Cheap copies of well-known brands appear to be rife in our trade. In the last month alone, four equestrian companies told ETN their intellectual property (IP) had been compromised. So we asked patent attorney Steve Jones how to minimise the risk of being ripped-off. protector (GB2291775B). Or it might be an improved horse feed (GB2271708B), a saddle box (GB2397993B) or a new design of horse jump (GB2405074B). These are all real examples that have been patented.

Weigh the costs

ou know the story. You’ve invested a lot of time, and spent a great deal of money, developing a new product. And the minute you’ve launched it, someone else has got hold of a sample, sent it to China, and now they’re taking your market share. Not only that, their version is rubbish, and now customers are turning away from your product, because they think yours will be the same. How can you stop this happening? The answer is to get your protection in place from the outset by securing your intellectual property, and making sure that everyone knows you have done so. But how do you go about doing that, and what type of intellectual property is right for your product? If the product is innovative in some technical way, then it could be possible to obtain a patent for it. It doesn’t need to be high-tech or scientific, but if it works differently from what is already on the market then patent protection could well be a possibility. For instance, it might be as simple as a new form of bit (British Patent GB2315006B), a horse shoe stud (GB2409394B) or a tail


Of course, patents cost money, and you have to weigh the costs against the value of the business that you wish to protect. Sometimes it’s not worth it, but very often it is, as the examples above demonstrate. Another issue with patents is that the patenting process takes quite a long time, at least a year and often longer. Getting a patent is therefore usually only worthwhile if your product is going to be on the market for a few years or more. If it’s something that’s likely to just be a fad and then fall out of favour as something more fashionable comes along, a patent may not be the way to go. Another form of protection that might fit the bill where protection is needed quickly, especially where it is the look of the product that is appealing to customers, is a registered design. Much less expensive and easier to obtain than a patent, a registered design gives its owner the right to stop competitors imitating the appearance of a new product. This won't prevent equivalent products with a different design being marketed, but if your product has the more attractive design, protecting that design will still preserve your competitive edge. Again, to give some real examples of products with registered design protection, a

quick search of the database of EU design registrations reveals countless registrations of designs for such things as riding helmets, horse rugs, numnahs, horse shoes, kneepads, boots and clothing, and even an equine hydrotherapy spa. EU design registrations are usually issued within a few weeks or even a few days of the application being submitted, and can be very effective in deterring outright rip-off copies of new products. Whatever type of product you sell, even products that are not new or innovative, the chances are that you will be using a trade mark. The reputation and brand loyalty attached to that mark could be the most valuable form of intellectual property that you own. Even if you do not register your trade mark, you might have some legal rights under what is called (in the UK) the law of ‘passing off’. However, your position will be much, much stronger if you have registered your trade marks. This is often a relatively straightforward process, provided that your mark is not simply descriptive of the goods on which it is used. You would never be able to register words like ‘steel’ in

relation to horse shoes or bits, for instance, because the Registry would view that as a word that other traders have a legitimate right to use in relation to such goods. The best trade marks are those that are made-up words (think KODAK or XEROX) or everyday words that have no connection with the goods concerned (APPLE or ORANGE). Companies that have registered their marks find it much easier to prevent imitation than those that have not. Of course, getting your intellectual property rights registered doesn’t automatically stop the rip-off merchants; it just gives you the right to take action against them. It is easy to be put off by the thought that the cost of enforcing your rights in court is prohibitive, but the reality is that registering your rights and making it clear that you have done so is a big deterrent to competitors who will be at least as worried about the cost of litigation as you are. If they are unwise enough to copy your product, then experience shows that a stiffly worded letter setting out the strength of your position is usually enough to achieve the desired result.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steve Jones, is chairman and director of Chemistry & Life Sciences at Adamson Jones IP Ltd. Based at BioCity Nottingham, AdamsonJones offers a complete intellectual property protection service encompassing patents, trade marks, design and copyright protection in the UK, Europe and throughout the world. The company works with major multinational companies, like Alliance Boots, Google and Sanofi, and innovative SMEs such as Vectura, Intersurgical and Advancis Medical, as well as with Cornell and other internationally renowned universities. t For a free initial consultation contact Rachel Biggin at AdamsonJones email or tel +44 (0)115 947 7977. Or visit


What a scorcher...!

any skin conditions that affect horses in summer can look very similar, but in some cases a common problem can present in very different ways. With this in mind, I’d urge caution when assisting customers with skin complaints. If you get it wrong, there’s a risk that the condition can worsen; on top of affecting the horse, it may make the customer less likely to use you again too!


The summer of 2013 is seeing a boom in equine skin conditions, says veterinary surgeon Tom Beech.

Sunburn Pink, pale skin, as in humans, cannot tolerate the sun and will blister and burn. This often occurs on extremities such as the nose, tips of ears, eyelids and also on white patches on the back. Should a horse be suspected of having sunburn, shelter should be provided to prevent the condition worsening. The degree of skin damage needs to be assessed by a vet. The skin is the first line of defence against infection so with this damaged there’s a high risk of infection and antibiotics may be required. If the skin is severely damaged then hospitalisation is required. In less severe cases, shade and a moisturising cream will help the skin heal. Bathing in cold water helps clean and cool damaged skin. Antibacterial washes may help

but they must be gentle in their actions.

Photosensitivity This is something that’s increasingly being recognised. In many cases, the horse has eaten a mildly toxic plant which has caused a mild liver damage due to the toxins ingested. The toxins also cause the skin to become overly sensitive to UV rays. Toxic plants include St John’s wort, ragwort and buttercups. Photosensitisation is often confused with sunburn but a key difference is that photosensitisation can affect both pink and coloured skin. Treatment is relatively similar except the horse needs removing from the cause. If the reaction is very bad, a


blood test may be needed to check the liver function as well as medication to counteract the toxins.

Sweet itch and fly bites Sweet itch is caused by biting midges. The allergic reaction can be quite severe, presenting as raised patches of irritated skin with an intense itching. It’s very difficult to prevent. Some owners use barriers such as fly rugs, others try topical applications or home remedies and some try strong smelling feed to deter the flies. Each method has its merits and usually a combination is used. There are veterinary medications that can be given prior to the fly season to reduce the chance of sweet

itch occurring. If the sweet itch is bad enough, then veterinary medication is required to reduce the itching. As with the skin issues mentioned above, prevention is important. I’ve often found that for horses that spend most of their lives in a field, a fly mask and then a good repellent work best.

Ringworm Usually a late summer issue, it’s caused by a skin fungus. In most cases, it enters the skin from wood on which the horse has rubbed itself. The initial infection is often itchy and the skin red. Once it settles, it’s no longer itchy but the hair falls out in a circle hence the name. Humans can

Pink, pale skin, as in humans, cannot tolerate the sun and will blister and burn.

contract ringworm, so care must be taken when handling affected horses.

more complicated - another reason why veterinary surgeons need see skin cases.

Lice and mites These are quite easy to spot and treat. Cobs often get mites in their feathers; lice are usually found in manes and tails. They are intensely itchy and often rub themselves raw. It should be noted for all skin conditions that once the skin is broken, other infections can get it. It’s often secondary infections make these cases

Allergies These are hypersensitivity reactions to allergens in the environment. In summer, a key issue is pollens. A horse often presents with itchy skin lumps all over the body. A definitive diagnosis can be made through a blood test, but in most cases the horse will need removing from the potential allergen and then

being placed on a steroid based anti-inflammatory. Care should be taken when determining an allergy and a vet should be asked to assist.

skin heal itself. This could include barrier creams, sun protection, moisturiser, antibacterial bathing solution, physical protection such as rugs or fly masks. You may also want to provide supplements that will ensure that the patient has the right vitamins and minerals to heal the skin or combat the liver toxins in the case of photosensitisation. The eventual goal is to provide measures to reduce the chance of this situation repeating itself. ● In all the situations described, I’d suggest customers seek veterinary advice.

Skin care The skin is an organ in its own right. It’s also the first line of defence against infections. So a horse with skin issues needs assistance from all angles. Firstly the primary cause needs to be addressed. This may involve removal from the sunlight in the case of sunburn or from a certain paddock if there’s a toxic plant present. Then you have to concentrate on helping the

About the author TOM BEECH BVSc MRCVS qualified from Bristol University in 2005. He has worked in Cheshire and Dorset in equine practice. He is the director of the equine consultancy practice Rowan Veterinary Services and also a partner in HorseOst, an equine osteopathic team. Tom has a strong interest in lameness, especially chronic cases, and prides himself at looking at ‘the whole picture’, integrating nutrition, farriery, saddlery, dentistry, medical and physical examination into his diagnosis and treatment of cases.




ETA is preparing to lead three trade missions over as many months, starting with Spoga Autumn, in Germany, from 8 to 10 September, followed by the China Horse Fair, in Beijing, from 17 to 19 October, and Equitana Asia Pacific, in Australia, from 7 to 10 November. Places in the groups are open to both BETA and non-BETA members, with grants made available for each show from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Although the deadline for securing funding for Spoga Autumn has passed, grant applications are still being taken for both the China Horse Fair, with available sums of £3,000 per company and £2,500 for repeat exhibitors, and Equitana, at £2,000 per company. Trade missions are a great way for businesses to dip their toe in a global export market.

They bring the security of exhibiting in a group and plenty of support and advice from BETA. The trade association is also offering member companies unable to exhibit at these shows the opportunity to have their literature and products promoted on the BETA stand. Fees ranging from £50 to £100 plus VAT - depending on the event and freight costs - are charged for each company wishing to display its literature, while the fee for products depends on each item being sent. With limited availability for places on BETA trade missions, it is important that potential participants should register their interest as soon as possible by contacting Tina Hustler or Claire Williams in the BETA office.

BETA courses announced THE next BETA Animal Medicine Course is set to take place over two days, on 10 and 11 September, in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, followed by an exam on 17 September at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Before attending the course, which provides the qualification required to sell medicines such as wormers, participants must enrol with AMTRA. It is open to both BETA members and nonmembers, at a cost of £190 plus VAT and £220 plus VAT respectively. BETA is also running two safety courses for hat and body protector fitting. The first takes place in Thetford, Norfolk, on 17 September, followed by one at The Curragh, in Co Kildare, Ireland, on 8 October. This popular training course is organised by the trade for the trade and covers aspects such as human physiology and standards, as well as providing plenty of opportunity to receive hands-on tuition in the fitting of these important safety garments. The courses cost £65 plus VAT for BETA members and £160 plus VAT for non-members. For further information about Animal Medicine and safety courses, please contact the BETA office.

RoboCob rocks at Coronation Festival


ETA was delighted that many of its Royal Warrantholding members – and mechanical horse RoboCob – took part in the four-day Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace last month. Companies included Abbey England, Bedmax Shavings, Dengie Horse Feeds, Dodson & Horrell, Barbour, Martin BETA members work together at the Coronation Festival – Dodson & Horrell Collins Enterprises, marketing director Sam Horrell assists Shires Equestrian and Dengie marketing assistant Donna Vale Bros. Newton as she samples a ride on Royal Warrants are a RoboCob, who appeared on the Dodson & Horrell stand. mark of recognition for individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the households of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales. The Coronation Festival opened to 60,000 members of the public and was divided into four specific areas – Design & Technology, Food & Drink, Style Pursuits & Pastimes and Homes & Gardens.

CONTACT TINA HUSTLER AT BETA Tel: 01937 587062 BETA offers a wide range of trade missions for companies wishing to benefit from an export market.

Website: Email: Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS AUGUST 2013 21

The best is yet to come Burnhills has been trading in Cleckheaton since 1855, but as Liz Benwell discovers...

Here’s to the future! Family, friends and staff toast the new Mr and Mrs Burnhill.

aturdays are by far the busiest trading day at Burnhills. So it was a very special occasion that caused the West Yorkshire store to close on Saturday, 8th June, 2013. The date marked the marriage of Ben Burnhill, fifth generation of his family to run the business, to Mia who has worked at the equestrian, pet and country outlet for five years. “At least she knew what she was letting herself in for,” Ben teased the new Mrs Burnhill. Family and business have always been intertwined at Burnhills. On the wedding day, Ben’s brother Sam, a director, was best man; his sister Sophie, who works on the website and in admin, was a


bridesmaid: warehouse manager and in-store SQP Chris Wood was a wedding guest and another member of staff Faye Ruckledge was a bridesmaid. Ben and Sam’s father, Andrew Burnhill, retired from the business 18 months ago, but of course was at the wedding with his wife Judith. So what is the secret of a happy life for a young, newly married couple who live and work together day in, day out? “We have different hobbies. Mia has two horses and I have a different sort of horse power – motorbikes and cars,” said Ben who is a Formula 1 fan and enjoyed a weekend at Silverstone recently. A charming, confident 30 year old, Ben isn’t at all coy about the prospect of a son or


daughter to continue the family business. “We’re definitely building up towards a new generation of Burnhills,” he said, “We’ve got to keep the big boys in check.” The ‘big boys’ are what he sees as the independent retailer’s main competition – the co-operative chain stores. “It didn’t matter much when they were down south,” said a tongue-in-cheek Ben, “but now they’re creeping up north.” Ever optimistic, a potential treat is an opportunity to Ben and the Burnhills team. “We’ve always had competition from the likes of Pets at Home, but we can always do better on customer service, knowing our customers and what they want – and using it to our

advantage.” A big stock holding is important when it comes to keeping customers happy, says Ben. “We can fill [online] orders, we have what people want when they shop in store and we give them a choice. “People do their research online and come in with prior knowledge. It’s not our job to force products onto people, but to have a choice of products available when they come in armed with information.” Traditionally Burnhills has always closed on Sundays. Future plans to stay open and also introduce late night shopping typify the business’s attitude to customer care. “It’s not what suits us; it’s what’s best for the customers. They’re

the ones paying the bills,” said Ben.

Canny Yorkshireman They say it takes a lot to part a canny Yorkshireman from his ‘brass’ but investing a considerable sum in a top of the range website ( has paid off for Burnhills. From the easy-to-find listings of products by function, brand and species to the 5% discount for new customers, a shopping visit there feels good. “We were relatively late coming to the internet, but we found a really good company to do a site for us, took the plunge and made a big investment,” said Ben. Burnhills has been in Cleckheaton for more than 150 years, yet locals turn up in-store saying “I never knew you were here” because they’ve found it online. The website is the most recent development in the family firm’s solidly Yorkshire history. It started as a feed manufacturer known as James Burnhill & Son in the middle of Cleakheaton in 1855. In fact, that side of the business was sold to Massey Feeds only ten years ago. In 2008, Burnhills’ store moved less than a mile from its original site to a modern, out of town 11,500 sq ft store and warehouse. Business is divided roughly into thirds of equestrian, pet products and farming related goods. The equestrian/country clothing side is growing, supplements are increasingly important and poultry feed is becoming more and more popular.

“Shoppers want new stuff,” says Ben Burnhill.

An unexpected hit has been wild bird food, buoyant sales of which Ben attributes to TV programmes such as Springwatch, while there’s a consistent cross-over of customers buying for horses and dogs. But isn’t selling feed hard work for little return? “Yes, feed is low margin, but because people come in to buy it regularly, it brings footfall into the store,” said Ben. “Supplements are another regular purchase for people and they have decent margins, although it gets very competitive on the web.” Ben believes in exploring every avenue. “We deal with Amazon, but the fees are fairly high.” Browsing the internet highlights another trend. “So many suppliers are going direct to the end consumer because it’s become so easy for them to connect. Some set RRPs to enable us to be competitive.” Others, he added, are not quite so supportive of their trade customers.

While Burnhills’ website complements the store and is impressive in its own right, there’s no way Ben envisages it taking over from the bricks and mortar operation. As an online retailer, his only bugbear is physically delivering goods to customers. “As soon as you have to use a courier, the quality of service leaves your control,” he explained. “Whether it’s us delivering to an internet customer or wholesalers delivering to us, as soon as a courier gets involved, there’s potential for bad service.” Ever resourceful, Burnhills uses its own van for local

deliveries within a 15 mile radius of Cleakheaton. Ben notes that the wholesaler Trilanco uses its own delivery fleet too. “They are brilliant and always so helpful. I’d like to know which customer care courses they go on!” Ben went to agricultural college with a view to entering what was then a more farming orientated business. Now at the helm, he sees the equestrian and pet sectors as having more potential. With retailers like Ben Burnhill in its midst, our trade’s future is in good hands.

Ben’s bright future “IF you surround yourself with misery and think the world’s going to end, it probably will,” says Ben Burnhill whose glass is always half full and believes a positive mental attitude is all-important to successful retailing. We’re doing better than in previous years,” he added. “And if we’re doing well in tough times, we will be flying in the good times to come. It’s important to keep pushing forward, to offer fresh ideas. “At the end of the day, shoppers want new stuff.”

Why we don’t e-tail wormers Burnhills’ business is divided roughly into thirds of equestrian, pet products and farming related goods.

ALTHOUGH it employs two SQPs (suitably qualified persons), Burnhills does not retail wormers via its website. “I don’t like the idea of just anyone buying wormers online,” said Ben. “We would much rather advise them face-to-face in store where the SQP’s role can be really effective.”


Is it dressage legal? Everyone’s doing dressage – and they want bits that suit their horses yet are allowed under British Dressage (BD) rules. Lindsay Middleton, of Sprenger’s UK distributor Zebra Products, owns and trains dressage horses. So who better to ask for some tips? tockists are regularly asked about ‘dressage legal’ bits, so keep a copy of the BD rulebook handy. Unaffiliated shows tend to adopt these rules too. A mix of metals in the mouthpiece, such as rubber, plastic or synthetic, are allowed, as are rotating mouth and middle pieces. Snaffles can be used all the way up to Grand Prix (in national not FEI [international] competitions) and double bridles can be used from Elementary upwards. Loose ring snaffles are probably the most popular legal bits and they come in many shapes and materials. Eggbutts and D rings are recommended for horses that are unsteady in the contact. Straight bars or mullen mouth bits may help horses that ‘back off’ or are highly sensitive. Anything which has an effect on the poll (apart from the double bridle) such as a three ring snaffle, KK Universal or Pelham is not allowed in competition. Most straightforward snaffle bits are fine – but nothing with twists or unusually shaped mouth pieces. The width of a snaffle mouthpiece is key. While original belief was that the thicker the bit, the kinder it was, this is actually incorrect. If a horse has a fleshy tongue, therefore less room in its mouth, then a thinner snaffle will be more readily accepted. Competition rules allow snaffles to be as narrow as


10mm in diameter but young horse class rules state a minimum of 14mm wide. The most popular widths tend to be 14-16mm.

Eggbutt Mullen mouth bit

KK Correction Bit

Training bits To introduce a young horse to a double bridle, a Sprenger KK Schooling Bit makes a great transition from a snaffle to a Weymouth. It also helps combat tongue vices and promotes extra submission. Other training bits that can teach the horse to be more accepting of the aids include the KK Correction Bit which is useful for horses that pull or jerk the reins from the rider’s hands. Bits such as the KK Ultra Universal can be used as a straightforward snaffle for flatwork or on the additional rings and/or with two reins when hacking, hunting or jumping.

Why Sprenger? German manufacturer Sprenger has carried out research with the Veterinary University of Hanover proving its designs and metals empathise with the anatomical shape of a horse’s mouth. Aurigan, a Sprenger patented alloy, is popular for dressage bits due to the way it promotes salivation and relaxation. The brand’s KK Ultra range has a wide variety of dressage legal options – plus some non legal ones that are great for training.

Retailing tips Stock bits depending on


KK Ultra

KK Ultra Universal

your customers’ needs. If you have a good number of dressage riders, then look at offering a bigger dressage legal range. If you have mainly leisure riders, go for a cross section of bits. Ask your sales rep; he or she can give you lots of advice and knows what sells best. Zebra Products offers retailer support from free display equipment to point of sale material. There’s also a 24/7 bitting advice support service. Stockists are also invited to annual bitting days with brand ambassadors such as Carl Hester and Ruth Edge, plus trips to the Sprenger factory in Iserlohn, Germany to see how the products are made.

We appreciate that Sprenger bits represent a decent investment for any rider - yet you never truly know how a horse will respond to a bit until you try it. That’s why Sprenger ‘test centres’ offer a ‘try before you buy’ service to end users via our stockists. The system is designed to enable retailers to offer this service with no loss of profit. Finally, if you have a customer asking a question you can’t answer, please contact me, Lindsay Middleton. One trade customer I’ve been working with has seen their turnover double in a few months. t Zebra Products 01352 763350

A better way of going Retailers are an important source of advice for owners who wish to improve their horses’ training and performance. ETN meets some suppliers who are ready to help. Study endorses lunge aid AN independent study has shown that a lunge aid improved horses’ stride length, speed and symmetry. The research, undertaken at the Racing School in Newmarket, looked at the effects of lungeing six horses twice weekly using the EquiAmi. During the study, a dissertation student from the University of Central Lancashire used hoof markers against which to film the horses while they were being lunged. The data was then analysed using gait analysis software. Over a six week period, the results showed increases in stride length, speed and, interestingly, a significant decrease in asymmetry. The study concluded that these results were likely to be due to the horses developing improved balance, engagement and muscle tone. Used correctly, EquiAmi can also help develop topline and promote self-carriage. The aid takes about two minutes to fit. Because it self-centres in use, no adjustments are required for rein changes. The kit comes in a hessian storage bag with instruction booklet and DVD. Lunge cavessons with bit hangers and fleece lunge rollers are also available. t EquiAmi 01584 891049

Comfort incorporated STYLE, versatility, comfort and value for money; Harry Dabbs Saddle Makers’ English leather bridles deliver them all. With an RRP of £144, every bridle in the collection comes with an additional set of cheek pieces (one size smaller) to give scope for adjustment when changing bits. The Raised Padded bridle features a cushioned, shaped head piece plus a crank noseband that converts to a simple cavesson. By adding a slip head piece, it’s transformed into a double bridle. For further comfort, the noseband head strap sits on top of the main head piece. It can also be adjusted on both sides to aid bridle balance. An optional flash can be totally detached from the noseband. t Vale Brothers 01922 612238

Tried and tested HORSE owner Jo Bearcroft of Worcestershire has been using a Kikon bridle and loves it. “The padded headpiece over which the noseband sits affords a very comfortable fit,” she added. “I’m convinced that this has made a huge difference to the way my horse is going. “He has softened to the hand and the intermittent head toss that he did in upward and downward transitions has gone. I put him back in his old bridle and the head toss returned. Jo likes the quality of this bridle too. “Little details such as the buckle guard on the noseband show that thought has gone into the design.” t Kikon 01922 458792


Do you know your bits?


ORGANISING bits into their respective family groups will make it quick and easy for customers to find what they’re looking for - and for your staff to help if a customer requires assistance. Snaffles are the simplest bits, with many styles including single or double jointed and mullen (straight) mouth pieces, loose or eggbutt (fixed) rings. Traditional Gags are the Balding, Cheltenham and Duncan, all of which have a leather or rope cheek piece running through the ring of the bit. As the reins are used, the Gag cheek slides through, pulling the bit upwards onto the corners of the lips and the upper parts of the mouth just in front of the molar teeth. The Gag is designed to be used with two reins; one on the Gag cheek and the other on the bit ring itself for a snafflelike action. Gag has also become a term associated with Three or Four Ring Bits, also known as Dutch gags or Bubble Bits. This family, which also includes the American Gag and Elevator, are not true Gags in the traditional sense, but Leverage Bits – minus curb straps or chains. As rein pressure is applied, the bit’s cheek turns to an almost horizontal position, especially in the case of the Four Ring and American Gag, to give a leverage action. If the mouthpiece is jointed, it collapses on the inside of the mouth and then, as the cheek continues to turn, the mouthpiece rotates down into the mouth. These bits encourage the horse to yield quickly from the pressure, but it’s important that the rider then lightens the hands accordingly. The Pelham is a means of having one bit and two reins, each with a different action. In fact, a Pelham only works correctly when used with two reins. When Roundings are added for the convenience of having just one rein, the Pelham’s trademark leverage and poll pressure, balanced by the curb chain, is lost. Instead, the action becomes more like a Hanging Cheek bit. With thanks to Abbey England and independent bitting clinician Hilary Vernon. t Abbey England 01565 650343

In the best traditions WALSALL based Jeffries Saddlery has been famous for producing and distributing high quality saddlery products since 1820. The Jeffries Traditional Range continues to use the design and manufacturing technique developed by the company in the late sixties. “We begin by selecting the very best quality bridle butts from our leather dressers and curriers,” explained managing director Dave Darley. “Then our craftsmen use all their skill and expertise to create bridlework of which to be proud. “Each piece of bridlework can be identified by its natural flesh coloured back, distinctive white stitching and original havana coloured leather.” The reason this concept was developed, added Dave, was to ensure only the best leather is used for the product, as the natural flesh side would reveal any imperfections. The white stitching highlights the accuracy and quality of craftsmanship. It’s a tradition that few other manufacturers continue today as it requires such high levels of skill!

Choice of nosebands Jeffries’ new Wembley Pro bridles have comfort style padded headpieces with flash, Mexican grackle or show nosebands. Supplied complete with nylon lined reins for comfort and strength, they are made in English leather from renowned leather dresser and currier J & E Sedgwick. Available in black or nut, and sizes from pony to extra-full, a running martingale completes the collection. Bridles have RRPs of around £120. t Jeffries Saddlery 01922 642222

Ask the experts The bit is as important and influential as the saddle when it comes to delivering equine comfort and performance, say the bitting experts at Neue Schule. BITTING is a sophisticated and complex subject. So Neue Schule has created a problem solving tool kit to enable retailers to guide their customers towards the best choice. Obviously a premium product is more expensive than a budget priced one, so riders’ expectations are correspondingly higher. Appropriate advice to ensure maximum benefit is, therefore, paramount. Approved Neue Schule stockists should have at least two bitting/advice catalogues; one for the shop floor and one for the staff. As well as extensive product information, the catalogue also suggests answers to frequently asked questions. Here are some of the most popular: Q. How do I measure my bit? A. Here’s how to measure some popular bits. Some disciplines, particularly dressage, set legal requirements regarding the diameter of the mouthpiece, the size of the rings etc, so it’s important to check that a bit complies.

Q. My horse goes on the forehand, how can I get more lift from the shoulder? A. The Neue Schule Verbindend emphasises the signals sent down the rein by the rider. By clarifying the aids, and promoting a true outline, freedom through the shoulder can be developed, thus promoting self carriage and throughness. Q. My horse is strung out and pokes his nose. How can I achieve a rounder outline? A. If your horse is constantly resisting and coming above the bit, the action of the Neue Schule Baucher shows him the way down using mild poll pressure. Simultaneously, the mouthpiece lifts up within the mouth taking pressure off the tongue and bars for a self rewarding effect.

Retailer support Neue Schule runs retailer training sessions from its North Yorkshire headquarters and other handy locations. You and your staff can also learn more by viewing more than 100 videos available on Youtube and watching a Neue Schule training DVD. The company’s catalogues and swing tags give detailed information about the action of each bit’s mouthpiece and cheeks; they also indicate which bits are ‘dressage legal’. There is a ‘bit selector’ on the Neue Schule website too. An advice line is available for retailers and riders, while Neue Schule also runs bitting clinics all over the UK at events from British Dressage training camps to retailers’ open days.

Science in action A bit should encourage quiet, relaxed communication with the horse. With this in mind, Neue Schule developed NS Salox Gold for use in its mouthpieces. This material was scientifically formulated by Dr Graham Cross, Neue Schule’s technical director at Durham University, to be compatible with the inside of the horse’s mouth, NS Salox Gold has many advantages including high thermal conductivity and neutral taste. These attributes refocus the horse onto the rider’s rein aids rather than the bit itself, thus discouraging oversalivation and mouth over-activity that can typically lead to tongue evasions. Comfort and neutrality are essential to relaxed acceptance of the bit. The extensive Neue Schule collection encompasses sizes from 4” to 6 ½” in ¼” increments to enable a perfect fit to be found for every horse. t Neue Schule 01642 710627


Shiny and new! PATENT leather is the new bling – and it’s definitely ‘in’ this season. The glossy leather features in new bridlework from Rhinegold, the competition brand exclusively from Snowhill Trade Saddlery. The Rhinegold Patent Leather Bridle is elegantly designed, offering beauty with high performance. Crafted from fine German leather, complete with a lustrous patent shine throughout, it comes in black or havana. The bridle features a raised browband and noseband and includes rubber reins. Available in pony, cob, full and extra full sizes, the trade price is £34.50.

Get the look...

Customers who love the new Rhinegold patent leather bridles will also be in the market for these delicious dressage accessories: NEW for 2013, this beautiful Rhinegold Patent Leather Headcollar features a soft, padded headpiece, padded and adjustable nose band and a convenient throat latch clip. Available in black and havana, and sizes pony, cob and full, it’s priced to the trade at just £26.50.

Rhinegold’s Patent Nose and Browband Bridle is a flash bridle combining style with comfort. A ‘no pressure’ comfort headpiece, crank noseband adjustment and durable rubber reins are included. Fine quality patent leather is used for the noseband and browband, and the whole is finished in classic black or havana. Sized from pony to extra full, it’s priced to the trade at just £39.50.

THIS luxurious Rhinegold German Leather Bridle with gold piping trim is handcrafted in German leather. With raised, padded noseband and brow band, along with stainless steel fittings, the striking gold piping looks stunning against black or brown leather. Rubber reins are included. Sized from pony to extra full, the trade price is £31.50.

For a more traditional touch, the new Hunter Style Bridle from Heritage offers premium quality and style to everyday riders. This plain bridle is made from genuine, high grade leather with smart black or havana finishes. Priced to the trade at just £22.50, it comes in Shetland, pony, cob and full sizes. t Snowhill Trade Saddlery 01243 672323

THE new Heritage Crystal Leather Headcollar (157) is made in English leather with exquisite crystal encrusted cheek pieces. Attention to detail includes a throat latch clip. In black or havana, with pony, cob and full sizes, it’s priced to the trade at just £23.50. t Snowhill Trade Saddlery 01243 672323


Made in Monmouth It’s big and it’s all British. ETN visits Natural Animal Feeds (NAF). AF is as British as fish and chips, tea at three and James Bond. In fact, its Monmouthshire factory would make the perfect setting for the showdown finale in a Bond film. Picture the scene. Dozens of technicians in matching overalls, white-coated scientists in hi-tech laboratories, enormous vats of exotic mixtures, banks of shiny scientific instruments behind glass screens, dark liquids oozing their way through transparent pipework and forklifts zooming along acres of immaculately clean floor space. Great British hero James Bond could wreak havoc in there hunting down the baddies...but there are no villains at NAF because this is a place dedicated to the good of animals. NAF’s factory is a massive, modern operation. Impressive in any industry, it’s one of which the equestrian sector can be very proud indeed. The current manufacturing and office complex, opened in 2008 by HRH the Princess Royal, is a world away from the cosy kitchen table set-up sometimes associated with equine supplements.


Total traceability Since NAF uses natural ingredients in it supplements – ranging from Siberian Ginseng and Japanese Shitake to Hawthorn and Mint, the ability to track back to the field anywhere in the world where a herb was grown is key to quality control. And, of course, it’s not only NAF’s suppliers that must be checked, but those suppliers’ suppliers too.

Total traceability is a recurring theme throughout production. NAF tests raw materials and finished products, plus every stage in between. When a company is supporting some of the world’s top competition horses and racehorses, any of which could be dope tested, nothing can be left to chance. Each NAF product has its own recipe with ingredients mixed as specified before being dispatched to respective areas to be made into a powder, pellets or tincture (liquid). Much of the factory operates to human food standards; there are systems that constantly clean the air, metal detectors and ultra violet filters to remove unwanted bacteria. The making of the tinctures is awesome to see – and smell! Herbal blends soak for three weeks in giant vats which are reverently stirred once a week. “There’s no point in rushing it,” says factory manager Trevor Cobb. The precious liquid is extracted from the herbal pulp in cider presses, the traditional


wooden devices standing out like sore thumbs in this high tech factory. “We looked at more modern machines, but they weren’t getting the same percentage of liquid out,” added Trevor. A modern innovation that NAF has recently introduced is induction heat sealing. Similar to the seal on a jar of coffee, it gives products a two-year shelf life – and consumers a lovely feeling of freshness on opening. Moving to the department where the pots and buckets are filled and labelled, there was more hands-on activity. The level of cleanliness would put the most obsessive housewife to shame, and one senses a great pride emanating from this factory floor.

Appliance of science Chocolate is banned from NAF’s premises; such is the care to keep its products free from potential contaminants. Yes, a ‘natural’ approach helped create NAF’s name and reputation, but there’s nothing fluffy about the science that

goes into both product development and on-going quality control. The laboratory is the domain of Dr Sara Matthews (pictured on our front cover), a chemist whose PhD from Dublin looked at extracting tannins from the bark of trees. Sara is a great advocate for the BETA NOPS [naturally occurring prohibited substances] scheme of which NAF was a founder member. “It’s all about risk assessment and is something we welcome,” she says. “Being involved with the Olympics [as official British team supplier] made us ask ‘what if...” Much of Sara’s work is of a detective nature. She visits suppliers anywhere in the world, checking and rechecking, testing and retesting to make sure the herbs NAF is using are spot on in terms of quality and efficacy. “A new supplier means we do even more testing; even if the batch number changes, we do more testing,” said Sara. The fruits of her labours are a hoarder’s dream, with

labelled samples of every product NAF has ever made filling an entire room, cross referenced to recipes, ingredients and their respective batch numbers. Some samples are even forensically stored in sealed pots. With every tiny detail traceable and accountable, it’s hard to imagine how more effort could be made to give riders and retailers peace of mind.

New products The laboratory is also where new products are developed. Working closely with head nutritionist Kate Jones, Sara keeps a watching brief on what’s working in the world of human supplements, but always with a view to creating products that are both bioavailable and appealing to horses. That’s why equine palatability tests are carried out early in the development process. Sara must also wear a commercial hat and in this regard liaises with head of sales and marketing Linda Porter and UK sales manager Lorna George. “I could come up with the most fantastic concoctions, but unless the price of ingredients makes it viable, there’s no point in continuing,” she pointed out. The presentation of supplements is another consideration. “We can’t include limestone in a liquid, for instance, because it would sink. Sometimes there’s a demand to translate, say, a powdered product into a

The precious liquid is extracted from the herbal pulp in cider presses

liquid, yet still keep all the active ingredients, which we have succeeded in doing with Oestress. “We sometimes face dilemmas,” she added. “For example, while a liquid might be more bio-available, you can only put yeast into a powder.” Sara is keen to point out that, while NAF’s products are non-medicinal, herbs can be powerful and, as such, should be treated with respect. “In the USA, herbs are defined as low level drugs controlled by the Federal Drugs Agency,” she said. A visit to Sara’s laboratory instils admiration for the work she does - and confidence in the products she’s developed.

Supporting the trade In what’s become a fragmented supplements market, NAF has remained steadfast in its support for the trade. While much could be said about the company’s commitment in this respect, four aspects spring to mind. No 1: NAF’s brilliantly bright and breezy way with words to combine fun with function and inspire consumers. For instance, naming its new omega 3 rich oil ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cod Liver Oil...’ No 2: Clever, constantly updated packaging. For example Electro, which replaces the sweat in hardworking horses, is presented in replica sports drink bottles that can be squeezed into horses’ mouths if desired. In addition, many products have been treated to new and impactful wrap-around labels that make them bounce off the shelf. NAF designs and prints all its own labelling in its in-house studio. No 3: Products that break the mould. Take the fly season; as well as a range of conventional repellents, NAF had the nous to add Stick ‘Em Up sticky fly ribbons and NAF Off Citronella Tags to attach to the bridle and wrist bands for riders. No 4: NAF dwarfs most other supplement suppliers, yet no retailer is too small to benefit from dealing with the company. With a minimum order of just £125, some very modest consignments go out to tiny tackshops alongside pallets piled high with popular products for the big retail chains. Orders placed before lunchtime usually go out the same day.

Backing British equestrianism NAF is the official supplier of equine supplements to the British Equestrian Team. Having worked with the riders, trainers, vets and horses that make up Team GBR up to and including London 2012, NAF has recently agreed with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to continue its support through the next Olympiad to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. The 2012 Olympic gold medal won by Peter Charles was touched – and in some cases tried on - by everyone on the factory floor last year. The show jumper had travelled to Monmouth especially to thank NAF for backing the British team. NAF won’t reveal how much it spends on advertising and sponsorship from riding club to international level. “It’s fair to say we have healthy advertising and marketing budgets,” says marketing manager Tracey Lloyd. “However, you can be sure every pound we spend is given serious consideration.” Of course the company goes all out to promote its products, but altruistic touches include sponsoring some lesser known equestrian shows and farriers’ championships as well as the high profile British Dressage Winter Championships and Hartpury International three-day event.

Olympic gold medallist Peter Charles with NAF site foreman Shaun Jasper. Shaun, who has worked for NAF for 28 years, was presented with his long service award by the Mayoress of Monmouth in the presence of HRH Princess Royal when she visited to officially open the Monmouth premises.


NAF facts and figures ● Natural Animal Feeds – known as NAF – is the UK’s market leader in equine supplements. ● Greencoat, the company that owns and runs the NAF brand, was founded in 1982. ● Thrive was NAF’s first product. At a time when supplements tended to do little more than top-up vitamins and minerals, Thrive was a market ‘first’ product with a function. ● NAF expects to turn over £14 million this year. ● The company employs a total of 100 people, with 80 based on site in Monmouth. ● NAF exports more than one third of its total output to 30 different countries. ● The company was a founder member of the BETA NOPS scheme devised to reduce the risk of feed related dope test ‘positives’. The company is ISO 9001 accredited, signifying robust monitoring of quality control and administrative management. Its UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme) accreditation reflects high standards of ingredient quality and production methods. ● There are approximately 180 products in the NAF portfolio. ● All cardboard and plastic that passes through the factory is recycled.

Team spirit NIGEL OSWELL, managing director of NAF, isn’t one of the equestrian industry’s best known faces. He leaves that accolade to NAF’s dynamic marketing manager Tracey Lloyd. Nigel’s not horsey; he prefers rugby. He’s an accountant who’s worked in education, had management roles in housing and steel, ran a hotel in West Wales for a while and, until he joined NAF ten years ago, worked in telecoms. It’s given him a grounded outlook. “We’re self-critical,” he says, “always looking at what we can do better.” Nigel sees Europe as an ever more enticing target. “Just last week, we had visitors from Russia, the Czech Republic and Germany. In Europe, most supplements are sold through vets, although Holland has a large retail sector. It could well be that vets in the UK begin to see the potential too.” NAF already works closely with the veterinary community. NAF’s sister brand Nutri Labs is primarily aimed at vets. In the early days, vet Nick Larkin - who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and their efficacies - worked closely with the company’s founder and now its chairman Richard Cleeve. Richard famously created NAF on his former dairy farm. He’s since set the standard for many aspects of the supplements sector. A stickler for legislative issues, he cuts no slack about NAF’s scrupulous adherence to VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate) guidelines about not making claims for non-medicinal products. “As market leader, we have a responsibility to do things properly,” Nigel adds. They say a firm’s culture trickles down from the top. This team, many of whom have worked for the company for more than 20 years, shares Richard’s pride in being part of NAF.

Let’s fly the flag! ETN gets into patriotic mood and discovers what’s British about some of the best known names in our industry. BESPOKE bedding BEDMAX was launched into the equine market place in 2000 following many years of research. Designed to improve the welfare and wellbeing of all stabled horses by the company’s founder Tim Smalley, this is a truly British product. Dust-free BEDMAX shavings are made in three UK production plants from British pine. The bedding, which benefits from the natural antiseptic properties associated with pine, is used by all equine sectors from racing yards and racecourses to equine hospitals. BEDMAX has supplied the Royal Stud at Sandringham with shavings for the last nine years. The company was granted a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen in 2008. “BEING British is reflected in our very beginnings,” says Heather Giles of Hilton Herbs. Indeed, she even credits the company’s British customers as a motivator for the company’s impressive innovation in the manufacture of herbal supplements for animals. “Being British is reflected in our ability to keep going ‘whatever the weather’, be it foot-and-mouth, economic crises or ever-increasing competition in the market-place,” she adds. Hilton Herbs has also followed that great British tradition of evangelism, spreading the word and now exporting to more than 40 countries. “Being British is reflected in a desire to stay independent and to inspire loyalty, with most of our small team having been with us for over ten years,” adds Heather. “Being British is what we are all about!” ALLEN & PAGE was established as a limited company in 1936 but the Page family had already been producing and selling horse feeds for many years. Originally at Quayside in Norwich, the company has remained a family business with four generations helping to build it into the major national feed producer it is today. In 2009, Allen & Page was granted a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales.

THE PUFFA brand is British through and through. Founded in the 1970s, the original quilted jackets were worn by everyone horsey, men and women, stable staff to Princess Diana. Puffa County Sports is marking the brand’s 40th anniversary by celebrating all that’s great about British design, style and colours. SUEME is very much a home-grown brand, says distributor Buffera. “We make as many of our garments as close to home as possible and make the most efficient use of our resources,” says Sarah Gowans of the company. “Our Tree Trunks and Beech Shorties are made in Portugal but are packed here - in packaging printed in the UK. “Our Tees, whilst made in Turkey, are printed just down the road in North London and again, packed for retail in our warehouse in Potters Bar.” GOOD QUALITY products made in the UK from natural materials is EquiScuto’s mantra. In fact, it’s a passion for former competition yard owner and company founder Miri Ringrose. Miri began by developing protective gear for horses, starting with a basic pair of brushing boots. The Equi-Scuto collection now spans high end handbags, farriers’ chaps and leather flying hats for vintage aeroplane enthusiasts. “Here in the UK, there’s a huge wealth of skills and talent,” adds Miri. “It’s just a matter of getting the right team pushing in the right direction and it’s amazing what can be achieved.” EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS AUGUST 2013 33

SINCE 1974 Sherwood Forest, the family run Nottingham based company, has had its waxed jackets produced in the Midlands. “We are committed to maintaining links with British manufacturers and upholding British standards,” said a spokesman for the company.

How firms are energising exports A GROUP of south-west businesses has joined forces to boost British exports from the region. The South West Animal Cluster was the brainchild of Hilary Charman of UKTI (UK Trade & Investment). Having mentored many of the individual companies through various export initiatives, Hilary spotted the benefit of getting them together to share their experiences. “It’s an energising experience,” she said. “Also, it brings benefits including cost savings and increased efficiency; however companies most often comment that they most benefit from interchanging ideas and improved business practice.” The group, including Hilton Herbs, Verm-X, Pro-Motion Equine, Smart Grooming, Griffin Nuumed and Snuggy Hoods, has secured £3,000 of export funding through UKTI. Eastern Europe has been chosen as the first target market. The group plans to produce a multi-company information sheet translated into different languages.

Hilary Charman answers... NEW COMPANY Georgie Parker Ltd has launched a collection of gifts and homeware in a bid to get the British public buying British. The range of ceramics, textiles and tableware is manufactured on home soil, with founder George Parker saying she’s keen to support local craftsmen. “I wanted to create a company for people like me, who love to support home-grown manufacturers and announce to the world that they are proud of their British heritage,” she said. A bone china and accessories range [coasters are pictured] has a repeating pattern of cricket players, vintage cars and horses - plus sayings such as ‘toodle pip’, ‘tally-ho’ and ‘sticky wicket’. What could be more British? ALTHOUGH Verdo Horse Bedding is a Danish company, it’s settling in on UK shores with Verdo Renewables owning two production plants at Andover, Hampshire and Grangemouth in Scotland. With an annual production capacity of 110,000 tonnes of wood pellets, the company is a firm supporter of British industry and trade. Here in the UK, Verdo Horse Bedding has an equine specialist sales team covering the country. With a string of high profile sponsored riders including MBE and double gold medallist Natasha Baker and show jumping star Daniel Moseley, Verdo is clearly keen to support British equestrian talent too.


Q. What is the role of UKTI? A. The UKTI helps companies to develop their existing export business and assists those wishing to embark on export. Basic advice is free and we offer programmes for complete beginners or experienced companies. There are also grants available. Q. How do I find out more? A. We often run events in different regions of the UK. A popular one is ‘Getting into export’, although there are events to suit businesses at all stages of export. For more information visit Q. At what stage of development should businesses looking to grow internationally get in touch with UKTI? A. At any stage. We are an excellent source of knowledge and resources for businesses that haven’t started exporting and for those that are experienced exporters. One of our clients has been exporting for more than 200 years, but most of our clients are just beginning their journey or are between one and ten years into it. Q. What are the benefits for the businesses in the South West Animal Cluster? A. It’s such an empowering experience for businesses to work together. There are also monetary benefits, such as cost sharing for trade shows, the power of pooling information strengthens growth and it’s great to have a B2B support network in place. Q. Are there other clusters in regions of the UK in the equestrian/pet sector? A. The South West Animal Cluster is the first of its kind in the UK. Interested businesses from any region should get in touch as we have several regional objectives we are working on. New members to the southwest group are also welcome. For details, contact Hilary Charman email

SINCE buying the Likit brand in 2002, Talisker Bay has stayed true to its Scottish roots and maintained a manufacturing plant in Ayrshire. The company employs 13 people and sources virtually all raw materials from the UK. “We’re proud to be a British manufacturer and sourcing our raw materials from the UK certainly has its advantages, not least in terms of quality control and lead times,” said marketing manager Lindsay Gall. Likit Products exports its treats and stable toys to more than 20 countries. FIRST Thought Equine, creator of WOW Saddles, Flair air flocking and the Korrector saddle pad, is a British based company that markets its products around the world. Every item is made in its Kent factory with each component designed and made in Britain. “British-made saddlery is renowned around the world,” says director Maggie White. “We’re proud that we have built a global business from true British designs. It gains a lot of respect from customers far and wide and also means we have total control over the manufacturing process.” ROYAL WARRANT holder Barnsby was established in 1793 in Walsall – and the saddlery manufacturer remains in the West Midlands town to this day. Barnsby uses traditional methods of saddle making and sources as much of its component material such as leather and buckles from within the local area. The Union Flag is displayed on all marketing material and items are stamped with a 'Made in England' badge. HARPLEY EQUESTRIAN’S UK team has been manufacturing equine and canine textile products for more than 20 years. Own brands include Goodhood (pictured), Bobhat, Cool Leg Wraps, Magnetic Therapy items, the Warmwick range, Hairnets and Bow-nets. Commission manufacturing is available to companies requiring reliable UK manufacturing of own branded products. With a proven track record for efficient customer service, speedy deliveries, flexibility to produce small or large quantities, Harpley Equestrian’s customers benefit from all the perks of buying from a genuine British manufacturer.

IN 1911, a man named Charles Owen started manufacturing helmets for the army in the east end of London. A century later his grandson Roy Burek, has continued the family tradition of manufacturing products for a safer world. In 1924, Charles Owen patented an idea to improve helmet ventilation and the fit of military helmets used in the tropics. Four years later the first Charles Owen motorcycle helmet was born in its London factory. A decade on, and Charles Owen had developed its Racing Helmet for Jockeys. In 1938, the Grand National winning jockey wore the newly launched Charles Owen Jockey Skull. Charles Owen, by now renowned for its work in safety headwear, was a significant contributor to the first motorcycle helmet standard committee in1953. The 1956 standard became the benchmark for many of today’s modern equestrian helmet standards. In 1972 the company launched the first full facial motorcycle helmet that met the then current British Standard. The same innovative technology was used to develop, in that same year, its first British Kitemarked Jockey Skull. A decade later, in 1982, Her Majesty the Queen awarded Charles Owen the Royal Warrant as protective headgear manufacturer to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, an honour the company still holds today. 1984 saw Charles Owen release its first dual standard equestrian helmet, followed by the first triple standard helmet in 2001. In 2012 came the 4Star, meeting all four international safety standards. Not bad going for a British family company!

On parade at the Palace

EQUESTRIAN companies joined other Royal Warrant holders in Buckingham Palace gardens last month. The Coronation Festival, marking the 60th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation, showcased brands that have earned royal recognition over the years. Equestrianism was the largest sector among the 200 exhibitors at the festival, reflecting the royal family’s special interest in horse sport. Pictured, from left, Andy Pethybridge and Malcolm Ainge (Shires Equestrian), Peter Wilkes (Vale Brothers), Ted Chaplin (Horse Weigh), Malcolm Wallace and Gill Davies (Martin Collins Enterprises), Peter Forster (Bedmax), Annalise Kerr (Dodson & Horrell), Mark Griffiths and Georgie Ellis (Horse Weigh), Tim Smalley (Bedmax), Jane Kane, Richard Brown, Richard Pickering and Peter Phillips (Abbey England), Marcus Cridland (Shires Equestrian), and Sam Horrell (Dodson & Horrell). Dengie was also present.

Why I’m buying British... A SHROPSHIRE horse owner is endeavouring to kit out herself and her horse entirely in British-made products. “It’s been quite challenging,” Sarah Leverett told ETN. “Of course, buying items like feed and bedding which are made in Britain is easy – but when it comes to rugs and riding clothing, you have to look a bit harder.” Sarah, who lives on a dairy farm, has two horses, one of which she rides regularly. She says she’s not looking for specialist gear, simply UK-made equestrian products. “The more you delve, the more you find,” she added, “and I’ve found some really good quality items without having compromise on price. I’ve found jodhpur makers in Walsall and some lovely saddle cloths made in the UK. “Several recognisable brands have some British made products, you just have to search them out. The other thing I’ve noticed is that many of the British products are quite innovative.” Sarah’s search for home grown equestrian gear is an extension of her farm and family’s support for UK sourced items from the everyday to the major investment. When she is browsing the internet or visiting a tack shop in her quest, Sarah always asks whether an item is made in Britain. “Sometimes it’s quite hard to tell, so I ring them up to make sure.” And presumably, if the answer is in the affirmative, she leaves the supplier of said product with a nice, patriotic glow.

BASED in Cardiff, Champion has been designing and manufacturing protective riding safety wear in Britain for more than 30 years. The company was founded by the late John Ayres; a dozen family members remain directly involved. In total, nearly 100 people are employed in the UK within Champion and its sister companies FBI and Proline. From its custom built factory, Champion retains total control over the quality of every product delivered to its retail customers; its ultimate aim is safer and more enjoyable riding for your customers. Pictured are three top British eventers and Champion fans, Piggy French, Kitty King and Pippa Funnell.


BATTLES started manufacturing and wholesaling veterinary products in 1832. Today the Lincoln based company stocks more than 8,000 product lines ranging from equine to pet, animal health to rodenticides. It also manufactures more than 1,000 lines. In April 2006, Jim Bowen and Richard Dewey bought the business from its family shareholders. Rob Welch, former long-standing managing director of Battles, is enjoying retirement and a love of photography. Rumour has is that he even keeps a few chickens! Richard comes from a financial background while owner and managing director Jim’s CV includes working for a veterinary wholesaler. Over the last five years, the new Battles team has invested more than £0.5 million in technology. Battles offers next day delivery, supplying more than 2,000 retailers with market leading brands. A recent move has been to slash its carriage paid threshold to just £100. Among Battles’ own brands is the ever evolving Hy label which provides good quality, good value products for horse and rider. In 2011 Battles launched into equestrian and country clothing with the British designed Townend range. So what does it mean to be a British company in the equestrian industry? “We can ensure our customers receive next day deliveries and with our strong team of eight account managers, we can service the whole of the UK ensuring customers are kept upto-date with new products, monthly offers and incentive schemes such as Live the Hy Life, Link Up with Lincoln and Townend Rewards,” said a spokesman.

NUMNAH and saddlepad specialst Griffin NuuMed was founded more than 20 years ago in Ashcott. The company has continued to expand at the same factory in Somerset, now employing around 20 people. All products, including its flagship NuuMed HiWither design, are manufactured in-house. In addition, the majority of its materials – in particular British wool - are sourced from UK suppliers. NuuMed is as British as you can get!

HAY BAR, introduced in 2003, is manufactured in Britain by Park Feeders. Inventor Raylia Dugmore devised the product to meet the need for a safe, natural position feeding system. It’s since been purchased in the UK and abroad by top professionals, veterinary hospitals, rehabilitation units and studs. The Hay Bar logo incorporates the Union Flag. “It’s with great pride that we are recognised around the world as being truly British,” said Raylia. “This has been an important reason why Hay Bar has become so popular and successful abroad. British products are recognised as being high quality and enduring.” NUTRITIONAL licks Horslyx are manufactured by Caltech, part of longstanding British company Carrs Milling Industries in Silloth, north Cumbria. Participation in BETA’s NOPS Scheme, which aims to reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances appearing in feedingstuffs, helps identify Horslyx as a trusted and well-formulated brand to its UK and increasing number of export customers.

SO what’s British about your company? “Well, err, all of it. We design here, develop here and manufacture here in Leicestershire,” said Simon Flude of Fludes S H Ltd, owner of the Ramblers clothing brand. With roots going back 20 years, Ramblers was born out of the old Amundsen business and has always been UK manufactured. “Made in England is increasingly appealing to the public,” added Simon. “However, its greatest benefit is to retailer service. Our customers can be sure of high quality production and our flexibility allows them to buy little and often, maximising stock turn and minimising risk.” Ramblers offers children’s tops with horse, sheep and farmyard themed designs in bold colours. Ramblers’ ladies range is classic country clothing with collared sweatshirts embroidered on floral, wildlife and equestrian designs. CARR & DAY & MARTIN has been manufacturing horse care products in the UK since 1765 and holds a Royal Warrant for the supply of saddlery products to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The company’s first Royal Warrant was granted in the reign of George IV. “We’re proud of our heritage and proud of our products,” said a spokesman. 40 AUGUST 2013 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS


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ETN - Equestrian Trade News - August 2013  
ETN - Equestrian Trade News - August 2013  

The voice of the equestrian industry for over 30 years. August issue articles include: Flying the flag - a celebration of British companies;...