... the magazine for the industry, about the industry, by the industry
Comment WATCHING sport or a concert on television instead of going to a live match or show is pleasant enough; but it’s a bit like eating turkey sandwiches compared with a roast-and-all-thetrimmings. The same can be said of BETA International – happening at the NEC, Birmingham on February 16 – 18. Yes, ETN will bring you full coverage. But as someone who has attended every BETA International since it moved to the NEC in 1995, let me assure you that reading about it just isn’t the same as being there. Admission is free to bona fide retailers. So, go on, do it now – register to visit at www.beta-int.com . See you there!
PRODUCT NEWS Latest launches from innovative suppliers..........14 BETA MEMBERS’ PAGE Focus on training for 2014.....................................19 FEEDING FOR BREEDING COVER STORY The vet’s view .........................................................20 Charity asks: do you need to breed?.....................23 Gallery of stud feeds ..............................................24
THERE’S much to look forward to in 2014, not least the World Equestrian Games (WEG) just across the Channel in Normandy. Thankfully, unlike during the Olympics, sponsors won’t be restricted in pledging their support for our top riders. Overt displays of flag flying must surely have a positive spin off for retailers – so let’s all lend our support to our teams and their fantastic horses as they go for gold. At the other end of the equine scale, the pitiful and the neglected will continue to suffer, despite the herculean efforts of charities to rescue and rehome. In this issue, World Horse Welfare provides some sobering reading. Those guilty of over-breeding are not necessarily those we normally suspect, it transpires. If your business undertakes fund raising for charity, please do consider the equine causes this year. Or if you have the knowledge and facilities, maybe you could even rehome a horse? Let’s make it a new year’s resolution to support the reason we all make a living from this trade; the horse.
BETTER RETAILING Are you future proof?.............................................26
THE closing weeks of 2013 saw some interesting movement of key people to and from the likes of Ariat, EKKIA, Shires and Matchmakers International. Movers and shakers at leading feed companies have also been on the transfer list. It’s all been reported by ETN of course. Whether they’re reps or directors, much of these people’s work involves selling, either directly or indirectly. So it’s interesting to ponder how much of their success or otherwise is down to the product or the person.
COUNTY COURT JUDGMENTS ETN’s exclusive listing ...........................................34
PEOPLE Who’s new, who’s moved? .....................................27 BEDDING & STABLE TOOLS ...................................28 HOOFCARE Expert answers your hoof boot questions ...........29 Product gallery .......................................................30 MY HORSE WORLD With Sue Carson .....................................................32
FRONT COVER: Full of promise for a new year, this optimistic photo of a mare and foal comes courtesy of Baileys Horse Feeds. For advice on how nutrition can be adjusted to support and encourage even growth rates, from conception onwards, contact Baileys Horse Feeds on 01371 850247 (option 2) or visit the Stud micro site at www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk The image is by Olivia Pile, photographer and painter; more of her work can be seen at www.oliviapile.co.uk
Why we’re backing bricks and mortar retailers
Animalife to stop supplying for online retail sale SUPPLEMENTS manufacturer Animalife has introduced a new way of selling its products to the trade. The company is strongly supporting bricks and mortar retailers, but will no longer supply product for online retail sale. From 1 January, only Animalife accredited retailers with ‘proper shops’ can purchase its brands, including Vetrofen, Vetroflex and Oxyshot, from wholesalers. Trilanco and Battles are the company’s main distributors. Animalife will no longer supply product for retail sale over the Internet. However, mail order sales – which are often undertaken over the telephone - will be allowed, says the company. A bespoke continuing professional development (CPD) programme has been created by Animalife to provide retailers with regular product training. Only those who commit to participating can retain their accreditation. Training is undertaken online and it is the business - not the person – that earns the accreditation. “The idea is to enable individuals involved in a retail outlet confidently to assist their customers in making an informed and successful decision when choosing a supplement for their horse,” said Animalife director Ross Riley. “This personal engagement is unfortunately not available when purchasing from a website,” he added, “so we have made the decision that retailers will no longer be able to sell [our products] online. “All trade customers will be required to sign up and agree to a set of terms and conditions before stocking or selling any of the Animalife range.” As well as training, Animalife accredited retailers can take advantage of offers and promotions in line with a national advertising campaign. They also get point of sale items and the chance to work with local Team Animalife sponsored riders who may visit stores to interact with customers and staff.
Animalife wants more face to face engagement between retailers and customers.
Price wars Animalife’s new scheme is designed to support bricks and mortar retailers who, said Ross, “have had a rough time due to the amount of price competition coming from online sellers. “There is very little in the way of product support and after sales service from online retailers who traditionally sell commodities very competitively,” he added. “The online dominance is quickly degrading the value of the hardworking staff and business owners in stores and removing that personal interaction, support and after-sales care that many customers desire. “When selling premium supplements there should be a basic level of education from the retailer. “This new accreditation scheme will lead to more informed customers, greater margins for approved retailers, fewer price wars and a tighter support structure between manufacturer and trader.” Animalife is to continue selling to consumers via its own website, but has removed the free delivery incentive. To find out more and to become accredited visit www.animalife.co.uk and go to Trade Life.
ADVERT INDEX Allen & Page ...............................................................25 Animalife ............................................................3, 4 & 5 Bailey’s Horse Feeds ....................................................21
Equestrian Trade News Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW Tel: 01937 582111 Fax: 01937 582778 – Sales Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.equestriantradenews.com Publisher: Equestrian Management Consultants Ltd Editor: Liz Benwell Email: email@example.com Tel: 0845 6185007 Advertising Sales: Nicki Lewis Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01937 582111 Fax: 01937 582778 Advertising Copy: Nicki Lewis Email: email@example.com Tel: 01937 582111
6 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ghsmith.com
BETA International .......................................................18 Citrus Lime ..................................................................12 Classified ....................................................................33 Equetech.....................................................................17 Equimat/Nedz/Silverfeet ...............................................29 Equisafety Ltd................................................................8 Faulks & Cox Ltd ..........................................................11 Fynalite .......................................................................28 GWF Nutrition ...............................................................7 B Jenkinson .................................................................13 Keratex........................................................................31 H J Lea Oakes..............................................................22 Alan Paine...................................................................16 Saracen Horse Feeds .................................................OBC Sherwood Forest.........................................................IFC Shires Equestrian Products ...........................................15 Snowhill Trade Saddlery..............................................IBC Total Confidence Live ...................................................10
W F Young ....................................................................9 Web Directory .............................................................34
Take the (free) bus to BETA International FREE coaches will transport visitors to BETA International with return services from Norwich, Exeter and Carlisle on Sunday, 16 February. Coaches from the Anderson Travel Group and CoachMarque, with toilets and refreshments on board, leave early in the morning, with pick up points en route to the NEC, Birmingham. “The free service is always extremely popular and we are pleased to report that it is back by popular demand,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. As demand for seats is expected to be high, reservations should be made online as soon as possible. Visit www.beta-uk.org and select Free Coach Service on the Visit page menu bar. A timetable is available to help visitors locate their nearest pick up point. Coach passengers will receive goody bags from main sponsor Neue Schule. More details from BETA International operations manager Jackie Woolley, tel 01937 582111 or email email@example.com.
Derby House in administration RETAILER Derby House Ltd has gone into administration and subsequently sold to Newtyle Trading Company Ltd. The business continues to trade through the internet retail website www.derbyhouse.co.uk Chris Newell of Quantuma LLP and Simon Bonney of Baker Tilly Business Services have been appointed as joint administrators. Their spokesman said: “All customer orders previously placed with Derby House Limited will be honoured.” Newtyle Trading Company Limited was established in November 2011. It has four directors, Martin Turley, Mark Reeves, Andrew Lane and Craigie Anne Pearson. Derby House Ltd has been the subject of a CVA (company voluntary arrangement). Late last year, Derby House closed its one remaining bricks and mortar store at Wrightington, Lancashire. The premises were let to a number of concessions from farm shops to a children’s activity centre. Mark Reeves told ETN (December issue) that Derby House would be continuing with its internet mail order operation.
Winning made easi POULTRY bedding easichick won Quality Product of the Year at the Wood Recyclers’ Association Awards. easichick is produced by Hadfield Wood Recyclers, the company behind equine bedding easibed. 10kg bales of easichick are popular within the domestic poultry market.
Australia’s ‘saddlery king’ dies in crash
FLYING THE FLAG: Adding 16 new countries to its list of international customers helped Form Nutrition, parent company of Equiform Nutrition, scoop the Exporter of the Year title at the South Cheshire Business Awards. The Crewe based supplements company was up against global players in the recycling, sealant for ships, film and motor industries. The judges, who conducted factory visits before choosing a winner, commended Form Nutrition and its workforce on being “adaptable and versatile.” The company increased its exports to the Middle East following participation in a BETA-led trade mission to the 2012 Dubai International Horse Show. Equiform Nutrition electrolytes and multi-vitamins are particularly popular with racing and endurance yards in the Gulf. All supplements produced by Form Nutrition, which range from products for ferrets to poultry, are made in its Cheshire factory. “We have started putting the union flag on our labels,” said Lizzy Blake, managing director since 2003. “Being British made means a great deal, especially in the equine export market.” Pictured celebrating their Exporter of the Year award are, from left, business development manager Jerry Brennan, Anna Price who works on export sales, Jane Harrington from the award’s sponsor Bentley Motors and Lizzy Blake.
GREG GRANT – a leading equestrian businessman known as ‘the saddlery king of Australia’ – and his wife Patricia have died in a road accident. The couple, aged 69 and 68 from Caloundra in Queensland, were on holiday in India. They are understood to have been travelling in a taxi when the accident happened on Friday (6 December). Their daughter Amanda and her husband were in a separate vehicle. Greg and Pat Grant built up their Saddlery Trading Company over more than 30 years to become one of Australia’s leading wholesalers. The company stocks more than 15,000 product lines. Brands include Tekna, Alto-Lab , GG Australia, Sterling, Ambassador and Bambino Pony Gear. Greg often visited Britain and Europe in the 1980s and 90s to attend major trade fairs. “He was always a gentleman and played with a straight bat,” said Phil Duff, a prominent figure in the trade. The Grants also owned two Greg Grant Saddlery retail stores in Australia. They leave a daughter Amanda, a son Barton, and three grandchildren.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Children who ride with the Gartmore Riding for the Disabled (RDA) group received a special Christmas gift from Abbey England and Stubbs. The two companies donated a strengthened, lifesize model horse called Ashby to the Staffordshire based young riders. Ashby is used in the riding school’s sensory area for children unable to manage a real horse. He also introduces youngsters to the saddle prior to riding the RDA ponies. “Ashby is a valuable asset to the children as he can help with balance, core stability and confidence,” said Peter Philips of Abbey England. “We hope he’ll make a difference to many riders over the years.” Gartmore teaches riding to special needs school children from local schools, as well as young adults from care homes and also adults with disabilities. Pictured are members of the Gartmore RDA group with Ashby, Richard Pickering of Abbey England (left) and Chris Bradwell of Stubbs.
Supplement withdrawn ZOETIS [formerly Pfizer] has withdrawn its joint supplement Flexi4 from the UK market due to regulatory and licensing issues. There is no involvement with the FEI. The product remains available in other EU countries. A Zoetis spokesperson said: "Flexi4 is currently not available in the UK pending further discussions with the regulatory authorities and we cannot comment further.”
8 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
Saddlery announces redundancies A TOTAL of seven employees have been made redundant from Barnsby. Sales managers Alison Mason and Lisa Thoron, who respectively covered the north and south for the Walsall based saddlery company, have been laid off. Five factory and warehouse staff, of a total of 37, have also been made redundant. Barnsby’s six saddle fitters, who are self-employed agents, have been asked to hand back their vans. It’s understood that two are no longer working with the company. Speaking on 5 December, managing director James Hitchin said Barnsby had applied for a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) and was in consultation with creditors. A decision was due on 23 December. He said Barnsby had been having “difficulties with the Inland Revenue.” “Our creditors are being supportive and we are determined to trade as an ongoing company,” he added. Barnsby is one of Britain’s oldest saddlery companies having been established around 220 years ago.
London could host FEI World Cup finals LONDON’S O2 Arena is one of four venues bidding to host the FEI World Cup jumping and dressage finals in 2017. Omaha, Nebraska in the USA has also applied to stage both competitions. Hong Kong has bid to host the jumping only and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland, solely the dressage. London’s O2 Arena was renamed the North Greenwich Arena for the Olympic and Paralympic events staged there during London 2012.
Make a date THE 2014 BETA calendar features dates for the year’s top shows and events. Each month is illustrated with an equestrian theme, from BETA at Gatcombe to horses in the snow. Ideal for hanging in the shop, office, kitchen or tackroom, BETA calendars cost £4.99 each (including postage and packing). BETA members each receive a free copy and can purchase multiple copies at trade price. Order via the BETA website at www.betauk.org or call Ann FitzGerald in the BETA office, tel 01937 587062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distributor turns up the heat WESTGATE EFI has been appointed sole UK distributor of the Exo Glo heated clothing range. Men’s and women’s Exo Glo jackets and gilets use patented FabRoc heating panels to provide what’s described as a “cocoon of heat.” Between two and five hours’ heating time is provided by a rechargeable power pack supplied with each product.
BETA leads Australian mission BETA accompanied six British companies on an export mission to Equitana Sydney 2013. The four-day Australian consumer show produced brisk business plus networking opportunities. Likit (Talisker Bay), Bliss of London, Barnsby, Snuggy Hoods, Rockfish Riders and Equine Assisted Learning made their Sydney début. “A number of the party attended with a view to finding representation while others sought market feedback and some came along with their Australasian agents,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “This was only the second time that Equitana had taken place in Sydney, as it’s usually held in Melbourne every two years. The Sydney edition is smaller in size, but all companies seemed to get a good response to their products.” Marcus Aldred, technical sales director of Rockfish said: “Being part of the BETA party meant that we benefited greatly from expert advice and received introductions to relevant organisations, potential distributors and retailers that attended the show.” Likit Products used Equitana to research the market. “We wanted to see how our brand is currently presented in stores and what can be done to improve visual merchandising and availability in Australia,” said managing director Andrew Robertson. The company’s retail partner Brighton Saddlery sold out of Likits within the first two days. Equitana Sydney 2013 hosted a large shopping village with hundreds of stands, a Carl Hester dressage clinic, horseball competition and WEG reining qualifier. BETA has secured UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) export funding for Equitana in Melbourne in November (2014), giving companies the opportunity to follow up and reinforce their presence in Australia. For more information, contact Tina Hustler at BETA tel 01937 587062 or email email@example.com. STRICTLY A BEST SELLER: Gift specialist Your Gift Horse sold out of a scarf in under 24 hours thanks to Strictly Come Dancing contestant Susanna Reid’s liking for the equine themed accessory. After the BBC Breakfast presenter inadvertently flashed her underwear on the TV sofa last week, the paparazzi was waiting for her to leave the studio. And shots of her wearing the now infamous dress – plus Caballo scarf from Your Gift Horse – appeared across the national press. “We’ve been rushed off our feet keeping up with orders,” said Your Gift Horse owner Sandra Jones. “The warehouse is open seven days a week and we’ve got temporary staff in to help.”
Innovation awards judges named NEC, Birmingham, UK BETA International has named the majority 16-18 February 2014 of judges for its Innovation Awards, www.beta-int.com sponsored by ETN. They are Beth Pritchard, an equine vet who’s married to Bramham horse trials organiser Nick Pritchard; top show rider and producer Katie Jerram; equestrian safety equipment expert and A & E consultant Dr Michael Whitlock; and retailer and Virbac Equine SQP of the Year Simon Weatherald. The 2014 BETA International Innovation Awards are open to exhibiting companies and judged during the trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham on 16 – 18 February. Main Sponsor
DOING THE HONOURS: Nottinghamshire retailer Riseholme Feeds officially opened into its new premises at Wysall last month. The store, which also stocks clothing and saddlery, had been based at East Leake. International eventer Laura Shannon (right) was on hand to cut the ribbon and declare the new shop open for business. Also pictured is Riseholme Feeds’ proprietor Lindsay Redfern. Customers flocked to see the new store and were treated to seasonal mulled wine and mince pies.
S SPONSORS & SHOW ● FINEST Brands International’s Toggi and Champion brands have added Jason Webb and his team at Australian Horsemanship to their stable of top riders. Kent based Jason’s training is based around handling and riding horses with confidence and control for safe and successful partnerships. ● HORSES are to be included when The Pet Show returns to Stoneleigh Park next summer. The indoor/outdoor format, which organisers claim attracted 17,000 visitors to the Warwickshire venue for its debut in 2013, takes place on 2/3 August. Tradestands are in ‘pet zones’ for horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and poultry and fish. ● LONDON 2012 paralympic team gold medallist Sophie Wells has become an ambassador for Battles’ Lincoln brand. “The vast product range covers all aspects of horse care and yard management. Lincoln products really do keep the horses looking amazing,” said Sophie. ● CORNISH farrier and show jumper Andrew James has secured sponsorship from Brinicombe Equine. He’s pictured riding Sonia Bridgman's Ulriqua, a mare he qualified for HOYS last year. ● TRADESTAND and sponsorship opportunities are available at a new stallion viewing fixture. The first Northern Stallion Showcase takes place on 22 March at Park End Equestrian near Hexham in Northumberland. More details from Pam Harrison tel 01228 676935.
BBC apologises for hi-viz fake claim THE BBC has broadcast an apology to Equisafety over an episode of Fake Britain. In a report upholding their findings, the BBC Trustees said the item was “inaccurate, misleading and unfair towards Equisafety.” The programme, broadcast in June 2012, showed a hi-viz waistcoat for riders being tested. Equisafety, the maker of the waistcoat, complained. The Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) of the BBC Trust decided it was inaccurate to say that the waistcoat had failed to meet EU standards and so was fake. The Trustees also concluded that Equisafety should have been given a right to reply to the concerns aired in the programme - and that viewers should have been told that an interviewee had links to a rival company. Today’s broadcast concluded: “The BBC would like to apologise to Equisafety and to our audiences.” The full finding can be viewed at http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/ assets/files/pdf/appeals/esc_bulletins/2013/oct.pdf
SQPs: gain CPD points at BETA International SQPs [suitably qualified persons] can gain CPD points at BETA International 2014 by attending AMTRA-accredited seminars. ‘Profitable Management of Wormer Resistance’, presented by animal medicines expert Jim Wishart on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February, is worth ten points. “Hosting this topical seminar on two different days allows SQPs greater flexibility to plan their visits and makes a significant contribution to their overall trade fair experience,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. There’s no need for SQPs to book places for the 75-minute seminars, but they should bring their AMTRA number to register their attendance. SQPs are required to gain CPD points to maintain their qualification to prescribe and supply relevant animal medicines.
ITALIAN JOB: Veredus stockists were treated to a three-day visit to the brand’s head office and factory in Monfumo in north-east Italy. Their host was Simon Middleton, managing director of UK distributor Zebra Products. “The trip which was a thank you to retailers who have been supportive of the brand during 2013,” he said. After flying to Venice, cars swept the group to their luxury hotel near the Veredus headquarters followed by dinner at a famous seafood restaurant. A tour of the headquarters included training in Veredus’ product ranges, such as Magnetik, Equine Sport and the Guarnieri footwear collection, rounded off with more Italian hospitality. Day three saw the retailers relax with shopping and sightseeing in nearby Bassano. Pictured, from left, Lindsay Middleton (Zebra Products), Karene Wallace (First Saddlery), Nicola Barry (Buckaroo), Nigel Young (Hope Valley Saddlery), Kathryn Langley (Amira Equi), Alex Scott (First Saddlery), Laura Bertoncello (Veredus), Pam Mildner (Zebra Products), Ib Ravn- Aagaard (Amira Equi) and Simon Middleton.
Something to get your teeth into
Leading the way
JUST Fi-blocks, made from unadulterated compressed fibre, are now available in 4kg bags each holding four x 1kg blocks. The new size, stackable bags were a big hit at Your Horse Live where manufacturer Just Feeds introduced them to consumers. Now, having created interest, more stockists are sought. “Horse owners were so pleased and almost relieved finally to find a product that contains no additives, preservatives, oils or molasses and is completely natural,” said Graham Stubbs, owner of Just Feeds. Just Fi-blocks come in Alfablend and Meadow blend varieties. Horses can bite into them for lengthened eating time and entertainment. Or they can be soaked to a chop for those with not so good teeth. A ‘value’ 8kg stackable box is also available. t Just Feeds 01335 310061
CLOTHING label Equetech has created a capsule showing collection, the foundation of which is this lead rein handler's outfit. Liz Hayman, managing director of Equetech, has gone on to design key pieces in tweed that work separately or can be coordinated into outfits. “Feedback from the showing world has been positive, the collection is vibrant and affordable with new design features tempting riders and non riders from all disciplines,” said Liz. The Kenton Collection (pictured) includes a lead rein jacket in navy with canary over-checks in pure new wool and velvet turn-back cuffs plus stand up velvet. The figure-hugging Kenton skirt flairs for freedom of movement during trot-ups. A navy velvet trim and bow adorn the matching hat. The cost-effective, tailored Kenton Tweed Lapel Waistcoat looks good on or off a horse. The Kenton Tweed Riding Jacket has navy or canary over-checks, while the Calvert comes in fresh green with subtle blues and greens. Equetech has introduced Junior Jackets for lead rein classes. A clever feature is a two-way button system making them suitable for boys or girls. t Equetech 01296 688966
Hat holds three safely standards WESTGATE EFI has added a new jockey skull to its Gatehouse collection. The RXC1 helmet holds triple safety standards: BSEN1384, PAS015 and SnellE2001, plus the BSI Kitemark. Snell is the world’s highest manufactured equestrian helmet safety standard. It includes a test that simulates a rider falling into a fence rail or a secondary hit by a horse's hoof. With mesh covered ventilation zones and a padded leather harness, the RXC1 is believed to be the only jockey skill with a removable, washable lining. Sizes are extra small to extra large in grey. t Westgate EFI 01303 872277
“Everyone remembers Arkle” THIS fascinating new book is as much the story of the people surrounding Arkle as about the great racehorse. Author Anne Holland had interviewed Arkle’s original work rider, stable lads and other connections, most of whom now are senior citizens. Known in his native Ireland as ‘Himself’, it’s well known that Arkle won 27 of his 35 starts. Less well known was how he frequently gave his rivals two stone, was trained mainly in small grass fields (not the luxury of all-weather gallops for Arkle), that he died aged just 13 and how his skeleton came to be in a museum. Illustrated by 20 behind the scenes photographs, Arkle The Legend of Himself (hardback, 224 pages, £16.99) is published by The O’Brien Press. 14 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
The rider’s winter bugbear EVERY rider – and indeed every outdoor person – must spend the entire winter suffering from cold hands. There are so many things you just can’t do with gloves on; from feeling a horse’s leg to doing up a bridle. In fact, I’d just finished trying to explain to the mobile phone salesman why I wanted a handset with big buttons – big enough to press with gloved hands, that is – when I happened upon one of those products that hits the spot. Stormchase wrist and hand warmers are rapidly finding favour on Newmarket’s gallops and yards and beyond. Warm, comfortable and supportive, while leaving the fingers free, they were invented by Carolyn Eddery, former wife of jockey Pat Eddery. Around the hand is Supplex/Lycra, a soft, stretchy, water and wind resistant fabric. While from the wrist towards the lower arm is warm polyester with microfleece backing and weather guard membrane. Also ideal for cycling, shooting and other outdoor activity, Stormchase is popular with arthritis sufferers as well as anyone who wants to stay warm and dextrous. They reportedly work well with gloves worn over the top when riding on very cold days. The RRP is around £20. t Stormchase 01638 428771
Masking the problem
Wheel of fortune
ANYONE with respiratory allergies will know all about the hazards of clipping horses and working with hay and straw. Yet, often despite doctors’ orders, these jobs still need doing. ETN has discovered a mask, made from neoprene and equipped with an active carbon filter, which filters out 99.9% of dust and allergens. It’s comfortable to wear for long periods and robust enough for outside work. Supplied by a company in Minnesota, USA, the RZ Mask covers the nose and mouth. It also absorbs odours when doing particularly dirty jobs such as drain clearing. Retailing at $29.99, The RZ Mask comes in a neat zipped case with spare filers. 20 designs and colours are available. t RZ Mask(888)-777-9422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHARLES OWEN has produced a colour wheel featuring the many piping options available for its popular Ayr8 riding hat. The graphic, available to download as a pdf or web-ready jpeg, is useful to show customers the many piping choices available. It can used on e-commerce websites, promotional materials or in store. Also new from Charles Owen are branded Tote bags. Prices at £8 and in grey, they make ideal carry-alls for busy horsey people. t Charles Owen 01978 317777
Ripped rug? No problem! YOUR customers could well thank you for stocking the Stormsure horse rug repair kit. For an RRP of around only £11, the kit contains two tubes of adhesive, waterproof patches of various sizes and weights, a spatula for spreading the glue, gloves to protect the hands and instructions. ETN tried it out, and it’s brilliant. The adhesive forms a rubbery seal on the patch – and the rug can go back onto the horse within ten hours. Every stable yard should have one. Stormsure does similar kits to repair punctures, leaking wellies, tents and even buckets too.
Save ’em for later! BAILEYS’ Tasty Treats are now available in a resealable 750g pouch as well as the good value 5kg bucket. The chunky, high fibre treats contain extracts of flavours of essential oils which horses find irresistible. The pouch is ideal for keeping in the grooming kit or horsebox. Priced at around £2.50, it’s a perfect Christmas stocking filler idea. t Baileys Horse Feeds 01371 850247
In the groove – or not! CHESTNUT geldings are often sensitive souls, and one such is Fergus, writes Liz Benwell. He’s the most charming, gentle horse who always tries his hardest to please. But when something goes wrong, he’s easily upset. And that’s what happened when he got his new dressage saddle. He was fine on the right rein; but on the left rein, he was taking irregular hopping steps in front and coming above the bridle with each one. The vet checked him out, no problem. We switched back to his GP saddle, absolutely fine in that. Back in the dressage saddle, which had been correctly fitted, the unlevel strides returned. Then we video’d him; and it was by watching slow motion footage that we discovered the problem - his girth. Fergus has a very forward girth groove and quite fleshy skin behind his elbow, indicative of previous irritation. The dressage girth was literally digging into him on each stride as he turned left. The tell-tale signs of scurf were there after every ride too. So we began trying different girths; all sorts of girths. We’d reached the point where the dressage saddle was going to have to go when, bingo, we noticed a picture of Carl Hester using an interesting looking girth – and discovered the Amerigo Dressage Elastic Girth. Designed by ‘Mr Amerigo’ Peter Menet, it’s an exquisite item made from finest Italian leather and lined with super-soft calf skin. The elastic element is barely noticeable, the girth actually giving a firm, stable feel when pulled. But it’s the shape that’s so brilliant; it’s streamlined in all the right places to remove friction and allow free movement. The quality of the leather is such that it becomes virtually fluid in use, moulding itself inextricably with the equine body. The £228 RRP might sound a bit steep, but my goodness, when a solution is found to make a horse comfortable and content, it’s worth every penny. t Zebra Products 01352 763350
Seeing the light AN device has been launched in the UK to make light therapy available and affordable to your customers. Danetre Health Products’ Ruth Milner says the Photizo Vetcare speeds up healing and provides natural pain relief. “Owners have experienced incredible recoveries through the use of LED light therapy in animal rehabilitation across the world in recent years,” she added. Light therapy treatments are normally only available through trained professionals using complex laser/light therapy devices. Photizo Vetcare delivers a onetouch, 31 second, pre-programmed, evidence-based dose of red and infrared light. In short, it puts this sought-after therapy into the hands of horse and pet owners. Treatable conditions are said to include degenerative conditions, all types of wounds and superficial and deep musculoskeletal injuries. Best results are achieved when light therapy is applied as soon as possible after an injury occurs and then as part of a professional treatment plan, says the supplier. t Danetre Health Products 01327 310909 www.equestriantradenews.com
WELCOME TO 2014 A VERY happy New Year to all our members! We hope that you are moving into 2014 after a busy and profitable Christmas, and ready for the challenges of the year ahead. We have kicked off the year on a high, rolling out our programme of training courses, offering plenty of BETA benefits, welcoming new members and looking forward to our Gala Dinner and the BETA Business Awards.
Training with BETA
CHECK out our wide range of training modules on offer. In addition to our regular safety and SQP courses, you will also notice dates for items such as the National Equine Forum, the BETA Feed Conference and digital marketing. 22 Jan – Day 1 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 23 Jan – Day 2 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 5 Feb – SQP exam day – Stoneleigh Park 6 March – National Equine Forum – London (Book tickets direct with Forum) 18 March – Day 1 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 19 March – Day 2 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 25 March – Safety course: Hat and Body Protector Fitting – Bristol 26 March – C&G Rider Safety Equipment Qualification – Bristol 1 April – SQP exam day – Stoneleigh Park w/c 7 April – Digital marketing, including social media – North Yorkshire 15 April – Lorinery Retailing – Stoneleigh Park 30 April – Safety course: Hat and Body Protector Fitting – Perth 15 May – Feed Conference – Whittlebury Hall, Towcester (Focusing on claims and labelling) 3 June – Day 1 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 4 June – Day 2 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 11 June – Visual merchandising – Midlands 17 June – SQP exam day – Stoneleigh Park 24 June – NOPS training day – Whittlebury Hall, Towcester w/c 7 July – Digital marketing, including social media – M4 corridor 2 Sep – Day 1 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 3 Sep – Day 2 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 16 Sep – SQP exam day – Stoneleigh Park 18 Sep – Feed Retailing, The Essentials updated – Midlands 23 Sep – Safety course: Hat and Body Protector Fitting – North West 7 Oct – Avian CPD Day or Revision Day for upgrading – Midlands 28 Oct – General CPD for SQPs** – Midlands 11 Nov – Day 1 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 12 Nov – Day 2 of full SQP course* – Stoneleigh Park 25 Nov – SQP exam day – Stoneleigh Park * Course to qualify as a suitably qualified person to sell companion animal and equine medicines, e.g. wormers. **CPD for SQPs – General (equine and companion animal modules)
CONTACT TINA HUSTLER AT BETA Tel: 01937 587062 Website: www.beta-uk.org Email: email@example.com Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW www.equestriantradenews.com
hy not don your best bib and tucker for the annual BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Sunday, 16 February? This is a glittering social occasion for the trade to let its hair down and party the night away – and to hear who has won the BETA Business Awards, which are announced at the end of a delicious three-course meal before the dancing begins.
Attendance is by ticket only, so don’t miss out – book your place today by calling the BETA office. Tickets are priced at £56 per person, £510 for a table of 10 and £612 for a table of 12 – all plus VAT.
Welcome to new members THE following companies have been approved as members of BETA: Global Herbs, supplement manufacturer, Chichester, West Sussex – Trade. The Black Horse Shop, retailer of clothing, saddles and feed, Morpeth, Northumberland – Retail (provisional). Equishop, equine and country shop, Saintfield, Co Down – Retail (provisional). Henry Bell & Co (Grantham), animal and pet food manufacturer, Grantham, Lincolnshire – Trade. Harbro, agricultural merchant and equestrian store, Turriff, Aberdeenshire – Retail. Molineux Competition & Livery Yard, competition and livery yard, Driffield, East Yorkshire – Equine. Equine Elite, equestrian recruitment consultant, Firle, East Sussex – Associate. Horse & Dog Outfitters, equestrian retailer, Birr, Co Offaly – Overseas Retail (provisional). Haycube, hay soaker manufacturer, Stapleton, Leicestershire – Trade. Equikro, equestrian retailer, Edinburgh – Retail (provisional). Equine & Country Store, equestrian retail store, Hexham, Northumberland – Retail. Hartpury College, equine college, Hartpury, Gloucestershire – Associate. John’s Cross Tack Room, equestrian store, Robertsbridge, East Sussex – Retail (provisional). Newhay Feeds, feed manufacturer, Selby, North Yorkshire – Trade. Rockfish/Zenner, wellington boot manufacturer, St Martin by Lode, Cornwall – Trade. Saddle Clinic, leather care specialist, Burnopfield, Newcastle upon Tyne – Trade. Salutivia/Lake Chemicals & Minerals, horse health products, Redditch, Worcestershire – Trade. Seeland International AS, clothing manufacturer, Greve, Denmark – Overseas Trade. Stuebben Riding Equipment UK & Ireland, wholesaler of bits and saddles, Corby, Northamptonshire – Trade. Worklite, footwear wholesaler, Harlow, Essex – Trade. EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS JANUARY 2014 19
It takes two... Breeding requires both parties to be in top physical shape to attain the best results, says veterinary surgeon Tom Beech. or the horses involved, breeding is energy sapping. Stallions must maintain their use for the entire season. Mares must carry their foals to full term and then support them until weaning.
Stallions at work In busy studs, stallions are ‘worked’ for the whole breeding season. Therefore they must maintain an optimal condition score. Something that is used right across the animal industry and is as relevant for horses as it is to beef cattle and pigs, this scoring system allows an onlooker to assess the physical qualities of an animal. A scale is then used to help determine if the subject is overweight, underweight or just right. Because condition scoring is objective it’s more useful than saying an animal is “looking well”, “poor” or “about right”, all of which are open to interpretation. An ideal condition score is 3, right in the middle of the standard 0-5 scale -0 being emaciated and 5 obese. A horse at condition score 3 will have a good covering of muscle, show a little rib and have sufficient fat covering. To make sure the stallion is in top shape ready to begin covering, his pre-season training should be aimed at making sure he reaches condition score 3. In some cases, stallions must lose a little weight and in others they must gain a little. They will be worked hard, so must be fit enough. Over-fat stallions have a reduced libido, often lower sperm counts and also tire as the season unfolds. Underweight stallions will not possess enough energy to last the season and will quickly lose more weight as they struggle to continue to perform. In addition, underweight stallions may be
Three is the ideal condition score for mares and stallions entering the breeding season. (Illustrations courtesy of Blue Cross. Find out more about the charity’s work at www.bluecross.org.uk)
20 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
at risk of producing substandard sperm. Each breeder knows their stallion. Some maintain their weight quite well during the season whereas others quickly lose it and so must be monitored closely. If the stallion is at a busy stud, his feed can be relatively similar to most performance horses. He will require a lot of calories to replenish his strength. Though the act itself is not too strenuous, a good deal of energy is lost through pacing and stress. One tip can be to raise the level of vegetable oil in the diet to increase the calorific
value of the feed without needing to use more grainbased rations. He will also require good mineral supplementation to assist with his recovery time, improve his digestion and generally keep him healthy. Right across equine nutrition, the main staple should be high fibre content, with energy and minerals etc built around it. In general, a maintenance level of fibre is around 1-2% of the horse’s bodyweight in fibre (usually hay, haylage or grass). Arranging the diet also requires a little common sense. Any horse only needs www.equestriantradenews.com
feeding to the level of work undertaken. In the case of the stallion, if he’s idle in the off-season then he only requires maintenance feeds. If, however, he is shown or ridden then he must be fed appropriately.
Mares: the long view Mares also need to be at the right condition score for breeding. As with the stallions, this is close to 3. Most professional breeders maintain this condition through a good maintenance diet. Hobby breeders often over-feed their mares during the breeding season and pregnancy. This is a big - but all too common -mistake, albeit done with the best intentions. Allowing a mare to be overweight may encourage twins. It may also cause problems such as lack of effort during the foaling process. The pre-breeding time is the most important at which to regulate the mare’s condition. During the first 90 days of pregnancy it’s not usually encouraged to drop an overweight mare’s condition as this can lead to early embryonic death. Weight loss can be encouraged after this period and, as you can Continued on page 22
Photo couresty of TopSpec
imagine, there is no risk during the pre-breeding window. One trick is to put her on around 1-1.5% of her bodyweight in hay until she has reached her optimum condition. The concentrate feed should be slowly stepped down until she is at her maintenance level. However, mineral supplements should be maintained. During the last 90days of pregnancy, the foal often doubles in size. This period often requires an increase in dietary energy to help support this growth. Some mares may drop weight at this time. This is not usually a problem for the unborn foal but can cause a drop in the quality and quantity of the essential colostrums [nutrient-rich first milk]. Following birth, the mare should be maintained to feed the foal and replenish her condition. The foal will be fed by the mare and then slowly weaned onto its own feed as it becomes older.
Breeding ethics: the vet’s view SO far, we’ve considered the quality of breeding mares and stallions in the context of their condition scores for their health and ensuring they can perform. However, we should also ask whether they should have been bred from in the first place. This comes down to individual conformation, the ability to stand up to work plus the physical traits we deem to be aesthetically pleasing. Over the last few years, there’s been a steady increase in the horse population in the UK. Unfortunately, many of the low level breeders are not thinking about quality of horses they’re producing – they’re purely thinking of a sale. This attitude has led to some very poor conformations. While I am not suggesting an Aryan view of horse breeding, there should be a little more thought put in at the hobby end of breeding as to exactly what should be bred from. A mare that has had a series of lameness issues as a result of poor conformation should not really be bred from as she retires from her working life. While it is a nice thought, it really doesn’t do much for the general health of the gene pool and the offspring will often be riddled with the same issues as its poor mother. If in doubt, the potential breeder should approach their local vet to discuss it before diving in. The British Horse Society and other equine charities are campaigning to reduce UK horse numbers as figures indicate that the equine population has risen beyond the number of
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possible suitable homes. This is echoed by horse charities seeing a rise in the number of horses with which they come in contact. Owning a horse is a privilege not a right. All too often, horses have been accumulated by people who do not have enough money to keep one let alone the five they have in the field. Sadly this has led to many welfare issues due to neglect as a result of financial insecurity. A shame but true. One view I will include for general thought is that countries who consume horse meat do not have the same issues with over-population or too many issues with poor breeding. If a horse has conformational issues it gets eaten, and the genetics are gone forever. Obviously there are emotional views attached and it is a huge topic but it certainly is an interesting point to consider. [Editor’s note: Tom wrote this before HRH The Princess Royal raised the topic for debate at the 2013 World Horse Welfare Conference]. So how can retailers get involved? One idea would be ask your local vet to give a breeding talk at your store. This will no doubt boost sales of appropriate products – but, more importantly, increase general understanding of the nutritional requirements during the breeding process. And my personal view on the ‘to breed or not’ issue? On the whole, I tend not to recommend hobby breeders take the leap as often it’s far more heartache than anticipated. For that reason I tend to encourage breeding to be left to the professionals.
Do you really need to breed, asks charity With 7,000 UK horses at risk of neglect or abandonment this winter, a World Horse Welfare (WHW) survey into who is breeding too many horses has thrown up some surprising results. And it’s not necessarily the usual suspects who are to blame. survey of 4,000 horse owners showed that collectively, twice as many foals are produced by those who had bred only one to five foals in their lifetime than by those who had bred more than 100 each. “Professional breeders, dealers and the racing industry are often blamed for producing too many horses, and while this may be true, the numbers appear to be reducing in line with the current market. Evidence suggests that in racing alone numbers have reduced by 25%,” said WHW chief executive Roly Owers. Clearly smaller breeders are making an impact on numbers. “It’s vital that every group acknowledges their contribution to the problem and takes steps to rectify it,” added Roly who is a vet. So what’s the problem with breeding a carefully-planned, much-wanted foal? There are already too many horses for the good homes available, WHW warns. Hence every foal born increases the chance of neglect either to that horse directly or by taking up a valuable home and thus pushing another horse into an awful situation. WHW witnesses first-hand how the breeding of foals can lead to abandonment and severe neglect. The charity saw a 27% increase of horses coming into its centres last year. Adding to the problem, rehoming figures dropped by 23%. “Horses are the same as anything else,” said Roly. “The more there are, the less money they sell for. When horses are readily available for
Each foal born makes it harder for every horse to find a good, safe home. (Photo courtesy of World Horse Welfare)
little money, some being sold for as little as £5, this often leads to unscrupulous people taking advantage of the situation. “Breeding a foal can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. However, it is important to consider all the potential problems before making the decision, and whether there may be a better option.” WHW’s message is that thinking carefully before breeding will not only reduce the amount of neglect, but also to make it easier for horses to find good, safe homes in the future.
How you can help You can rehome horses and ponies from WHW. If you don’t gel with your choice, or your circumstances change, then the charity will be happy to take him or her back again – a great safety net for both parties. If you or a customer is considering breeding, you may wish to visit http://www.worldhorse welfare.org/needtobreed More information on common breeding myths can be found at http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Breedingmythbusters
To request free posters and copies of the leaflets for your store, email firstname.lastname@example.org ● World Horse Welfare is the chosen charity of BETA International 2014. Find out more by visiting the WHW stand during the trade fair on 16 – 18 February, NEC, Birmingham.
Youngsters in trouble BLUE CROSS saw an increase (28%) in the number of welfare cases involving young horses and ponies being admitted to its centres last year. “That such high numbers of youngsters are being admitted as welfare cases is particularly worrying,” said Kath Urwin, manager of the Blue Cross Rehoming Centre at Rolleston in Staffordshire. “From responsible breeding to rehoming rescue horses, everyone has a part to play in helping to turn this alarming trend around." Find out how you can help or rehome at www.bluecross.org.uk
EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS JANUARY 2014 23
Investing in the future...
With the first foals of 2014 due on the ground any time now, are you stocked up with appropriate products? Encouraging steady growth
Milled in Cheshire
ALLEN & PAGE Stud & Youngstock Cubes or Mix are formulated to meet the energy and nutrient requirements of pregnant or lactating mares. The products help to provide a sound nutritional start for foals too. The aim when feeding youngsters is to encourage steady growth and correct development, says Allen & Page. Any rapid increase in bodyweight through overfeeding will not produce a bigger, stronger horse; instead it will put additional stress on immature limbs and joints. Stallions need enough energy to perform their duties and maintain condition, but consideration must be given to behaviour too. Low starch and low sugar feeds such as those in the Barley & Molasses Free Range help to promote good behaviour in stallions. This is because the high fibre content releases energy slowly, rather than producing fast bursts of sugar-led energy as provided by carbohydrates. t Allen & Page 01362 822902
EQUERRY Stud & Yearling Mix is one of an equine range from Cheshire miller HJ Lea Oakes. The diet for pregnant and lactating broodmares, working stallions and growing foals and youngstock includes good quality protein for muscle development and support during pregnancy and growth. Equerry Stud & Yearling Mix is supplemented with biotin to help hoof integrity plus all the essential vitamins, minerals and magnesium that are required. The Equerry range encompasses products from non-heating rations to high performance horse feeds. The products are manufactured at HJ Lea Oakes’ non-GM mill in Congleton, Cheshire from high quality ingredients. “All our feeds are fully traceable and quality assured under the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS),” said a spokesman. t HJ Lea Oakes 01270 782222
Breeding champions FROM winners at the Royal Dublin Horse Show to champions at the Royal Welsh, TopSec Stud Feed Balancer produces winning broodmares, youngstock and stallions. Its secret is to promote superb muscle and skeletal development without providing excess calories resulting in overtopping. The feed balancer improves the amount of nutrients a horse can extract from his total diet - so breeding stock can receive optimum nutrition from reduced levels of hard feed, with many resulting benefits. TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer improves hoof, skin and coat quality, while helping to maintain appetite, moderating the effects of stress and helping to maintain a healthy immune system. Pictured is Rebecca Monahan’s Notalot, winning the yearling class at the Royal Dublin Horse Show. t TopSpec 01845 565030 24 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
From conception onwards
A good start
SPECIALLY formulated stud mix or cubes, fed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, is a popular choice for pregnant mares. But some provide too many calories – which is when Baileys Stud Balancer comes into its own. Its low starch, low calorie formula ensures that the balance of important nutrients is maintained without supplying additional calories. Ideal for growing youngsters from three months of age, as well as broodmares and stallions, it can be used as the sole concentrate alongside forage or to top up reduced quantities of hard feed. Formulated to support growth, Baileys Stud Balancer contains quality protein, for muscle and tissue development, as well as vitamins and minerals which are important for cell integrity, skeletal development and general well-being. It represents the backbone to Baileys’ comprehensive Stud Range which includes its advanced formula Mare’s Milk Replacer, designed to be fed free-choice from a bucket to orphan or rejected foals. Milk-based Foal Creep Pellets can provide additional calories for suckling foals whose dams are not milking well; while Foal Assist offers vitamins and trace minerals to supplement micronutrient levels where the dam’s milk is of poor nutritional quality. t Baileys Horse Feeds 01371 850247 (option 2)
A PREGNANT mare requires a balanced diet for the entire 11-month gestation period, alongside ad lib forage. However, at approximately eight months, her energy and protein requirements increase. At this stage, she needs a full ration of stud feed - up to 40% of the total diet - or a stud balancer, says Spillers. Feeds with elevated levels of vitamin E and selenium can aid the transfer of immunity between mare and foal. After foaling, energy requirements can increase by 75% during lactation. At this stage, a stud feed to make up 30-50% of the total diet, or a stud balancer for good doers/overweight horses, should be given. Spillers’ Stud Cubes, Stud and Youngstock Mix and Youngstock Pellets feature added immune support in the form of vitamin C; while ingredients rich in glutamine may be beneficial during times of stress such as at weaning. High vitamin E levels, proven to support the transfer of passive immunity via the mare’s colostrum to her foal, are also included. For youngsters who hold their condition well, Spillers Gro n’ Win is a low calorie stud balancer for foals, youngstock and pregnant or lactating mares. It’s also the perfect complement to a forage-based diet. With clear point of sale materials and easy-to-use product guides, Spillers makes it simple for your customers to make the right feed decisions in-store. t MARS Horsecare UK 01908 222888
Is your business future-proof?
Successful retailers are already embracing a multi-channel approach, says Katya Williams. But which bits of the cocktail deserve particular attention? Delivery services
The rise of smart phones means consumers are no longer tied to their desktop PCs to make online purchases.
he bricks and mortar store, e-commerce websites, mobile ecommerce, click and collect services, price comparison websites, online customer reviews, customer reward points solutions, marketplace trading and online marketing are all essential factors in retail success. People are living increasingly busy and mobile lives. They no longer have the time or inclination to be constrained by the 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, opening hours of the high street. It’s now a 24/7 marketplace. The rise of smart phones and tablet computers means consumers are no longer tied to their desktop PCs to make online purchases. Retailers must diversify their services to meet these changing demands. Mobile e-commerce, for instance, has a key role in online sales and is an ever growing market. So as more purchases are made using mobile devices, page loading times, mobile friendly user interfaces and quick checkout processes have an increasingly prominent effect on conversion rates.
Delivery services are another important aspect of online shopping. Consumers want a choice of day and time slots convenient to them. Similarly, returns procedures are increasingly influential. One of the online shopper’s main concerns is that he or she is unable to see and feel the item they’re about to purchase, therefore it may not be suitable. So unless an online retailer has a cheap, hassle free returns policy, many shoppers will be deterred from buying. Enhanced return, delivery, and click and collect services meet both these needs. Customers can choose to pay for a premium delivery service, while they can also return or exchange an item simply and efficiently at no extra cost. Alternatively, they can pick up their purchase in store next day - with the added advantage of seeing the item before they take it home.
Pricing Competitive pricing remains crucial to any retail business. However, with the rise of online comparison sites, consumers are no longer compelled to walk to the other end of town to see what prices your competitors are offering; they simply go online. Advertising on price comparison sites such as Google Product Listing Adverts can boost conversion rates. If you’re not engaging with customers through these channels, you’re losing sales to competitors that do. Furthermore, price comparison sites are not limited to online sales. Many customers, typically those seeking technical and expensive products, do price comparison checks online then purchase from a physical
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store. Multi-channel retailers can meet these demands.
Customer loyalty Retailers that provide product reviews on their websites and also maintain consistently good customer service ratings build a reliable reputation and generate customer loyalty. Similarly, customer service in-store is more important than ever. Consumers are now empowered shoppers with a great deal of knowledge about the products they are purchasing. No customer wishes to come in store to purchase a product only to find out the shop assistant knows far less about it than they do! Good customer service leads to customer loyalty. Even if your pricing is less competitive than others, a high level of customer service will help you retain sales. Customer loyalty is an increasingly important feather in the multi-channel retailer’s cap. Having the ability to reward loyalty is essential; being able to do this while avoiding discounts and protecting margin is a bonus to the retailer. To keep up with big businesses, smaller retailers need to capitalise on their
unique ability to create a community around their store. This fosters loyalty through enjoyment of the retail experience, as opposed to relying on low prices. A customer rewards system is an incredibly effective method. Many retail businesses branch out into e-commerce to find that, after the initial surge in sales, their online profits begin to stall. This is usually due to a lack of investment in online marketing.
Customer loyalty is an increasingly important feather in multi-channel retailers’ caps. Google Product Listing Adverts, search engine optimisation, social media, newsletters, and online marketplaces are all crucial outlets that retailers can use to increase their profits. The future of retail lies in engaging with customers across a variety of channels. Limiting yourself to just one outlet limits your market and inevitably your profits.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR KATYA WILLIAMS is from Citrus Lime, the ‘clicks and mortar’ specialist and provider of epos, workshop, e-commerce and stock control solutions. Tel 01229 588628 or 0845 890 1270. Email email@example.com
• Topspec has strengthened its team with three new members joining the North Yorkshire based feed business. Vet and endurance rider Anna Welch BVSc BSc MRCVS is the new TopSpec veterinary nutritionist. After graduating from the University of Liverpool, Anna (30) worked in a mixed practice in North Lincolnshire then as an equine vet at St George’s Veterinary Group in Wolverhampton for four years. “My role involves dealing with nutritional calls and e-mails, offering advice on yards and at shows. I also assist with the VetSpec range of canine supplements,” said Anna. “It’s great to be able to combine my veterinary knowledge with nutrition at TopSpec. It’s an area which has always interested me deeply and a company I have respected for years.” A former member of the British Under 21 Endurance team, Anna is producing Percy, her four-yearold Arab x Appaloosa, as an allrounder and endurance horse. Also new at TopSpec is equine nutritionist Olivia Yates (23). After graduating in equine science from Hartpury College, Olivia spent a “fascinating” year at Kentucky Equine Research. As well as answering nutritional requests, Olivia provides advice on yards and at shows. Off duty, she’s producing her four-year-old homebred mare Annie for eventing. TopSpec has appointed a Thoroughbred specialist too. Will Humphreys visits racing and point-to-point yards as well as studs. The former National Hunt jockey rode for David Nicholson for ten years and has worked in the equine feed industry for 16 years. Will’s personal interest in racing and point-to-pointing extends to a plan to train and run one of his young Thoroughbreds next year.
• Matchmakers International has recruited Katherine Brown (left) and Faye Berry to its sales team. Katherine joins as area sales manager for the south-east; Faye takes on a similar role in the south-west. National sales managers Rob Carter and Leanne Rigby lead the team, with area sales manager Angela Pearson covering the north of England. Katherine and Faye represent all Matchmakers’ brands, namely Harry Hall, Caldene, Tottie, Masta, Cottage Craft and The Riding Sock Company. Sales and marketing director Richard Lawrence described them as “experienced professionals who will add strength, depth and enthusiasm to the service we offer all our retailers.” A business and management graduate from Portsmouth University, Katherine has worked in the equestrian industry for the past five years. She has been a territory sales manager for Global Herbs. In her spare time, she is retraining a five-year-old ex-racehorse. Faye, who has worked in sales for Shires, says her four years’ experience in the trade have fostered her understanding of retailers’ needs. “The [new] role involves working with retailers, looking after current accounts and developing new ones,” she added. A life-long rider, Faye enjoys eventing and hunting.
Equestrian Trade News
• Piers Westerman has joined EKKIA as representative for the southeast of England. He was previously with Matchmakers International for three years. Leicestershire based Piers comes from a horsey family. He has a young daughter who also enjoys riding.
• Iain Cardwell, who has worked for animal health and equine wholesaler Trilanco since 2007, has gained his R-SQP qualification. His new ‘suitably qualified person’ status means Iain is now a professional animal health advisor allowed to prescribe and/or supply multi-species VPS [vet, pharmacist and SQP] category animal medicines. “It’s great that I have the qualification; but the study, the exam and the six week wait for the results has made it the most stressful period of my life to date,” confessed Iain who studied at home followed by a two week residency before the exam itself. “We’re so pleased for Iain, and we’re pleased for the company too,” said Martin Balmer, managing director of Trilanco. “We now have three R-SQPs. This isn’t a requirement for a wholesaler, but we believe it’s important to be as knowledgeable we can be about the products we sell,” Editorial for consideration should be received by
Coming soon in ETN. . . 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
MARCH 2014 ISSUE
● BETA International 2014 – review of the trade fair, BETA Business award winners ● Competition gear – clothing and equipment for competing horses and riders
● Weight watching – feeds, supplements and equipment (such as electric fencing) to combat the threat of laminitis www.equestriantradenews.com
Tel: 01937 582111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS JANUARY 2014 27
As muck heaps across the country steam in the cold January air, are your customers feeling in need of better bedding or tougher tools? ETN checks out what’s available. Healing power of silver NEDZ has added silver to its equine bedding. The company’s existing treatment, Natural Nedz, already includes manuka, aloe vera and cade oil for their anti-bacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties. Silver has the ability to limit moulds and fungi developing in the bedding and the stable environment. It can also help kill harmful viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Silver has been incorporated into Nedz Original and Nedz Pro bedding, both of which come in dust extracted 20kg bales with an RRP from £6.50 per bale. t Nedz 01254 677 762
Where there’s muck there’s money! NO matter which type of bedding your customers choose for their stables, one thing’s for certain….they’ll have to muck it out. Whoopee, exclaims Chris Birch at Faulks & Cox (FCL) - a great opportunity to sell them the right equipment! “We have all the right tools to make sure you cash in on selling to your bedding customers,” says Chris. “From our registered design Riddler fork through the four prong muck forks, forks for shavings, forks for pellets and forks for straw all under the Wm. Faulks brand. “In fact, it’s a case of Faulks by name, forks by nature,” chuckles Chris. Beyond the forks, FCL has the Tubtrug range which is ideal for collecting muck; while all-plastic shovels, such as the Tidees, save on back bending. “There are more great things about all these mucking out tools such as the fantastic colours and the Profit Pack [merchandising] stands which make stocking an easy, profitable pleasure,” added Chris. “Just phone and I’ll send you a brochure.” t Faulks & Cox 07966 288272
Walking the plank NOW here’s a real muck heap challenge... horse owners and grooms across the UK are risking their necks pushing wheelbarrows up slippery planks propped up against muckheaps. So does any ingenious inventor out there have a solution? A product that would help? Or a labour saving means of getting muck up the mountain?
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Hoof boot know-how
Garrett Ford, president and CEO of Easycare, a world renowned innovator in the field of hoof boots, answers some typical customer questions on this increasingly popular mode of equine hoof-protection. Q. Why does a pastern rub sometimes occur with hoof boots? A. Rubbing can occur with any hoof boot, and is most usually a sign the boot is not fitting correctly. If a customer has a boot that is rubbing on the pastern, they would be advised to try a different style or size of boot that fits the horse’s conformation more accurately. Often, rubs occur because a boot is too small; check the
measurements again and try the next size up, to see if that fits better. Make sure the foot is really on the sole of the boot, and not putting pressure on the heel. One way to check the length of the hoof inside the boot is to put the sole of the foot flat on the outside of the sole of the boot; this will show you exactly where the hoof is sitting inside the boot. If there’s any overhang, it’s pretty safe to say that the hoof is not able to comfortably sit
flat inside the boot, which can cause rubbing, as the upper will be under more strain. Q. If a horse has a narrow foot, what’s best way to maximise a fit, in terms of gaitored boot or glue-on? A. Hoof boots need to fit closely to work best. There are a couple of styles that will work well with a narrow foot. The Old Mac G2 has inserts to help keep a narrow hoof more stable in the boot; while the
The new Transition hoof boot
Continued on page 30
new Transition hoof boot has been designed to accommodate a multitude of hoof shapes, including narrow hooves, or hooves with a lot of flare. It’s all about choosing the right boot for the right hoof. Technical advice can always be sought from our UK distributor Trelawne Equine. A glue on boot should always be fitted by a farrier in the UK, so they would be able to advise clients if this option would be suitable for the particular shape of the horse’s hoof. Q. Are Gaiters easy to replace? A. Easycare Gaiters, which are the replaceable sections on
the upper part of some hoof boots, separate from the hoof ‘shell’, could not be simpler to change. There are just three screws to undo, the gaiter changed over, and the screws replaced. Q. Could the toes of Easycare Glove hoof boots be reenforced? A. The toes of the Gloves are made of a thicker material than the rest of the boot to give good resistance. But if you have a horse that drags his toes, this area can wear away more quickly. Some customers have patched the area. Generally, however, the boots are very tough and the toes in later model boots will not wear with normal use.
Garret Ford is pictured with The Fury who is wearing Glue on hoof boots. (Photo courtesy of Easycare)
On the hoof
GOOD farriers are always worth knowing, so keep a list of names and numbers in your shop. If a customer comes in who’s new to the area, or is new to horse owning, they’ll be very grateful if you can help with a contact or two. Also, get in touch with your local farriers to ask what hoofcare products they recommend. A few sell the odd item, but for most it’s too much trouble. They’d rather send customers along to your shop.
RETA IL T IP
ETN looks at the latest developments in equine hoof care. A cushion that cools
THE hoof packing brand Magic Cushion, acquired by W. F. Young last year, is to be re-launched in the UK as part of its Hooflex hoof care range. Designed to cool and cushion bruised soles and sore feet, thermographic tests show that Magic Cushion starts working to reduce heat in hooves within the hour. Its cleaning and cushioning properties help keep soles in good condition, even under pads. Hooflex Magic Cushion’s sticky, spongy texture enables it to mould to the horse's sole. On a shod horse it stays in place with a covering of paper. For unshod horses, a self-adhesive wrap or a hoof boot is required. One application lasts up to 48 hours. "Magic Cushion is a highly respected product among farriers and we are pleased to be able to make it available to consumers through our regular distributors", said European marketing manager Rachael Holdsworth. 30 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
Best foot forward
BATTLES’ Lincoln range includes hoofcare products and supplements to help achieve and maintain healthy feet. One is a faithful hoof dressing preparation used for many years. The Lincoln Classic Hoof Ointment contains a combination of hoof conditioning oils, natural greases and vegetable tar to enhance hoof appearance and condition. A modern, non-spill presentation is now available in the form of solid hoof oil. Also available are Lincoln Stockholm Tar, Lincoln Green Hoof Grease and Oil, Lincoln Hoof Disinfectant, Lincoln Pine Tar Spray, Lincoln Black Hoof Grease and Lincoln Intensive Hoof Moisturiser for optimising moisture balance in dry and brittle hooves. t Battles 01522 529206
IRISH company Ardall’s new Pro-Fit Stud overcomes every rider and groom’s nightmare of broken taps, dodgy threads and lost time at shows. The patented design – which has no thread allows eight studs to be fitted to one horse in less than two minutes. A farrier drills stud holes into the shoes as normal using a standard 7.5 steel conventional bit, then uses the Pro-Fit reamer bit to drill the same hole accurately for a smooth, tapered finish to match the stud. All it then takes is a couple of taps with the Pro-Fit hammer for the stud to be securely fitted into the stud hole. Removal is by twisting with a spanner. Despite being so easy to fit and remove, stainless steel Pro-Fit studs are said to stay in place whatever the going. t Ardall 00 353 66 9767234
Overcoming the challenges HORSES’ hooves face many challenges from working on abrasive surfaces to standing in mud and water. Even the best-intended management can test those precious structures. Highly absorbent bedding can draw the natural moisture from the horn, leaving it too dry, too quickly. The PRO FEET range, developed by NAF and endorsed by farriers, offers an armoury of solutions. Hoof Moist is a water based gel formulated to sustain the moisture content of the hoof. Frequent application will replenish the moisture levels of dried out, brittle hooves. A premium hoof ointment made with extracts of eucalyptus oil, Hoof Rub Ointment helps keep the horn supple and protects it from cracking and breaking. Rock Hard is a uniquely formulated hoof hardener that protects brittle hooves, strengthens soft soles and disinfects frogs prone to fungal and bacterial attack. It contains zinc sulphate and MSM. t NAF freephone advice line 0800 373106
Great hooves all year round FUNGICIDAL Hoof Oil from Barrier Animal Healthcare is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial product for the maintenance of healthy hooves in winter. In summer, it leaves a high gloss finish for the show ring and helps guard against dry, cracked hooves. A fine strengthening lubricant combined with coconut derivatives, it works well on weak, brittle hooves and can be massaged around the coronary band to help promote growth. Available in black or natural in 500ml, it helps to maintain the natural moisture balance of healthy hooves by allowing them to breathe. t Barrier Animal Healthcare 01953 456363
Give thrush the brush off VALES BROS reports that its KBF99 anti-bacterial grooming products are producing excellent results when used on horses with thrush. The condition thrives in moist, damp and dirty conditions, making stabled horses particularly prone. The KBF99 hoof brush is shaped to allow easy access to the frog, while the fibres are strong enough to dislodge dirt without being too abrasive. The brush fibres are coated with the KBF99 additive which kills bacteria and, in conjunction with good stable management, can help eliminate thrush. t Vale Brothers 01922 624363 www.equestriantradenews.com
EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS JANUARY 2014 31
What price reputation? Businesses are counting the cost of trying to defend their good names against customers’ legal actions, says Sue Carson.
'LET THE seller beware' might be a complete turnaround on the old adage, but as someone who has sold horses in the course of business, a story I heard recently left me speechless. Having sold a horse some months previously to a buyer who had it vetted but declined to have its front feet x-rayed despite her vet's suggestion, the seller's early feedback from the buyer was positive - the horse had settled in and all was well. However, when just a few weeks later the horse went lame and a problem with its front feet was diagnosed, probably congenital, then the buyer demanded the seller take the horse back. As there was no detailed contract of sale, the legal advice was that the seller, having sold in the course of business, should not fight the case because the law would be on the side of the buyer. To read about the law in this context, follow this link http://www.edmondsonhall.com /page/1r6ef/Home/partner.html
I was gobsmacked that you can be hung for something you genuinely didn't know about. It's also increasingly a fact that even if you do win a legal case these days, you may not be able to get your money - or legal costs - back from the other party. So trying to defend your good name can end up costing you a lot more than the value of the claim. So what happens? Legal advice to the trade is increasingly to settle any claim, not fight it, as legal costs are onerous. As a result, businesses are taking the 'least pain' option financially. But how do we value damage to reputation? A settled claim may not be anything other than a sound business decision and is certainly no longer a reliable indication of wrongdoing. We've also been reviewing insurance recently and going over our record-keeping to ensure it’s accurate and sufficiently comprehensive. In the case of claims, insurance companies are also increasingly likely to settle, not because the 'defendant' - your business - was wrong, but because of the cost of fighting a case. It's a commercial decision and having the right insurance can make it easier.
Needless padding When it comes to advice, something we are asked a lot about is the need for and use of saddlecloths and numnahs. My advice is always that if your saddle fits, you shouldn't need gel pads, riser pads, thick
32 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS
numnahs or multiple layers. On a similar theme, it's alright having a thin panel on a saddle, which might look aesthetically pleasing, but if you add a two inch numnah, you are back to the scenario above.
wearing did – it’s from the Fior da Liso range distributed by Schockemohle Sports if you don't recognise it - and emailed me to say "thanks for wearing the shirt and can we send you two more?" It gave me an idea. Any
Trying to defend your good name can end up costing you a lot more than the value of a claim. It’s always best if all a customer has to worry about is the saddle. But in my experience, too many of them can't even place a saddle in the correct place on a horse's back. We need more education; knowledgeable and experienced retailers are well placed to help with this and make related sales along the way.
Word of mouth Have you noticed the photograph of me at the top of this page? Well the manufacturer of the shirt I'm
good retailer will understand the value of looking after your customers, recognising their successes and giving them a little thank you. 85% of our business is recommendation and whatever the figure is for your business, finding ways to say thank you will help ensure your customers keep coming back and that more join them. That idea I had? To send a free saddlecloth, branded with Sue Carson Saddles, to any rider who is pictured wearing our brand in any printed magazine. Thank you all!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sue Carson is the managing director of the business she founded, Sue Carson Saddles. She trains horses and riders in dressage, has competed up to international grand prix level and is a List 1 British Dressage judge. Sue became involved with her family’s horse dealing business when she was nine and later worked in the family tack shop. She has been saddle fitting for 25 years and acts as an expert witness in equine legal cases.
EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS JANUARY 2014 33
County Court Judgments from England and Wales and the Scottish version, which are called Court Decrees.
List your website here For more information call 01937 582111
The judgments listed are those recorded by the Registry Trust Ltd and appear to be of a commercial nature. Judgments/Decrees can be for damages rather than debts, and their listing here does not imply an inability to pay. TACK & FEEDS LTD, UNIT 20, OLDBURY BUSINESS CENTRE, OLD CWMBRAN, TORFAEN, NP44 4PH, £203 DANIEL COLEMAN T/AS HORSES TACK, 31 ST CRISPANS COURT, STOCKTON, TS19 0JE, £933 S PETERS T/AS CANE END STUD, LOWER STABLE COTTAGE, READING ROAD, CANE END, READING, RG4 9HD, £12,907 THE BILLY STUD, MERESIDE FARM, BALLS CROSS, PETWORTH, WEST SUSSEX, GU28 9JY, £1,002 SAMANTHA BUDD T/AS SOUTHDOWNS EQUESTRIAN, UNIT 3, SOUTHCOURT YARD, 15 SOUTHCOURT ROAD, WORTHING, BN14 7DF, £4,253
The world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, pet product and country clothing sector Visit our brand new site . . .
2014 www.beta-int.com 16-18 February 2014 NEC, Birmingham, UK
GILLIES EQUESTRIAN LIMITED, JARRETTS GARDEN CENTRE, BATH ROAD, WILLSBRIDGE, BRISTOL, BS30 6EE, £469 BRAINTREE EQUESTRIAN CENTRE LTD, THE STABLES, LYONS HALL, LYONS HALL ROAD, BRAINTREE, CM7 9SH, £1,200 EASTEN EQUESTRIAN TAILORED STABLES, UNIT 9, MIDLAND COURT, NOTTINGHAM, NG7 3FH, £4465 MOAT FARM EQUESTRIAN CENTRE LIMITED, MOAT FARM ALDINGHAM, ULVERSTON, CUMBRIA, LA12 9RU, £1685 ISLE EQUINE & PET CREMATION, DOUGLAS BRAE, KEITH, AB55 5HT, £1146 T MURPHY T/AS LOS CORRALES LIVERY SERVICES, 58 STONEY DEEP, TWICKENHAM ROAD, TEDDINGTON, MIDDLESEX, TW11 8BL, £1,076 TACK & FEEDS LTD, UNIT 20, OLDBURY BUSINESS CENTRE, OLD CWMBRAN, TORFAEN, NP44 4PH, £203 CAROLINE JONES T/AS WYKE ANIMAL FEEDS, CHURCH VIEW EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, COLEY ROAD, HAILIFAX, HX3 7SA, £1,631 ASH TREE FEEDS, OXFIELDS, FLECKONE, RUGBY, WARWICKSHIRE, CV23 8AU, £594
34 JANUARY 2014 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS