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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 2011 Volume 35, No 8 Monthly

Manufacturers making it big Greenwich event sparks 2012 excitement

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


Comment ‘Keep it simple’ is one of the most effective maxims ever. It was one of which I was reminded when chatting to the man who delivers my horses’ carrots the other day. His family has a wholesale vegetable business, supplying mainly market stall-holders. His spin-off business – what he describes as his retirement project – involves retailing carrots to horse owners in local villages. His ‘round’ is a weekly one, completed every Sunday morning. I signed up for two bags of carrots per week having heard of this service by word of mouth. He delivers every Sunday without fail and the goods are of consistently good quality. Without fail, I leave my £4 in cash in a brown envelope hidden in an agreed place. “If you miss a week’s payment, you can leave that money with the follow week’s. If you don’t, I won’t deliver any more carrots,” he said – and he meant it. In return, he’s never, ever missed a Sunday; not even when one fell on Boxing Day with four inches of snow on the ground. He’s also never, ever delivered a rotten carrot; and I’ve never, ever forgotten to leave out the money. That’s our simple contract. It’s based on trust and is a good way to do business. In many ways it reminds me of the best aspects of our trade. Let’s keep it that way. As the late, great saddlery guru Elwyn Hartley Edwards was fond of saying, equestrian inventions are rarely genuinely new. The latest reinvention to hit the headlines is ‘bit butter’. There is a specific American product of that name, but to use the term generically, it’s anything that’s put into a horse’s mouth to smooth the action of – and ease reaction to – the bit. In the old days, it was the norm to use some sort of lubricant, such as Vaseline, on the corners of horses’ mouths, especially the hard-pulling ones about to go hunting. Sudocrem works quite well and I’m told Bonjela teething gel is also effective. Recently, there was a furore on a dressage internet forum when a top rider was reportedly spotted shoving a bar of saddle soap into her horse’s mouth just before a test. Well, apart from being rather stupid to do this so publicly, what the rider was trying to achieve of course was a layer of glycerine on her horse’s teeth to prevent grinding – or at least to prevent the judges hearing the grinding. More discreet and welfare friendly are some little glycerine capsules you can buy now; far better to save the saddle soap for its intended purpose. And next time a customer asks you to “pass the bit butter,” smile, oblige with the product and reflect that the old ‘uns are the best!

Liz Benwell


NEWS .......................................................4 PRODUCT NEWS.......................................12 PEOPLE...................................................18 BEST OF BRITISH Greenwich test event sparks London Olympic fever ...............................19 Celebrating British equestrian manufacturers .........................................22 COMMERCIAL INSURANCE Peace of mind for businesses ....................32 MY WINNING GEAR With Hickstead heroine Tina Fletcher .........33 BELOW THE BELT The latest breeches, jodhpurs and boots.....34 BETA MEMBERS’ PAGE .............................36 WHAT’S ON Essential trade calendar ...........................37 RETAILER FORUM Debating margins.....................................38 BITS AND TRAINING How to maximise sales .............................40 SADDLERY MATTERS With Ken Lyndon-Dykes ............................42 SPONSORS ..............................................43 VIEW FROM AMERICA John Nunn on consumer trends .................44 COUNTY COURT JUDGMENTS ....................46

Front cover image by Samantha Lamb Photography, Tina Fletcher and Promised Land win the Carpetright Derby, the feature class of the British Jumping Derby Meeting at Hickstead. For more information about Hickstead’s shows, visit Find out more about the gear that makes Tina a winner on page 33.


Alltech invests €10 million in WEG ALLTECH was clearly delighted with the effects of its 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games sponsorship. Last month the global manufacturer of yeast cultures announced new backing for next edition of the multi-discipline world championships to the tune of €10 million. The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games take place in Normandy, France from 17 August. “Alltech is proud to continue our partnership with the World Equestrian Games,” said Alltech president and founder Dr Pearse Lyons. “Alltech’s sponsorship of equestrian sport brings the brand to life and creates value for our partners, generating strong ties with the end consumer of our products at moments of great passion.” This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Alltech France. The company has offices in Paris and Nantes, plus 36 throughout Europe, overseen by vice-president for Alltech Europe Marc Larousse. Pictured are Laurent Beauvais, chairman of the Basse-Normandie Regional Council and Normandy 2014 Organising Committee with Dr Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech.

It’s not what you know... THERE’S bad news for wallflowers who dread an evening of awkward introductions and uncomfortable conversation. More than a quarter of new job opportunities come about through face-to-face networking. A survey of 13,400 people by recruitment consultancy Right Management suggests this is higher than the number who secured new positions through internet job boards (17%) and far higher than the 3% who said that online networking was successful in landing them a new job. Recruitment agencies remain the most popular source of jobs, 36% of respondents finding work this way.

Stage is set for Spoga AROUND 380 suppliers from 29 countries will exhibit at spoga horse, to be held on 4-6 September in Cologne. “At spoga horse we are once again welcoming all the leading players connected with equestrian sport from home and abroad,” said Metin Ergül, vice-president of Koelnmesse, the host exhibition complex. Alongside German manufacturers such as Cavallo, Herm. Sprenger, leovet, Passier, Pikeur, UVEX and Waldhausen, spoga visitor can see Jansen from Holland, Ekkia of France, British based Ariat-Europe, Prestige of Italy, Zaldi from Spain, Kingsland of Norway and Horseware Ireland. New exhibitors include Arpo from Holland, Danish firm Karlsrund and EZY Keepers of New Zealand. Koelnmesse and the German trade magazine Equitrends present the 11th spoga horse innovation awards. In five categories, the results will be announced on the Tuesday of the show. The garden trade fair spoga+gafa runs in conjunction with spoga horse. Tickets can be obtained at Both fairs are open on Sunday and Monday from 10.00 to 19.00 hrs and Tuesday from 10.00 to 18.00 hrs.


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

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:

Advertising Copy: Nicki Lewis Email: Tel: 01937 582111 ISSN 1462-9526


Abbey Saddlery and Crafts....................................25 AHD Equine Health...............................................10 Allen & Page ........................................................23 Asmar Equestrian ...................................................7 BETA International................................................39 Carrots...................................................................6 Classic Showjumps...............................................24 Classified .............................................................45 Dodson & Horrell Limited......................................31 Easibed ...............................................................27 Equetech..............................................................35 Finest Brands International .................................OBC Gallop Equestrian Ltd...........................................IFC GWF Nutrition........................................................9 Horka ..................................................................10 Kanyon Outdoor..................................................IBC L S Sales/Leslie Sutcliffe.........................................12 Natural Animal Feeds ......................................20-21 Pelgar International ..............................................26 Pfizer Animal Health Ltd........................................11 PolyPads ..............................................................27 RS-Tor ..................................................................41 Schockemöhle Sports GmbH .................................15 Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd.........................42 Sherwood Forest Ltd.............................................14 Shires Equestrian Products ......................................8 South Essex Insurance Brokers ................................5 Supreme Products ................................................29 Trailblazers...........................................................29 Tuffa ....................................................................12 Virbac Animal Health............................................17 Weatherbeeta ......................................................13 Web Directory ......................................................46

Battles entertains the trade IT WAS hospitality at its best; entertaining sporting action, the chance to mix with top eventers, a sumptuous meal, good weather, great company – that was the Lincoln JumpCross Eventers’ Challenge. Dozens of retailers enjoyed a great day out at the event, contested by the likes of Oliver Townend and Piggy French, held on 21 June at Grange Farm, Wittering near Peterborough, courtesy of Battles. The competition itself was won by Mark Kyle, seen here receiving his award plus a handsome £3,000 first prize, from Battles managing director Jim Bowen. Also pictured are guests enjoying a course walk with eventing star Lucinda Fredericks. Thanks to a well supported raffle and auction, £2,000 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Said Jim Bowen: “The Lincoln JumpCross Eventers’ Challenge was a fantastic day and we are really pleased to be able to give something back to our customers. This is our third year supporting the event and we look forward to it being an annual fixture.”

Online retailer blames “late supplies” for problems AN ONLINE retailer has admitted having “problems” supplying its customers. ETN contacted HorseRugs4U after a consumer complained to us that she had ordered a £56 rug on 8 February but never received it. Nicky Graham claimed that her internet order was processed and the money taken – but no rug ever arrived. “I tried to contact them by phone nearly every day for a month and at different times of day,” Nicky Graham told ETN, “but I could never get an answer. After a while, I gave up.” Dean Williams, who picked up ETN’s phone call to HorseRugs4U, said: “Yes, we did have a few problems earlier in the year, but I thought they had all been tidied up. “Some of our suppliers were late delivering to us,” added Mr Williams, “it’s very annoying when you sell 10,000 rugs a year and 200 are late arriving.” When ETN suggested that perhaps HorseRugs4U shouldn’t take customers’ money when they did not hold relevant stock, Mr Williams commented: “That’s determined by which software you use.” HorseRugs4U is the trading name of CAM Equestrian. The company is based in Eardisley, Herefordshire. Nicky Graham has since been able to contact HorseRugs4U. “They said it wasn’t possible to refund my Mastercard, but have offered to send me a cheque,” she said.

In-store pony is a winner CHELFORD Farm Supplies in Cheshire drafted in a real pony to win an in-store display competition run by Merial to promote its Eqvalan wormer and SMART point of sale material. “The pony created a lot of interest and allowed us to explain more about worming, discuss worm egg

counts and the options available to customers,” said winning shop manager Louise Brown. Chelford Farm Supplies won an Apple iPad and £250. Runners up Wynnstay Farm Supplies in Oswestry and John Toomers in Swindon each received an Apple iPhone and £100.

Online feed retailer to close, the online feed and supplements retailer, closed last month. Managing director Stuart Fitzgerald said he wanted to concentrate on his White Horse Bedding and domestic solid fuel business – but was unable to find a buyer for “We will ensure that existing orders are fulfilled,” he said, adding that the remaining stock was being offered to customers at a “phased discount” during the week ending 24 July. As ETN went to press, the website, domain name and trademark were up for sale on ebay.

£6m illegal animal medicines racket blown apart THIRTEEN people have been convicted in connection with Europe’s biggest ever illegal veterinary medicine business in which more than £6million of products were smuggled to the UK. The ringleaders, Ronald Meddes, 73, and his wife Regine Lansley, 62, sold unauthorised and prescriptiononly medicines to more than 4,000 British customers from their properties in France and from warehouses in Belgium and Kent. Six other key players unlawfully distributed the products on the black market to British farms, stables, kennels and vet surgeries. Three other major customers were convicted, as well as one man responsible for laundering the proceeds. Steve Dean, chief executive of the Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), which prosecuted the case, said: “This was a significant commercial enterprise which seriously attacked the principle of safe and effective veterinary medicines. The medicines included non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anabolic steroids, antibiotics, sedatives, and pain control treatments for a variety of species including horses. To be imported and sold for use in the UK all veterinary medicines must be authorised to ensure they are safe and effective, and many must be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon. Even where medicines are authorised, they must be distributed and sold through licensed outlets where trained staff (SQPs – suitably qualified persons) are available to provide the necessary advice on safe use. Between January 2004 and November 2010 Meddes and Lansley ran a series of businesses under the “Eurovet” banner such as ZAO Eurovet International, Euro Exports CIS Limited, Global Animal Pharmaceuticals and the Animal Pharmacy. Many of the medicines were sold to the UK customers by telephone, fax and online. Defra Investigation Services began investigating, on behalf of VMD, in 2006 after small 6 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

seizures of illegal medicines in other investigations were linked back to a single source. Large seizures were made at Ashford and Dover in Kent, Aldershot in Hampshire, and Stanstead Airport. In May 2007, the French authorities seized more than 20 tonnes of medicines – the biggest seizure in Europe – from Lansley and Meddes’ property in Picardy. Computer accounts and customer details for the whole illegal enterprise were found. The turnover between January 2004 and May 2007 was £5.6m. However, Meddes and Lansley quickly re-established

Medicines were sold to UK customers by telephone, fax and online their business in Belgium until the Belgium authorities raided and seized further large quantities of illegal veterinary medicines in October 2008. At Croydon Crown Court on 7 July, Meddes, of Picardy and Charing, Kent, and Lansley, of Picardy, and Chelsea, London, admitted illegally importing and supplying unauthorised and prescription-only veterinary medicines. He was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment and she was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment. Another four defendants admitted illegally supplying unauthorised and prescriptiononly veterinary medicines: Igor Kantov, 54, a driver and assistant from Normandy and Southend-on-Sea, was sentenced to two years conditional discharge; his wife Cherryl Kantov, 64, a bookkeeper, was sentenced to two years conditional

discharge; Alexandra John, 50, an agent from Capel, Surrey, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work; and Andris Friend, 45, a wholesaler from Spalding, Lincolnshire, was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment. Two others were found guilty at trial of illegal importation and supply: riding school boss Peter Lock, 53, of Doddinghurst, Essex, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment suspended two years and 250 hours unpaid work; stud boss Richard Jones, 60, of Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended two years and 200 hours unpaid work and [his partner] June Connelly, 68, of Sedgeberrow, Worcester-shire, who pleaded guilty was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment suspended two years and 140 hours unpaid work. Having set up a company and a bank account, Mark Harvey, 52, of Sissinghurst, Kent, admitted money laundering and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended two years and 275 hours unpaid work. Richard James, 44, of Carmarthen, Wales, admitted supply, possession and administration for use in his artificial insemination business and was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work; confiscation £45551.88 to be paid by 7 October 2011 – 16 months imprisonment in default of payment. Beef farmer John Andrew Hawley, of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, admitted possession for use on his own animals and was sentenced to community order 100 hours unpaid work and £2,500 in costs. Lee Wilson (aka Leonard French), 73, of Langworth, Lincolnshire, admitted charges of possession, importation, supply and will be sentenced on 9 September. The companies in this case with the name Eurovet had no connection with Eurovet Animal Health BV or its UK branch Eurovet Animal Health Limited of Cambridge.

Trainee saddler wins funding MIA Sabel, a Registered Trainee member of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), received a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Award at a ceremony during the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association Annual Luncheon, reports Pat Crawford. The Award was presented by Robert Hall, president of the association. Mia said: "I’m delighted. The award has funded my final qualifications in Bridle, Saddle and Harness, as well as widening my range of upholstery, bag-making and leather restoration skills.” Mia has since received commissions from several Royal Warrant Holders. One related to an old attaché case, thought to have belonged to one of the Kennedys. Research is underway and QEST has asked Mia to document her

restoration work. The Royal Warrant Holders established QEST in 1990 to mark the Association’s 150th anniversary and HM The Queen Mother’s 90th birthday. Since 1991 QEST has made cash awards totalling over £1.5 million to 226 craftspeople aged from 17 to 50-plus. The awarding panel looks at projects which ably reflect the excellence of traditional and modern crafts symbolised by the Royal Warrant. (Photo by John Stone.)

Supplier says ‘no’ to internet only retailers TAGG Equestrian will no longer supply internet only retailers after 1st January 2012. The new policy has been introduced by the umbrella company for the Polly, Comfort Zone, Funnell, Tagg, Fal Pro and Loveson brands as a move to support its trade customers. “Some internet retailers do the job properly. But we’re no longer prepared to be relied upon as a stock holding facility for people operating out of a room in their house,” said Tom Tom Eastwood. Eastwood, managing director of Tagg Equestrian. After 1st January, new accounts must have a bricks and mortar shop or legitimate mobile outlet meeting minimum criteria to qualify to become a Tagg stockist. “It’s no co-incidence that the shops that are successful are those that hold stock,” added Tom. “Consumers want to walk into a shop and walk out with a purchase.” Tagg Equestrian is also aiming to stem the trend for consumers to try on items of clothing in store before making their purchases from discount retailers over the internet. “Of course the internet has changed the way people shop,” said Tom. “But we want to support those retailers who are trying to do the correct thing, especially with specialist items for which good advice and customer service are all-important.” In another new move, Tagg Equestrian has invested in a stateof-the-art embroidery machine. Embroidered products from saddle cloths to clothing can be created to order. Corporate wear is also available.

BETA International extends free coach service BETA International’s free coaches are back for 2012, with an extended service for transporting visiting retailers to the show. The new arrangement will see coaches leaving Exeter, Maidstone and Carlisle early on Sunday morning – with collection points en route as they make their way to the NEC, Birmingham. An extra coach will travel up from Exeter on Monday, providing an additional opportunity for a day visit to the show, as well as collecting retailers who have been passengers on the previous day. “We decided to introduce another coach from Exeter after this particular route met with such a positive response from last year,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of BETA International organiser EMC. “The second coach gives retailers a chance to visit the show for two days and spend one night in Birmingham. “This schedule allows them to spend Sunday touring the halls,

chatting to exhibitors and looking out for products that catch their eye, before returning to make orders on Monday.” All coaches are fitted with toilet and refreshment facilities. Demand for seats is expected to be high, so reservations should be made as soon as possible. Telephone 01937 582111 or email for further information. A refundable charge of £15 per seat is requested when booking. BETA International is the world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet product and country clothing sectors. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and takes place at the NEC, Birmingham. The 2012 show will run from 19 to 21 February.


A NEW group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) interested in horses was launched by Julie Girling MEP during an inaugural meeting the European Horse Network (EHN). The not-for-profit EHN represents such diverse interests as the European Trotting Union, World Horse Welfare and Icelandic horse breeders. “Issues relating to horses cover a surprising number of European Parliament Committees and policy areas, from agriculture and competition law, to equine welfare and gambling, to name just a few,” said Julie, a rider and horse owner pictured here at WHW. “This new group is a way to help ensure that those here in the European Parliament interested in horse issues are kept informed.” The EHN meets again in November.

THE FEI [international equestrian federation] Medical Committee has recommended making protective headgear mandatory across all disciplines when riding at show grounds outside competition arenas. However, the FEI Dressage Committee wants to exclude competition and warm-up from the new rule, except for athletes under 18 and in Young Horse classes. A decision is expected to be approved and implemented by 1 January 2012.

• G-GEE PR & Marketing has re-vamped its website (

Featuring photographs by Matthew Seed, it outlines the services on offer from the company set up by Lauren Barber in 2006. “With the help of our long standing web developer, Akira Studio, the new website provides a useful tool for existing clients as well as demonstrating what we can do for potential clients,” said Lauren.

QUANTUM, the company behind the lightweight saddle that reputedly cost £2m and took ten years to develop, has gone into liquidation. Director Matthew Stockford wrote to end user customers in June warning of a technical fault with the saddles’ bridges.

Weatherbeeta showroom offers retail inspiration LEADING wholesaler Weatherbeeta has opened an extended showroom at its UK headquarters in Banbury, Oxon. Retailers are welcome to visit the 5,000 square ft facility in which Weatherbeeta’s main ranges are displayed in an authentic retail environment. The showroom is used for seasonal launches and to update stockists about new products. Spring 2012 rug and clothing ranges are currently being previewed. The showroom is divided into product areas such as clothing, footwear and saddlery. The HV Polo range (pictured), the classy polo themed collection from Holland which Weatherbeeta began distributing earlier this year, has its own section. Other well-known brands to be featured are Weatherbeeta rugs, Bates and Wintec saddles and Dublin riding and casual clothing and footwear. “Retailers who visit our showroom can get valuable first-hand experience of the newest products. Many also comment that it’s a great way to pick up merchandising and display ideas too,” said Gill Power of Weatherbeeta. The revamped showroom is part of an extensive package Weatherbeeta offers to support its stockists. Another popular aspect is the chance for retailers to appear in regular double page spread advertisements in Horse&Hound alongside special offers and new products – all designed to engage consumers. Weatherbeeta stockists can also get listed in the wholesaler’s brochures which are distributed through national equestrian magazines each season. These brochures are un-priced making them suitable for in-store use. To make your appointment to visit the new Weatherbeeta showroom, call 01295 226900.

OBITUARY SUE NORRINGTON SUE Norrington, who died on 11 July, was the managing director of Newmarket based equine therapy company HR Medics for almost 40 years. She was in her early 60s. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer in January this year and had since spent time with family and friends, as ever facing the challenge in her own inimitable way. Sue’s knowledge of equine therapy was unsurpassed; her research and innovation Sue is pictured with Sheik in this field provided care and Hamdan Al Maktoum in relief for horses across every Dubai during a BETA-led discipline. H R Medics exhibited export mission to the Gulf. and sold its products across the world and her customers were a who’s who of the equine world. The company ceased to trade in March this year. I worked with Sue for 10 years; she was a cheerful, charismatic character and a good friend. She was full of enthusiasm for the health and welfare of the horse, always looking for the next product to advance their care. Her knowledge is now sadly lost to the equine world, but the work and dedication to her chosen profession will be long remembered by those who knew her. Elaine Welsford, ECW Consultancy.


Saddlery plans to profit by going green ESSEX based Ingatestone Saddlery Centre installed 128 solar panels on its roof last month to generate electricity to power the entire store. While proprietors Lynda and Barrie Mortlock are keen to boost the business’s green credentials, the project will also enable them to sell electricity back to the national grid. Ingatestone Saddlery Centre, at Margaretting, is one of the UK’s largest equestrian retail operations at around 58,000 square feet. With no windows and lighting, heating and air conditioning all run by electricity, plus an on-site coffee shop, its power demands were previously met by two lots of three-phase mains electrical supplies. “The idea of the solar panels is to power the whole shop and have some left over to feed back to the national grid,” said Lynda. “I’m told it will generate £20-25,000 worth [of electricity] per year. It cost £125,000 to install – so we should get our money back in five years.” Lynda says she’s remaining sceptical “until we review it in three or four months’ time and see if it’s generating what they say it will. But I’m hoping it will be an investment rather than a cost.” Aesthetically, Lynda is delighted with the solar panels which required planning permission but were not subject to any form of grant being funded purely by the business. “They blend in really well. In fact, I think they enhance the appearance of our building,” she said. The ‘green’ aspect of the project is also important to Ingatestone. “We were thinking for some time that we ought to make the effort,” admitted Lynda. “Originally we looked at wind turbines, but they are not very neighbour-friendly and we’re not very high up here. So we went for solar instead.” Meanwhile, Ingatestone has embarked upon another ‘green’ initiative by installing a cardboard and plastic compression baling machine, the products of which they plan to sell to a local recycling company.

Top SQP enjoys VIP day out VIRBAC Equine SQP of the Year Suzi Law, the first winner of the title, is pictured with her husband Richard Law (left) and Callum Blair, senior veterinary advisor of Virbac, enjoying her prize of an all-expenses-paid weekend at the Hickstead Derby meeting. “I had a fantastic weekend,” said Suzi, “I was so honoured and delighted to win the Virbac Equine SQP of the Year.” Virbac launched the award to recognise the role played by SQPs


EAST Midlands and Yorkshire regional title Equestrian Life Magazine has launched a new website at As well as keeping readers upto-date with notifications of items uploaded to the website via email or mobile phone, Equestrian Life will also be available via iPhone or iPad with its own ‘App’. “We can now offer advertisers additional and unique ways to reach their customers,” said publisher Zoe Molesworth.

BARBOUR has extended its children’s clothing range. Aimed at children aged four upwards, the collection features waxes, quilts, a wool duffle coat and tartan tote bag.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE-BASED pet food manufacturer Alpha Feeds has acquired the business of Kennel Nutrition Ltd (in administration), best known for the Vitalin brand of dry petfoods. Vitalin stock and packaging has been moved to Alpha Feeds’ site ready to fulfil customer orders and manufacture stock, said managing director Ryck Turner. “We will manufacture exactly the same tried and tested products, using the same traditional manufacturing techniques and highest quality ingredients at the same extremely competitive price,” he added.

THE squad of six horses and riders to represent Britain at the Senior European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany on 25th – 28th August comprises Laura Collett (Rayef), William Fox-Pitt (Cool Mountain), Piggy French (Jakata), Mary King (Imperial Cavalier), Polly Stockton (Westwood Poser) and Nicola Wilson (Opposition Buzz). The competition is the last senior eventing championship in Europe before the London 2012 Olympic Games.

ETN thanks everyone who has sent in pictures of shop dogs and special horses who have inspired new products or help found businesses. Pictures and stories were still arriving as we went to press – there’s still time to send yours to if you hurry. So look out for their appearance in the September issue.

in advising horse owners on the correct principles of worming. Nominations are open for the 2012 award which is open to all equine SQPs (suitably qualified persons). For more details, visit

Marketing and event management specialist EW Sporting has taken over the Eventing Worldwide website. As reported in ETN last month, the news, images and debating resource for eventers was closed by founder Hilary Manners who cited a funding shortfall due to users’ passwords sharing. Paul White and Louise Elliott, directors of EW Sporting, say they want to use the site to promote eventing in the UK and will make it “open and accessible to all” rather than membership only. “The site will continue to post the latest event reports and photographs. We’ll also be working closely with event organisers and volunteers,” said Paul.

Fresh from New Zealand THE Equine Health range from New Zealand is new to the UK and exclusively available from Natraliving Health The products, formulated using natural ingredients such as native New Zealand herbs, are designed to be used sparingly and to represent good value for money. They include a Sun Block containing zinc, titaniu and carrot oil. Suitable for all sun sensitive parts of the body, it stays on well and is antiseptic if the skin is sore.

Equiskin is a skin cream used by vets in New Zealand as a “first aid kit in a jar”. It’s said to take the angry look out of minor wounds, reduce scarring and help prevent proud flesh. Aloe Vera Gel with Arnica and Manuka Honey is ideal for closed wounds and to combat bruising. Emu Oil Rub, popular in Australia for use on bumps, bruises and minor wounds, contains seaweed for germicidal action and promotes hair growth on healing scars. Other interesting products are Tendon Cooling Gel, a vibrant blue gel with an instant cooling action, and Hoof Cream with nine ingredients to nourish hooves. Equine Health 500g tubs retail at around £19. Natraliving Health is running a promotion to all new stockists of the Equine Health range. Retailers who order the introductory package and place a subsequent order are entered into a draw to win a complete replacement package. Entrants must meet minimum order requirements. Pictured are some Equine Health products plus a New Zealand equestrian scene. ETN recommends that all riders wear up-tostandard riding hats. t Natraliving Health 0845 5000 666.

Cleaning horses to the max ASHFORTH Equestrian, the newly appointed UK distributor of Anivac equine cleaning systems, is keen to talk to retailers interested in stocking the product or selling it on commission. Anivac's Bathing Systems are virtually mess free. Because the water recycles around the machine, there’s no need for buckets, hoses, sponges and a wash down area. The system uses Anivac’s patented Pure Oxygen, a brand of shampoo which converts to oxygen and water vapour and leaves no residue. It requires just seven litres of water per horse and, unusually, cleans from the skin outwards, rather than by wetting the coat down to the skin. The Eco-Wash-n-Vac (RRP £495) cleans one average size horse. It is portable and compact for taking to shows. For larger yards, the Proheat (as pictured being demonstrated by Ellen Whitaker) has an RRP of £1,300 and can clean up to five horses. t Ashforth Equestrian 01428 685211. 12 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Do you know Nathe? NATHE – as in bits - is often quoted as a generic term along with the likes of Hoover and Biro. The original Nathe bits, like the three-ring jointed snaffle pictured here, have been made in Germany for more than 20 years and are distributed by Waldhausen. The synthetic mouthpiece is said to promote a soft mouth by encouraging salivation and is ideal for allergyprone equines. Importantly from a safety point of view, Nathe bits have a flexible steel core which is guaranteed tear-proof by the manufacturer. The rings are made from stainless steel, and this model comes with integral bit guards. Contact,

Broken glass and horses don’t mix YOUR customers will know just how easy it is to throw a rug over a horse and accidentally hit the fluorescent light above with the fastenings. A shatterproof lamp that’s new to the equestrian world could remove the worry of broken glass ending up in the bedding. GlassGuard’s IP65 fixtures and BlackBand coated lamps have been fitted at Highland Farm Livery in Suffolk following one too many breakages. The 19 box yard is home to event and jumping rider Chloe Winchester whose father Chris (pictured) is pleased with the lighting upgrade. “I have peace of mind that if the GlassGuard lamps break, the coating will keep all the glass contained, so it won’t fall into the bed or onto the horse,” he said. Chris added that GlassGuard lamps are far brighter than his old ones as well as using 40% less electricity. GlassGuard, a division of Fotolec Technologies, is Europe’s largest manufacturer of fragment retention safety lamp coatings. The company manufactures industry compliant products for the food production, hotel and catering industries as well as schools, leisure centres and hospitals. t GlassGuard 01842 760 935.

Sign of the times PERFECT for anyone running shows, rallies or open days over the summer holidays, these warning signs target traffic concerns. Simple to tread into the ground, the signs are eyecatching and hard-wearing thanks to the recognisable warning symbol and steel construction with black Stubbyfine coating. Based on an enlarged Stubbs dressage marker, the warning is featured on both sides. The RRP for a set of two is around £24.99. t Abbey England 01565 650343 .

New mite killer FEATHER Mite, new from Net-Tex, is a powder that instantly kills mites. It works by breaking down mites’ waxy, protective coating, causing them to dehydrate and die. Feather mites can be distressing for the horse, causing leg stamping and even self-harm by chewing. Feather Mite (RRP £5.99) comes in a squeezable puff bottle to direct the powder through the hair directly onto the skin. In cases of serious infestation or heavy feathering, the hair may need to be clipped or trimmed before application. Net-Tex says the formula is effective in managing all stages of feather mite from early spring after mites hatch and throughout summer and autumn when mites are prevalent. It can be used in conjunction with Net-Tex Itch Stop Pre-Wash Shampoo. t Net-Tex 01474 813 999

Two in one leg therapy

Feed the birds!

NEW Hot-Chilly Leg Wraps from Harpley Equestrian can be warmed in the microwave or cooled in the freezer for instant hot or cold therapy for equine legs. The limb-shaped wrap easily fastens with Velcro straps and can be used to aid recovery from acute impact damage and long term chronic injuries. With a retail price of just £12.50, it’s an affordable addition to any equine first aid kit – and may prove particularly useful this competition season when ground conditions are so unpredictable. t Harpley Equestrian 0115 961 1537.

EVERYONE loves feeding wild birds; now you and your customers can help their digestive health with new Garden and Wild Bird pellets from Verm-X. The organic herbal formulation attracts birds and offers a safe, natural way to address intestinal hygiene control and improve general well being. The product can be fed daily via a feeder or straight from a bird table. It retails at around £4.98 plus VAT for a 180g pack. t Verm-X 0870 850 2313.

Exclusive additions THE Westgate EFI Trade Supplement will soon be winging its way to the wholesaler’s retail customers. The 35 page brochure contains all the latest additions to exclusive brands including Mark Todd Collection, Tekna and Likit - as well as products from new and existing suppliers. As with Westgate EFI's main trade list, unpriced counter copies are available to allow browsing by end users. t Westgate EFI 01303 872277.


Dries out damp wellies A HAMPSHIRE couple had no intention of wasting time while honeymooning in New Zealand. Having discovered Windry during their trip, Terry and Vanessa Head are now exclusive UK distributors for the product that helps dry out wellington boots. Damp wellies are simply hung on the Windry which allows air to circulate and remove moisture. The system works by catching and directing air deep into the boots so that it gets right up into the toe. All that’s required is a breeze and the boots will dry overnight - or faster in front of a fan. Windry’s two funnels clip together so that the boots stand in pairs. Boots can also be placed upside down on top of a 10mm pole to dry. This utilises the processes of forced convection and evaporation to dry them. The RRP is £15.99 per pair. Stockists are sought. t VTH Ltd 01425 476647.

A calming influence SONJA Foers’ dreams of eventing her coloured horse Lulu seemed shattered when the eight year old mare proved far too excitable. Sonja had tried a number of supplements and training methods to help keep Lulu calm and relaxed - but it was all to no avail until she started to use TopSpec Calmer. “I had great expectations of Lulu but she turned out to be really difficult,” said Sonja. “She was very sharp and spooky and even hacking out was very stressful. I fell off on a number of occasions. “I’ve used products in the TopSpec range for a number of years and decided to give the TopSpec Calmer additive a try. It has transformed my relationship with Lulu. “I used to add magnesium to her feed but things weren't getting any easier. After only three days on TopSpec Calmer, Lulu was a totally different ride and now, having been on it for a few weeks, I can’t believe the difference.” t TopSpec 01845 565030.

Point Two wants to sell new Hybrid through retailers AIR jacket manufacturer Point Two has launched its P2-RS Hybrid — the combination body protector and air vest – and wants consumers to buy it through retailers. The P2-RS consists of the BETAapproved Level 3 Racesafe with Point Two airbag technology built onto the outside. The garment is approved to EN13158 Level 3 when inflated and uninflated, and Point Two says tests have shown that when inflated, the Hybrid offers 28% more protection to a rider than wearing the Racesafe alone. Managing director Lee Middleton said: “Tests have also shown that the airbag system can help prevent impact damage to the foam’s cell structure, by cushioning the blow in a fall.” The body protector works in the same way as the Point Two ProAir — a lanyard attached to the Hybrid is clipped onto the horse’s saddle. Once the rider leaves the saddle during a fall, the lanyard detaches itself from the body protector, triggering the release of CO2 gas from a canister. The airbag takes less than a tenth of a second to inflate, offering enhanced protection to all the major thoracic and upper abdominal organs, the spine and the collar of the neck. Though sized in the same way as Racesafe body protectors, Point Two wants customers to buy the P2-RS through retailers. Each garment is sold with a spare canister that must be activated on a retailer’s premises at point of sale. “Riders need to know how it feels and sounds when activated,” explained Mr Middleton. “We also want people to realise they can move in it. We’ve been developing the P2-RS for 18 months with riders such as Ruby Walsh and Oliver Townend. And part of our testing process has been to ensure riders can roll once they’ve hit the ground.” Though it isn't accredited for use in UK competition at present, Point Two is in discussion with BETA, British Eventing and the British Horseracing Authority. It is approved for use in FEI competition. The Point Two Hybrid is available in a full range of both children’s sizes (retailing at £490) and adult (from £600). It is 19% lighter than the body protector and air jacket when used as separates. t Point Two 01403 754007. • As we went to press, ETN learnt that the RS2010 is BETA Level 3 approved, meaning the P2-RS is now available for use in UK competition.

Horse friendly aloe vera

Pessoa clothing is ‘top end’

ALOE vera, that desert lily, has disappeared off the human health radar of late. There’s heaps of robust, published research available as to its efficacy, yet as is the way of these things, it’s simply no longer ‘cool’. Now Santé Franglais is set to revive aloe vera’s reputation for horses with Aloeride. Indeed, it’s already gaining credibility with perhaps the hardest equine sector to crack – the racing market. The benefits of Aloeride are numerous and diverse. It helps achieve exceptional condition, stamina and recovery. Beautiful hooves, manes and tails are seen in horses that receive it. It supports the immune system. It helps support gastrointestinal health too - the manufacturers are planning a study on equine gastric ulcers. In order to support retailers, Santé Franglais has neatly overcome any confusion about so many advantages with clear but not overwhelming product information and a power point presentation for staff training. Helpfully, the product’s shelf life is two years – or more if kept frozen. Aloeride is beautifully presented in a box of 30 one-per-day sachets for easy, accurate administration. The pure, organic ingredient is dried and, importantly when most horses hate the taste of aloe vera, palatable. The quality of ingredients used and method of production – by a company that normally makes pharmaceutical medicines for clinic trials - also set Aloeride apart. By now, you’re probably thinking this is going to be expensive...but in fact one Aloeride carton of 30 sachets equates to 12 litres of its original aloe vera juice, making it highly concentrated. Heaven knows what 12 litres of aloe vera would cost, yet the RRP for one box of Aloeride is an affordable £55.20. ETN has been trying Aloeride, writes Liz Benwell. We’re 21 sachets into a box and can report that the horse concerned has the most amazingly soft coat, mane and tail. It will be very interesting to see what the farrier has to say about his hooves on his next visit... As I look at this horse positively glistening in the sunshine, I’m reminded that not all aloe vera supplements are the same. t Santé Franglais 01858 464550.

THE new R Pessoa clothing collection from Horseware is aimed at the top end of the market. The range combines high street looks with equestrian practicality, enhanced with the legendary name of Pessoa and trusted Horseware brand. The collection has two ‘stories’. The casual collection is further divided into two ranges, Sport and Glamour; while the R Pessoa competition line which is designed for competition riders and includes competition jackets, breeches and jackets. t Horseware Ireland 00353 429 389000.

Top selling joint supplement available to trade COSEQUIN Equine the world’s top selling joint supplement – is to be sold through retailers. Although Intervet/Schering-Plough’s move away from vet-only supply was announced in ETN last year, it’s only now that stocks are available through wholesalers Battles and Trilanco and the product is being promoted to consumers to buy via retailers. An important part of the consumer promotion is Club Cosequin, a network of riders with a growing following on Facebook whose horses have benefited from the product. Tried and tested by vets for many years, Cosequin Equine is a nutraceutical manufactured to human pharmaceutical standards. Containing a concentrated and highly purified combination of glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulphate, manganese sulphate and vitamin E, the product is formulated to help maintain articular cartilage structure as well as the health and function of joint structures – ligaments, tendons and joint fluid. All three key ingredients in the product have been proven individually and shown to act synergistically together for optimal joint health support over time. Sarah-Jane Minter, marketing manager for Cosequin Equine in the UK, said: “Cosequin Equine stands out as a proven product. This is an important step to bring what is already a global best-seller to the UK equestrian retail sector with potential for strong growth in the market.” t Battles 01522 529206 or Trilanco 01253 891697. 16 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

New look Likit holder LIKIT Products are changing the way they package their Likit holders. The product will in future be sold without the inclusion of a Likit treat block. Marketing manager, Lindsay Gall, explained: "While the original packaging made a great starter pack, selling the Likit refills and holder separately reduces bulk for shipping and stocking, also the end user can choose the colour and flavour combination that they prefer. “Selling the items as a complete package also meant that the Likit itself was subject to VAT, so buying separately should represent a saving to the end user while maintaining retailer margins with a suggested selling price of £9.99." Likit, solely distributed by Westgate EFI, has also launched a Likit Treat Bar Value Pack containing four assorted flavours: mint, apple, carrot and cherry. t Westgate EFI 01303 872277.


NEW calmers from Blue Chip come in syringe form and combine magnesium, l-tryptophan and vitamin C. Labelled as ‘non-drowsy’ and ‘suitable for use in competition’, they are named Carrotcalm and Applecalm reflecting their respective flavours. t Blue Chip 0114 266 6200.

TRILANCO’s new catalogue is out. “It’s is a bit different from previous years,” said Martin Balmer, managing director of Trilanco. “There’s an image for every product, and we’ve printed two versions, an unpriced one for customers to peruse, and a priced one to help you place your order.” There are new products from existing suppliers plus additions from Charles Owen and Cabotswood, as well as a number of own brands exclusive to Trilanco such as Z-itch, Easidri, ProTack and MacTack. t Trilanco 01253 888188. SEE MORE NEW PRODUCTS IN ‘BELOW THE BELT’ ON PAGE 34

• Vicky Archer has joined show preparation

product supplier Supreme Products as area sales executive for the south of England. She has previously worked in the equine feed and healthcare sectors and is a keen showing competitor competing in hack and side-saddle classes as well as producing show ponies. “Supreme Products are fantastic,” said Vicky.”I’ve used them to help with top class turnout on my own horses and ponies for many years.”

• Former beauty marketer Melanie Leando has become head of communications for equine and canine care brand Groomers. Melanie owns and competes her horse Macchiato. Paula Bryan, Groomers’ commercial director, said she was “delighted with the appointment which will help manage our continued growth.”

• The Ideal Saddle Company has appointed

Jim Revilles (40) as product development manager. The new post will see Jim working on the development of new saddles as well as the marketing side of the business. He has been acting as a consultant for Ideal. A former instructor in the Royal Air Force (RAF), Jim was a member of the RAF’s Show Jumping and Eventing Squad. He owns four horses, including an exracehorse on which he competes in eventing and dressage. He also rides Midas Touch, a 19hh Shire x Thoroughbred owned by his new employers.

• Wendy Beal is the new store manager at retailer R&R Country’s Melton Mowbray branch which opened earlier this year. “Wendy has joined us at such an exciting time,” said Sue Moxon. A new feed barn, selling a wide range of products including R&R Country’s own brand feed, was due to open on 16 July.

• Peter Barrie is retiring after 21 years as a sales representative in the equestrian trade. Based in Yorkshire, he has been working most recently for Tagg Equestrian. Peter joined Thomas Loveday in 1990 and continued with the company, going on to sell the Loveson and Fal Pro brands after the company’s acquisition by Tagg Equestrian last year. . “Peter will be much missed as a member of the team,” said Paul Kirby who has worked with him throughout his two decades in the trade. Tom Eastwood, managing director of Tagg Equestrian, added: “Peter is the epitome of the professional, much respected company representative. There are few of his ilk left in the trade today, although we are lucky to employ some of the best here at Tagg Equestrian. Peter will be much missed by us and his customers.” • Kim Dyer has left Belstane Marketing and tells us she is moving to be the new area sales manager for Dengie Crops, covering the East Midlands and East Anglia.

• Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health’s equine specialist in the • Jayne Baxter, who runs Throstle Nest Saddlery near Barnsley, has been winning elementary level dressage competitions with Golden Hue. Jayne’s horse was previously four-star evented by Oliver Townend.

south of England Kirsty Prudon and equine vet Chris Pearce set themselves the challenge of water ski-ing around the 60-mile circumference of the Isle of Wight in a fund-raising epic for paradressage rider Debbie Hounsome. Braving wind and tide - not to mention navigating The Needles, Kirsty and Chris were to be joined on the five hour ski from Cowes by fellow skiers Emma Rawlings and Oliver Webb.

• Rupert Fairfax of Fairfax Saddles is part-way through a nine

week stint on crutches having come to grief at his sons’ school sports day. He managed to tear his Achilles tendon at the start of the fathers’ sprint race. Rupert was there cheering on Will (7) and James (5) but could be forced to review his own participation in 2012. “Next year he will be entering the egg and spoon race instead,” said Rupert’s wife and co-director Vanessa Fairfax.

• Horse&Rider and PONY

magazines publisher DJ Murphy has recruited Sam Morris-Warburton to the new role of digital marketing executive. Said marketing manager Zoe Cannon: “This new position brings exciting opportunities for the PONY and Horse&Rider Magazine brands which have proved their value for readers and advertisers across all platforms. We’re connecting with our readers more than ever before, which creates even better magazines and customer loyalty.” With a background in e-commerce and equine experience from racing to showjumping and polo, Sam has recently been running the polo inspired clothing label Stickhedz which is now overseen by his wife and partner.


• Andrea Sexton, who looks after German clothing brand eurostar in the UK, is awaiting the patter of tiny feet and has just started maternity leave. Her stand-in is Fabian Sullow.

Greenwich passes the test – and sparks Olympic excitement... To begin ETN’s celebration of British equestrian business and sport, Liz Benwell reports from cross country day of the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational – the 2012 Olympic test event – on 4-6 July.


t was a very different event with airportstyle security checks on entry, no tradestands, no dogs and no Pimms.

There was, however, genuine pre-Olympic excitement. As 5,000 spectators gazed out beyond the cross country fences to a sundrenched City of London skyline, they all wanted it to work. The test event was run by the 2012 Olympic organisers LOCOG as part of its London Prepares series to trial the logistics of holding equestrian events on this virgin site. There to watch by invitation were press, riders, trainers, team managers and representatives from the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) member bodies, including BETA. 41 riders from 23 different nations competed over three days. Other invitees were hundreds of local schoolchildren whose uninhibited cheering of each horse and rider as they tackled the twisty cross country course was a joy to hear. Doesn’t the rider who allegedly filed an official complaint about excessive noise on course realise that bringing equestrian sport to the wider public – even ethnic minorities in inner cities – is crucial to its continued Olympic status and future prosperity? Bringing the equestrian events into the heart of the Olympic activities, with riders staying in the Olympic village alongside other athletes, was another oft-cited reason for supporting Greenwich. Only half the available parkland was used for what was a two-star test event. Perhaps the only valid doubt on a beautifully organised day was how ten times as many spectators will be comfortably accommodated for the Olympics proper when 5,000 in 50% of the space on test day seemed fairly well populated.

William Fox-Pitt tests the Greenwich cross country (Photo: Kit Houghton).

The cross country course rode well, while riders were full of praise for the Andrews Bowen surface in the arena, although the show jumpers had reservations. The breath-taking view from the grandstand, over the Maritime Museum to the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf one way and to the Greenwich Observatory on the hill the other, justifies LOCOG’s belief in this The ‘test gold medal’ went to Britain’s Piggy French (Photo: Kit Houghton).

site. Outside the gates of the Royal Park was a very small and very civilized demonstration by Greenwich residents who would rather see the equestrian events taking place anywhere but on their doorsteps. Instead of spending a claimed £42 million on turning the 600 year old Royal Park into an instant venue, why not invest in a permanent facility that will leave a post-Olympic legacy, they argued. “The site is too small for Olympic standard facilities such as gallops and training areas. We would much rather see a fan zone here for supporters to watch the competitions on big screens and the equestrian Olympic events proper held at Windsor,” said Sev D’Souza of No To Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events (NOGOE). But for the vast majority present at the test event, enthusiasm for their sport clearly overcame any environmental and historical concerns. One local protestor was earnestly explaining how it was unfair to close Greenwich Park for

the duration of the event because, back in 1827, King William had decreed that it would always remain open to the public “King William?” said a passing eventing fan who happened to overhear “wasn’t he Mary King’s horse?” As the crowds trooped home, the cross country fences could be seen leaving the park on trailers. LOCOG, it seems, are determined to be as good as their PR promise to return Greenwich Park intact to the dog walkers and families until they return in 2012. And as for legacy, if only 0.1% of those schoolchildren go home and manage to pester their parents into taking them for riding lessons, that’s good enough for me. • The official Team GBR suppliers are Dodson & Horrell, Land Rover, Horsehage, Mears Country Jackets, NAF, NuuMed, Patey Hats, Point Two, Thermatex, Toggi and Travel Places. Pippa Funnell and surreal backdrop (Photo: Kit Houghton).



“It’s wonderful to be royally recognised” Earlier this year, probiotic supplements manufacturer Protexin scooped a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. ETN caught up with Jonathan Nelson, director of Protexin Equine Premium, to find out more.


he Queen’s Award for Enterprise is made for business performance, Protexin being recognised for its continuous achievement in international trade. So does that mean it’s all about the overseas market for this company? “Certainly not,” said Jonathan. “We’re extremely proud of our international trade record and it is wonderful to see our efforts royally recognised, but the domestic market is every bit as important to us, and in equine terms, perhaps even more so.” Protexin has specialised in the research and manufacture of probiotic products for animals and humans for over 20 years. However, the company has boosted its equine product portfolio over the last three years. Protexin’s Equine Premium range of probiotics and prebiotics is developed to protect and support the horse’s digestive system, as Jonathan explained: “Horses, much like humans, are sensitive to environmental stresses and digestive distress. Research shows that probiotics are a fantastic way of maintaining a healthy gut.” Key to Protexin’s success has been investment in scientific research, all of which is based in the UK. The Queen’s Award “From the outset, we wanted for Enterprise is to ensure our products were presented for properly researched and business performance. developed, not only to ensure they were safe, but so we could be sure they would work,” said Jonathan. The ethos behind Protexin’s product development is ‘science and nature in balance. “Nature is an ideal source of effective healthcare products,” said Jonathan. “We also know that too much refining of natural elements can reduce Best seller: Equine their effectiveness. That’s Premium Gut Balancer. why it’s so important to keep a good balance between 22 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Jonathan Nelson with Bud and Riley.

nature and scientific development.” The philosophy seems to be working. But with the company’s sales growing, particularly internationally, how committed is Protexin to staying in the UK in the future? “As a family-owned and run company, we took a conscious decision to base all our research, development and manufacturing functions in this country,” Jonathan explained. “Probiotic micro-organisms can be difficult to handle and require a high level of technical know-how and specialist machinery. Every one of our products is manufactured at our purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities in Somerset where we are fully in control and able to maintain the high quality standards required.” Britain is also the place to be to tap into the wider scientific community, he added: “The science behind probiotics is an exciting and still emerging area

and some of the UK’s universities and research centres are leading the field in developing our understanding and application of these cultures. “As an industry leader in this market, I believe we should be investing in Britain’s long-term future in further developing probiotics.” t Protexin Equine Premium 01460 243230.

Company factfile • Year started: 1992 • Number of staff: 60 • Based: Somerset • Divisions: Protexin Health Care, Protexin Veterinary, Protexin Animal Health • Number of countries export to: 60 • Most popular range: Protexin Veterinary • Most popular product in the Equine Premium range: Gut Balancer • British credentials: All product design/development/manufacturing is done in-house, in the UK.

Made in Britain They’re making grooming products to show jumps, rodent bait to numnahs, television programmes to feed and forage. Yes, British equestrian manufactures are diverse, inventive and more numerous than you might imagine. ETN salutes them!

The manufacturer: Talisker Bay makes Likit Products, the robust stable toys designed to enhance the horse’s environment and help reduce stress and stable boredom. Operating since 2002 and based in Kirkmichael in Ayrshire, the Likit factory is a modern facility employing ten people and capable of producing up to 8,000 Likit refills a day. Benefits to retailers: Because Talisker Bay manufactures to order, its customers can be assured of fresh produce with a maximum shelf life. The company sources as many raw materials as possible from the UK to ensure consistent quality. In addition, all packaging is made in the UK with plastics moulded in Kent. “The aim is to maintain exacting standards and monitor quality control more easily,” said a spokesman. t Talisker Bay 01655 750523 or for UK sales Westgate EFI 01303 872277. The manufacturer: Formed in 1989, Norfolk based Barrier Animal Healthcare makes more than 50 natural products for horses, cattle, sheep, poultry and small pets. Among its best-sellers is Barrier H for all-year-round ragwort control. “We really do work with nature ensuring that all our products are totally free from chemicals, safe, kind to the animal, the user and to the environment,” says a spokesman. Barrier products are also renowned for their effectiveness and good value for money. Benefits to retailers: All Barrier products are suitable for use in organic farming systems and all its insect repellents are fully HSE (Health & Safety Executive) approved and licensed. The equine range is free from all prohibited substances under current FEI and HRA Rules. t Barrier Animal Healthcare 01953 456363

The manufacturer: IV Horse Ltd produces the IV Horse, Greenwood, Jammyhorse, Four Seasons Collection, Castle Horse, 4Dogs Only! and Gollycat brands. The business began manufacturing in the UK as a family business in 1996, drawing experience from the family textile history in West Yorkshire. “We have two main plants, one in Aberdeenshire and one in West Yorkshire,” said James Kontargyris, marketing manager. “We also have a small number of satellite units close to these locations, which cater for our craftbased out-worker produced items. We manufacture for a select number of other brands and UK companies too.” Each IV Horse main factory is approximately 5,000 square feet in size; the company employs around 20 people. “To ensure our products meet the high quality our brand users demand, our products are produced individually by hand, although we do have some cutting edge technology to help the process,” added James. Benefits to retailers: IV Horse offers many colourways, bindings, fabrics, style, cut and embroidery combinations and options at quality levels and price points which it says would be impossible to achieve with only overseas contract manufacture. Short lead times involve days rather than weeks or months, even for specialist or unique orders. This means retailers can be flexible with their stock levels, says the company, ordering ahead while also reacting to customers’ immediate demands. Bespoke services include embroidery. t IV Horse 01888 544261


The manufacturer: This year, W.B. Stubbs celebrates 175 years of manufacturing in Britain. The company, which has two factories in Nottinghamshire, is still family owned and run, the current managing director Chris Bradwell (pictured below) being a direct descendent. The company originally prospered by developing and making trucks and trolleys, with its manufacturing skills in steel fabrication, sheet metal work, plastic moulding, plastic coating and paint spraying successfully being transferred to the creation of stable and tackroom equipment. Benefits to retailers: W.B. Stubbs innovates – it never imitates, ensuring this manufacturer is a source of fresh, new products to keep equestrian customers constantly interested. The Stubbs England label can be found on some of the most popular, inventive labour-and-time-saving devices known to the equestrian world. And in the UK they’re conveniently available from leading wholesalers including Battles, Trilanco, Abbey England, Ackland Clark, Saddlery Trade Services and Jenkinsons. t Contact your wholesaler.


The manufacturer: Horse & Country TV (H&C TV Ltd) has been broadcasting from its British base since July 2007. Besides the digital television channel broadcasting 24/7 on Sky 280 in the UK and Ireland, the station also produces TV programmes and online content for its website and DVDs. Based in Cwmbran in Wales, H&C TV has a team of ten people. It has commissioned and produced TV series such as At Home with Carl Hester, a five-part documentary series about Britain’s top Olympic dressage rider (pictured relaxing during filming); extended coverage of Badminton Horse Trials; documentaries such as Howard Kirby: Gun Dog Guy and How to Succeed at Prelim plus numerous horse sport events, masterclasses, country lifestyle programming and regular series for the farming community. Benefits to retailers: In-depth knowledge of the equestrian market plus up-to-the-minute coverage and news stories too, says H&C TV. t H&C TV 01633 647948

The manufacturer: Established in 1995, PelGar employs 25 staff at its headquarters in Alton, Hampshire where it designs, formulates and manufactures products for the UK pest control market. It has recently expanded its export business to the US and Australia. “We’re proud to support British farming by procuring all our food grade ingredients from the UK,” said PelGar’s technical director Jonathan Wade. “Other companies supplying products in this specialist market sector are German, French and American multinationals, so being a solely British company is unique.” PelGar’s rodenticide brands - Roban (difenacoum), Rodex (bromadiolone) and Vertox (brodifacoum) - are formulated as loose grain, wax blocks or pasta bait to tackle every kind of rodent infestation encountered in and around equestrian premises. Benefits to retailers: Buying British made PelGar products means limiting the food miles and carbon footprint of the baits. The company has also invested in research and development to stay one step ahead of constantly evolving rodent control problems – a huge benefit to feed merchants. Keen to increase knowledge of rodent control among the supply chain, PelGar has produced a DVD Six Steps to Successful Rodent Control. It’s available via PelGar or can be accessed online on You Tube – search PelGar. PelGar’s rodenticide products are marketed through Battles. t PelGar 01420 80744. The manufacturer: Fairfax Saddles Ltd is the umbrella trading company for the Fairfax, Kent & Masters, Thorowgood and Prolite brands. Its saddles and saddlery accessories have been manufactured in Walsall for 26 years. The company employs more than 70 people at its two British based factories. Trusted for providing a variety of workable saddle fitting solutions and a wide choice for consumers across a variety of disciplines, riding styles and price points, the launch of the Kent & Masters range (pictured) has marked a return to traditional British saddle values and looks. Benefits to retailers: Fairfax Saddles’ products are designed by people with a strong and active equine knowledge. “It’s the link with the British horsey culture that counts,” says director Rupert Fairfax. t Fairfax Saddles 01922 711676. The manufacturer: Griffin NuuMed has been making numnahs and saddlepad at its factory in Somerset for more than 20 years. Around 20 people are employed. With approximately 3,000 different designs available, this manufacturer can meet almost every customer’s requirements. Griffin’s innovative NuuMed’s HiWither design has won the company many plaudits, as has its use of British wool – “still the number one material to put on a horse’s back,” says Griffin’s Ros Burridge. Although some materials are hand cut, Griffin NuuMed’s factory uses computerised cutting to provide accurate dimensions of all its products, thus guaranteeing consistency from batch to batch. All products are then machined by hand, then hand finished and checked. Benefits to retailers: If not already in stock, the majority of products can be produced and sent out in around five working days. In addition, any customisation a customer may require can normally be made in a similar timeframe. “It would be hard to find an overseas manufacturer that could meet this time scale,” said Ros. t Griffin NuuMed 01458 210324.


The manufacturer: easibed makes easibed equine bedding, easichick poultry bedding and easicattle cattle bedding at its factory in Manchester. easibed’s parent company Hadfield Wood Recyclers was founded in the late 1980s and was one of the UK’s first wood recycling companies. The Hadfield family came from a farming background and so recognised the benefits of recycling wood into animal beddings. The company launched easibed almost ten years ago; easichick and easicattle followed shortly afterwards. The company has three main sites which between them can process more than 400,000 tonnes of recycled wood a year. easibed has invested heavily in specialist cleaning and processing equipment to manufacture high quality animal bedding. Earlier this year, a £1m baling machine, capable of producing 1.5 million bales of bedding a year, was installed at its Manchester headquarters. Benefits to retailers: “We have researched each of our markets and developed products specifically for them,” said a spokesman. “All of our products are bespoke to their particular customer needs, including dust free and absorbent. We treat some products with organic additives; easibed has Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ approval. “With sites across the UK, we can deliver our products anywhere in the country at competitive prices. easibed and our other animal beddings are well-known and trusted brands with a reputation for quality and consistency.” t easibed 0161 370 2360 The manufacturer: Saracen Horse Feeds has existed since 1987, although its parent company has traded since 1840. Located in Aylesford near Maidstone, Kent on a site incorporating a state-of-the-art, modern mill, warehouses, offices and country store, Saracen employs around 40 people. Benefits to retailers: “Customers can be confident that they are supporting British agriculture as we source as many ingredients as possible from all over the UK and use a variety of local and nationwide companies in all aspects of our business,” says Saracen. t Saracen Horse Feeds 01622 718487


The manufacturer: Net-Tex Industries was established in 1983 and today lays claim to being the biggest British manufacturer of nonprescription animal health products for equines, farm animals, pets and poultry. Best-known in the equestrian market are Genesis products for leisure and hobby riders, “Carl Hester” products for performance horses and “Lynn Russell” products for showing and easy care. All equine products are made and packed in the Net-Tex factories near Rochester in Kent. “Net-Tex sources the best ingredients and raw materials from around the world,” said managing director Tony Meakin (pictured). “Our chemists and herbalists continuously research new formulations in the laboratory, then watch over their manufacture in the ‘clean room’ environments of the factories.” Net-Tex employs 30 skilled operators in two ISO9001:2008 accredited factories, one of which is FEMAS accredited for the manufacture of food grade products [essential for products given orally]. Benefits to retailers: “Many retailers have relied on Net-Tex to keep them going during the current recession,” said Tony Meakin. “No other manufacturer has given them so many new, interesting products to create demand in the depressed market place because Net-Tex has remained innovative when others have kept low profiles. “Also, Net-Tex has maintained a ‘no minimum order number’ policy allowing retailers to pick and choose products to make up their orders without having to overstock.” t Net-Tex 01474 813999

The manufacturer: Rockies produces salt and mineral licks for horses and other livestock. Less well known is that its parent company, Tithebarn, is situated within the heart of the best European salt beds…in Cheshire. Local salt is brought to Rockies’ Winsford headquarters where it’s processed, formed into blocks and exposed to pressure of over 10,000 kilos per square inch to ensure density, hardness and longevity. Benefits to retailers: In addition to supplying the UK market – where they are every horse’s must-have, Rockies’ licks are exported to more than 50 countries worldwide. t Rockies 01606 595025.

The manufacturer: Supreme Products, supplier of products for the show ring and essential horse care, was founded in 1993. “We’re proud that our products and garments are made in Britain,” said the company’s Sarah Turnbull. “They undergo extensive testing to ensure they are the best available. Our hoods and garments are manufactured locally here in Yorkshire.” Benefits to retailers: “We have expanded our sales team and are delighted to report the product ranges are proving more and more popular with retailers and their customers,” said Sarah. Rewarding British riders is also a priority for Supreme Products, something which also supports retailers by raising awareness of the products. Sponsored riders include Robert Walker – and the newest member of the Supreme team, the rising star of British dressage and a hot tip for London 2012, Charlotte Dujardin (pictured). t Supreme Products 01377 229050. The manufacturer: Thirty-five years on from its invention by Devon farmer Mark Westaway, HorseHage is a brand leader across the world. Made in Britain by four licensed, regional producers, HorseHage was originally invented as a solution to Mark’s own horses’ coughing problems. Today it holds a Royal Warrant and is the official forage supplier to the British Equestrian teams. Benefits to retailers: “HorseHage is a dust-free, bagged forage which has been grown from selected grasses which are sown for this purpose with production analysed daily,” said Chris Tar of HorseHage. This is an instantly recognisable, trusted British brand; easy for retailers to store and stock and convenient for horse owners to handle. It also comes with a full nutritional analysis, a 100% quality guarantee and is FEMAS certified.” t HorseHage 01803 527257


Why we’re backing Britain – How NAF’s massive support for equestrianism is a ‘win-win’ situation for riders and retailers. Supplements and horse care specialist NAF (Natural Animal Feeds) is as British as fish and chips or Land of Hope & Glory – and is celebrating its patriotism by backing the British equestrian teams in their bid for medals at London 2012. Established for more than a quarter of a century, NAF makes its products at its Monmouth factory which was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2008. It was the Princess’s second visit to the company. NAF manufacturers using a combination of traditional methods – some of the beautiful barrels in which the natural raw materials arrive are more than 25 years old – and highly technical, laboratory based science. “We use only the best natural ingredients, which are fully traceable and are combined to create unique formulas by our team of veterinarian scientists and nutritionists,” said NAF’s Tracey Lloyd. “The result is an extensive range of products, which is designed to offer something for your customers’ horses’ every need.” NAF has been assessed and approved by Certified Quality Systems, to meet the Quality Standard of ISO 9001. This ensures it has carefully regulated systems in place for the monitoring of quality control and administrative management. NAF is an Official Supplier to the British Equestrian Team, which enables riders from all British Team disciplines to use NAF products, under the direction of their team vets, to support the health and fitness of their team horses when competing for their country. “We’re working closely with many athletes for all the BEF supported disciplines. Not only the main three [show jumping, dressage and eventing], we’re also providing nutritional support to the vaulting, driving and endurance horses, and just recently we’ve supplied products for the horses used in the Polocrosse World Cup. A number of our Para Olympians are also finding NAF products extremely helpful,” said Tracey “Headed up by NAF’s UK sales manager, Lorna George, our nutritionists work closely with the British Team Riders. We visit their yards, work with them and, importantly, their head grooms and stable staff to assess each individual horse’s needs. We then recommend the most suitable formulas from our range. We’ve had some huge success stories, and, to our immense delight, the riders have been greatly appreciative and incredibly supportive of our involvement,” Although much of the work NAF does with international riders remains confidential, many competitors are only too keen to go on the record to proclaim how well various NAF products work. “Laura Bechtolsheimer and Team Eilberg have recently been competing in Europe, in very hot conditions, where they used our Electo Salts. Peter Charles and Henriette Andersen endorse Pink Powder and Superflex after both noticed marked improvements in their horses as a result of feeding the products.


“New leading lights in eventing Laura Collett and Emily Baldwin use and endorse Superflex plus other products. Laura Bechtosheimer and Lucy Wiegersma have great confidence in our new first aid range, NaturalintX. NAF’s unique status as Official Supplier of feed supplements and care products to the British Equestrian Team enables them to use the coveted official logo (pictured) on their products. Said Tracey: “We are extremely fortunate to be in a position to give back to our industry. In addition to our support of the British Equestrian Team, we also invest heavily in sponsorship of British Riding Clubs, British Dressage, British Showjumping and British Eventing, so riders in all disciplines at all levels benefit. So how do retailers benefit? “We actively encourage our stockists to shout about what we do so that they may benefit from the spin off,” said Tracey “We know our commitment is hugely appreciated by consumers. By highlighting NAF’s investments, our retailers become part of the goodwill it creates. This increases the feel good factor which in turn they can utilise to increase their sales. By working together we create a win, win situation for us all!” t NAF 0800 373106

The manufacturer: Champion Manufacturing is based in Cardiff and has been manufacturing protective safety wear, notably riding hats, helmets and body protectors, for 30 years. The family run company was founded by John Ayres, chairman of Finest Brands International (FBI). More than 70 are employed within Champion and its sister companies, FBI and Proline. The latest technology and highly skilled staff combine to manufacture Champion products. As all Champion hats carry the BSI Kitemark, they are subject to rigorous testing and quality control procedures throughout production. Benefits to retailers: “Having the Champion factory in Britain allows us to operate a strict Total Quality Management philosophy at every stage – from new product development, to production, to shipping and customer service. This allows us to be 100% confident in the quality and performance of each and every product we sell, which is crucial as we’re in the business of rider safety,” said a spokesman. “Exceptional customer service is another benefit. We have solid, long term relationships with our suppliers for raw materials and components and they will always go the extra mile for us because they know we’re loyal. This allows us dramatically to reduce production lead times once designs have been perfected and with production under our control in Cardiff, we can manufacture and ship product within days, rather than the weeks or even months required by overseas manufacturers.” t FBI 0113 270 7000

The manufacturer: Classic Showjumps are made in Bury, Lancashire. “Ever since we became a limited company in 1902, we’ve been based here and I wouldn’t envisage that ever changing,” said joint managing director Giles Fielding. Classic Showjumps’ parent company Excelsior Group International was originally a horse drawn coal cart operation. “So to me it’s ironic that over 100 years later we’re back in business with horses,” said Giles. “Much has changed since then of course, and we now operate from two large sites and employ over 100 people across the Group. “We are primarily rotational moulders, a process that we have used since the mid 1970s. Although it is a more basic process than, for example, injection moulding, it is ideally suited to the equestrian market because the material used is extremely strong yet slightly flexible – perfect for taking big knocks and for being left outside all year round.” Benefits to retailers: “We quickly established that retailers want quality product at a good price, delivered as quickly as possible,” said Giles. “We felt that if we could achieve that, the majority of customers would much prefer to buy from us [as British manufacturers] than they would from China for example. So far things are working well for us. “Added to that is the fact that we can manufacture our jumping poles in any colour, so if someone wants a five band pole in five different colours, that’s absolutely fine. We are extremely flexible - you have to be in the current climate.”

Why we buy British As many retailers know to their advantage, if you want something from a bit to a workshop tool that’s hard to find, just call Abbey England and they’ll be able to help. Said Chris Taylor of Saddler’s Den (pictured) – “I’ve been working with Abbey for over 20 years and they’re always a pleasure to deal with. They supply me with mainly leather and hardware, such as buckles. Abbey is within driving distance so I can visit them to collect items and view products, something I couldn’t do with a supplier outside the UK.” As well as wholesaling, Abbey is a manufacturing force. Abbey bits are all British made. “As Abbey is a British based supplier we greatly value having someone available to talk to at the other end of the phone,” said ‘PJ’ of retailer Bit World. “They supply us with custom made mouthpieces and more unusual bits which we would struggle to find elsewhere.” Jodie Hook, of Horse Bit Bank, added: “Abbey is probably one of the only British handmade bit manufacturers left; the bits are exceptional quality and Abbey is able to supply very unusual bits and special orders.” Abbey expanded its manufacturing capacity by acquiring Liston Locks, the last British brass case lock maker, in 2009 and now produces locks for the fashion and motoring industries. “Whilst this aspect of the business might not seem as glamorous, we are maintaining a vital part of the West Midlands production capabilities with spare parts for the automobile industry, industrial fridge maintenance, as well as the Brass Liston Locks which appear on many of the finest gun cases and luggage available today,” said Richard Brown of Abbey. Abbey also owns B.B. Stanley Brothers of Walsall. The last remaining brass buckle foundry in the UK Saddlery trade was established in 1832 and has built up an unrivalled range of patterns over the years, covering all types and sizes of headcollar and harness fittings and forming an essential part of England’s saddlery output and history. t Abbey England 01565 650343


A saddler extraordinaire As part of ETN’s celebration of the best of British, Pat Crawford reviews the contribution Mark Romain has made to the saddlery industry.


he craft industries, revered for centuries, went through some lean years during the twentieth century as ‘technology’ reigned supreme. Today, there’s renewed demand for craftsmanship. Yet craftsmanship can survive and succeed in business and lifestyle terms only if the right training is available. Step forward Mark Romain. Earlier this year, Mark was awarded a Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) Fellowship – a rare accolade and so well deserved in this case that its presentation prompted longest standing ovation ever bestowed by SMS members. Most of those working in the equestrian industry will associate Mark with the Saddlery Training Centre (STC). The establishment has an impeccable reputation in this country and a growing one around the globe. Without a doubt, the STC makes a colossal contribution to the world-class calibre of the craftsmanship in the British saddlery and harness industry. Yet - if things had been different – if potential disaster hadn’t intervened – the STC might have never been. Mark’s career involves luck, drama, grit, talent, motivation and determination. Brought up in Wilton where his parents ran an antique shop, Mark was used to beautiful things made by craftsmen of yesteryear, Even so, on leaving school he really didn’t know what he wanted to do. Mark’s school careers’ advisor had not really helped and so Mark looked around. He discovered an opportunity to train as a bespoke coachbuilder with a firm that specialised in manufacturing heavy goods vehicles. Six months later – coinciding with Mark recognising that he had definitely made the wrong choice - he heard that a longestablished saddlery firm in Salisbury was thinking of taking on an apprentice. Mark got the position and he was with Sidney Ingram from 1973-86 during which time he qualified as a Master Saddler and a Master Harness-maker. And not only that: because Ingram’s were also substantial 30 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

retailers of travel goods, shooting equipment and other leather requisites, Mark had plenty of opportunities to extend his experience into widely ranging areas. In 1986, after nearly fourteen happy years with Ingram’s, Mark heard that CoSIRA was looking for a training advisor. The Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas (subsequently superseded by the Rural Development Commission and then by the Countryside Agency) appointed Mark as their Saddlery Advisor at the purpose-built workshops in Salisbury that were opened in 1980. CoSIRA had a good reputation for providing craft training in a variety of traditional skills and Mark travelled to all parts of the country delivering on-site saddlery instruction as well as organising apprentice training and other specialist courses from the workshops in Salisbury. In 2000 calamity struck. By that time the Countryside Agency (CA) had taken over the RDC and, shortly after the take-over, the new agency made the decision to close the Salisbury workshops and sell off the building that housed the workshops and offices. A nightmare situation arose. Some craft training (wrought ironwork, furniture-making, upholstery and wheelwrighting) was picked up by Hereford College. Mark and his wife Dawn took a different – and very brave – route. The time was ‘sensitive’ in that their son Colin was coming up to A-levels with plans for university and so money was important. Nevertheless, they made the decision to go it alone and set up their own training establishment, the STC. Mark and Dawn received enormous encouragement and help from the SMS and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Steven Brereton-Martin, at that time The Clerk at The Saddlers’ Company, and Tony Russell – then chief executive at the SMS – were especially supportive. Much has happened since. The STC goes from strength to strength. All apprentices indentured to the Millennium and/or the Modern Apprenticeship schemes undertake part of their training with Mark. In addition, the STC offers a range of courses for Qualified and Master Saddlers. The numbers of trainees from abroad is also growing and the STC is recognised as a centre of excellence. Perhaps the biggest proof of the pudding relates to trainees’ comments. Every trainee – past or present – is full of praise for the teaching and the support provided by Mark and Dawn.

Mark Romain receives his Fellowship of the SMS from the society’s president Denise Silman – and gets the longest standing ovation, ever.

Mark Romain – achievements so far... • Master Saddler and Master Harness-

maker. • Over 38 years’ experience of the saddlery industry. • Visited saddleries and associated businesses throughout England as part of CoSIRA’s advisory and business support unit. • Played a major role in the development of the Millennium Apprenticeship Scheme. • Responsible for implementing the new Modern Apprenticeship Scheme • Gained a Licentiateship from City Guilds in recognition of saddlery and leatherworking skills. • Contributed to the training of over 150 apprentices and over 1,500 saddlery course candidates. • Set up the Saddlery Training Centre (with Dawn, his wife) as a private enterprise institution. • Moved the STC to new, specificallymodified premises in 2005. • Member of the SMS Executive Committee for 20 years, President 1999-2000 and Training Advisor since 2002. • Liveryman, The Worshipful Company of Saddlers. • Member of the Saddlery Steering Group and working group that maintains City & Guilds and NVQ saddlery qualifications. • Instrumental in encouraging and developing high craft and skill standards throughout the industry. • Instrumental in the revival of threatened skills such as side saddle-making, side saddle-refurbishment and traditional collar making. • Senior judge at the SMS National Competitions. • Helped to promote recognition and understanding of the excellence of the UK saddlery industry.

It might happen to you...

move premises and carry on trading. Whether you decide on Business Interruption to Increase Cost of Working will depend on your occupation and trade. Your insurance advisor should guide you in this respect.

Taking the ‘it won’t happen to me’ approach is not a viable attitude when it comes to business. Oliver Lawton from Shearwater Insurance explains the three main types of commercial insurance. Stand alone Public & Employers Liability policies This is provided either on a per capita basis which is restricted to certain trades (maximum 10 people) or a Minimum Deposit basis, based on the estimated turnover and wage roll provided at the inception of the policy, and are usually adjustable by declaration of your actual wage roll and turnover at the end of the policy period. However, Public & Employers Liability is normally included on many package policies so it is therefore sometimes more economical to go with a package policy. Package Policies There are Package Policies designed specifically for certain classes of business known as Small Medium Enterprises (SME) for example, tack shops, retailers and offices. A Package Policy will include certain covers on an ‘automatic basis’ which are essentially given to clients free of charge and will include Public & Employers Liability, Business Interruption, and Money Cover. In addition to these you can cover other aspects on a more specific basis, for example, Property Damage, Transit Insurance, Legal Expenses and Personal Accident cover. Petty pilfering or shop lifting can be included however it should be noted that an excess will be applicable so it may not be worth claiming for individual small value items. Theft by employees can be included under a Commercial Combined policy known as fidelity guarantee. Commercial Combined Policies Anything that falls outside the SME range, such as an equestrian centre, will require 32 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

a more bespoke policy, termed a Commercial Combined policy. These are best explained as being like an empty box whereby the covers required are placed in it to form the policy. Limits of indemnity are very flexible and the policy can be designed around the client’s needs. This doesn’t mean that sums insured are unlimited and just because, for example, cover for Buildings is £250,000 does not mean that is what you will get in the event of a claim. Insurance is designed to put you back in the same position you were in prior to your loss. Therefore the building sum insured is the maximum insurers will pay out so should the building cost only £150,000 to rebuild then that is what will be paid out. So making sure you have accurate sums insured is one way to help keep you premiums down including Stock, Contents and Machinery. Taking the example of buildings sum insured again you can protect yourself for any inflationary factors that could increase the cost of rebuilding the premises during period of insurance. This is called a Day One Uplift, whereby on Day One you insure the premises for £150,000 and you are given a 10-40% increase for a smaller additional premium. Therefore should the building need to be rebuilt and it costs more than £150,000 but falls within the additional percentage added you will still be covered for the full amount required. Business interruption is based on gross profit and your books. This is designed to help you get your business back on its feet and enable you to keep your employees paid in the event of a claim. Alternatively you can go for an increase cost of working which will enable you to

Situations out of your control Both a Package Policy and a Commercial Combined Policy will cover you for fire, loss of documents, water damage, shop lifting and storm damage, etc and should pay out provided the loss has occurred due to an insurable peril. In the case of situations associated with weather such as experienced at the end of 2010 with the heavy snowfall, generally if you cannot gain access to your shop or premises and therefore cannot trade, this is not covered under either policy type. However, should a long period of snow result in pipes freezing and therefore cause an escape of water claim, the resultant damage would be covered including tracing and accessing where the leak is coming from. Should you be unable to trade for that reason then business interruption will also come into effect. Another example would be should the weight of snow cause the roof to collapse this would be covered as it would be considered storm damage.

Petty pilfering or shop lifting can be included. Getting the right policy for your business Not one commercial policy is the same, whether it is a package or a commercial combined policy, they all differ from insurer to insurer and from occupation to occupation. You need to identify the areas you want protecting and ensure these are covered as comprehensively as possible. This means looking at the excess limits and speaking to various companies to ensure you purchase the best cover for your business. One final point to note it is so important to check your policy covers meet your demands and needs and understand the terms and conditions of the policy. Just because a policy is cheap doesn’t mean it is covering you correctly. Business insurance is considerably different to insuring a car, it is your livelihood, and at the end of the day it is essential that it is protected on the correct basis. t Shearwater Insurance 01992 718666.

“Ariat all the way”

A winner from head to toe... From her LAS hat to her Ariat boots, Tina Fletcher looked immaculate when becoming the first lady rider to win the Hickstead Derby for 38 years.


t’s many a year since a show jumping result made the headlines ahead of football and golf. So when Tina Fletcher’s Hickstead Derby victory got a mention on BBC Radio 4’s 6am Monday morning news, it underlined how her performance had captured the public’s imagination. Riding her husband Graham Fletcher’s talented, superenergetic 16 year old gelding Promised Land, Tina was the first lady to take this world famous title since Alison Dawes on The Maverick in 1973. Uniquely in show jumping, the Derby course has remained exactly the same throughout its 51 year history. Tina’s was only the 53rd ever clear round. First prize in the Carpetright sponsored Derby was £40,000. At around three-quarters of a mile long and featuring permanent banks, dykes and ditches, the Derby is a test of stamina as well as jumping ability. When Tina and Promised Land jumped the sole clear round this year, they did so on one of the hottest days of the summer – something which said a great deal about Tina’s choice of clothing and her horse’s level of fitness.

“I’d always dreamt of winning the Derby,” she said. “Having come second last year [when she also jumped a clear round only to be beaten in a timed jump-off] I thought this was going to be the class I was never going to win!” Promised Land’s astounding leap over the water, a fence that caught out many other competitors, was the talk of the Derby. “When he jumps like that, it feels like you’re flying,” said Tina. Of her choice of gear, Tina says: “I like to keep things simple and tend to choose good quality items that last well. There have been some fantastic advances, particularly in clothing technology.” “With feed and tack for the horses, we try desperately hard to care for each one as an individual.” Meanwhile, a vintage Derby meeting appeared to have had a positive effect on trade around the Hickstead arena too. “Gate numbers were up from last year,” said Simon Gaskin, trade stand director. "General feedback from our exhibitors was that business was better than expected, with a good number of stands reporting their best show in years."

Tina’s choice of riding wear is “Ariat all the way... I wear it for competitions and riding at home. It’s comfortable, performs really well and always looks smart.” The Ariat logo adorned Promised Land’s winning saddle cloth on Derby day which was televised in full on Sky Sports. “Tina is the perfect ambassador for our brand,” said marketing manager Melanie Selman. “She works hard for her sponsors and is widely loved by a huge number of fans. We are honoured to have her as part of the Ariat Pro team and look forward to partnering her over the coming seasons.” For competitions Tina likes the Ariat Monaco Tall Field Boot, a classic design made from premium French calf leather for a soft, flexible feel. The ankles are contoured for a flattering fit and the Spanish cut at the top of the boot gives an elegant appearance. The Monaco incorporates Ariat ATS technology which optimises stability, wicks away moisture, absorbs shock via the Gel-cushioned footbed and has a leather durable outsole. At home Tina wears the Ariat Bromont Tall H20 boots, a traditional, waterproof zip-up field boot made from full-grain leather and available with or without insulation. Or she chooses the Ariat Devon Pro short boots which incorporate Cobalt Quantum technology to keep feet at a constant temperature and provide support in the saddle and on the ground. Tina wears Devon Pro boots with leather Ariat Close Contact Chaps which mould to the leg to give a second skin feel. Other favourite items of Tina’s are the Ariat Aptos Show Shirt for competition days, Ariat Tek Grip Gloves and the four-way stretch Ariat Olympia breeches which incorporate the brand’s patented V3 system in the waist and Calf Fit System for comfort and performance.

Bromont Tall Boot.

Ariat Monaco Boot.

Devon Pro Boot.

Close Contact Chaps.

“I forget I’m wearing LAS” On a hot day at Hickstead, Tina was glad she’d worn her favoured LAS helmet. The XT-VIP style is available in the UK from Leslie Sutcliffe. “This hat is so light and comfortable, you don’t know it’s on your head,” said Tina. “It’s also very breathable, which was a huge bonus on a very warm day and over a very long course! “From the safety point of view, it meets all the right standards for use in competition. This is modern technology at its best.”

“Devoucoux has improved my position” It’s hard to believe that Tina could improve her riding position – but that’s what she says riding in a Devoucoux Oldarra show jumping saddle has done. “I’ve been riding in Devoucoux for three years now and definitely wouldn’t go back to anything else. My position has improved because I’m able to keep it so much more easily,” she said.

“Feeding for performance” Tina’s horses are fed on Falcon Equine Feeds, a popular choice with show jumpers. “Because he’s so full of energy, Promised Land lives mostly on hay and spends a lot of time turned out at grass,” said Tina. EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS AUGUST 2011 33

Doing the legwork

LOW-WAISTED Mountain Horse Allison Breeches are in easy-wash cotton knit with 8% Lycra content. Allison has a flat front, two font pockets with piping detail and belt loops. In brown, beige or navy, sizes are 24”-34” waist and RRP £43.95. t Horsemasters Distribution 01462 432596.

Comfortable yet functional legwear, boots and spurs are essential for safe, effective riding. Spur straps with a difference EQvvs Spur Straps come with diamante hearts or stars for a bit of bling on black leather (RRP £13). Or stick with plain black or brown leather spur straps retailing at just £6. EQvvs, the brand from the English Gaiter Company, also has the Stowe half chap. Made from ‘softy’ grain effect synthetic leather, it offers great style at an affordable price (RRP £35). In children’s and adults’ sizes, colour choices are black or brown. t The English Gaiter Company 01604 880605.

Like a second skin Horka’s new riding boot is designed to live up to its name – Excellent! Lined with sheep leather, it’s extremely soft, instantly flexible and breathable too. Stylishly designed with a contemporary cut, the Excellent is ideal to wear in the competition arena for all disciplines. t

Best foot forward All weather Fjord jodhpur boots are one of the latest additions to Tuffa’s range. A great autumn stock item, they come in sizes 4-8 with an RRP of £84.99. Made of waxed nubuck leather with waterproof W-Tex membranes and Aquasel insoles, anti-slip rubber soles feature stirrup and spur rests. The linings are breathable, antibacterial and anti-odour. Tuffa’s Ladies’ Long Rider Socks come in four colourways. Perfect with long boots or short boots and chaps, they are made from 86% cotton mix fabric. The Tuffa logo is knitted into the toe. In one size (ladies 4-8), the RRP is £7.99 per pair. Shetland Faux Suede Half Chaps, seen here with Endurance boots, are lightweight and washable. Elastic panels at the back give a close fit around the leg. In navy/pink, navy/sky, brown and black and sizes S-XL and RRP £22.50, they also have full length zips, stretch foot skirts and elastic stirrups. t Tuffa 01953 880914. 34 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Ariat answers riders’ demands MODERN riders want contemporary styling, comfort and performance. So Ariat launched new Volant Boots! With Ariat Cobalt Quantum Technology for excellent foot stability, Volant Boots are made from top quality European calf leather. They feature a stretch mesh for a breathable, supple and contoured fit, while an oiled leather inner panel enhances lower leg grip. The Volant is available in two designs; the Front Zip (pictured, RRP £350) is a stylish everyday boot with contrasting red front zipper that prevents saddle interference and enables easy putting on and taking off. The Back Zip Boot (RRP385) is a subtle design, ideal for competition wear with a Spanish top line plus stretch gore panel for a good fit. t Ariat-Europe 0800 600 3209.

Gentle ‘spursuation’ THE Spursuader spur is fast becoming the spur of choice for riders wanting a gentle approach. As effective as a standard spur, its patented design with rounded edges and large contact area enhances leg aids yet prevents accidental over-use. Spursuader spurs are permitted under British Dressage (BD) and Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) rules. Sold in pairs, a counter display box comes free when eight pairs are purchased. RRP £36.99. t Shires 01568 613600. WHEN selling customers new boots, especially styles with thicker soles or treads, suggest they check that their stirrup irons are wide enough to accommodate them. There should be at least a half inch gap either side between the boot and the arm of the iron. Otherwise the foot could become trapped if the iron should the rider fall, risking a nasty ‘dragging’ incident. As well as making sure stirrups are wide enough – and selling them a new pair if not, it’s also the ideal opportunity to discuss safety stirrups.


Slim, contoured fit CAVALLO Chagall Breeches offer stylish good looks with a slim, contoured fit that features a fashionable highwaistband and three-quarter seat panel. With excellent stretch, they retain their shape well even when ‘lived in’. Colours available include dark blue, grey, mocca, red, green hazel, black, champagne, pine, marine, camel, wheat, khaki nougat and ocean blue. The RRP is £152. t Zebra Products 01352 763350.

Wellies with wow factor THESE ladies’ Quilt Wellingtons from Harry Hall will be the talk of the stable yard for your customers lucky enough to acquire a pair. Featuring an unusual waterproof quilted design, they come in black and green, sizes 3-8 and retail at around £47.99 t Matchmakers International 01274 711101.

Check out these jods! EQUETECH’s new Windsor Checked Jodhpurs have trendy slanted front and back pockets with contrast double stitching for a high street look at the yard. Low in the rise for a hipster look, the unity colour palette checks compliment the jodhpurs with the side stripe detail. Made for optimum stretch and shape retention, they feature self fabric knee patches, an Equetech comfort waistband and slanted belt loops with cuffs to the hem. Colour options are coco/Dutch blue check and navy/mid blue check in sizes 24”-32” waist. The RRP is £43.95. If you have hunting customers, a good stock of hardwearing men’s breeches is a must at this time of year. Equetech Men’s Foxhunter Hybrid Breeches are ideal for the demands of hunting and competition since they offer exceptional support with multi-directional stretch for comfort and shape retention. Made in stretch twill, brushed on the back for a cosy feel, these breeches have minimal leg seams for maximum comfort. They feature a diagonal zip pocket and stretch, machine washable suede knee patches. Other features are an Equetech comfort waistband, braces buttons on the waistband, three buttons below the knee, belt loops and Velcro binding at the hem. Colours are slate, beige and white, in sizes 30” to 40”. More than 40% of Equetech’s garments are manufactured in the UK. t Equetech 01296 688 966.

Bespoke socks on offer NEW from Coolhorsesocks is this happy Sunflower Shines design. The company’s range caters for children, ladies, men, competition riders... there’s even a sock for horses. This Leicestershire based manufacturer can produce bespoke designs in short runs in specific colours or for own branding. As Tim Riley of Coolhorsesocks explains: “Being a British manufacturer ensures we maximise all opportunities, while it allows us to bring products to market quicker too.” t Coolhorsesocks 0116 2841558.

Ladies or gents NEW to the Mark Todd collection, Performance Breeches are manufactured in Tactel fabric which is lightweight, breathable and super-soft with excellent shape-retention properties. Available in a choice of ladies (pictured) with fourway stretch full seat, or gents with crossed beltloop detail and front pleats, they’re available in a choice of practical and competition colours. t Westgate EFI 01303 872277.

BETA CONFERENCE TALKS BUSINESS D on’t forget that this year’s BETA Conference is set for Monday 17 October, at The Belfry, near Birmingham. Great care has been taken to ensure the date doesn’t clash with the Horse of the Year Show, which takes place a week earlier, and the hotel – a landmark for golfers – has been chosen for the fourth year by popular demand. All member costs will be subsidised by BETA and, for those of you who would like some time to enjoy The Belfry’s 550 acres of Warwickshire countryside with three 18-hole golf courses, a 34-bay driving range, bars and restaurants, there are special rates for a preconference, overnight stay with dinner. The conference will feature a varied programme of topical issues, such as effective visual merchandising and digital advertising, delivered by industry speakers who are experts in their field. Tim Hadaway will be taking a break from his preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. As the organising committee’s sport competition manager for equestrian events at the Games, he has been heavily involved in running a test event – the CIC** Greenwich Park Invitational – and will include feedback from this in his presentation. The opportunities that the Olympics will bring to the equestrian industry will also be explored. Julia Andrews, managing director of Kate Negus Saddlery, has many years’ experience as a buyer and visual merchandiser for bluechip companies such as Marks & Spencer. In the equestrian sector, she has been responsible for shop fitting and development for Wadswick Country Store. Her presentation will focus on visual merchandising for saddlery stores and is aimed at both retailer and supplier. Laura Coffey, an investigation executive at the Advertising Standards Authority, works as part of a team responsible for investigating difficult or complicated complaints about advertising in the broadcast or non-broadcast media. She will explain the role of the ASA


and explore subjects such as misleading advertising, comparative adverts where claims are made against competitors and the type of substantiation and evidence needed to make health claims, as well as highlighting the information advisory service offered to advertisers by the agency. Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tenison will talk about their “Seven Long Rides Around the World”. In 1984, the explorer and his wife rode two white Camargue horses back from the South of France to their farm on Bodmin Moor, in Cornwall. The BBC made a film about it and Robin wrote the first of his five “Long Ride” books, White Horses Over France. Other rides followed and then, in 2007, the couple rode the length of Albania and wrote Land of Eagles, as well as making a film, with an introduction by Joanna Lumley. Clips from the film will be shown during the presentation. Charlie Brookes aims to demystify digital advertising in his quest to prove that it doesn’t need to be prohibitively expensive to add real value to most marketing plans. As Bauer Media’s group commercial director, he runs a 170-strong sales operation, selling advertising solutions across 43 magazines and 16 websites, and the information contained in his presentation will be drawn from 20 years spent working in the media. If you would like to book your place at the 2011 BETA Conference, contact Tina Rogers, telephone 01937 587062 or email

Saddle fitters PLEASE note that clear criteria have now been introduced allowing saddle fitters to become BETA members within the trade association’s Mobile Retail membership category. Applications are very welcome and should be directed to Tina Rogers at the BETA office.

New members welcomed THE following applications for membership have been approved by the BETA Council: Sante Franglais, Market Harborough (Feed manufacturer) – Trade Jezdecky Obchod, Czech Republic (Retailer) – Overseas Retail Ardmore Natural Care, Co Waterford (Retailer) – Overseas Retail The Horse Shelter Co, Stourbridge (Stable manufacturer/retailer) – Associate Hit-Air UK, Farnham (Equestrian Air Vests) – Trade Fox Feeds, Buntingford (Feed manufacturer) – Trade MindBuzzler, Fife (Online retailer) – Retail, Provisional


Tel: 01937587062 Website: or email us at Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW

Welcome to ETN’s new guide to upcoming shows, events, training courses and conferences of interest to the trade. AUGUST






The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire with BETA as presenting sponsor for the sixth successive year. Opportunities include exhibiting in the BETA trade pavilion or participating in the prize draw on the BETA stand. Tel 01937 587062 email

Burghley Horse Trials. The 50th anniversary of the three-day event held near Stamford, Lincolnshire.

4-6 Spoga trade exhibition in Cologne, Germany. BETA will be leading a British group of companies. Tel 01937 587062, email

8-11 The (new) All England Jumping Championships at Hickstead. Tradestand and sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact tel 01273 834315 ext 131 for details.


8-11 Learn about Western riding or improve your skills if you’re already a Western rider/retailer with a clinic by Al Dunning at Oakridge Arena, Collingham, Notts. The event is presented by Leslie Sutcliffe and Farnam. Tel 07971 589409 for details.

11-14 NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials includes a tradestand village adjacent to the indoor and outdoor arenas at the Gloucestershire centre. More details from Janet Plant on 01452 702355.

13-15 AETA (American Equestrian Trade Association) trade exhibition in Philadelphia, USA. Funding secured by BETA through UKTI is available to eligible companies seeking to boost export sales. A British group of exhibitors is planned. Tel BETA 01937 587062 or email

Equine Careers is running a one-day Sales Agents’ Training Course during this week on an exact date to be confirmed. The day will provide tips and advice on how to progress in this type of career, including diary management, confidence building, generating new business and types of contracts. To be held near Aylesbury, Bucks, the cost is £150 per person for one day course, including lunch and all course material. There will be guest speakers. Contact Emma Dyer tel 07818 455309 or visit

13 BETA safety course for hat and body protector fitting, Lambourn, Berkshire. Tel 01937 587062, email

17-18 Fourth Combined Seminar for Equine Practitioners at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell. Designed to bring together professionals including saddlers, farriers, vets, trainers, equine dentists and physiotherapists, CPD certificates (four points per day) will be provided to all delegates. Speakers include SMS qualified saddle fitter and ETN correspondent Ken Lyndon-Dykes. The cost is £75 per person for one day, or £125 for both days. Contact

18-21 Blair Castle International Horse Trials & Country Fair, Perthshire, hosts the European Young Rider Eventing Championships. For tradestands tel 01796 481543.

Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s NEC expects 65,000 visitors for shopping and show jumping.

17 BETA AGM & Annual Conference, The Belfry, Warwickshire. Hear inspirational speakers and network with key people at this famous golfing and spa hotel. Incorporates BETA’s annual general meeting. Tel 01937 587062.

NOVEMBER 12-13 Your Horse Live, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Voted BETA/Joules Equestrian Event of 2010, this show combines live arena entertainment with shopping. To exhibit in 2011, contact Nicky Townshend tel 01733 395011.

DECEMBER 3-4 South West Christmas Equine Fair at Westpoint, Exeter. This popular consumer show is run by Contour Exhibitions and features equestrian demonstrations plus extensive shopping, contact Lisa Scattergood on 01392 421500 or 07710 743045 for more details.

13-19 Olympia features the new sport of Extreme Driving as demonstrated by the world’s top carriage drivers including Boyd Exell and Ijsbrand Chardon plus Britain’s Pippa Bassett. The show begins with the FEI World Cup Dressage Qualifier on the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Jumping classes start on Thursday with highlights being the Puissance on Friday, FEI World Cup Qualifier on Sunday 18 and Grand Prix on Monday. Displays include Lorenzo, the Flying Frenchman and, for the first time, the Lusitano Quadrille from Portugal. Tradestand enquiries tel 01753 847900.

HOW TO GET LISTED ETN correspondent Ken Lyndon-Dykes is a speaker at the Combined Seminar for Equine Practitioners

ETN welcomes submissions to What’s On from all organisations, commercial companies, shows and events. Please include your dates, venues, contact details and why your fixture/event/training is of interest to the trade. EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS AUGUST 2011 37

What can be done to protect margins? As Aldi becomes the latest supermarket to stock equestrian goods, ETN asked equestrian only retailers for their thoughts on preserving profits in the face of multi-national price slashing.

CRIB SHEET Mark-up and margin are both ways of calculating profit.

• Percentage margin is the

percentage of the final selling price that is profit.

• A mark-up is what

percentage of the cost price you add on to get the selling price.

Working with margins best indicates what percentage of total income is profit. For example, if an item costs you £50 and you want to sell it at a 50% margin, 50% of the final selling price should be profit. So if you sell at £100 that’s a margin of 50%. If you sell the same item that cost you £50 with a mark-up of 50%, you add 50% of the cost price - £25, so the selling price would be £75. Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is the price at which a manufacturer/supplier recommends a retailer sells a product, the intention being to standardise retail prices. RRPs are non-binding. The manufacturer is also within its rights to set a maximum resale price. According to the Competition Act, retailers must be allowed to resell products at prices below the RRPs or maximum resale prices. It’s contrary to the Competition Act to fix a minimum retail price.


argins were predictably a sensitive subject. It was mostly only the independent retailers who were prepared to talk ‘on the record’ about this topic. The comments from a didn’t-wish-to-be-named employee of a large chain that retails equestrian and other rural products were typical: “I’m unable to speak about the margins we operate as they are central to the profitability of the business. “I would say to the smaller retailers that they can use their size to their advantage. They can offer something that the big, multiple retailers cannot – flexibility to reflect the market. “Also, they can more easily listen to their customers and offer something that is personally tailored to their requirements. Price isn’t everything, even at the moment." Indeed, as another representative from a multioutlet equestrian retailer pointed out: “Good value shouldn’t be confused with cheapness. Consumers are being cautious with their spending, but even more so now, they want good quality goods that last, rather than throw-away stuff.” Kevin Robbins of Freedom Dressage in Ripon, North Yorkshire sees protection of margins as a difficult problem to solve. “Manufacturers and suppliers can't enforce prices, but perhaps some could keep a better eye on the discounters and threaten not to deal with them; after all, massive discounting can


undervalue a brand. Kevin points out that some suppliers are watchful of “unfair” discount prices and products being sold off cheaply on eBay or similar sites. “It would be great if more could do this,” he said. “The only thing I can think of is getting together with other retailers and not dealing with the distributors and suppliers that do business with big discounters. “If prices could be kept similar, service would then become the most important factor when attracting customers.” Nicky Cromb of Equikro in Edinburgh agrees: “It does get really annoying when some retailers knock prices down so much. Suppliers and manufacturers should keep a

regarding pricing. “You have to look at the things that you, as a small business, can do that big retailers struggle with or can't do. Are you able to offer local delivery or made to measure items? Above all, don't even try to sell the same products that the big or discount retailers offer. I aim to offer a personal service with interesting products that are not mass produced.” Of course a retailer’s buying power - or lack of impacts upon profit too. Industry expert Christina Jones suggests: “Perhaps some retailers could get together and form a buying co-operative?” Perhaps they could use the AIS (Associated Independent Stores) as a model, she said.

The equestrian industry needs to start buying from a margin led perspective, as the high street does. closer eye on what prices people are selling items at and come down on people that discount too much.” Retailers themselves need to take a positive approach to protect their margins, according to Suzy Mainprice of Morgan Equine in Carmarthenshire. “You can't fight the big retailers on price, and there’s not a huge amount suppliers can do

The AIS ( is the UK's largest independent voluntary nonfood buying group. It enables independent department stores and specialist retailers to profit from the level of buying power and service normally only available to the big high street chains. The association is non-profit making and is not only a buying group, but also

sources exclusive products and develops own brands (in a similar way not dissimilar to Bridleway Equestrian). Lizzy Bunting of Priory Saddlery in Cleveland wonders if the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has a role to play, perhaps by arranging discounts with suppliers for its retail members. “I’ve spoken recently to several smaller independent shops like mine that are BETA members and I wonder if there’s anything BETA can do to help the industry. I’m concerned that the smaller shops with years of knowledge and superb customer service will be lost as more and more big retailers

Christina Jones: equestrian retailers need to take their buying more seriously.

the queue when a good deal comes up. Always ask about special offers. Make sure you put your margins first and don't decide for personal or emotional reasons what you should sell.” It was interesting to hear

Some suppliers could keep a better eye on the discounters and threaten not to deal with them. diversify into equestrian retail and our margins are constantly getting squeezed.” Another retailer pointed to equestrian manufacturers that diversify into the ‘lifestyle’ market and, to satisfy the high street’s demand for good margins, offer separate ranges to these new customers. Perhaps equestrian retailers have missed a trick and should be demanding the same deal? “Maybe the equestrian industry has been its own worst enemy and settled for 33-35% margins when high street fashion retailers have not and demand 50-100% margins from those same suppliers,” said Lizzy Bunting. “Perhaps the equestrian industry needs to start buying from a margin led perspective, as the high street does?” Christina Jones believes professional buying is key. “In general, equestrian retailers need to take their buying more seriously. Make sure you build good relationships with reps, take time out (away from the telephone and customers!) to get to know them, then you will be first in

from Andy Sexton, director of cycling specialist Bike Science, how his retail sector compares with its equestrian equivalent. In the cycling industry, he said, buying of bicycle parts can be difficult for the small independent shops. This is because two or three major retailers dominate the market and are able to buy in such huge volume that the price for which they sell components is often close to the trade price a small shop has to pay. “I'm lucky to make a 25% margin on some items,” said Andy. “And I’m constantly trying to keep one step ahead of the big retailers by offering a different sort of service. It’s almost impossible to compete on price, so I have to offer brilliant personal service to attract and keep customers.” Sara Branch of Cool Equestrian in Cheshire said that volume was the only way to counteract modest margins. “I used to work in the cable industry where margins are even lower [than equestrian]; the difference was that the volume we sold was very high.”

A bit of advice... Retailer Gail Johnson turns agony aunt when riders want help with bits and bitting. These are her solutions to some of the most frequently asked questions. Q. What’s best, a metal or plastic mouthpiece? A. Mouthpiece material has been the subject of continued research and development by bit manufacturers over recent years. While traditional stainless steel remains in use, other more ‘friendly’ materials are now on offer. Sweet iron is frequently used, and appears in some Myler bits. Research has shown that it gives off a sweet taste when it oxidises which most horses seem to like. Copper or a copper mixture can also give off a sweet, palatable taste. Companies that have developed their own patented mouthpiece materials include Sprenger (Aurigan mouthpieces) and Neue Schule (Salox Gold mouthpieces). These metals feel ‘warm’ in the mouth and give off a sweet taste. Plastic type materials are available via the likes of Happy Mouth, Flexi Mouth and the Nathe brands. This type of mouthpiece material is often seen as a milder alternative to metal. Any material is only as good as the design of a bit, however. The type of horse, the job he’s going to be doing, mouth conformation and rider ability are other considerations. By all means choose a material that really suits your horse; but if you choose an inappropriate design, the end result won’t be what you’re hoping for. Q. Is a thick bit kinder than a thin bit? A. It all depends on the bit design and the mouth in which you’re trying to fit it. When considering thickness, look at how much room is available. For a horse with a lot of room in the mouth, a thicker bit may be more comfortable than a thin bit. Equally, for a horse with hardly any space and maybe a big tongue, a thinner bit should fit in better. Q. Is a single jointed bit the mildest choice? A. When you pull the reins, the action of the single jointed mouthpiece tends to squeeze the outer edges of the tongue and sometimes the central point, where the arms interlock. It also goes upwards towards the roof of the mouth. 40 AUGUST 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

The edges of the tongue are very sensitive and, in certain breeds, the The Neue Schule roof of the mouth Team Up can help can be quite low. relax the neck. The single jointed mouthpiece offers control; however, there are many ergonomically designed mouthpieces which offer the rider equal control but in a more comfortable way for the horse. The latter option normally results in the horse more readily accepting the bit rather than trying to evade it. Q. What’s the best bit for an ex-racehorse? A. This is one of my favourite questions as I have two ex-racers. I’ve had Woody for six years and Star for only a few weeks. Former racehorses often have high head carriages and are reluctance to stretch their necks forwards.

Gail with ex-racer Woody in his Tranz Universal.

Two bits have proved invaluable while retraining Woody, both from Neue Schule. The first is the Team Up which helped him relax his neck and learn to stretch forwards and down. This is still used as his flatwork bit. The second one is the Tranz Universal. He can be quite strong in company so this gives me the control but with a mild mouthpiece. This is important as Woody is quite sensitive and doesn’t need a strong mouthpiece, but I do need the extra control offered by the cheek.

Gail on her Horse Bit Hire tradestand.

About the author Horse Bit Hire offers bits for sale and hire and specialises in bitting advice. Gail Johnson set up the company after working for a number of years as operations manager at bits supplier Neue Schule. Working with her sister-in-law Diane Johnson, Gail runs a mail order service and website, exhibits at various events and visits yards to giving bit advice and fitting information. Horse Bit Hire also runs the Bitting Advice helpline. “The bit is only part of the overall equipment for training the horse and shouldn’t just be seen as a quick fix,” says Gail. “No bit can ever replace thorough, methodical training but a good choice of bit is an integral part of good training.”

How to sell training aids Gadgets and training aids are in high demand, but can be difficult to promote in-store. They can appear confusing in their packets, while subtle products, such as rein accessories or balance straps, can look small and over-priced if their use is not explained with point of sale literature or pictures. Here’s how to keep customers interested. Engage with customers Staff that chat with their customers about their horses are ideally placed to recommend products. “So you’re lungeing him to build up his back muscles? Have you thought about a Balancing Rein?” “If you’re aiming to develop top line, could you ask your instructor about using a De Gogue?” Chatting (without an obvious sales pitch) while people browse is a great way to build relationships and spread the word about recommendation-based products. Promote the goods with a competition Ask the manufacturer/distributor if products are available for promotional purposes. Could you run an in-store competition, for example? This can be a great way to showcase unusual training aids. A good one to promote to local riding clubs too. Get the packaging right If you think an item would benefit from a clear window in its box, or a hanging hook to avoid rummaging in a basket, why not suggest it to the manufacturer? Many are open to packaging

suggestions from forwardthinking retailers. Lee Buck, of manufacturer Polypads, says customers need simple, explanatory, eye catching information. “We recently relaunched the RS-tor rider safety aid. It was formerly sold in clear bags, but now has new, brightlycoloured, boxed packaging. “The product’s also been updated with a square, ergonomic end-piece, so we’re helping retailers showcase this with packaging that the end-piece ‘pokes’ through (pictured). Customers can now feel the item without having to remove it from the box,” he said. The company also provides eyecatching counter displays for retailers, and promotions such as RS-tor staff polo tops. “Retailers appreciate it when extra thought goes into packaging,” said Lee.

A simple, laminated notice briefly explanation a gadget’s application and benefits can be very helpful to customers who are afraid to ask. Train your staff Make sure all staff know the attributes of the training aids and gadgets stocked, as well as any

potential risks from incorrect use. Some bits and lungeing equipment, for instance, require an appreciation of sympathetic use. It may be helpful to compile a list of names and contact tel numbers for reputable local riding instructors to hand out to interested customers too.

Think about your displays Larger retailers may have the luxury of having the room to create smart, in-store displays, but whatever your outlet size, think about product placement. Consider gadgets and training aids as pieces of tack - and display them alongside saddles, bridles and protective boots, attracting customers shopping for that category of product.


When faced with any bitting problem, you must look at the horse as a whole, says bitting clinician Hilary Vernon. This includes asking the owner/riders about checking his teeth, back, saddle and any other factors which may be affecting him such as the rider’s ability and his level of training. Once you have eliminated all other possible causes of a bitting problem, you can then turn your attention to the actual bit. t The Hilary Vernon bit range is available from Abbey England 01565 650343.


BEWARE the armchair expert What is it about saddle fitting that just about everyone horsey reckons they can do it, wonders Ken Lyndon-Dykes.


elephone call going something like this: “Hello – I want to order a (naming brand and type) saddle. It’s the one my friend says is the best. She’s been riding for three years and knows a lot!” Or like this: “My instructor she says my horse needs a (specifying brand) saddle.”

Or even: “Can you come out to me with several (naming brands) saddles? My farrier..trainer..mother..father..fri end..instructor – Uncle Tom Cobley and all…want to fit my horse!” And no – I’m not joking – other than Uncle Tom! I’m describing real-life situations! I have no idea why so many


riders – occasionally even very experienced ones – assume that just about anyone can proffer knowledgeable, sound and sensible advice about saddles – and fit them too! I believe in working on the basis ‘the client is always right’ – which patently, in these situations, is unlikely to be so. By dint of a combination of guile and - I hope – charm, I usually manage to persuade the client that an open mind is the essential factor in successful saddle fitting. When I actually go to do the fitting, I almost invariably take the saddle(s) specified – along with 15 to 20 others. I do this even when I know that, judging by the description of the horse, the chance of it/them being suitable is very, very unlikely! It does mean, however, that I can demonstrate the total unsuitability of what has been suggested. Sometimes the saddle suggested doesn’t fit too badly – but is totally unsuitable for the sort of riding envisaged. Then I cruelly insist the rider ‘tries’ the saddle – and, while the notvery-good experience is still clearly in her mind, I swap the saddle for something far more suitable that I know she will find infinitely more comfortable! The other situation that crops up relates to size. “I need a (brand) 17”, medium dressage saddle.” Me: “Why are you so certain that is the size?” Client: “My GP saddle that I got from you is that size.” I recall fitting the GP saddle – and look up the record of the transaction which was three years ago. The horse was rising five at the time.

Firstly, three years is a long time in the life of a young horse and I would have expected that particular youngster to have grown a lot and wouldn’t mind betting the saddle no longer affords the excellent fit I achieved at the time of the sale. Secondly, the client obviously has no idea that many saddle measurements tend to be brand idiosyncratic (especially British makes) and that a 17” in one make may be 18” or 16” in another.

Saddle measurements tend to be brand idiosyncratic. And – yes – at the time of fitting a new (or second-hand) saddle, I do talk to the client about fitting checks and offer advice about likely requirements! The phrase that springs to mind as appropriate is ‘you can lead a horse……….’ Yes, the saddle fitter ideally needs a broad range of attributes in addition to his/her saddle fitting expertise. Patience, perspicacity, tolerance, indefatigability – just for a start!

About the author Ken Lyndon-Dykes is a saddle designer, Society of Master Saddlers' Qualified Saddle Fitter and former international three-day event rider.

• The British Horse Feeds team admired Dominic Wolfendale and Lantinus so much when the combination won the company’s sponsored class at the Winter Dressage Championships that they decided to sponsor them. “I started using Speedi-Beet on the advice of my vet as I was looking for a starch free diet. The molasses free formula means Lantinus doesn’t get too exuberant,” said Dominic. “Also the water content is great for hind gut hydration, plus it’s so simple to use when stabling away at competitions as it’s quick and easy to prepare.” Simon Parker, of British Horse Feeds, added: “It’s great to see Lantinus doing so well on his Speedi-Beet diet.” • Liz Hayman, director of Equetech, says her company decided to sponsor dressage rider James Burtwell because of his empathy with horses and riders and his ability to create expression without tension. “At Equetech we understand the demands riders place on their riding wardrobe. We design clothes that are stylish and comfortable to wear so that riders can concentrate on riding,” she added. • Retailers Saddles Direct and Elite Saddles are to sponsor the big screen at the British Dressage National Championships (Stoneleigh, 15-18 September). Elite Saddles is owned by Sarah Lavelle Bowden and Hilary Cox. Saddles Direct, started by Sarah six years ago, claims to hold the UK’s largest stock of used saddles and offers a ‘try before you buy’ trial service. “This is an excellent way to for us to support the sport and deliver our message that the right saddle with the right fit, complimented with the right accessories, will make a world of difference,” said Sarah. • Stable hygiene specialist Emvelo Products is supporting dressage rider Amy Stovold, pictured here with her new ride Tejo de la Gesse and who is on the World Class Programme aiming at Olympic medals. “Since using Emvelo stable product within the horses’ bedding, the stables smell good. We use it in the lorry too,” said Amy. • British nations cup team regular Mark Armstrong has joined Marcus Ehning, Tim Stockdale, Ben Maher and Billy Twomey as a fan of Veredus leg protection for horse and human. The brand is distributed in the UK by Zebra Products. “Veredus has an amazing range of products. I’ll be sporting the new Guarnieri boot, the most high tech riding boot I have ever tried. And of course my top jumpers, Prince Z (pictured with Mark), Caleta and Thesaura will have their own stylish legwear too,” said Mark.

• Verm-X has announced a new sponsorship deal with top eventer Nicola Wilson who uses the herbal formulation on her 14 competition horses to keep them in the best of health and free from internal parasites. Nicola and her top ride Opposition Buzz (pictured) were on the gold medal winning team at the World Equestrian Games in 2010. They were seventh at Badminton this year and have been selected for this month’s European championships. Said Philip Ghazala of Verm-X: “More and more horse owners are turning to natural products as they are completely safe, avoid resistance problems and are more ecological than drugs.” • New sponsorships for Horse Quencher UK this season include The Novice Pony Club Championships, the Endurance GB Lindum Spirit 21st Celebration Ride, the Under 21 Endurance GB Young Riders training squad camp and the Burghley Sponsored Ride. The product is also supporting MS sufferer and endurance rider Clair Calvert as she seeks to ride 1,000 kilometres this season to raise money for the MS Trust. • On-line retailer Dressage Deluxe is sponsoring dressage rider and trainer Damian Hallam for a second year. Damian has won 15 national titles in his chosen sport – and many moons ago worked as a sales representative in the equine feed industry. • Sophie Wells (21), world gold medallist at para-dressage and recently selected for the ‘regular’ Young Rider European championships, has secured backing from her local company, Nottinghamshire based Robinson Animal Healthcare. “We will be with Sophie every step of the way as her bid for Olympic success in 2012 gets underway,” said Joanne Thomasson of Robinson Animal Healthcare. Sophie (pictured with Valerius) is a fan of Robinson’s Animalintex and Koolpaks. “I’m often away travelling with the horses so a well stocked first aid kit is vital,” she said. • In a €10 million deal, Alltech has been announced as the main sponsor of the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held in Normandy, France. The event will begin on 17 August. More than 900 riders and 850 horses representing 60 nations are expected to take part. See News in this issue of ETN. • Australian born carriage driving star, world four-inhand champion Boyd Exell is endorsing a host of Zebra Products’ brands including Veredus Boots, Schwenkel Gloves, Fleck Whips and Sprenger Bits in a new arrangement. Said Simon Middleton, managing director at Zebra Products: “We already have some of the UK’s most prolific riders across all disciplines associated with our brands and now to be working with one of the leading driving names is wonderful news.”



How are your customers behaving? American retailer John Nunn takes a wry look at consumer trends in the US. Shop from home: The web has taken care of the consumer who never got their kicks shopping in a tack shop to begin with. I have to think or hope they weren’t the impulsive shopper who loved exploring a tack shop’s every crevice in the first place. Compare prices: Online is devastatingly effective as a transaction medium. It’s a fast, efficient way to browse, compare and purchase. Let’s just hope your prices are comparable!

The less I have to give back to the credit card company, the better. Look for deals before heading out: With the web at hand, there’s no reason not to look up where you can get it cheaper before heading out. Who cares about customer service? Until they don’t get any! Who cares if you don’t stand behind it? Until you don’t! Cheaper is better? Right! Don’t buy saddles from tack shops: Not too many years ago, saddle sales all went through tack shops. Now the trend is for the manufacturer to hire fitters and go on the road to fit, sell and service the customer direct. I like this trend; I never could see the financial gain in having 200 saddles on the store floor to be able to sell three a week. Avoid sales tax at all cost: “Do I have to pay sales tax? I don’t pay the tax if I order it online and have it shipped.” Or another one we get is: “I live in a non-taxable state”. Like the government cares what state you live in; all they care about is I collect and pay the sales tax. My store is located in a state that is only 20 minutes from a non-taxable state. Oh well. Last minute sale: I’m finding the consumer is waiting for the last minute to buy. That’s good and bad. It’s given my company a little advantage because I’m quite good at keeping


inventory [stock] on the shelves and in the warehouse. When they go to a competitor and they have to wait, they can’t. They need it for the weekend. So they have to go out and find a store that has it. That’s where we come in! Buy at shows: I have to admit, it’s nice right now in this economy to have a mobile store that is hitting all the shows week after week. People are still buying when at shows. This is a trend that was down slightly for last few years but has gone upward again in 2011. Pay with cash: Now here is a trend I like. The less I have to give back to the credit card company, the better. Asking for a discount: In my 20 years as a retailer, I’ve never been asked so many times: “Is that the real price”. I want to say “no, we only put a suggested price on the product in hopes that someone will come along and give us that ridiculous amount.” Real price? Is there such a thing a fake price? Buy two, return one: Even though the customer complains when you charge them freight to get the product to them, they don’t seem to mind paying for the freight back to the retailer. The trend is to buy two different sizes to see what one fits, then send the other one back. Discredit company on popular blog if you don’t get your own way: Sure, we have all had issues with retail stores and the old adage has always been true. Make one person happy, and they will tell one other; make a customer mad, and they will tell eleven. It’s the old one in eleven rule. Well, today it’s the one in 11,000 rule! Make a customer mad, and they will go onto the most popular equestrian blog site and tell the world that you couldn’t get in the bit they ordered for a month, even though you never carried it. Today, everyone is angry. They want to vent and they have a stage and a forum. Avoid shipping charges: The number one complaint from the consumer this year is: “Why do you charge so much for shipping?” I guess my answer should be “why does UPS charge so much for shipping?” I would love to be able to absorb some of the freight charges, but with margins down, where would it come from?

Make a customer mad, and they will go onto the most popular equestrian blog site and tell the world. Shopping on deal-of-the-day sites: here in the US has become the leader in so-called deals-of-the-day for the English equestrian disciplines. Every day since 2005, has offered two highly discounted items on the site. No one knows what products will be up next, all they know is that they will have 24 hours to buy it and it might run out, so they had better get it soon or the ‘sold out’ sign might pop up. This site has made a mark on the industry. Flexible purchasing: 2011 has brought greater opportunity to get your store and products more and better exposure. The future seems to be to allow your customer to purchase when and where they want to. That includes the traditional (in-store) commerce, ecommerce (internet), m-commerce (mobile), fcommerce (Facebook), s-commerce (social) and v-commerce (video-enabled, as in YouTube).

About the author JOHN NUNN is the owner of Bit of Britain Saddlery located in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Bit of Britain specialises in the discipline of eventing but branches out to include dressage and show jumping. Within 20 years, John has grown his business from a delivery lorry at the racetrack into one of the largest retailers in the US today. Over 6,000 sq ft of store front, three mail order catalogues a year, a mobile unit that attends over 30 shows per year and five websites reach out to every type of equestrian consumer. John is also a horseman who loves to ride and compete when time permits.


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Coming soon in ETN. . . OCTOBER ISSUE • Balanced diet – supplements and feed balancers

• All wrapped up for Christmas – seasonal gift ideas

• Winter ailments – products to combat the effects of rain, mud and cold

• How to win a 2012 BETA Business Award – we find out from former winners


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ETN - Equestrian Trade News - August 2011  

ETN August 2011

ETN - Equestrian Trade News - August 2011  

ETN August 2011