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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

November 2011 Volume 35, No 11 Monthly


FOR WINTER Boots that do the job

2012 19-21 February 2012 NEC, Birmingham, UK

ETN is the official media partner of BETA International

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


Comment RUMOUR has it that cash-strapped consumers are turning to own brand feeds to save a few quid. Yet these same horse owners are jibbing at having to pay at £4 to £7 per small bale of hay – each of which probably contains more feed value, and infinitely more equine contentment, than an £8 bag of economy coarse mix. So well done to all those feed manufacturers that are working hard to educate owners that the average horse is better off on a fibre based diet. Fibre, of course, can come in many guises these days, from vacuum packed haylage to cubes and much in between. After all, many equines are little more than pets and don’t need feeding as though they’re being prepared for the Christmas fat-stock show. THE awards season is about to get into full swing, bringing with it our industry’s annual dose of expectation, excitement, glitz and glamour. In this issue of ETN, you can find out how to nominate for various 2012 BETA Business Awards, to be presented at the BETA Gala Dinner in February. ETN is especially pleased to be the new sponsor of the Trade Supplier of the Year award – surely to be one of the most hotly contested! WE thought long and hard before including a feature on a new DIY saddle fitting kit in this month’s ETN (see page 16). Those of you who are highly experienced and well qualified in this field will be best able to judge its authenticity and credibility. Of course, you don’t have to like, or even approve of, something to acknowledge its existence. While working on a travel trade magazine, I once asked the boss of Alton Towers theme park whether his business would be adversely affected by the launch of what was then the world’s biggest rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. “Oh, no,” he said. “It’s great – it will get everyone hooked on rollercoasters.” Just as keeping horses ‘barefoot’ has done for hoof care and Parelli for handling horses, you may not embrace it yourself, but you have to admit that it’s raised awareness of that particular issue. As for the DIY saddle fitting kit, if the consumer press pick it up, you (and your customers) will be hearing a lot more about that too. Question of the week: Hardly a day goes by without news of another big theft from a livery yard ...where is all this stolen tack going? Next time you get a minute to yourself, check out ETN’s new website where you’ll find breaking news, upcoming features and lots more. It’s at

Liz Benwell


NEWS .......................................................4 PEOPLE...................................................10 PRODUCT NEWS.......................................11 NEWS FEATURE Will a DIY saddle fitting kit make waves? .........16 RETAILER PROFILE Redpost Equestrian ....................................18 FIBRE POWER We check out hay prices and consider alternatives to stock ...................................20

HERBS & TREATS The latest news from the herbal sector ..........25

SPECIAL REPORT How to benefit from ..............27

2011 BETA CONFERENCE Report and delegate reaction .......................28

BOOTS, SOCKS & GLOVES The rise and rise of Kanyon Outdoor ...............30 How to sell hi-tech boots .............................32 Product Gallery .........................................34

COMMERCIAL INSURANCE Is your shop an easy target for thieves? ...........36

WHAT’S ON ..............................................37 2012 BETA AWARDS How to nominate your favourites ...................38 SADDLERY MATTERS Are rugs for fashion or function, asks Ken Lyndon-Dykes ...............................40

ARE YOU A TOP SQP? Meet Suzi Law, current Virbac SQP of the Year ................................................41

ASSISTANCE PRODUCTS Making your customers’ lives easier ..............42

VIEW FROM AMERICA There are never enough hours in the day, says John Nunn..........................................44

COUNTY COURT JUDGMENTS ....................46 FRONT COVER: This family of country boots, lined up after a busy day at the stables, is by Kanyon Outdoor. With sizes from children’s 10 to men’s 12, there’s a style for mum, dad and the kids. The Sapling (RRP £69.95) – believed to be the only leather children’s country boot currently available – is waterproof with a full length zip. The ladies’ Yew and Ash laced boot (RRP from £139.95) accommodates up to calf size 20” with regular fit offered too; this model has a K-Dry membrane, elastic gusset and attractive top buckle. For gents, there’s the waterproof Beech (RRP £150), stylish, comfortable and built to do jobs from shooting to dog walking. Visit and see the boots feature in this issue of ETN.


SHOPATRON EARNS MORE STRIPES DISTRIBUTOR Zebra Products is offering its trade customers the opportunity to sign up to the ecommerce initiative Shopatron. Shopatron allows retailers to join its programme free of charge while giving consumers the ability to purchase directly from a supplier’s website. Orders are then fulfilled by retailers. “Studies have shown that 58% of consumers begin their research on a manufacturer’s website,” said Zebra Products’ managing director and owner Simon Middleton, “so this new partnership with Shopatron allows us immediately to capture customer interest, convert more sales and drive business through to our retailers.” A small transaction fee is deducted from the proceeds of each sale, with retailers paid twice monthly for orders processed. Zebra Products has five brands signed up to Shopatron with more to follow shortly.

Simon Middleton: “Keen to help our retailers sell more.”

Horze launches canine range SCANDINAVIAN wholesaler Horze has launched 550 dog products. The new lines include bowls, collars, leads, travel bag, chews and toys. Horze marked the arrival of the new canine collection with an offer to its VIP customers of 20% off and free shipping. This Spring, Horze introduced an own brand, high-end equestrian fashion range, B Vertigo. The company undertakes its own manufacturing with factories in China and Ukraine.

Point Two advert in the clear THE advertising watchdog has rejected a complaint about an advertisement for Point Two air jackets. KC Sports, manufacturer of Rodney Powell body protectors, challenged whether the advertisement misleadingly implied that Point Two’s Hybrid P2-RS offered better protection than the current BETA Level 3 body protectors. The advert, which appeared in equestrian consumer magazines in April 2011, stated: "...So far, BETA Level 3 has been the most stringent category for body

protectors within the EU. The Point Two Hybrid P2-RS has now defined a whole new level of safety. The Hybrid P2-RS has passed independent tests that would class it as a Level 4 safety product ... if level 4 existed!" The Hybrid P2-RS jacket combines a Racesafe body protector with an inflatable air jacket. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pronounced KC Sports’ complaint ‘not upheld’ and that no action was necessary by Point Two.


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


Allen & Page ..................................................23 Ariat............................................................OBC BETA International.........................................IBC British Horse Feeds .........................................22 Buffera Ltd .....................................................10 Classified .......................................................45 Dodson & Horrell Limited................................17 EAF HaySoft ...................................................21 Finest Brands International .............................31 Gallop Equestrian Ltd.....................................IFC Golly Galoshes ...............................................12 GWF Nutrition..................................................9 Hilton Herbs...................................................25 HoneyChop....................................................19 Horka International BV......................................8 HorseHage.....................................................24 Mirror Me PR ...................................................4 Pelgar International ........................................11 RS-Tor ............................................................43 Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd ..................37 Sherwood Forest Ltd.......................................13 Shires Equestrian Products ..............................15 South Essex Insurance Brokers ..........................5 SureGrow.........................................................8 Taurus Footwear.............................................35 TopSpec .........................................................20 Torq Fitness....................................................12 Tuffa International Footwear ...........................32 John Whitaker International........................6 & 7 Worklite Ltd ...................................................33 ...............41

Regatta’s coming back to BETA International OUTDOOR clothing brand Regatta is to return to BETA International 2012, 16 years after it last exhibited at the show. The Manchester-based business will launch its autumn/winter 2012 Heritage collection of lifestyle garments, including fleeces and textured waterproof jackets. It will introduce a new line of snow boots to the UK too. Regatta’s range has developed considerably since its last appearance at BETA International. “We are familiar with other brands appearing at the show and confident that our range will sit nicely alongside them,” said Gill Russell,

New shop champions personal service SIX months after opening, The Rutland Saddlery Shop is experiencing a huge demand for old-fashioned personal service. Based at Rutland Village Retail Outlet at Ashwell Garden Centre near Oakham, the new venture is owned by Kate Wallett with Lucy Sharpley as store manager. Stock includes tack, clothing and sundries. It’s also a Lazy Jacks outlet - but the big draw is proving to be the store’s ‘special ordering service’. “So many people come in and are so relieved to be able to ask for help. We can give advice on standard items, and often help people track down unusual brands or non-standard products or get something customised for them,” said Lucy. In the age of e-shopping, she added, personal service has never been more sought-after. A free coffee area, complete with horsey magazines to read, enhances the non-hurried shopping experience at The Rutland Saddlery Shop. Lucy and Kate recently attended a BETA safety course to hone their hat and body protector fitting skills. “That really made us think,” said Lucy, “I mean, £80 [for a new hat] or your life!” Her customers are already reaping the benefits in terms of personalised fittings. A visit to BETA International, at the NEC, Birmingham on 19-21 February, is another important appointment for this relatively new retailer. “I can’t wait to see what’s new,” said Lucy.

Regatta’s PR and marketing manager. Gill said Regatta decided to exhibit at BETA International 2012 following sponsorship of the outdoor orientated television shows The Lakes, The Dales and Countrywise, an exercise which has increased brand recognition. Regatta, along with Craghoppers and dare2be – a multi-sports brand - belong to The Regatta Group which also has a retail arm, Countryside Trading. The business is owned and managed by the Black family with Keith Black as chairman and his sister Joanne as group buying director.

Click onto ETN

The new ETN website is live – and kicking! Click onto for breaking news, to find out what’s coming up in the magazine, more about us here at ETN – and how we can enhance your business.

Doping control updates CHANGES made to the FEI’s Prohibited Substance List, effective from 1 January, include the movement of valerenic acid from the Banned Substance category to the Controlled Medications category. However, Chris Gordon, chairman of the BETA feed committee does not foreseen valerenic acid being widely used in ‘calming’ products, as was once the case. “The change of classification of valerenic acid from a banned substance to a controlled medicine - a lesser sanction - is welcome,” he said. “But I would not expect the change to be significant for use during competitions as it may have a recommended withdrawal time prior to competition and would therefore be unlikely to be incorporated back into calmers routinely.” The FEI has also added magnesium sulphate injections to the Prohibited List. “Magnesium sulphate injections are not likely to lead to changes in the banning of oral supplementation of magnesium at normal levels, but companies should be cautious with their ‘claims’,” said Chris.

FINISHED HIS SHIFT: Merseyside Police horse Cracker has been retired to The Horse Trust's sanctuary in Buckinghamshire. The 16.3hh bay gelding was involved in high-profile police work such as crowd control during Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers football matches, safety patrols on the streets of Merseyside, and at major events such as the Grand National and Lord Mayor's Parade.

Cotton costs ‘set to stabilise’ A LEADING clothing brand has pledged to peg back its trade prices despite huge increases in the cost of cotton. Cotton is currently fetching more than double what it was last year – but prices look set to stabilise, according to Dock of the Bay boss Michael Stanley. High demand, tricky harvesting conditions, increased freight charges due to fuel prices and higher VAT put the price of cotton on a steady increase to 2010’s all-time high, added Michael. With cotton representing approximately 20% of the textile component of the modern wardrobe, clothing prices across the board have been affected. “Our close relationship with the cotton mills and clothing manufacturers, together with keeping our own overheads to a minimum, ensured we did everything possible to restrict price increases to our customers,” said Michael. Dock of the Bay clothes have a high percentage cotton content, the natural fibre being ideal for outdoor activities such as riding, sailing and walking. In our photograph, Becky is wearing Petra Popcorn quarter zip sweatshirt in vanilla under the Messula Stripe lined gilet in blueberry. Matt is wearing Martin F Plain cotton pique polo in burnt orange under Corvus reversible padded bodywarmer in chocolate

Counting the cost of cotton • Cotton prices are more than double last year's prices. • They hit their peak of $2.20 a pound in March 2011. • Reasons for the price hike included bad weather in US, especially floods around the Mississippi river in May and drought in Texas in June. • The US produces 40% of the world's cotton. However, floods in Pakistan have also put pressure on prices. • Cotton represents approximately 20% of textile content in modern clothing. A century ago, before the advent of man-made fibres, it represented 50%. • For Dock of the Bay clothing, cotton still represents over 50% of its textile component more than double the current national average. • Many clothing suppliers are introducing blends into their cotton fabrics, says Michael Stanley. For example, a cotton/polyester is popular as polyester is around 20% cheaper by weight, However polyester has also increased in price because it’s closely related to the price of oil. • The other major natural fibre - wool dramatically increased in price this year, doubling to nearly $15 a kilo, largely due to floods in Queensland, Australia.

Sherwood and Puffa sponsor education and fashion at BETA International

SHERWOOD Forest is to sponsor the Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena for a second year at BETA International 2012; while the company’s recently acquired brand PUFFA Country Sport lends its name to the Fashion Show. “We have enjoyed an extremely positive relationship with Sherwood Forest over the years and we are very pleased that they have chosen to join our team of loyal sponsors once again,” said Claire Thomas, commercial manager of BETA International organiser EMC.

“The fact that the company’s directors have decided to feature their new brand so prominently reflects the way in which BETA International is held in such high esteem by the equestrian trade.” Hari Krishan Sohal, director and co-owner of Sherwood Forest, said: “We believe there is no better way to demonstrate our continued support for BETA International. “We have exhibited here for the past 17 years and have continued to beat sales targets, footfall and order value at each show. This highlights that BETA

International is hugely successful and extremely beneficial to retailers and the wider industry.” The Sherwood Forest Horse Demonstration & Seminar Arena will host live product demonstrations, guest appearances and AMTRAaccredited seminars enabling SQPs to earn CPD points. The PUFFA Fashion Show is where buyers gather to see the forthcoming clothing collections set to lights and music. Sherwood Forest has been designing country clothing since 1974.

TAKE A LEGISLATION CHECK BUSINESSES are urged to check the Business Link website ( for new regulation changes that may affect them. Government departments now issue changes to new and existing business legislation twice a year – on 6 April and 1 October – dates that are known as Common Commencement Dates. Business Link has created a summary of the changes that came into force on 1 October on the site. Some of the changes introduced are: • An increase in the national minimum wage rate. • Agency worker rights: Once an agency worker completes 12 continuous calendar weeks' work with the same hirer in the same role, they will be entitled to benefit from the same basic terms and conditions of employment enjoyed by the hirer's employees. • Annual Returns: There will be changes to some of the information companies are required to send to Companies House in their annual returns.

PIPPA’S FIRST HOYS ROSETTE: PIPPA Funnell and Billy Balou triumphed in the Senior Newcomers Championship at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to give the well known event rider her first win at the show. A former HOYS rosette girl, Pippa couldn’t believe she was finally receiving one. “All those years ago I worked at HOYS handing out rosettes, I never thought I’d be receiving a winner’s one,” she said. Pippa and Billy Balou received their award from Lorraine Meadowcroft (left) and Katie Farmer of There was a mixed reception to HOYS’ new six-day format, created when a Tuesday performance was added to accommodate the new Express Eventing final at the show. Generally, traders said there was a new audience on the Tuesday, it was quiet on Wednesday and Thursday, but busy with business as usual on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Supplements study to be “Olympic legacy” A RESEARCH team at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is to undertake a new study into equine nutritional supplements. The research will focus on supplements for dressage and event horses and will aim to discover which products are currently used, what riders and owners would like to see available and the best ways of passing on information about them. The researchers hope to improve understanding of health and performance issues - and how nutritional supplementation could be improved to support this. Dr Sarah Freeman, associate professor and European specialist in large animal surgery is supervising the study. “Despite [supplements’] widespread use, 8 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

there is little information available about which supplements are used and why,” she said. “Research in human athletes has helped to understand what type of supplements athletes want and the best ways of passing on information and advice. However, this is the first time that this type of research been done in horses.” The study is being undertaken by two third-year veterinary students, Charlotte Agar and Rachael Gemmill, in collaboration with Dr Teresa Hollands at feed manufacturer Dodson & Horrell. “With the Olympics on the horizon this research is particularly timely,” said Teresa. “Not only do we want to use the results to support our elite horses, but also to provide an information legacy for all horse owners and riders.”

European TV network for horsey viewers TELEVISION channels for equestrian sports and leisure from the UK, France and Italy have formed an international network reaching more than 35 million households across Europe. Horse & Country TV, Equidia, and Class Horse TV have formed the Equestrian Sports Network (ESN). The partners plan to make content available to each other

through the network, co-produce shows and create formats with cross-border appeal. Heather Killen, chairman of H&C TV Ltd, said of the new venture: “Our three channels together represent a superior consumer proposition and an enhanced commercial opportunity compared with our stand-alone efforts.”

NEWS IN BRIEF • FAULKS & Co, supplier of Tubtrug containers and Wm Faulks

tools, has renamed itself Faulks & Cox. In a letter to trade customers, company boss Steve Faulks explained that the move was “to reflect the vital position our managing director Dean Cox has within the company.”

• FOUR members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt charged with

Hunting Act offences pleaded not guilty to all charges at Crawley Magistrates Court on 29 September. The case against Jamie Hawksfield, Rachael Holdsworth, Neill Millard and Andrew Phillis was adjourned until 10 November.

• SHIRES Equestrian has been appointed sole distributor of Fine Fettle Feed.

• BRITISH Equestrian ID Service (BEIDS) has teamed up with Petplan

Equine Insurance to offer free, three month trials of the emergency support service that puts emergency help just one phone call away.

• RIDERS taking part in the seventh annual Equetech 'Canter for a

Cure' sponsored ride (Milton Keynes Eventing Centre, 13 May) will be encouraged to wear red, white and blue to celebrate the London Olympics. The traditionally pink themed event this year drew 250 participants and raised more than £15,000 for cancer research.

• THE Countryside Alliance was last month seeking to appoint a

Campaign for Hunting manager responsible for promoting hunting and all its positive attributes to the general public, media, politicians and rural communities.

• LONGLEAT International Horse Trials has been lost to the eventing calendar after 25 years, with Nunney International Horse Trials replacing it just six miles away on 15-17 June at Southfield House near Frome.

• PLANNING permission has been granted for a new equine

marshalling yard, designed to house racehorses due to be exported, in Newmarket. The facility will have paddocks, stables, a horse walker and a hostel for departing horses’ lads.

• THE Accapi Group is the new UK and Irish distributor for dog toy

and accessory company Planet Dog. Co Durham based Accapi already handles Ruff Wear accessories and apparel for ‘dogs on the go’ and dog travel safety company, Kurgo. “Planet Dog is well established in the US. The product range features eco-friendly and indestructible toys, pet treats and leads,” said Andrew Geere, CEO of Accapi.

• PRICES of 4WD vehicles are set to rocket as weather forecasters predict a severe winter, warns British Car Auctions (BCA) has warned. This autumn has seen the value of most 4WDs climb sharply, with prices getting close to those seen in January and February this year. The average value for all 4WDs sold by BCA in September rose to £12,805 from £12,509 in August and £10,381 in July.

• The Denis Brinicombe Group,

• Ashley Rossiter, formally at Sam Forrest PR,

• Simon Parker, sales and marketing manager of British Horse Feeds, has left the company. He had worked for the North Yorkshire based manufacturer of Speedi-Beet for 11 years.

• Globe-trotting reporter Flora Watkins is

supplier of the ‘Think’ range of equine supplements, has appointed Aimee Redfearn (left) as equine development manager. An equine science graduate, Aimee has provided maternity cover for her predecessor Hermione Perry since February. Hermione has decided to devote her time to bringing up her son. Aimee is assisted by Natalie Noble, newly appointed technical administrator. Natalie joins the company after seven years as a veterinary nurse in local practice.

• Desi Dillingham MBE, former president of the British Horse Society (BHS) and vice-president of British Dressage (BD), has joined the board of Horse & Country TV. • Congratulations to

TopSpec senior nutritionist Katy Tyler, daughter of Philip and Nicola Tyler, and Martyn Mickle who were married at All Saints Church, Ripley, Harrogate in glorious weather at the end of September. The ceremony was followed by a reception and evening party at Ripley Castle.

• ITV news presenter Alastair Stewart has become an ambassador for British Showjumping (BS). Three of his four children are involved in showjumping and Alastair says he’s keen to raise the profile of the sport in the run up to London 2012.


has set up her own PR & marketing agency called MirrorMePR. Based just outside London, the company offers a personalised PR service to the equestrian market. “I’m looking forward to bringing together my expertise and knowledge and investing this into my clients’ brand development,” said Ashley. “Because I’m a small agency, I can take a totally pro-active approach to giving them a great service.” Ashley has previously worked as a celebrity and fashion stylist, mainstream journalist and TV presenter. T MirrorMe 01932 229414.

the new Horse&Hound news editor. Flora has worked for Radio 1, the Today programme and as a news correspondent for BBC radio and the News Channel. She also did a stint in the Middle East, working out of the Jerusalem Bureau for BBC radio. “I had wanted to move into magazines for a while and, being a horse lover, jumped at the chance to work at H&H,” Flora told ETN. “I’ve got an Irish sport horse that I bought to event, but have had to turn him away for six months. I’m hoping he’ll come back into work next year, but as I’m getting married and buying a house, my fiancé is rather hoping that Falcon will stay out in the field.”

Dogs at work WE couldn’t resist this lovely photograph of Lizzie Drury, senior nutritionist at Saracen Horse Feeds, and her nine year old black Labrador, Winston. “I’ve had him since he was eight weeks old,” said Lizzie, “and he has always come everywhere with me in the car. He even comes out hacking with me when I ride my horse. He is my best friend (apart from my other half) and can read me like a book. He knows when I’m happy or sad and adjusts to every scenario! Winston ‘works’ alongside Lizzie in the Saracen office, too. “He spends his time eye-balling other members of staff with 'those eyes' to try and bribe them into giving him extra walks. In the office, he’s known as 'stink'... can’t think why!” Tell us about the dog in your shop, office, warehouse or work vehicle. Email

Knock on wood INFINITY (Wood) Buff is the first in this range of multifunctional headwear to be made from a wood derived fibre, Tencel. Made from eucalyptus wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, Tencel has a smooth texture, is naturally irritation-free and boasts excellent moisture management properties. The fabric can be recycled and is biodegradable, although Buffera thinks it unlikely that consumers will want to lose or dispose of this fantastic new product! Infinity Buff is much longer (at 75cm) than the usual tubular Buff headwear. t Buffera 01707 852244.

TopSpec launches new balancer

Wide fit hoof boot

NEW TopSpec Cool Balancer is designed for horses and ponies that need extra condition but no ‘fizz’ and that are in light to medium work. The RRP is £22.50 per 15kg sack. Cool Balancer is the ideal introduction to feeding balancers for those horse owners who are attracted to the idea of giving their horse ad-lib forage balanced by smaller hard feeds. It provides a palatable, safe and effective way to improve condition and topline without adding excess calories to the diet. Cool Balancer has a non-heating, cerealgrain-free formula with low levels of starch and sugar, plus good quality protein. It stimulates weight gain while avoiding exciting horses; it also includes ingredients that may reduce anxiety and help horses relax. Feeding TopSpec Cool Balancer improves the amount of nutrients that a horse can extract from his feed, enabling the concentrate element of the diet to be reduced. This benefits digestion and is a more natural way of feeding, leading to a more relaxed horse. The forage to concentrate ratio is also improved because Cool Balancer is very nutrient-dense. It is fed in very small quantities, for example just 500g (approximately two beakers) a day for a typical 16hh middleweight weighing 500kg. TopSpec Cool Balancer is available in15kg sacks, which last a 500kg horse for 30 days or a 250kg pony for 60 days. t TopSpec 01845 565030.

THE new Easyboot Wide Fit Glove hoof boot from Trelawne Equine is designed for the round, wide hoof. Offering a seamless fit that hugs the hoof, it’s said to give the horse added traction and sole protection. Comfort pads, which Trelawne Equine advises for use in any hoof boot, are available to fit the Wide Glove. RRP is £59.99 per boot. Seven sizes, including half sizes, are available. t Trelawne Equine 0844 2578585.

Two step-leather care THE Net-Tex leathercare range has new packaging and improved formulations for tack cleaning in two easy steps. Step Traditional Tack Cleaner, a ‘spray and go’ cleaner for everyday use, comes in a 500ml spray bottle with an RRP of £4.99. Or there’s Net-Tex Tack Cleaning Wipes, impregnated with neatsfoot oil, which are ideal for quick use and at shows. The wipes also contain anti-bacterial agents to help prevent the spread of germs. A pack of 50 wipes has an RRP of £7.75. Now for step two, conditioning... Net- Tex Traditional Tack Conditioner contains natural oils to nourish tack and leave a lustrous shine. A 500ml spray bottle has an RRP of £7.75. Then there’s Premium Leather Balm to revive all types and conditions of leather from bridles to upholstery. Ideal when preparing tack and accessories in or out of prolonged storage to prevent leather from drying out, a 600ml pot retails at around £7.50. t Net-Tex 01474 813 999.


Audio downloads offer ‘real time’ rider training A NEW training concept promises to put top-level tuition within the reach of every rider – any time, any place. The iRide series of instructional audio downloads enables riders to follow the advice of some of Britain’s best trainers in real time, by listening to their lessons delivered through MP3 or iPod headphones as they ride. Dressage competitors Amy Stovold, Sarah Millis and Isobel Wessels are the first in a series of top riders, judges and trainers to record instructional sessions. With topics ranging from the basic principles of contact to the correct preparation and positioning for lateral work, iRide audio downloads are suitable for riders from grass roots level upwards. RRPs are from £7.99 for a 30-minute download from a national trainer to £14.99 for an internationally-recognised rider or trainer. “iRide offers every rider the opportunity to benefit from the highestquality instruction, whatever their budget, location and current level of training,” said dressage coach and iRide co-creator Alison Short. In addition to riding instruction, the iRide Knowledge Centre offers audio downloads from renowned equestrian professionals including dentists, physiotherapists, vets, farriers and bitting experts. Ranging in topic from foot balance to hind leg lameness and saddle-fitting solutions, these downloads start at RRP £1.99. t iRide 07719 900275.

New feed is ‘cool and collected’ ALLEN & Page has introduced a new feed to its Barley & Molasses Free Range. Cool & Collected is a high fibre, low starch, low sugar, quick soak feed suitable for horses and ponies in light to medium work. Due to the feed’s positive effects on behaviour, Cool & Collected can be recommended to customers doing dressage, Pony Club, riding club competitions, hacking or anything for which they need a calm and composed equine partner. Made from non-GM ingredients at Allen & Page’s Norfolk mill, Cool & Collected follows the same principles as the company’s Fast Fibre, creating a tasty, easy to chew mash type feed providing energy from fibre. Cool & Collected is low in starch, making it ideal for horses and ponies that tend to become fizzy on traditional mid-range energy feeds. Because it contains Ceregest GLC 1, a pre and pro-biotic blend, it helps to promote good gut health too. The product is packed with vitamins and minerals, while the quick soak formula provides extra water in the diet to help maintain hydration. The RRP is £8.60 – £10.40. t Allen & Page 01362 822902.

Well balanced benefits BAILEYS Lo-Cal and Performance Balancers represent cost effective, straight forward feeding solutions for horses who need little or no traditional hard feed. Containing good quality ingredients to provide an optimum balance for health, well-being and performance, their scientific formulations ensure that a little goes a long way for horse owners on a budget. For the horse, the benefits of maintaining a balanced diet all year round are many. For the retailer, Baileys’ balancers can help ensure consistent sales and happy customers. t Baileys Horse Feeds 01371 850247. 12 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Stay-clean hood

Now with added omega 3

HELP your customers keep their horses clean this winter with Supreme Products’ new Outdoor Hood. The UK made shower-proof hood is lined from the back of the ears all the way through the garment to lay coats and add shine. With straps under the belly and through the front legs, it covers the head, neck, shoulders withers and chest, An adjustable chin strap gives a close fit to the face and head, while deep eye and ear holes mean the hood won’t rub or irritate. Available in black, with neck zip and optional ears, the Outdoor Hood comes in sizes 12hh to 17.2hh, RRP from £67.50. t Supreme Products 01377 229050.

GWF Nutrition has upgraded its Joint Aid Plus supplement. The non-GM, soya free formulation now offers the additional health benefits of omega 3. A 5kg bucket of Joint Aid Plus has an RRP of £49.90 and lasts on average 100 days at full support level. t GWF Nutrition 01225 708482.

Free weight tape offer NOW’S the time to treat horses for encysted small redworms, says Pfizer Animal Health. To help you encourage your customers to dose their horses accurately this season, the company is giving away free equine weigh tapes worth £7 each with every purchase of Equest and Equest Pramox (while stocks last). These are the only wormers in the UK that treat encysted small redworm in a single dose. Using a weigh tape to work out their horse’s weight will help your customers avoid under dosing, which increases the risk of resistance development. Pfizer’s Does your wormer measure up campaign is backed by eyecatching point of sale materials and a comprehensive media campaign. t Your Pfizer Account Manager.


Boost that barrow

These boots are made for winter TUFFA’S new, waterproof Nordic Boots are made with DuPont Comformax insulation and rubber soles to withstand temperatures to minus 10 degrees. Nordic Boots are stirrup friendly. With a microfibre upper, lined with a waterproof membrane, they also sport a neoprene collar and tongue. The boots are fastened with touch and close straps featuring reflective detail which is replicated on the backs. Nordic Boots are available in sizes 3-10, in black with RRPs from £58.99. t Battles 01522 529206. • See more boots on page 34

Hi viz for dogs WHEELBARROW Booster triples the volume a barrow can carry. Designed by Yorkshire landscaper Mike Smith, it was dubbed ‘innovation of the week’ on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show and been given the thumbs up by celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh. Wheelbarrow Booster is made from heavyweight tarpaulin with an elastic skirt for a secure fit on any regular wheelbarrow. It can be fitted in seconds, without the use of tools, even by children, say the suppliers. It’s durable, wipe clean and folds flat for storage. In green or pink, the RRP is £17.99. t Wheelbarrow Booster 07968 192853.

YOURcustomers’ dogs can stay warm, dry and highly visible in the new fluorescent and reflective Equisafety K9 coat. Adjustable belly and chest straps allow the coat to be fitted comfortably and securely. In hi-viz pink or yellow, and sizes small to extra large, RRPs are from £14.99. t Equisafety 0151 678 7182.

Upgraded additives THE TopSpec range of additives has been upgraded, re-packaged and is heavily promoted in consumer advertising. New TopSpec Digestive Aid is designed to optimise digestive health and stimulate appetite in horses. It is particularly effective for horses that are working hard, on high concentrate/low forage diets, or stressed. TopSpec Healthy Hoof can be added to any horse feed to improve hoof quality. While TopSpec Calmer is designed to be fed to horses and ponies with anxious temperaments, particularly those that cannot cope with stressful situations such as showing, travelling and competing. TopSpec 10:10 Joint Support contains an excellent specification of nutrients to help the development and maintenance of healthy joints. All TopSpec additives conform to the BETA UFAS NOPS code for HRA/competition use. Tub sizes from 1.5kg (Joint Support) to 20kg (offering a 40% saving to consumers) are available. t TopSpec 01845 565030.

Making light work WASH-N-BRUSH from Parell Products makes light work of sweeping the stable yard. The device has a universal attachment to fit virtually any hosepipe plus a 2in1 feature, with on/off fingertip control, to allow brushing with or without water. The bristle brush head contains 14 high pressure power jets to deliver water where and when it’s needed. Wash-n-Brush also has an adjustable length to make sweeping easy for everyone, plus soft grip handles. The RRP is £14.99. t Parell Products 07715 172470. 14 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Arena cover beats the frost A PRODUCT that keeps the pitches of football giants Real Madrid, Juventus Chelsea playable whatever the weather has been adapted for riding arenas. Arenasaver, little brother to Matchsaver, is already finding favour with equestrian centres who don’t want to lose business to snow and frost as they did last winter. The North Yorkshire suppliers, MMC Group, say there’s a possibility of retailers earning commission on referrals of the system too. The Arenasaver is a one piece, weatherproof cover which can be rolled out in under three minutes by one person. This is achieved with a large inflatable tube which stretches the width of the ménage. The system protects the surface from snow, frost, rain and airborne debris. The system comes complete with an inflatable roller, weatherproof cover, two petrol air-blowers, anchor straps and additional fasteners to be used in high winds. The MMC Group’s automatic Matchsaver football pitch cover sells at around £160,000. The relatively low-cost Arenasaver sells for under £10K plus VAT. t MMC Group 01642 718945.

Camping for horses

Let’s talk tools

TAKING a horse away from home tends to be fraught with worry – for the owner, anyway! And, yes, I was slightly concerned about taking my nine (going on four) year old mare away for her first sleep-over in a stable recently, writes Liz Benwell. Straw was offered at our destination. I quite like straw beds, but would it be dusty and make her cough? Would she eat it? Would she panic in the stable and hurt herself on the concrete floor? So I decided to take some bedding...but that’s not easy when your vehicle is already filled to the gunwales with tack, feed, bales of hay and all the other paraphernalia any equine expedition tends to attract. So, to the rescue, came Nedz Advance, six compact 15kg bags of which were easily packed and emptied into the (small) stable at the other end for a nice, clean, dust-free bed. My fear about the horse eating it was unfounded. This bedding does look worrying like pony nuts, but she took a mouthful and spat it out. Mucking out was a breeze, just lift the droppings and tiny wet patch (Nedz is very absorbent) – and go. We were away during the recent Indian summer too, and I was pleased that the stable smelt so fresh, even in the heat. Nedz Advance is a pelleted chopped straw bedding which has been dust extracted and steamed to remove any moulds and spores. You could eat your dinner off it! It requires no watering and, while not fluffy, it makes a firm, supportive bed that doesn’t shift about as the horse moves. A great idea for your customers who are going ‘horse camping’ as well as for use at home. t Nedz 01254 677 762

FAULKS Ltd has been providing profit-making Tyre Rubber Products and Tubtrugs since 1981 – that’s 30 years of supplying demanding livestock owners with tough, bright, safe, ecological products. More recently, William Faulks tools have arrived in traditional and modern colours to augment the long established container products range. Available in easy-to-buy modular packs, these tools are proving a boon to stores that cash in on the stable, yard and paddock requirements of their regular feed customers, says Chris Birch, sales manager at Faulks. “William Faulks tools provide great add-on sales at a time when every pound of turnover is crucial,” he added. “It’s natural that equestrian customers need tools, not just for mucking out but for fencing, ditching and hedge maintenance so it’s an easy win sale!” To help you sell the right tools for the job, Faulks offers a series of pre-stocked stands featuring equestrian tools, fencing tools, Gorilla brooms and corn brooms. Each eye-catching stand slots effortlessly into your store. t Faulks 01455 848184.

“WE WANT TO DEMYSTIFY SADDLE FITTING” Hold onto your seats...will a new DIY kit become the most controversial development in saddle fitting since 1993 when Balance began promoting the holistic saddling of horses?


lare Albinson and her business partner Lyndsey Scott have spent three years designing and refining the Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit. The kit, RRP £20, comprises a 16 page instructional booklet, laminated instruction sheet, a flexible curve, templates (for withers, back and cantle areas) and chalk for marking. Clare has a legal background, is the author of two equestrian books and a hypnotherapist, while Lyndsey sits on the boards of UK and American companies. Both are experienced horsewomen interested in dressage training.

We’ve been told to expect saddle fitters to work against us. Their mission is fuelled by a wish to empower horse owners by giving them a better understanding of saddles, their fitting and the effect on their horses. The kit is endorsed by master saddler Dave Johnson, Olympic dressage judge Stephen Clarke and vet Campbell Thompson. Other devotees are equine chiropractor Janette Keeley and equine thermographer Clare Ellam. “They’ve all seen the damage that a badly fitted saddle can cause and know how much the

information in the kit is needed,” said Clare Albinson. The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit stemmed from Lyndsey and Clare’s research for a book on horse problems. “Had we known then what we know now, we might have expected it,” said Clare. “But we were shocked to find that most of the horses’ problems were caused by badly fitting saddles.” But it was Clare’s own horse that was, as she puts it, the final straw. “The particular training I was doing was going badly wrong and my horse was showing tension and awful body contortions. I quickly abandoned that training, but his behaviour got worse and my, previously mild mannered, horse bucked me off several times and bolted with me. “I’d just had my saddle restuffed and fitted, so presumed it was fine. For that reason, it took me ages to realise that the saddle was the cause.” While her horse had physio and got a new saddle, Lyndsey and Clare decided the world needed to know more about saddle fitting and began creating the kit. “It’s reckoned that more than 65% of horses are ridden in saddles which don’t fit,” said Clare, “but you can’t blame the riders because, for some unfathomable reason, we’ve never been taught to fit saddles, bar the rudimentary basics. “The kit is very easy to understand and use and will allow the rider to measure the horse and the saddle and be sure that it fits - or if it doesn’t, get it re-stuffed or buy another. “The big thing about the kit is that riders will now know if the


Lyndsey Scott (left) and Clare Albinson.

saddle is wrong and can take action to put it right. We passionately believe that everyone should know their horse’s back and be able to measure it regularly. “Thankfully, many owners are now realising how incredibly important a well fitting saddle is. There’s no doubt that more problems are caused by an incorrectly fitted saddle than anything else, but one of the biggest problems is that most riders don’t know this simple fact and look in all sorts of other places for the cause, usually blaming the horse. “They don’t know that a badly fitting saddle can cause a whole host of behaviour problems: tension, bolting, bucking, rearing, cold backs etc. They probably also don’t know that when the horse twists its body into all sorts of shapes to escape the pain, it can cause back problems. “It can cause lameness too, because in the process of shifting its weight, the horse can be putting too much weight on any one of its limbs, stressing that limb. An uncomfortable saddle will also have a detrimental effect on the athleticism of the horse.” With the official launch of their kit due at BETA International 2012, Clare and

Lyndsey are well aware of potential hostility. “We’ve been told by the cynical to expect saddle fitters to work against us – to be unhappy about the kit because they don’t want people to know their secrets,” said Clare. “That’s crazy. If they care about horses - and of course they care - they’ll want people to know more about saddle fitting. They’ll want horses to be out of pain, just like we do. A little knowledge might be a dangerous thing, so, let’s give people more knowledge – not less. Ignorance is never desirable. Education is the key.” In fact, she reckons, saddlers and saddle fitters should love the kit. The instructional booklet frequently recommends readers consult a professional saddle fitter. “And because there are so many horses out there whose saddles don’t fit, they should expect a rush to their doors!” added Clare. “We’re thrilled with the kit. Why no one's ever done it before, we can't imagine. It will make a huge difference to all of the horses owned by those who use it.” Expect saddle fitting to hit the headlines again if the consumer equestrian press likes what these two articulate women have to say.

The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit, RRP £20.

Staying one jump ahead ETN meets a family of show jumping retailers whose customers are choosing quality over cheapness.


edpost Equestrian, a former BETA Retailer of the Year, is situated in the heart of the Devon countryside just outside Totnes. The company is owned and run by husband and wife team, John and Louise Tuff, with several other family members also involved. The site, with a wonderful view across Dartmoor, has grown from being purely a feed store to a shop offering everything horse and rider require – tack, riding equipment, clothing and footwear. The family also runs regular affiliated and unaffiliated horse shows with three rings. The facilities are hired out to local riding clubs too. It’s also

ourselves the challenge to take it on and improve the business, year on year. At first we had a couple of employees that helped both with the horses and in the shop but that has now changed.” Redpost currently employs eight people, most of whom have horses. a base for the family’s competition horses. Show jumping has always been close to the hearts of the Tuff family and with John a former show jumper and three sons, daughters-in-law and a grandson all competing on the circuit, it’s a huge part of their lives. Redpost Equestrian was established in 1990 when the family moved from the Home Counties. “We were thrown in at the deep end when we first bought the company,” said John. “I had business knowledge and of course equestrianism is in our blood, but we had no retailing experience. “So Louise and I set


If I could sell only West Country products, I would! “Any problems that customers bring to us can usually be solved, whether it be feeding advice or information on a new bit,” said John. “Correct advice is important to customers and we have become well-known for this.” All the major clothing and feed brands are stocked in the store and as much local

merchandise is sold as possible. “If I could sell only West Country products, I would!” said John. “One of our major suppliers is Mark Westaway and Son, the producers of the HorseHage and Mollichaff brands – they are just up the road from us. I knew the late Mark Westaway (Snr) when everyone was wondering who this eccentric farmer was, putting grass into bags. “And now look at the brand – what a local success story! We sell three varieties of HorseHage and most of the Mollichaff range of chaffs and complete feeds.” The secret of this family business’s continuing success appears to be a happy combination of good staff morale, a friendly and helpful atmosphere for customers and the foresight to adapt to changes within the market. “We’ve carefully considered our purchases over the past four years, anticipating the change in the market,” revealed John. “We hoped that customers, having less disposable income,

Everyone was wondering who this eccentric farmer was, putting grass into bags.” [John Tuff remembering Mark Westaway, snr]

would decide to purchase higher quality products that would last longer, and that was absolutely the right decision. The ‘throwaway’ market has suffered and we have survived over some shops selling cheaper products. “Before the recession, our customer base was within a ten mile radius but this has since expanded to a wider area. Customers are travelling to us from further afield and as they have to drive out to us anyway, many are making the decision to make an outing of it. “We are in the leisure industry and it is important to remember that. We want every customer - from our regulars that know the staff

and place their usual order each month, to the passing trade of visitors to the area to have an enjoyable shopping experience.” The Tuff family sees the need to keep moving with the times. John would like to keep to the traditional ‘barn style’ feel to the store but has plans for further expansion and would eventually like to open a cafe on site. His son, Ben, is currently developing an online service for the store and the ‘vets and pets’ side of the market could be tapped into if plans for another store get passed. For this particular business, relationships are the key – both between family members as well as between customers and staff.

FUELLED In a season when hay supplies look uncertain, fibre products will be in high demand, says ETN. Winter promotion A WINTER promotion from Youngs Animal Feeds entitles your customers to 50p per bag off all Super Molichop products. Stock carrying promotional stickers is available from this month (1 November). The promotion is supported by a nationwide advertising campaign in the consumer press, aimed at driving footfall through your store. Point of sale material is available too. t Youngs Animal Feeds 01782 791209.

Hay: a price check ARE hay prices going through the roof, or is it all scare-mongering? ETN has been asking contacts around the country. Prices quoted are for small bales of average quality hay. Our straw (excuse the pun) poll revealed meadow hay is fetching up to £7.50 a bale in Surrey, with unsubstantiated rumours of £11 for best seed hay in Newmarket. Lancashire threw up our lowest price at £2.50 with Shropshire at £6 and Hampshire up to £5.50. Our contact in Derbyshire came up with £4.75. But what seems to have really shocked consumers is the year-on-year increase in price. The person in Cardiff whose hay bill has shot up from £2.75 a bale to £4.50 is feeling as hard hit as the horse owner in Kent who’s seen a price hike from £5.30 per bale to £6.90. Inevitably, prices vary hugely ‘on the ground’ with localities nearer to urban areas seeing highest costs. Many people are reporting that their usual ‘local farmer’ supplier was hanging onto his hay, presumably because a repeat of last year’s snow will push prices up still further. Britain’s weather conditions, a dry Spring and arid autumn with poor grass growing conditions, particularly in the east, have been replicated across the Channel. Indeed, the pundits predict that it’s primarily demand from Europe that continues to firm up prices. Last month (October), the British Hay and Straw Merchants Association was quoting ex-farm prices per tonne of hay (approx 40-50 small bales) at between £165 for seed hay in the eastern counties to £100 for meadow hay in the north-east of England.


Not just for horses... WITH the small-holder market increasingly viable for feed merchants, it’s good to know that HorseHage can safely be fed to goats and alpacas. The dust-free bagged forage is even used in zoos for animals such as giraffes and rhino. As well as the three varieties made from grass (Ryegrass, High Fibre and Timothy), HorseHage also makes an alfalfa product. A legume, from the same family as peas and beans, it has higher levels of protein, digestible fibre, energy, calcium and vitamins than grass. The protein content has the optimum balance of amino acids and lysine, which are especially important for growth, pregnancy and milk production. The high nutrient levels also make it suitable for horses in hard work, endurance horses, show horses, poor doers and veterans. The introduction of Alfalfa HorseHage into a horse’s diet may mean your customers can reduce the cereal-based ration and benefit from cost-savings as well as a nutritious, natural way of feeding. The giraffe in our photograph is at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon. “We prefer to feed HorseHage to our browsing hoof-stock because of its consistent quality and the fact that it is easy to store and there is no wastage. We use about 760 bales per year,” says zoo spokesman Phil Knowling. t HorseHage 01803 527257.

Hay alternatives are at hand

Non-soak conditioner

The weather has caused havoc with hay this year. Prices remain high – around £5.50 a small bale here in Norfolk, depending on the quality – and in some parts of the country availability is low, says Catherine Hale CBiol MSB, product and nutrition manager at Allen & Page. But there are alternatives to offer your customers...

Allen & Page Fast Fibre provides a high fibre alternative to traditional forage - and stocks are secure. A HIGH fibre, low sugar and low starch feed, Fast Fibre will help boost fibre intake and is balanced with essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimum health, in a low calorie form. Fast Fibre is also quick-soak and easy to feed - whether customers need to supplement their dwindling hay stock, replace it entirely or provide a hay replacement for horses that can’t eat hay. Other winter worries Cold weather, soggy ground and shorter days mean many horses spend more time stabled and less time turned out or ridden. If customers are finding that their horses are over-excited or misbehaving, then recommend they reassess their horse’s diet. How much work is the horse doing and has the diet been adjusted to suit? A high fibre alternative such as new Cool & Collected, could be just the feed to recommend. Low in starch and sugar and

free from cereals and molasses, this quicksoak feed is very palatable and provides slow release energy from fibre. Veterans are particularly at risk during winter, even if hay is plentiful. As their teeth deteriorate, oldies often struggle to chew. Quick-soak feed Veteran Vitality is a winter winner for horses showing signs of ageing. It can be soaked in warm water for an extra treat. t Allen & Page 01362 822902.

FIBREGEST from GWF Nutrition is a ‘non soak’ conditioning feed. Digestible, super soluble fibres derived from cooked sugar beet pulp, alfalfa and lean black oats are combined with seaweed meal, bioavailable minerals, vitamin E and Oatinol to provide conditioning and energy reserves. Fibregest offers a sustained, high level of fibre digestion and is particularly good for older horses and ponies with poor teeth or fussy eaters. A 20kg bag has an RRP of £11.20. t GWF Nutrition 01225 708482.

Traditional, tried and tested

Lose the sugar, keep the taste

PURE, chopped oat straw – or chaff – was always considered the ideal feed for horses. Mixed with their ‘corn’, used for bulk and to prevent bolting, it’s also a useful source of fibre. Honeychop has revived the ideal with its Chopped Oat Straw product. Dust extracted and free from molasses or additives, it’s natural, nutritious - and as traditional as horse feed comes. Honeychop Oat Straw, supplied in easy-to-manage 15kg bags, is also an ideal hay replacer, or feed for good-doers and ponies inclined towards laminitis. It’s been well tried and tested over the years to perform all these roles! Suffolk based Honeychop uses Conservation Grade oat straw in its feeds. The reason oat straw makes a good chop is because it’s softer and more palatable than wheat or barley straw. It also has lower lignin content, making it easier for horses to digest. Honeychop has recently upgraded its Honeychop Plus Apple product. With a strong apple aroma for increased palatability, new stock became available on 1 November. t Honeychop Horse Feeds 01359 230823.

Hi-Fi Original with Apple has 50% less sugar, when compared with flavoured molassed chaffs, says the manufacturer Dengie. Offering a tasty, palatable fibre feed alongside forage is a great way of helping to ensure horses eat enough fibre. Hi-Fi Original with Apple contains alfalfa which supplies natural vitamins and minerals too. Your customers will also be interested to know that, on a kg for kg basis, it costs the same as some other chaff brands - yet there’s so much more packed into a 20kg bale, says Dengie. This winter, Dengie is offering £2 off Hi-Fi Original with Apple. The RRP is £10.10 to £10.60 t Dengie 0845 345 5115.

Balanced fibre IN MOST circumstances, horses and ponies benefit from eating fibre in the form of long or chopped forage, says TopSpec. However there are situations where this is not possible, and times when a low calorie cube is desirable. TopSpec FibrePlus Cubes are formulated to be very low in starch and sugar, making them a ‘nonheating’ feed. The digestion of the fibre in these cubes will, however, lead to a ‘warming’ effect in the hindgut – something that’s beneficial to horses, especially veterans, in cold weather. The cubes can be fed dry or quick-soaked. t TopSpec 01845 565030.

How to solve the hay crisis Are your customers worried about finding or affording hay this winter? Dr Tom Shurlock of British Horse Feeds, manufacturer of quick-soaking Speedi-Beet, explains why sugar beet feeds make a great substitute.

How do beet products fit as hay replacers? Perfectly! When fibre beet is fermented in the hindgut, the form of the slow release energy (volatile fatty acids) is very similar to that of grass fibre - with the added bonus of producing less lactic acid. Fibrebeet lozenge The second benefit is that the profile of the different fibres in beet acts as a prebiotic, stimulating those bacteria that also ferment fibre from any source, including hay. The third feature – something that’s unique to Speedi-Beet - is that the physical process in its manufacture has improved the availability of its fibre to provide more energy. Fibrebeet after Fourthly, when beet fibre is combined with alfalfa in a known proportion, availability can be increased by 25%. The fifth benefit is the high fibre levels of Speedi-Beet (40%) and Fibre-Beet (45%) are comparable with hay (45%) so maintain bulk and gut motility. In Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet, we have two excellent products that can outperform grass and hay, whilst still keeping the same hindgut conditions and function you would get from a horse on good quality hay. This allows owners a great deal of flexibility across a wide range of hay qualities, availability and substitution to maintain and even improve their horses’ condition. Following the recommended soaking rations of five parts water to one part of Speedi-Beet, and three parts of water to one part of Fibre-Beet, the soaked material can be used as follows: • 1kg of hay can be replaced by 2kg of soaked Speedi-Beet or Fibre-Beet. Up to 50% of the hay can be replaced this way on a long term basis, and up to 100% can be replaced by Fibre-Beet on a short term basis. The only limiting factor is the presentation. • Ideally both Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet should be constantly available alongside the hay, but some horses may try and eat all of it at once. Realistically the daily ration should be split into preferably three meals. • A mix of Speedi-Beet and chaff in the ratio of 2 (soaked):1 can be used to replace up to 100% of the hay. The introduction of ‘wet’ forage may be novel to some horses and they may find it difficult to adapt. In these cases, they can be given small amounts of damp (1:1) product with the water built up as acceptance increases. Finally, which one to use? Fibre-Beet was designed to be a forage replacer, while Speedi-Beet is for partial replacement of hard feed and forage. However, either can be used to replace hay. RRPs are £9.90 for Speedi-Beet and £10.90 for Fibre-Beet. t British Horse Feeds 01765 680300

Doing what comes naturally... ETN looks at the latest developments in the herbal sector. £1.7m for homeopathy research

VETERINARY homeopathy research is likely to receive a €2m (£1.7m) cash injection, according to the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS). The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee (AGRI) is to vote on a draft budget to pilot a research project on the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy [the use of therapeutic herbs or herbal medicines] on farm animals. A decision is expected later this year. The need for European

investment in veterinary research was prompted by growing concerns about antibiotic resistance and the emergence of superbugs such as MRSA and C. difficile in veterinary and human medicine. Homeopathy is commonly used to treat bacterial conditions by practising homeopathic vets. Four recent studies support its practical application. Homeopathic vet and president of the BAHVS, Mark Elliott said: “We are delighted with the proposal to fund further research into the use of homeopathic and herbal medicine for farm animals. “We need to bring these medicines into veterinary treatment regimes in an informed way to take the strain off pharmaceuticals. “Antibiotic resistance is an increasingly worrying problem that is not going to go away. Homeopathy as a veterinary medical intervention has proven successful many times over the years. It is safe and used worldwide by millions of human beings too. “This new funding would be very welcome and demonstrate how homeopathy has taken a huge step forward in recognition for treating ill health in farm and domestic species.” Find out more about veterinary homeopathy at

Best-selling trio HILTON Herbs is a long-established and well-respected supplier of herbal products. ETN asked the company to name its three best-selling supplements – and to tell us why they work. Freeway is a blend of herbs formulated to help maintain a healthy and efficient respiratory system and is specifically recommended for horses that are stabled or have limited turnout, particularly during the winter months. The herbs in this mix, including Elecampane, Liquorice, and Eyebright, are effective because they tackle the root cause of allergy-based respiratory issues which is generally the thickened accumulations of mucus in the lower respiratory tract which provoke the classic onset of exercise cough in affected animals. Freeway can be used very effectively long-term to increase resistance to irritants or the liquid Freeway Gold can be used to tackle a transient cough or ‘snotty nose’. Best-seller number two, Equilbrium has been formulated to help mares maintain a balanced hormonal and nervous system throughout the year. The herbs in this mix, which include VitexAgnusCastus, Cramp Bark and Valerian are effective because they help keep a mare’s normal cycle balanced, rather than supressing it which is the case with some pharmaceutical products. The calmative and anti-spasmodic properties of the herbs will help a mare maintain a positive attitude to work even when she’s in season.

Do you know your herbs? Equilibrium can also be used with ‘riggy’ geldings and working stallions with absolutely no negative effect on libido or fertility with the latter. Best-seller number three, GastriX is a soothing and supporting blend of herbs specifically formulated to maintain a healthy digestive system. The herbs in this mix, including Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, Meadowsweet and Gotu Kola, are particularly recommended for horses in hard work, on high-cereal diets and who have limited access to grazing. GastriX can also be used during periods of change to the horse’s diet or routine. The herbs are effective because they help tackle the whole problem, rather than just the symptoms and, in the case of Gotu Kola, will help with actual healing. t Hilton Herbs 01460 270700.

Munch with (herbal) punch A TASTY morsel for your customers’ horses, Saracen Munchies pack a tasty punch without expanding girth lines. Evocative of lush pastures with a sprinkling of herbs, the nugget-sized morsels are handily packaged in re-sealable mini feed bags. Low in sugar with added vitamins and minerals, Yea-Sacc helps with digestion. In 5kg packs, the RRP is from £5.30. t Saracen Horse Feeds 01622 718487 26 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

HERBAL medicines have been used for thousands of years to treat humans and animals. Many horse owners these days are actively looking for more natural remedies to treat equine health complaints and to improve condition and well-being, says Pegasus Health.

The Lincolnshire based company specialises in supplying tried and trusted natural treatments and has an own-brand range of high quality, carefully-sourced herb-based products for horses. Pegasus Health herbs are collected and packaged in line with European laws as well as accepted best practices of the herbal medicine world. If your customers are looking for natural calming products, consider Agnus Castus or Chamomile Flower. These two herbs can be taken separately, or combined for extra effect. Agnus Castus helps to balance hormones making it useful for calming male horses as well as tackling the seasonal moods of mares. Research has shown that Agnus Castus for horses works on the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus to balance the body's natural ratio of oestrogen and progesterone. Chamomile is a powerful natural sedative - which is why chamomile tea is popular to promote restful sleep in people - but has the added bonus of supporting good digestive health. Many horses process stress and anxiety through their stomachs leading to digestive upsets and the loss of valuable nutrition elements from their diet. Chamomile contains magnesium and potassium which provide its calming properties. It also has high levels of calcium, iron, zinc and manganese. Pegasus Health FlexiMover has recently been re-branded and reformulated to provide a potent, five-in-one nutritional support for the joints of all horses. Competitively-priced FlexiMover contains Boswellia Serrata (known as ‘ature’s bute’), pure Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Rosehips, Turmeric and pure MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). Seaweed and Rosehip Mix is a useful option for owners looking for a good vitamin and mineral supplement. It combines plants that are two of nature’s richest sources of key vitamins and minerals. Other ingredients include vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and H (biotin), vital amino acids and fatty acids, anti-oxidant flavonoids, beta-carotene, calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, potassium, selenium and sulphur. Apart from making a good all-round health tonic and promoting coat condition, Seaweed and Rosehip Mix is good for hoof health and supporting the joints of older horses. For liver cleansing, Pegasus Health can offer Milk Thistle, which has been recognised for centuries as a natural, non-toxic treatment for a variety of liver complaints. Milk Thistle is rich in antioxidants and it is said to cleanse and detoxify the body and help stimulate new liver cell growth. LiveAid, a liver tonic made from a range of powerful but natural herbal extracts, is recommended for feeding twice a year to all horses and ponies for optimum health and performance. Sports and show horses, veterans and working horses and ponies will benefit from a course of LiveAid every three months, says Pegasus. t Pegasus Health 01526 861976.

Are you in The British Equestrian Directory and Trade Suppliers’ Directory are now online for you to search – and for people to search for you – 24/7.


he website incorporates the British Equestrian Directory (BED) for consumers and Trade Suppliers’ Directory (TSD) for trade. The website is produced by Equestrian Management Consultants (EMC) Ltd, part of the BETA Group, publisher of ETN and organiser of BETA International. The concept of a complete equestrian industry encyclopaedia is nothing new. It’s been done in paper format for 30-odd years. Looking through the ETN archives, the October/November 1979 edition carried the following news story. “The first issue of the British Equestrian Directory should appear in January...The book is the first of its kind to be published in the country. It will contain about 7,500 entries covering manufacturers, retailers, farriers, principal breeders, auctioneers, dealers, trainers, riding schools, specialist trainers, trekking and holiday centres, organisations and equine veterinary practices”. The trade liked the idea of its own directory, but inevitably there was some fine-tuning to be done. In November 1980, ETN reported: “The next edition of the British Equestrian Directory will contain a number of improvements, the publishers say. The retail trade in particular have suggested that the current edition gives too much information regarding suppliers. To ensure that the public do not have access to this information, the product index will be published in a separate ‘Trade Only’ supplement price £2 to bona fide retailers.” Fast forward to 2011, and the BED and TSD have been reinvented as an online directory with all the obvious advantages of speedy search facilities, fast-moving updates, accessibility worldwide and the opportunity for flexible advertising. Your key contact is Caroline Mellin, who joined EMC in August to oversee advertising, enhanced listings sales and to update the directory. “I’m working hard to make the directory as informative and up-to-date as possible,” she says. Clair Leachman takes care of the directory’s powerhouse, its database.’s vital statistics – from its launch in February 2011 to midOctober – monitored by Google analytics.

• 33,330 visits (individual visits to the site)

are eligible for listings in either or both directories. You can update and/or upgrade your listing at any time – just click on the update your listing or enhance your listing tabs at the top of the page.

How do I access TSD?

pages viewed by visitors) • 21,134 entries from 13,503 companies listed across 233 categories in BED • 11,823 entries from 1679 companies listed across 244 business categories in TSD • Users from 106 countries

TSD is accessible only by login. To obtain your login details, complete and submit the online registration form. Once you’ve received your registration confirmation by email, you can access TSD – from the home page, enter your email address and password to login. Only bona fide trade members of the equestrian and related industries are given access to TSD.

How do I get into

What are people searching for?

• 112,521 page views (total number of

To list your business for free, visit and select the directory (BED or TSD) in which you wish your business to be listed. Search for your company on the search page to see if you currently have a listing. If there is no existing listing, click the ‘Get Yourself Listed’ tab at the top of the page, then press ‘Create Your Listing’. Choose which listing you require (free, silver or gold), fill in the details, click ‘Proceed/Purchase’ – and it’s done! Free listings include company name and address, telephone and fax, email and web address, brands (TSD only) and categories. A silver listing includes all of the above plus hyperlinked email and web address, and company logo. While the gold listing offers all this plus a company profile and Google map. Gold listings also appear on their own separate pages. A free, basic listing is ranked third in the search results, a silver listing is ranked second and a gold listing is ranked first. You can list your company in as many categories as applicable to your business and in either or both BED and TSD for free. Submissions are monitored before uploading. Companies from anywhere in the world

The most popular searches in BED are farrriers, cross country courses for hire, equestrian clubs and horse dealers. In TSD, users are searching for manufacturers, wholesalers, clothing and accessories, rugs, bedding and distributors.

Can I advertise on the site? Yes, banner advertisements are available in two sizes, headline or side banner, on the home, search and head category pages in BED and TSD for a period of six or 12 months. All banner adverts are hyperlinked to each advertiser’s website and can be updated during a running period to meet seasonal requirements.

Don’t people prefer the old paper directories? “We haven’t had a single enquiry about the old, book-format directories,” said Caroline. “People are embracing the online version which is more accurate and up to date.” t Caroline Mellin on 01937 582111, visit and follow the tweets @BEDonline


BETA Conference tackles hot topics Digital media, visual merchandising and advertising do’s and don’ts were among the specialist subjects discussed at the 2011 BETA Conference, reports Deborah Hayward.


ore than 70 delegates arrived at The Belfry, near Birmingham, for a day of topical presentations and networking opportunities. Delegates included an increased number of retailers who could earn CPD points for attending the AMTRAaccredited event. The conference began with Bauer Media Group commercial director Charlie Brookes setting out to demystify digital advertising in a talk that was peppered with case studies, sound bites and facts and figures to emphasise the size and success of the Internet. From the 247 billion emails sent out every day to 747 tweets a second and 30 billion photos uploaded on Facebook in a year, the Internet is very much part of our daily lives and, as Charlie pointed out, a major part of a multi-media approach. “Customers engage with each media differently,” he said. “But, if you give it some thought, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.” Delegates were then treated to a trip around the world with explorer Robin HanburyTenison and his wife, Louella, who arrived fresh from the Cheltenham Literary Festival to talk about their “Seven Long Rides Around the World”. Advertising Standards Authority investigations executive Laura Coffey explained the ASA’s role and remit, complaints and investigations procedures and sanctions. Illustrating her presentation with advertising complaints from companies within the equestrian industry, she

Seventy delegates took their seats to hear a wide range of key industry speakers.

highlighted the do’s and don’ts, as well as explaining the documentation required when making product claims. “Last year, we received 28,000 complaints about 13,000 different adverts and we investigated about 10 to 15 per cent of them,” she added. After lunch, Lady Harriet Milnes Coates, from the Worshipful Company of Loriners, presented the Lorinery Display Trophy to Ashley Hollands, of Speedgate Enterprises, winner of the BETA competition run in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Loriners. Tim Hadaway, sport competition manager for equestrian events on the London 2012 Olympics’ organising committee, then talked about the ways in which the Games will bring opportunities for the sport and wider industry. He told delegates that 50,000 individual pieces of equestrian equipment and venue infrastructure such as stabling and veterinary


equipment and supplies would be used, with a value of £5 million, and that 95 per cent of this would be spent with British companies. Those hoping to focus their marketing campaigns on the Olympics were disappointed to learn of severe restrictions protecting the Olympic brand. Anyone wanting to find out more or to check whether their plans would infringe the Olympic Act were referred to the website www.londonbusinessnetwork. com. Visual merchandising expert Julia Andrews, of Kate Negus Saddlery, offered tips on creating the ideal store environment, gathered from 30 years spent working in retail. “Shopping is becoming a leisure activity where people come to enjoy themselves,” she said. “They need to feel comfortable and want to come back.” She also gave manufacturers plenty to think about in terms of their packaging, hangers and labelling to help improve the retail experience for both retailers and consumers.

Membership at all-time high At the BETA AGM, held before the conference, members were welcomed by BETA president Jane Holderness Roddam before the trade association’s executive director, Claire Williams, highlighted BETA’s work throughout the year. This included the publication of the National Equestrian Survey, launch of www.britishequestriandirector, the first BETA Feed Conference, sponsorship of the Festival of British Eventing, at Gatcombe, promotion at the CLA Game Fair, safety courses and overseas trade missions. “Our membership now stands at 824, which is an alltime high,” Claire told delegates. “Our mission statement is to work to support our members in their efforts to achieve the highest levels of repute, knowledge and profitability.” “But we can only do this by ensuring that the lines of communication with you all are kept open as, without your input, there would be no association.” These sentiments were echoed by BETA chairperson Alison Sherwood-Bruce, who invited feedback from members and encouraged them to make full use of the trade association. “Now is the time, more than any other time, to look around and use all tools at your disposal,” she said. “Now is the time to make your BETA membership work for you and, if it is not working for you, let us know why it isn’t. “Twenty-twelve will be an exciting year for us all – the


2012 19-21 February 2012 NEC, Birmingham, UK

Ten year journey to a ‘top notch show’...


Speakers Charlie Brookes, Julia Andrews and Laura Coffey (far right) with BETA executive director Claire Williams (left) outside The Belfry.

Olympics are coming. Let us make the best of a once-in-alifetime experience. We should be ready to seize the opportunity. We should know what BETA does for us and we should all know what we can do for BETA.” What the delegates said. . . Really useful ideas to take back to businesses and put into practice, went down well at this year’s BETA Conference, writes Liz Benwell. Indeed, as some delegates commented, with so much potentially profitable advice on offer during the day, it was a pity that suppliers heavily outnumbered retailers among attendees. Despite the day running to perfect time, several who spoke to ETN said that they would have liked more opportunity to network besides the hour-long lunch interval, morning coffee and afternoon tea before departure. That most of the speakers joined delegates for lunch was a popular move – and one, which resulted in animated conversations over an excellent buffet meal. First-time delegates included self-confessed ‘small fish’ Caroline Marsh of UK Rosettes. “I found it very warming, very welcoming and very user friendly,” she said. “The topics covered were very helpful,” said Tracey Lloyd from NAF, “but I’d like to suggest fewer speakers, more

time for networking and some interactive debate. The tea and cakes are very good!” The conference’s move to a week after [instead of a day after] the Horse of the Year Show enabled Judy Young of Hope Valley Saddlery, which had a stand at HOYS, to attend for the first time. “Charlie Brookes [digital advertising speaker] was very good; I wish he’d had time to expand more. Overall, there were lots of good ideas to take home and get on with,” she said. “Lots of very helpful advice about advertising,” ensured Sarah Tye from insurer KBIS “got a lot out of the day.” While Malcolm Ainge from Shires was pleased to see the day so well attended, adding: “The talks were surprisingly good.” “A very informative day as always and well worth attending,” said Anita Watson, from Horslyx. “A highly worthwhile day and as informative as ever,” was the verdict from Michael Bacon of TopSpec. Far from finding her first BETA Conference daunting, Caroline Almgren from said: “I’ve been made very welcome and met lots of interesting people. It’s an ideal introduction for a new business with lots to learn.” Once again, BETA succeeded in running a well-organised, all inclusive event for the equestrian trade.

ewellery designer Loriece Boatright is preparing to travel from Michigan, USA, to Birmingham, to exhibit at BETA International – 10 years after she first visited the trade fair. “I was so impressed, the stands were amazing and it was obviously a top-notch show,” she said. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the jump to exhibit back then, as I did not have the infrastructure in place.” Today, things are very different for her business, Designs by Loriece, which specialises in fine equestrian jewellery and giftware, with a worldwide reputation for authentic detail. “Equestrian sport is so diverse that I have built up an extensive range of pieces reflecting all disciplines,” she explained. Loriece, who learned her craft at George Brown College, Toronto, hopes to strengthen her brand in the UK. “BETA International is particularly attractive to me; the hunting and shooting element will be perfect for one of my lines – a range of wildlife jewellery made from sterling silver,” she said. While in the UK, Loriece will visit family including her son who’s studying at the London School of Economics. “It will be a wonderful Loriece Boatright designs fine opportunity to see equestrian jewellery and giftware in sterling silver and gold. everyone,” she said. “I feel like I am coming home.”

New sponsor for innovation awards


The 2012 BETA International Innovation Awards are to be sponsored by Horse&Rider Magazine. Said group publishing director Terry Grimwood: “Sponsorship of the awards reflects our ongoing support of those companies that play such an active role in moving the industry forwards through their commitment and innovation.” The innovation awards are open to all exhibitors. Entries must be new to the market during the 12 months preceding the show. There are seven award categories, Saddlery & Tack, Rider Clothing, Safety & Security, Feed & Supplements, Horsecare Products & Equipment, Pet Products and Other, judged by a panel of independent experts. ETN is the official media partner of BETA International

2013 DATES BETA International will be back at the NEC, Birmingham for the 2013 exhibition - on 17-19 February. t BETA International 01937 582111 or EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2011 29

“We’re not a marketing company...we’re shoe makers” Kanyon Outdoor is new to our sector, but determined not to get too big for its boots....


anyon isn’t a ‘lifestyle’ brand; its footwear isn’t an accessories line to compliment its clothing collection. No, in this case, the footwear is everything – at sensible prices to boot. As director Mark Burman says: “We’re not trying to be too clever. We just keep developing, designing and making boots and shoes to do the job they’re meant to do.” The results of that philosophy have already attracted attention. “We’ve been in the equestrian and country market for only a year, and we’ve done better than we expected,” said Mark. “Our children’s country boot [the Sapling] has been our biggest seller, followed by the Yew and Ash laced ladies’ boots.”

Having a successful ‘other’ business allows us to be more gung-ho with stock levels. Good quality products that hit the spot at eye-brow raising RRPs are just part of the Kanyon package. At a time when tight cash flows are the norm, holding huge stocks for next day despatch, no minimum orders and 50% plus VAT mark-up potential makes Kanyon a desirable destination for retail buyers. “Having a successful ‘other’ business allows us to be more gung-ho with stock levels,” said Mark. That ‘other business’ is Tripal, a footwear

manufacturer that’s sold two million pairs from its military and safety ranges alone across the UK and Europe during the last 12 months. Tripal originally made shoes in Northamptonshire and, when UK production became uneconomic in the mid-1990s, was among the first to import finished shoes from China. “My father and a business partner set up the business,” said Mark. “My father’s partner is now 72 and he started making shoes when he was 15!” Kanyon Outdoor branded footwear is manufactured by Tripal in the same two Chinese factories the company has used for all those years, with products’ quality checked by the same independent assessors. Asked why Kanyon has done so well in its first 12 months, Mark simply states: “Because the boots are made properly, they fit well, are comfortable and do the job. “We set high standards. We’re not a marketing company; we’re boot and shoe makers.” Indeed, footwear’s ability to ‘do a job’ is something consumers soon warm to – and freely advertise by word of mouth recommendation. It’s one thing looking the part drinking Pimms at Burghley, quite another mucking out six stables a day and taking hay out to the fields...not to mention walking the dog in all weathers. Kanyon Outdoor encompasses children’s size 10 to men’s 12. The full spec can be found at but highlights include laced country boots with an RRP from £139.95, Cold Weather


Having a splashing time in Sapling boots, believed to be the only leather children’s country boot currently available.

boot with 3M Thinsulate lining RRP from £18.95 (children) and £39.95 (adult) and a really handsome Sycamore waterproof leather yard, RRP £69.95. The Supalite Wellington is described by Mark as “more function than fashion”. Already going down a storm in the agricultural market, its PolyUrethane (PU) construction is said to out-perform rubber in durability and ‘muck’ resistance terms. It’s also 40% lighter and offers better insulation. In fact, the only reason all wellies aren’t made in PU is the huge investment required in the highly technical manufacturing plant that’s needed. Watch this space for more safety products from this label with vast experience in this field. Already there’s a Kanyon Dealer Boot with composite toe cap. “It meets all the same standards as the steel version but is lighter-weight and not nearly as cold as steel for people who are working outside,” said Mark. Kanyon aims to form good working partnerships with

Yew and Ash are Kanyon’s laced ladies’ boots.

retailers across the UK while avoiding, in Mark’s words, flooding the market. There are currently some good opportunities for outlets in the Midlands – from Wales across to East Anglia. Kanyon Outdoor will be exhibiting at BETA International 2012 when more new products will be unveiled. t Kanyon Outdoor 0845 8726370

Putting customers’ feet first Today’s consumer has high expectations from footwear: safety, style, comfort and durability. Yet retailers can’t expect even the highest spec boots to sell themselves, says Phil Duff, managing director of Ariat Europe.

Ariat Devon Pro & Close Contact.


riat was founded in 1993 with one simple objective: to provide the most technologically advanced riding boots for the world’s top equestrian athletes. Now, nearly 20 years on, the brand is a household name in the equestrian market and provides riders from all disciplines, across the world, with revolutionary footwear, which consistently delivers on its promises.

If the shoe fits… Using state of the art technology and well-researched designs, Ariat boots have become synonymous with comfort, practicality, style and performance. This is why many of the world’s leading riders choose to ride in the brand. “As a company we are committed constantly to evolving our products in order to keep up with the growing demands of riders,” Phil explains. “For this reason, Ariat invests a huge amount of time and effort into developing the best technology. “There’s an array of styles, from short riding boots such as our popular Heritage III and our top level Cobalt Quantum Pro Series to country styles such as the Grasmere which have set their own trend. Ariat’s newest launch, the Volant Tall Boots, take the brand to an altogether higher level. Ariat caters for all riders, in all disciplines.” 32 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Making the most of Ariat Boots Despite being a wellestablished and recognisable brand, retailers can’t just expect Ariat boots to sell themselves, said Phil. “With the

There are many hidden benefits in our products, which to the untrained eye could be missed. recent economic difficulties and internet shopping playing such a crucial role in sales, it’s even more important now that retailers provide customers with the knowledge and the

Ariat Volant Front Zip.

“In addition, personal service they merchandising is imperative. require.” Our job is to ensure the “With advances in brand is visible and all display footwear, there are many products are kept in good hidden benefits in our condition. It is amazing what products, which to the a difference a tidy and clear untrained eye could be display can make.” missed. However they all contribute to the overall experience and Adding on performance and could an extra make the difference “Many people between your customer think they can being satisfied and feeling purchase a pair confident with their of boots and purchase, or unsure if they will simply they have made the right last,” said Phil. choice.” “However the Ariat runs in-store key to long staff training lasting products sessions both in and satisfied sales and aftersales customers is New Grasmere. service. “Staff aftercare. training is vital,” Phil “By offering goes on to say. “If customers advice your staff understand on how to care for the products, when their footwear and customers seek information providing them with they can explain why the products to do so, you can technology has been used not only help promote a and what benefits it will offer happier customer, but add them. on extra sales to a purchase.”

Jargon-buster Ariat has developed its own patented technologies; here’s what some of them really mean…

• 4LR is Ariat’s entry-level technology. A four-layer rebound

footbed and lightweight stabilising shank provide support while the Duratread outsole offers durability. The result is support and cushioning for everyday wear - essential for people spending a few hours a day wearing their boots.

• ATS is the mid-level technology which combines a moisture wicking, gel cushioned footbed with a heel stabiliser for shock absorption and support. ATS also contains a lightweight, composite, forked shank for stability and a variety of outsoles for resistance to the elements.

• Cobalt Quantum is Ariat’s premium technology. It includes a breathable, temperature-managing footbed with a lightweight, open-cell footbed cushion for rebound and Integrated Core Stability Technology (CST) for foot support without compromising flexibility. A honeycomb shank and molded arch support foot alignment - plus an ergonomically designed sole and non-tracking outsole - ensure boots using this technology offers superior performance.

• Removable Booster Beds are included in all Ariat children’s footwear beneath the footbed. This gives growing feet a little extra ‘wiggle room’ when they are in between sizes – perfect for the child who never seems to stop growing!

t Ariat Europe 0800 600 3209.

Chill beaters As every rider and outdoor person knows, keeping the human extremities – feet and toes, hands and fingers – warm and dry is an essential part of winter survival. ETN has gathered together some solutions for you to stock. Bless their cotton socks! LOVESON Snazzy cotton socks are new for this season. The ladies’ range comes in packs of two pairs – Nutmeg (pictured) in colourful jigsaw and stripe patterns and the Anise featuring Argyll diamonds. Sized 3 to 8 in 100% cotton, they’re great under long boots or for everyday wear. The trade price is £4 per pack. Another handy winter stock line is the Osprey, a classic mucker boot. In the original style and much requested, says Tagg, it has a plain navy nylon top on a moulded navy foot with Thermalite lining. Ospreys have rubber soles and removable, fleece lined footbeds. The boots are available in navy and adult sizes 3 to 11 at a trade price of £13.50. t Tagg Equestrian 01636 636135.

No more cold feet LITTLE Hotties foot warmer insoles are thin, light, versatile and easy to use. Your customers simply slip them into their footwear to enjoy up to five hours of body temperature, foot warming heat. Perfect for the country and equestrian market - or anyone who enjoys having warm feet – Little Hotties insoles are air activated, odourless, disposable and environmentally friendly. Easy to fit, no trimming or peeling is required. They come in shelf-ready display boxes with 20 per box. An ideal impulse buy stock idea as the weather gets colder. Little Hotties insoles are distributed in the UK by VW Sports. t VW Sports 07803 005007.

Fleece lined for warmth A NEW addition to the Saddlecraft range, these fleece lined Yard Boots have a snug sherpa fleece lining and Thermolite insulation. They feature a zipped front fastening and suede ankle section, and come in children’s and adults’ sizes up to an 8. t Westgate EFI 01303 872277. 34 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS

Toasty toes and warm hands TOGGI Detroit boots are warm, comfortable and durable to stand up to the rigours of winter yard work. Featuring PU rubber soles with water resistant leather uppers, a riding heel and padded ankle make it easy to wear on and off a horse. In black, sizes are 36-43 and the RRP £55. Toggi Kai socks have a towelling sole made from 84% bamboo yarn, a strong fabric with a luxuriously soft feel and exceptional moisture control. Bamboo is said to be up to four times more absorbent than cotton as well as having anti-bacterial properties which deodorise the fabric. Colours are camel or fig, in one size (4-8) and with an RRP of £16 And finally, those fingers....Breathable Toggi Kempton fleece gloves are enhanced with Thinsulate – a life-saver for wintertime riding and early morning yard duties. Sizes range from small to large, colours are black and navy and the RRP from £13. t Finest Brands International 0113 270 7000.

Giving breast cancer the boot BELSTANE’S new welly brand ROK is proud to have its logo on a boot produced in partnership with Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the UK's leading charity committed to fighting the disease through research, campaigning and education. The Breakthrough Wellington boot, designed especially for ladies on a lady’s last, is in pink with a bow motif and black trim. Soft, flexible and lightweight, its high pure rubber content makes it durable too. “We are delighted about our partnership with Breakthrough Breast Cancer,” said Adrian Wilkinson from Belstane. “There couldn’t be a better way to celebrate the launch of our new ROK brand than supporting the work of this brilliant charity.” Available in sizes 3 to 8 at RRP £49.99, the Breakthrough is sold in an initial package of 50 pairs, individually boxed and complete with a free-ofcharge, assembled merchandising unit in the charity’s livery. t Belstane 01335 372600.

Hardwearing and handsome THE new Holkham country boot from Taurus Footwear is manufactured from waterproofed, waxy leather with contrasting leather bands and an adjustable top lace. Holkham is as functional as it’s fashionable. 100% waterproof, it has a rugged, non-slip rubber sole, is lined with soft Perlon and has a W-Tex waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane. Not only does the Holkham look fabulous and does the proper job of a country boot in keeping feet warm and dry - it comes at a realistic price too, says Taurus. It’s available in stock now for immediate delivery in sizes 4 to 8 in a generous width fitting. t Taurus Footwear 01933 674679.

A work of art

Winter warmers

NEW Leonardo boots, manufactured by DeNiro and distributed by Brogini, have been three years in development. The result is a world first in riding boots, namely the arrival of nanotechnology [defined as the art of manipulating materials on a small scale]. The Leonardo boasts many benefits including nano-rubber which is infused with a special gripping agent for the ultimate in control and shape retention. The boot’s Ride&Fly sole features nanotech molecular particles for extreme lightness of weight with grip, adherence to the stirrups and shock absorption. Twelve ‘nano-holes’ regulate foot perspiration by releasing sweat as water vapour. And what’s known a WRAT technology [water resistant treatment] uses hydrophobic [water fearing] materials to help the boots dry quickly, therefore retaining their original condition for longer. Unisex Leonardo boots are available in sizes 36-44 in a range of calf and height fittings. The RRP is £550. t Brogini 01706 514230.

TUFFA is perhaps best-known for its footwear – but did you know that the Norfolk based company also supplies socks and gloves? Swaffham Gloves are made from neoprene and feature aniline leather palms. They are weatherproof, warm and washable too. Despite their warmth, they’re lightweight for close contact with the reins. Touch and close wrist fastenings to make them easy to fit. Swaffham Gloves come in black, red/black or blue/black and children’s and adults’ sizes. RRPs are from £5.99. Back with footwear, Tuffa’s popular Polo jodhpur boots are available with a cosy fleece lining, ideal for chilly winter days yet smart enough to wear with gaiters at a competition. With aniline leather uppers, rubber soles and elasticated inserts, these classic jodhpurs boots are quick and easy to put on and take off. In sizes 3-7 in black, they retail from £39.99. t Tuffa 01953 880914.

Socks with silk Snow is forecast WITH the weathermen warning of white stuff this winter, SnowBoots from Harry Hall might prove popular with your customers. These fur-lined, long winter boots have waterproof feet and water repellent uppers with removable inner thermal socks. Adjustable fastenings around the calf feature reflective straps. In black, and sizes 3-8, the RRP is £45.99. t Matchmakers International 01274 711101.

THE Stein range from Tranam covers socks for every occasion. There are ‘technical’ socks with silk and angora for cold weather wear, retailing from £6.95; through to fun tubes with cartoon designs with RRPs from £4.95. In a full range of sizes and colours, stock is available throughout the year. These socks are made in Lithuania. t Tranam 01425 620580.

For winter riders NEW Ariat Glacier Tall Insulated boots feature this brand’s exclusive ATS technology and a Sympatex waterproof membrane. Ariat’s Advanced Torque Stability delivers durability and comfort, while Thinsulate insulation keeps feet warm in cold weather. Fashioned in leather, with a dual lace system and a riding outsole, these boots come in chocolate or black, sizes 3-8.5 with an RRP of £239. Meanwhile Ariat Insulated Tek Grip Gloves are ideal for winter schooling. Made from Polartec Wind Pro stretch fleece with a hard coating for maximum insulation and minimum bulk, they have synthetic suede palms, articulated fingers, reinforced stress points and Ariat’s signature non-snag adjustable Velcro closure. In slate, bark or black, the RRP is £39.99. t Ariat Europe 0800 600 3209.

Cosy and comfy MOUNTAIN Horse Cozy Rider boots are comfortable and warm, making them ideal for jobs around the yard as well as dog walking. With a steel shank for support, faux fur lining and waxed nubuck leather upper, they are also suitable for winter riding. In black and brown and sizes 36-42, the RRP is £84.95. t Horsemasters Distribution 01462 432596.


Warning! Your shop is an easy target for thieves... There are fewer things more frustrating than having stock stolen from your business, whether it is a small item slipped away, or an expensive break in with many items missing. Oliver Lawton of Shearwater Insurance explains how you can protect yourselves and make sure you are not at loss in the event of a theft…


nfortunately thieves are at work in all areas, in all industries; and with tack shops often holding vast quantities of expensive and desirable stock, they are often an easy target. From an insurance point of view theft is generally a standard peril included with all Commercial Combined or Shop policies – unless it has been specifically excluded. Theft may be excluded until you adhere to a particular term or condition of the policy. Don’t just assume you are protected – always check with your insurance company or broker.

It’s become more common for insurers to put a limit on theft. Theft tends to be opportunistic, therefore as a business it is important to put certain financial protections in place such as insurance to ensure full compensation in the event of a break in. It is also very important to apply physical protections to reduce the chances of a thief seeing the opportunity in the first

place; in some cases an insurance company may exclude theft until certain protective measures are put in to place, such as an alarm.

Limited cover It has become more and more common for insurers to put a limit on theft. They do this by stipulating that in order for theft to be covered there must be signs of a violent and/or forcible entry or exit of the premises. This has historically been applied to premises that are at higher risk and have poor physical security. However, with the increase in problems occurring, it is becoming more commonplace to be applied to conventional policies. Sometimes getting the cheapest policy does not mean you are getting the best cover, in fact when it comes down to commercial insurance, it is often false economy to pay a lower premium because it can reflect the quality of your cover, this is why it is imperative that you check your policy wording carefully.

Securing all angles Having good physical security will help reduce chances of a break-in occurring and potentially get you a discount in premium. Most insurers insist on minimum security requirement of 5 lever mortice deadlocks on all external doors


and key locks on all windows, and may required higher levels of security such as Police Response alarms in the case of high sums insured. There is however some exceptions and some insurers will take into account additional security measures in place should a client fail to comply with the minimum requirements such as metal roller shutters and/or alarms etc.

Optional extras Petty pilfering can be covered on your insurance, however it should be noted that an excess of between £100- £500 would apply so depending on the item stolen it may not be worth claiming for. This is not always automatically covered so always check your policy wording. There are ways you can minimise the risk of petty pilfering or shoplifting such as positioning more expensive items in view of staff, keeping

a close eye on customers visiting the shop and installing additional security measures such as CCTV cameras. There are also optional extensions to cover theft by employees, known as fidelity guarantee, though this will be at an additional premium.

Protection at shows Depending on the insurer, cover can be extended for fairs and exhibitions under the shop policy but each case is looked at on a case-by-case basis. This would extend the public liability and employer’s liability for fairs and exhibitions as well as stock cover subject to an underwriter’s agreement. There wouldn’t necessarily be any security measures required as such, as the underwriter will make a judgment call based on the information provided by the client and limits of cover required. t Shearwater Insurance 08700 707 316

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

Contour Exhibitions, other stars giving demonstrations include show jumper Phil Spivey and world reining champion Shane Borland (pictured). BETA RoboCob, BETA’s life-size mechanical horse, will be giving rides too. 150 trade exhibitors are expected. Contact tel 01749 813899.

09 – 10 LuxLive is a new exhibition organised by the Lighting Industy Federation, supported by The Shop and Display Equipment Association (sdea). Held at Earls Court in London, it will showcase lighting products, innovations, energy reduction solutions and retail ideas. There are also masterclasses, seminars and technology sessions to attend. Contact sdea tel 01883 348911.

11 – 13 The Cheltenham Countryside Race Day heralds the start of three days’ racing. In aid of the Countryside Alliance and Equestrian Team GBR, there are tradestand opportunities for Christmas themed shopping, a jazz band, charity lunch and auction. Among the highlights is an invitational celebrity crosscountry ride with equestrian celebrities, athletes and their horses, plus a hound parade. More information at or email Andy Clifton at Andy.Clifton@jockeyclubracecou

12 – 13 Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire with shopping, celebrities and demonstrations. It’s a great trade networking venue too. While Laura Bechtolsheimer headlines the show with Oliver Townend and Geoff Billington in the main ring, Arena Two sees a host of trainers and riders sharing their knowledge and experiences of training horses within their chosen disciplines. The breadth of talent to be seen underlines what great value this show is to visitors. Jason Webb teams up with Charlie Unwin to look at the psychology of horse and rider. Claire Lilley returns to share her sympathetic approach to lunging and in-hand work, while Sylvia Loch will be showing how the same basic principles must under-pin all levels of riding. Sylvia is widely regarded as the

UK’s greatest authority on Classical Riding. Phoebe Buckley (pictured), who has a great reputation for getting the best from ‘difficult’ horses, will be sharing her tips on working with and training an ex-racer. Western trainer Lee Rutter and top showing judge Lucy Killingbeck also line up. To book tickets in advance (and save money) visit or call 0844 581 0770 and quote EQ-TSM. Hotline closes on Thursday 10th November at midday. Standard adult tickets are £16.50 in advance and £21 on the day, with discounts for groups and concessions.

10 Bicton College’s equestrian centre is holding a careers day for prospective students. Place on the Devon college’s unique

‘January start’ courses are available. Contact tel 01395 562400.

FEBRUARY 2012 19 – 21 BETA International 2012 at the NEC, Birmingham. The world’s foremost equestrian and country trade exhibition. Visit to plan your visit, check out hotels - and book your place for free coach travel. To find out about exhibiting, contact James Palmer on tel 01937 582111.

HOW TO GET YOUR EVENT LISTED 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.

12 ‘Exploring the latest findings in equine cognition’ is the subject of half-day workshop with animal behaviourist Leanne Proops at Woking, Surrey. Tickets are £15. The event will look at the history of equine cognition research and explore how scientists go about understanding animals’ minds. Recent studies will be highlighted with debate on how these findings could be applied to management, interaction and understanding of horses. Details at

DECEMBER 03 – 04 Mary King appears at the South West Christmas Equine Fair at Westpoint in Exeter. Organised by


Hats off to the trade! The 2012 BETA Business Awards will be presented at the British Equestrian Trade Association’s annual Gala Dinner next February. Here, ETN presents a full list of the awards and explains how to nominate those you think worthy of winning.


Nominations are now being sought for the 2012 BETA Business Awards – prestigious business accolades designed to celebrate those who have made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry. Winners will be presented with their awards during BETA’s glittering Gala Dinner, on Sunday 19 February, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham. The award categories are…

SEIB Retailer of the Year THIS award is for tack shops and feed merchants – they do not need to be BETA members – who are nominated by their customers. It includes categories for large and small retailers, and mail-order and Internet retailers. Nominations: Customers can nominate their favourite retailer on line by logging on to as an alternative to the mailing option. Once nominated, retailers will receive a questionnaire from BETA that must be completed and returned by 31 December 2011 to be considered for the next stage of judging. Shortlisted companies are then put forward for a vote by the trade members of BETA.This award also involves mystery shoppers and incognito telephone calls organised by BETA. Entry deadline: 6 December

UKTI Export Award COMPANIES of all sizes that have generated substantial and sustained increases in export activity over a three-year period can be entered for this award. Nominations: Information should include details on the level of export and growth in relation to the size and turnover of the company, planning and strategy, and the degree to which the products or services have been adapted to an export market. Applications will be judged by UKTI. Entry deadline: 13 January

TSM Rider Award NOW in its ninth year, this award recognises sponsored riders who have made the greatest contribution to the trade. It has been won by riders who have participated fully in building a relationship with their sponsors, generating good results for both. Nominations: Sponsoring companies can nominate riders with supporting information such as competition results, details of personal appearances and involvement with product development. Entry deadline: 13 January


Equine Careers Sales Representative of the Year THIS award is open to both employed and self-employed sales representatives and agents, and will be awarded to the individual judged outstanding in his or her approach to customer service. Nominations: Retailers and suppliers can nominate, giving the reason they think the nominee deserves to win. Judging includes a BETA Members' vote and interviewing of all finalists. Entry deadline: 13 January

Joules Equestrian Event of the Year THIS award acknowledges the event that works best with its tradestand exhibitors, taking their needs and requirements into consideration. It is open to both indoor and outdoor consumer shows and events. Nominations: Tradestand holders – either individuals or companies – that have exhibited at such events from January 2011 onwards are invited to nominate an event, explaining why they think it caters well for the trade. An independent judging panel will make the final decision. Entry deadline: 13 January

An invitation to party. . . PREPARATIONS are now under way for the BETA Gala Dinner – the high point of the equestrian industry’s social calendar, when its members don their best bib and tucker to party the night away. The evening begins with a champagne reception, sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers, followed by a three-course meal. The presentation of the 2012 BETA Business Awards is followed by dancing and entertainment. Guests are invited to take part in a charity raffle and given the opportunity to have their pictures taken with friends and colleagues by BETA’s event photographer. Tickets cost £54 per person, £490 for a table of 10 and £588 for a table of 12 – all plus VAT. Ensure you don’t miss out on this special evening by booking your place now. Contact BETA, telephone 01937 587062 or email

NOMINATIONS are being sought for the employee showing initiative, excellence in customer service, product knowledge and commitment to professional retailing. The winner will also be given a weekend break for two in London and his or her employer receives BETA training vouchers. Nominations: The award is intended for shop-floor employees only, not managers, and nominations are invited from employers or sales representatives. An independent judging panel will draw up a shortlist, followed by interviews to determine the winner. Entry deadline: 13 January

BETA Lifetime Achievement Award THIS is the honour for those who have made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry over a long period of time. Nominations: Biographical details of the nominee are invited from all sectors. Entry deadline: 20 January

ETN Trade Supplier of the Year THIS award will go to the manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor judged to offer the best in delivery, customer service, product knowledge and awareness of retailers’ requirements. Nominations: Retailers can nominate the supplier they feel offers them the best service and works to help them build sales and profitability. Suppliers are also able to nominate themselves by submitting a formal application on why they think they deserve to win. Shortlisted companies will be judged, followed by a further retail members’ vote. The final judging stages will be overseen by an independent panel. Entry deadline: 13 January Equestrian Trade News

Harry Hall Retail Employee of the Year

Haygain Nutritional Helpline of the Year THIS accolade goes to the company that offers exemplary service in nutritional advice to customers, both trade and retail. Nominations: Customers can send their nominations by post or log on to the Haygain website,, to download a form. A shortlist will be drawn up for final judging, which will include incognito calls. Entry deadline: 11 January

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


BETA Trade Website of the Year THIS award will go to the equestrianrelated website judged to be the most informative and useful to the consumer and/or trade. Nominations: These should be made for websites that perfectly reflect and reinforce the company’s brands and are legally compliant and usable. E-commerce content will not be considered, because it falls under the remit of the SEIB Retailer of the Year Award’s Internet category. Entry deadline: 13 January

IF YOU would like to nominate an individual or company, please provide their name, award category, reason for nomination and your name and address, then post to BETA, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4AW, fax 01937 582778 or email Feel free to provide supporting information. Entries must be received by the dates stated.


Fashion or function?

The FalPro Bulldog, a rug designed for function above fashion.

They might be good for retail sales, but do horses really need so many rugs, asks Ken Lyndon Dykes.


ugs have come a long way in the last 25 years. My horse-keeping days go back to when putting on an outdoor rug involved fighting with an unwieldy canvas New Zealand. Heavy to lift, in cold weather it refused to mould to the horse’s shape and bulged in extraordinary places. It was incredibly difficult to dry – and impossible to clean. Removing a wet and muddy NZ might have left the horse relatively dry and clean – but I was usually left soaking wet – and very dirty! The really big breakthrough came with what was probably the very first horse rug that didn’t depend on surcingles and rollers to keep it in situ – the Chaskit. Designed by Barry Richardson, it was light, moulded to the horse’s shape, was self righting and stayed in place however energetically the horse rolled or cavorted. It dried pretty quickly and was altogether a functional triumph. Indeed, looking back, it was a masterpiece and I am not certain that Barry ever received the accolades his invention warranted. I know of horse owners who are still using some of the very first Chaskit rugs and they swear they are still efficient. At the time, we owners thought them a little expensive but, in retrospect, they represented remarkable value. Of course, all those years ago, Barry only produced his rugs in one colour. When the Chaskit rug was taken over by Thermatex, the range was developed to include several colours and additional designs. When I was eventing (aeons ago), each of my horses had a straightforward stable rug, an outdoor rug and a sweat rug. They were considered exceptionally wellequipped. They shared the use of a summer sheet that was presented to me as part of a prize, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have

bothered. Travelling bandages and a tail guard made up their ensemble; and so it was for the majority of event horses. Then ‘fashion’ arrived in the rug world. Along with it came any number of innovative designs – some functional, others having little credit other than a pretty colour. The market is now awash with rugs; virtually every area of the horse can be kept covered – with the possible exception of the eyebrows – or have I missed the very latest innovation? Retailers need the equivalent of a science degree in order to inform their clients about the attributes of the materials employed by today’s manufacturers. It seems to me – but perhaps I’m wrong – that the terms ‘showerproof’ and ‘waterproof’ are very subjective and open to interpretation. I visit an awful lot of yards in a year. My arrival quite frequently coincides with horses being brought in from grass, and it can be akin to watching an equestrian catwalk as animal after animal passes by wearing incredibly smart togs. I admire the design ingenuity – and I am fascinated – no, flabbergasted – by the extent of the equine wardrobe. I suspect that many a horse’s wardrobe extends way beyond the range of clothing the owner can afford for herself. But is it all really necessary? Some horses are rugged up to their very eyeballs – literally – not to afford them protection from the elements but simply to keep them clean and so reduce grooming time. Most horses simply don’t need to be rugged up to anything like the degree we see today. In fact, I’d suggest that we’re actually doing our native and cross-breeds a disservice by wrapping them up. In their natural state they grow thick,

Seeing horses being brought in from grass can be akin to watching an equestrian catwalk


impenetrable coats that insulate them and enable them to withstand the worst of weathers. Of course, kept in work over the winter months, they require a trace or similar clip and will then need a well fitting outdoor rug plus a lightweight indoor rug. As a onetime retailer in London during a period when quality mattered – and by and large, prices did not – I was fortunate to count some very wealthy owners among my clients. Most of them would willingly pay for the best, but they were never extravagant and certainly their horses were never over-endowed. They bought on quality, fit and durability. Conversely, a friend of mine who currently runs a large retail business says that the trade has changed a lot since those days and that providing the client with guidance is often a total waste of time. “Sometimes,” he says, “a client will ask for a specific brand that I don’t stock for reasons relating to the quality. Although I explain my thinking, they are often dismissive of the advice and simply go away and buy elsewhere.” This week an equine vet told me a story about an owner who had equipped her Welsh cob with a comprehensive wardrobe of outdoor clothing. When he made a routine visit to update the animal’s vaccinations, he suggested the horse was getting too fat. The client agreed but explained that rugging up – and un-rugging – was now taking her so long it wasn’t leaving a great deal of time for exercising! A long time ago, a well known trainer of the day told me that common-sense often went out of the window when it came to horse ownership. Indeed!

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

ARE YOU A TOP SQP? The 2012 Virbac SQP of the Year will be crowned at BETA International next February. ETN meets the title’s current holder Suzi Law. Suzi, please tell us a bit about yourself. I’m the manager of WCF Pet and Equestrian in Lanark, a small market town between Edinburgh and Glasgow. My job is to supervise and run the store efficiently, making targets and keeping budgets. I offer the public advice on animal health and nutrition, including prescribing and supplying medicines when appropriate. It’s a very hands-on role as we are a small team and we all muck in. Suzi Law received her award during BETA International from Martin Clunes. Her prizes also included a VIP visit to the Hickstead Derby meeting.

Photo courtesy of RTI.

What do you do in your spare time? I have two show ponies, an aged show cob, five ducks, a husband and a dog - so I don’t have any spare time! Why did you want to be an SQP? I became an SQP (suitably qualified person) as I’m interested in animals’ well being. I’ve owned horses and dogs for many years and it was a

natural progression for me to learn more for my own satisfaction, as well as benefiting other people and their animals. How did you qualify? I qualified in 2006, as an R-SQP which allows me to prescribe equine, feline, canine and cattle and sheep medicines. I sat the AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) examination, part of which was a project to be completed beforehand and an interview with an examiner. This process allowed AMTRA to determine that I was fit for purpose. What do you enjoy about your job? Each and every day is different. You can plan all you like, but that plan can change as soon as the first customer walks through the door. There’s never a dull moment. What are you most frequently asked as an SQP? Quite a number of people can’t remember when or with what product they last wormed. So keeping comprehensive records allows us to fill in the blanks for them, whether it be wormer or a faecal egg count. One very confused lady once asked for help because she thought she should inject the wormer into her horse’s bottom! Needless to say she was given some much needed advice! What’s the most important part of your job? SQPs need to be approachable and be able to explain things to people in simple terms. Most horse owners know what worms are, but their knowledge is basic. Dazzling people with fancy Latin worm names doesn’t help. And the most rewarding...? When customers say that the advice was spot on and they’ll be back. What’s the single most important piece of advice you can give on worming?

2012 19-21 February 2012 NEC, Birmingham, UK


It’s vital to tailor your advice to suit individual animals and situations. For instance, you can’t assume that because one horse has a huge worm burden, then the rest of them on the same yard do too. How has worming advice changed in the last few years? We now have a huge up-take of people using egg counting to determine worm burdens instead of blanket worming. Horse owners are beginning to realise that the drugs won’t last forever and responsible ones are making the change now. This is helped enormously by the drug companies such as Virbac backing this up in articles and adverts in the equestrian press. It’s a change that will benefit us all in the long run. What did becoming Virbac Equine SQP of the Year mean to you? I was honoured. I like to think I do a decent job, but when your customers say you have, that makes it all worthwhile. And what advice can you give this year’s finalists? Be yourself and be honest - but most of all, enjoy it!

Nominations are open... Consumers are invited to nominate their favourite SQPs for the Virbac Equine SQP of the Year Award 2012 at Make your customers aware of the award by asking your Virbac representative for relevant literature. The award is also promoted in the consumer equestrian press. The winner of the 2012 award will be announced during BETA International at the NEC, Birmingham, on 19-21 February. Virbac is the exhibition’s main sponsor. EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2011 41

Making life easier ETN finds out how innovative suppliers are taking the strain for horsey people with difficulties or disabilities.


iding and working with horses inevitably has a physical element, with which some cope better than others. From the best paralympic riders who perform at top international level despite, in some cases, being severely disabled, to those of us who have an ache here and a pain there, we all keep going for the sake of our passion – horses! Age is no barrier to riding or horse owning, but it can bring its own challenges. The bridle buckles get more fiddly with arthritic fingers, mounting becomes more a heave than a spring and yard duties a test of stamina rather than speed. But equestrian challenges don’t stop at the physical. If there’s a 21st century riders’ problem, it’s nervousness. Read any horsey magazine, and it will be full of ‘how to conquer your nerves out hacking’ and alike. What’s this got to do with equestrian retailing? Well, there are products out there that you can stock to address these needs. As well as gadgets to overcome physical niggles, there are those that help instil mental well-being. Wearing a correctly fitted, up-to-standard hat and body protector, for example, instantly gives a rider a feeling of greater well-being. And when you ride forward with confidence, the horse goes better, so setting up a positive ripple effect. Overall, most of your customers will be riding and owning horses for fun. So how about promoting some products that can help make their horsey lives easier and more enjoyable?

If there’s a 21st century riders’ problem, it’s nervousness.

Cleverly packaged confidence booster THE RS-tor is widely used by riders of all disciplines to aid safety and stability in the saddle. This year it’s been re-designed to include a new ergonomic end-piece, plus adjustable fixing straps to the saddle D-bars. The packaging, meanwhile, clearly displays the ergonomic end-piece. “Customers can see and feel the item without having to take it out of its packaging, and see if it meets their dexterity needs,” said Lee Buck of manufacturer PolyPads. The RS-tor is held in the rider’s hand like a whip and either arrests a fall or enables it to be done in a relatively controlled manner. The fall prevention aspect does not come into effect unless the horse spooks, bucks, rears, catleaps or stumbles. Its confidence-boosting benefits are obvious. Highly-regarded rider Susi Rogers Hartley sustained a spinal injury 13 years ago that caused paraplegia. She competes within British Showjumping (BS) and British Para Show Jumping Association competitions - and does not ride without her RS-tor.

“The product always comes in handy during my horses’ frolics," Susi said. "It enables me to stay sitting up, no matter what direction my horse goes in; I have still had a few falls, but they’ve been drastically reduced, which I put solely down to the RS-tor. It is great, especially with my sharp horse Seamus, a real spooker and spinner.” The RS-tor may be used in BS competitions but only in the warm-up sections of British Dressage and British Eventing contests. It does not contravene Pony Club equipment rules and may generally be used within BSPS Heritage and Tiny Tots showing classes. The RS-tor is available in three sizes, child’s, small and medium/large, with adults over 5ft usually selecting the latter. The RRP is £44.99. Retailers can shortly benefit from showing their customers a specially commissioned film in which horse trainer and stunt rider Nicky de Neumann demonstrates the RS-tor. t PolyPads 01842 752020.

Gripping stuff

Golden moments: Britain proved she remains the nation to beat at the ParaEquestrian Dressage European Championships this summer when Sophie Wells, Emma Sheardown, Anne Dunham and Deb Criddle scooped team gold and five of the 15 available medals in individual tests.


A PRODUCT with potential psychological benefits as well as actual ones is Sekur Grip which ‘improves grip by stopping the slip’. Riders seeking a no-slip contact on reins, saddles and boots find that its tacky quality improves traction while still allowing free movement. Sekur Grip may be safely applied directly to the hands, reins, riding boots or saddle to provide extra grip. It’s supplied in 1oz push-up containers and won’t mark breeches or leather. The RRP per unit is £8.95 t LS Sales 01608 683855.

Fold-away friend SPRENGER Folding Mounting Stirrups could be the answer for anyone who struggles with mounting or when a mounting block is unavailable. This clever stirrup incorporates a slim-line outer stirrup which folds down to create a step up into the saddle. It then folds neatly back up out of the way. The RRP is £85. t Zebra Products 01352 763350

Why this para rider feels safer SUSANNA Wade, a grade 1 para dressage rider, has her sights firmly set on London 2012 – and for good reason. Riding Farrisk All Sorts (pictured), she was runner-up at this year’s National Championships. A car crash in 1991 resulted in catastrophic injuries and permanent paralysis, after which Susanna spent the next seven months in the spinal unit of Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Eventually she realised her dream of riding again, and is now holding her own against the best in the world. “Susanna introduced herself to Hit-Air this spring,” said Rachel Ricci of the air vest brand. “Safety for para riders is a great concern throughout the industry. When a disabled rider falls, there’s very little they can do to protect themselves. “In the event of a fall, the Hit-Air vest inflates to offer shock buffering protection and stabilization to rib cage, neck and lower back. The vest does not interfere with the rider, making it an ideal choice for all disciplines.” Susanna now wears her Hit-Air vest whenever she rides. “I feel so much more confident when I ride with my air vest, which makes a huge difference to my horse’s performance,” she said. “It doesn’t restrict me in any way when I ride and, because it inflates outwards, I know I’ll be able to breathe if it goes off!” To read more about Susanna, visit her website t Hit-Air 0845 894 2868.

Classic mounting blocks save and support CLASSIC Showjumps’ new ‘nestable’ threetread mounting block (pictured in pink) will be widely welcomed by able and disabled riders alike. It also has unique benefits for retailers. The product was originally designed to make pallet transport easier to Classic Showjumps’ European customers. Not only does the nestable feature save space, this model is also lighter (at 8.5kg) than the company’s Premium three-tread (which weighs in at 15kg). Eleven great colours are already offered, with light blue about to join the rainbow-like range. While every rider should have a mounting block handy each time they get on board – not least to save horses’ backs and saddles – they are an absolute essential for disabled riders or those whose ‘spring has sprung’. Classic Showjumps’ Premium range has BS EN 14183:2002 safety accreditation. Among the requirements to reach this British standard is that each block will take up to 260kg of weight – something that’s very important to disabled riders who often have an assistant close by, even standing on the same block, to help them mount. The plastic used to create Classic’s Premium mounting blocks is typically 67mm thick, “so they really are the best blocks available in Europe,” says joint managing director Giles Fielding. “Our standard range of nestable blocks will take approximately 160kg of weight but they are, of course, cheaper and will fit more on a pallet to save transport costs.” Giles added that Classic Showjumps have supplied a number of RDA centres with mounting blocks and are happy to offer a discount to any centres. This can be arranged via centres’ local stockists. t Classic Showjumps 0161 765 2013.



Time and Motion When you’re running a business, there are never enough hours in the day. John Nunn, who runs retail and wholesale companies and recently finished 16th in the American Eventing National Championships, explains how he manages his time.


ow do you get so much accomplished”? I’m always being asked that. The truth is that without my magnificent staff, I wouldn’t be able to get much done at all. Having said that, it’s all about delegation and managing; not management. I have no managers in my companies. Sure, I have people who have risen to the top and are the ones people gravitate to when they need answers. Even then, they only generally give direction and advice.

I was sick and tired of recreating the wheel time and time again. I hire well, pay quite decently and oversee but not micro-manage. I entrust everyone with the power to manage themselves. I try to let each employee know clearly what is expected of them and have procedures for everything they do. Easy to read, updated and accurate, the procedures have been written over the years and are housed in an intranet sharefile site. This Microsoft program is called SharePoint. It allows you to house everything and give access to those you wish

to have access as well as control over where you allow them to go within the site. And it’s this that allows me to get done all the things I do. Those of you that heed my advice and use it to its unbelievable capacity will thank me when you see me. Yes, SharePoint has been, and will continue to be, a Godsend for me and my companies. All the procedures from ‘customer service’ to ‘picking procedures’ are housed there. Then there’s an ongoing blog called Daily Announcements where we post the ongoing activities within our businesses. All employees are required to look at this every day. I produce a 100 page plus, full color catalog for the retail business twice a year and once a year for the wholesale company. I work with a gifted graphic designer from another state who I haven’t seen in years. I post, and she accesses, the information that I have put into SharePoint. If there has been a document designed in my organization in the last eight years, it’s there on SharePoint, neatly filed so that it can be accessed and reused, time and time again. From the employee work schedule, which we try to post a month in advance, to all employee contact information, as well as the Employee Hand Book, are all posted. Employees can access this from home or even if they are holidaying far away.


We have another section called Customer Service Documents which includes not just inventory templates for everything we carry, but a listing of every advertisement we’ve placed in the last eight years.

Those of you that heed my advice will thank me when you see me.

the next manager came along and decided how they wanted it done. Now I have only myself to blame. I’ve changed what I didn’t like about the procedures and made sure this new way is implemented. SharePoint is like writing a book. If you never sit down and start the first chapter, you’ll never get to the end. I dragged my feet at first. But once I got it rolling, boy has it made my life easier. My staff are ten times happier too.

About the author The list goes on and on. What have you created in the past that you wish you still had today? We used to keep such things on computer, until we realized that with 30 plus computers in the building, and the rate of computer replacement, we ought to keep this information in a safer, more accessible place. Have you in the last few years created a letter for donation denials? Consignment forms? Product measurements? Return authorization forms? Return policies? Discount policy and procedures? We have, and I was sick and tired of recreating the wheel time and time again. No wonder I needed managers! Without policies and procedures that were written, consistent and accessible by all, I had to hire someone to make them up and then live with them until

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. His wholesale business, Nunn Finer, sells equestrian products to more than 600 retail stores across North America and Europe. John is also a horseman who loves to ride and compete when time permits.


List your website here For more information call 01937 582111

County Court Judgments from England and Wales and the Scottish version, which are called Court Decrees. 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.


Equestrian Trade News


Coming soon in ETN. . .




• Feeding for breeding


– stud feeds and supplements

• Bedding – focus on different types plus stable tools

• Hoof care products – for maintaining and achieving healthy feet Editorial for consideration should be received by 1 December. Telephone: 01937 582111 Email: 46 NOVEMBER 2011 EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS


ETN - Equestrian Trade News - November 2011  

ETN is the equestrian industry's leading monthly trade magazine and has been for over 35 years. Equestrian Trade News is also the official p...

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