ETN (Equestrian Trade News) - November 2022

Page 1


Volume 46, No 9


Boots, socks and gloves to stock

FIBRE PROVIDERS IT’S IN THE BAG! ETN is the official media partner of BETA International



2023 September

NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, UK Main Sponsor

Main Sponsor



Now you can offer your customers another healthy bedding choice from Bedmax - an ideal option for a tough winter ahead.

Find out more on our website. Call us for orders and sales support

01668 213467




Top spec materials, designed for ultimate durability

01902 454 771

Editor’s comment A

s the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite, food banks have inevitably been in the news. Even hardworking families are needing them, and those who can feel good about giving. So, is there room for ‘tack banks’? Horsey people could donate their nolonger-needed saddlery, rugs and other bits and pieces to be used by less fortunate others. And before every retailer in the land throws up their hands in horror at the suggestion… it would only be a charitable version of eBay or Marketplace. If, as a retailer, you hosted such a swapshop, it might even draw in people who end up buying something as well. Anyway, better times will come. And those who were helped always remember. The pandemic – when we were separated from colleagues and contacts – has made us realise how important people and personal experience is in our industry. In particular, good staff and regular freelance contractors are invaluable to the smooth and profitable running of a business. So, please think carefully about how you treat your ‘people’, especially the long-standing, loyal ones. Quiet quitting – when people do the bare minimum because they feel under-valued – is becoming a very real phenomenon. Whereas appreciation can make productivity soar. Granny was right. If you keep your hands and feet warm, the rest of your body will take care of itself. And as energy prices go through the roof, that’s as much a message



Volume 46, No 9


Christmas is coming with practical presents bound to be in high demand. PLUS Fortunately, horsey people always need or want something, giving equestrian retailers plenty of sales opportunities. Grab some great gift ideas from this issue of ETN – we’ve features on boots, socks and gloves plus equine treats - and catch up with the latest in fibre feeding too. Boots, socks and gloves to stock

In this issue...

for people working from home as well as when riding horses. Boots, socks and gloves also come into their own as great Christmas gift ideas, making them an essential for retailers to stock. You can check out some of the best of these vital accessories, be they pretty, practical or - most importantly – warm, in this issue of ETN.


Happenings in the horse world


New launches to stock

BENCH SADDLER OF THE MONTH Congratulations to Penny Dickson

PEOPLE A saddle fitter tells me they experienced such outrageous trolling recently that Facebook removed it. Not only was it potentially damaging to their business and reputation, but personally spiteful too. Believe it or not, the customer was complaining because the saddle fitter refused to sell her a saddle! She had wanted to buy a brand and style which, the saddle fitter had explained at the appointment, was not appropriate for the horse/rider combination in front of her. In other words, this retailer made an ethical decision based on horse welfare and fairness to the consumer… The customer went away, apparently happy that her current saddle was doing the job well. Only when she was at a safe distance did she begin her tirade of digital abuse. The saddle fitter responded in calm, scientific terms, explaining (again) why they’d refused to sell an unsuitable (for that horse/rider) saddle, but the public flogging of their good name continued. Besides reporting it to Facebook, who to their credit acted swiftly to remove the offending posts, the by now distraught saddle fitter turned to probably the only people who would understand their predicament – other members of the trade. It was their voices of reason that confirmed this saddle fitter did the right thing by putting horse welfare first. Thank heavens for a supportive industry.

Who’s new, who’s moved


With Jonathan Rippon


The fashionable world of price fixing


Behind the scenes at Saddles Direct








AMTRA ACCREDITED RAMA CPD FEATURE Test your fibre knowledge and earn points


FIBRE, FORAGE AND HAY ALTERNATIVES Hay, forages and forage replacers Product gallery


For Christmas and impulse buys

32 35



What ETN was reporting five, ten, 20 and 30 years ago 40


BOOTS, SOCKS AND GLOVES Product gallery The right attire


42 44

FIBRE PROVIDERS IT’S IN THE BAG! ETN is the official media partner of BETA International


2023 September

NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, UK Main Sponsor

Main Sponsor



Now you can offer your customers another healthy bedding choice

from Bedmax - an ideal option for a tough winter ahead.

Find out more on our website. Call us for orders and sales support

01668 213467

Strawmax ETN Half Page Ad - Cover 210x64.5mm.indd 1


17/10/2022 20:56

Liz Benwell Liz Benwell



News Machinery brand eyes equestrian sector “The equestrian market is a growing sector for us,” said machinery maker Avant UK’s managing director Raimo AlaKorpi as he announced a new sponsorship deal with eventer Kevin McNab (pictured). The Surrey based Australian international rider uses Avant Tecno equipment to maintain his property just outside

Guildford where he has more than 40 horses. A favourite of Kevin’s is the 800 series Avant multifunctional loader. With over 200 attachments, it’s used for jobs such as aerating turf to create good going to unloading feed and bedding deliveries, sweeping and fencing.

Equestrian Trade News East Wing, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AW Tel: 01937 582111 Email: Website: 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). Design & Print Designed and produced on behalf of EMC by DJ Murphy Publishers: Email: Tel: 01428 601020

Advertising Manager Evie Edgar Email: Tel: 01428 601031

NEED MORE NEWS? Receive ETN’s weekly e-newsletter directly to your inbox. It’s free and you can sign up at

Abi Cannon Email: Tel: 01428 601028

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Bedmax OFC & 23 BETA Courses 30 BETA Membership 36 Bettalife OBC Citrus Lime 46 Dengie 31 Dodson & Horrell 37 Fieldhouse 21 Gallop IFC H.Bradshaws 23 Horse First 17 Horslyx 39 Jenkinsons 3&9 Just Togs 21 NAF 15 Premier Equine 13 Red Gorilla IBC Spillers 27 STUBBS ENGLAND 25

Digital Manager Nicki Lewis Email: 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

Publisher Equestrian Management Consultants Ltd Editor Liz Benwell Email: 4 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

www.carbonbalancedpape CBP123456



Winning formula to protect equestrianism SEIB Insurance Brokers won the marketing and customer engagement award at the UK Broker Awards in September. The accolade was presented in recognition of the work SEIB has done on the social licence to operate in equestrianism. As the broker’s marketing manager, Nicolina MacKenzie, explained: “Social license to operate is about public perception and social acceptance of an activity. “As, over time, the internet and social media have opened up snapshots of equestrian life to a far wider audience, we want to highlight the positives of the partnership between horses and humans to counter what is sometimes only a lack of knowledge of those that are not involved with horses or the sport of horse riding.” SEIB has been working with the likes of equine vet Jane Nixon and World Horse Welfare’s CEO Roly Owers on the project. Added SEIB’s CEO Suzy Middleton said; “It’s wonderful to receive this award as a result of the work done to help promote positive experiences within the equestrian industry.” SEIB also supports the amateur showing series Search for a Star and runs the SEIB Giving Awards that in 2022 donated more than £50K to good causes.

Pictured are Nicolina MacKenzie and Georgina Dewar collecting the UK Broker Awards 2022 trophy for marketing and customer engagement on behalf of SEIB Insurance Brokers from Paul Sinha.


Saddlers entering the President’s Choice class at the 2023 Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) National Saddlery Competition have been challenged to make leather items on an environmentally friendly theme. Past president Helen Reader came up with the concept and wants to see entrants incorporate repurposed leather items into their designs too. Entries for the class, which has a different theme each year, can be decorative, ornamental or practical. But they must be ‘fit for purpose’ and made of leather using traditional saddlery skills. “I’ve always tried to be as environmentally friendly as possible with my own business, especially when sending parcels out by reusing packaging and wanted to incorporate that philosophy into this year’s theme,” said Helen. “The entry can include new leather or other materials but it must be at least 60% repurposed from existing leather items. For example, a handbag could be made from a pair of leather boots or a headcollar crafted from a number of items, but it must be safe to use. “I really want members to get behind the idea and showcase what can be achieved by upcycling materials.”



Hartpury University – a popular seat of learning for equestrians – has been ranked sixth in the UK and top in the south-west for teaching quality by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2023. The specialist institution, which offers courses in sport, equine, animal, agriculture and veterinary nursing, received university status in 2018.

Said Rosie Scott-Ward, pro vicechancellor: “During the past year, we’ve invested further in the facilities we have at Hartpury University to ensure we provide the very best learning environment alongside the highest quality teaching.” Professor Andy Collop took up his new post as vice-chancellor, principal and CEO of Hartpury in September.




Saddlers, apprentices and trainees competed for top awards in the Society of Master Saddlers’ competitions run during BETA International 2022 in September. Held in the show’s Saddlery Pavilion, the competitions showcased leatherwork made in front of a live audience over the threedays. Prize money was donated by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers. “As ever, we were delighted that the competition brought a lot of interest from visitors to the trade fair and it was wonderful to see so many people,” said Hazel Morley of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS). In an open competition for a readymade leather decoration for any occasion or celebration, judges Helen Reader - SMS past president, Lucy Atherton - Prime Warden of The Saddlers’ Company and Suzie Fletcher – of TV’s The Repair Shop, awarded first prize to Gabrielle Mitchley from Saddlers’ Den for her leather corset made for the Fae Winter Ball. Charlotte Cheesman from SES Saddlery took second place for her boots holding

Christmas candles, while Penny Dixon claimed third place for her summer and winter solstice decoration. Apprentices shine On the first day (Sunday), apprentices training at the Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury each made a raised and double hand-stitched browband. The winner was Charlotte Cheesman of SES Saddlery, with Gabrielle Mitchley of The Saddlers Den taking second place, having both impressed the judges Helen Reader and Catherine Baker. On the Monday, Capel Manor College students made an Irish martingale, double hand-stitched. Students taking part were Bonnie Dale, Harriet (Harri) Bruce, Filip Lazic and Victoria Oram. Judges Laurence Pearman and Chris Taylor, chose Harriet (Harri) Bruce to take the winner’s prize and Bonnie Dale the runner-up spot. Tuesday saw Amy Biggs, Stephanie Smith and Tamsin Goldie from the Saddlery Training Centre each make a leather waist belt. Judges Helen Reader and Frances Roche awarded first prize to Stephanie Smith with Amy Biggs taking second.

New distributor sought after acquisition terminated HLM Investment Group, the parent company that owns distributor Westgate, has terminated the acquisition of Gatehouse (Design Headwear Ltd). “Unfortunately, there were several contractual issues that Gatehouse were required to resolve before the acquisition could be completed,” said a legal representative from HLM. “Despite being given time to do so, these remained outstanding and could not be dealt with to our satisfaction and the decision was taken to terminate the acquisition.” Westgate is to continue to distribute Gatehouse products in the short term, adding it will “assist in helping them move forward and find alternative distribution.” David Mitson, CEO of HLM Investment Group, said: “The entire team and I wish Gatehouse every success, and hope to see them build a bright future in the years to come.”

Princely sum raised

Le Chameau has raised £16,527 for The Prince’s Countryside Fund by selling seconds of its boots. The brand’s ‘Imperfects’ initiative, which ran throughout the summer, saw 10% of the money from the sales of boots being donated to the cause. Le Chameau said its less-than-perfect boots – sold at 40% under RRP - had minor faults such as discolouration, scratches or blemishes. The Prince’s Countryside Fund supports rural enterprises, training and community projects.


SMS past-president Helen Reader congratulates winning apprentice Charlotte Cheesman.

Ready-made leather decorations await judging in the open class.

WHY PLASTIC PACKAGING IS SOMETIMES THE ONLY OPTION Many of your customers don’t like plastic bags. Some might even ask you, their retailer, why horse feed is still packaged in plastic. However, for feed manufacturer Dengie, there’s currently no viable alternative. One reason is the inclusion of ingredients such as rapeseed oil at much higher levels than typically found in cereal-based feeds. Paper packaging simply wouldn’t be suitable in these situations, says the company. Then there’s the question of pressure, a huge amount of which is used to pack Dengie’s fibre feeds into bales. Paper just isn’t robust enough. “The plastic packaging is vital for ensuring Dengie’s feeds remain fresh and protected from the elements as well as reducing the risk of contamination – a particularly important consideration for those feeding competition or racehorses,” says technical manager Katie Williams. “To achieve this with paper packaging, it’s often coated with wax or lacquer which prevents the packaging from being recycled after use”. Two years ago, Dengie introduced recycled plastic into its packaging; and efforts continue. “We’re now able to send the waste plastic generated during the bagging of the horse feeds back to our supplier who recycles it on our behalf,” says Katie, “which is closing the loop in terms of managing waste plastic. “While we can’t take plastic back from customers yet, there are opportunities to recycle through council sites and collection services.” Meanwhile Dengie bags are famously re-used for rubbish or selling manure. Even when they reach the end of their lifecycle, they can be recycled and could ultimately end up in another Dengie bag. WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM


Training and welfare “will safeguard our industry” The promotion of well-fitting saddlery to improve horse welfare will help safeguard our industry for future generations. The topic was a prominent theme at the recent Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) AGM. During the meeting, Chris Taylor was appointed as president for 2022/2023 with Karen Schlotter stepping into the vice president’s role. The saddlery trade body also reported that its membership is at an all-time high of 572. Training opportunities Training and welfare have been high on the SMS’s agenda over the past 12 months. “Our revised Mentor Scheme, which helps our trainees move on through our fitting pathways towards qualification, is now up and running,” said chief executive Hazel Morley. “On the subject of welfare, we’ve been pleased to work with The Horse Trust and Redwings who have helped us develop an online CPD module which gives training and advice on welfare issues, clarifying actions or decisions taken in the course of members’ professional duties. “Our veterinary consultant Dr Jane Nixon has also been very active in promoting and educating us and the wider equestrian community on the issues around social licence.”

Saddle and bridle fitting Theory lectures for SMS fitting courses via webinar had worked well and will continue, members heard. Bridle and saddle fitting introductory courses now cover a full day, with the qualification courses also covering more practical training. Hazel thanked the bridle fitting team, led by Frances Roche, and the saddle fitting team, headed by Andy Milner.

At the Society of Master Saddlers’ AGM are new president Chris Taylor with vice president Karen Schlotter.

Generous support The Worshipful Company of Saddlers has supported the SMS via its usual annual grant, providing prize money for the National Saddlery and BETA International competitions. The Saddlers’ Company also funds an annual donation to The Saddlery & Leathergoods Benevolent Fund.

Hastilow who has retired as leader of the qualification course.

Grateful thanks Hazel went on to thank outgoing president Helen Reader “for being very supportive and active”; SMS treasurer Bea Blakeman; Mark Romain for his work with the Ofqual application; Lizzy Freeman the society’s new marketing and partnerships coordinator plus all other officers and the executive committee. Thanks also went to Ian Hastilow who has this year stood down from being the saddle fitting course co-ordinator and Kay

Well-fitting saddlery Outgoing president Helen Reader told the SMS AGM: “2022 has seen the first Qualified Bridle Fitting Course and Assessments take place. “The message about the importance of using correctly fitted saddlery is certainly getting through to the majority of the equestrian world and there is now keenness to learn more and use qualified saddlery fitters. “The more the SMS can promote quality, well-fitting saddlery to improve horse welfare through education to other associated professionals and the wider public, the more likely we will be able to keep riding and therefore safeguard our industry for future generations.”

EQUESTRIAN ROYAL WARRANT HOLDER EXPECTS KING CHARLES III TO DEMAND HIGH ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS. Unsurprisingly, given our late Queen’s love of horses, a healthy number of equestrian companies are Royal Warrant holders. Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, companies may continue to use the Royal Arms in connection with their business for up to two years. “The Royal Household is due to review Warrant grants upon a change of the reigning Sovereign and so we cannot enter into speculation at this time,” Russell Tanguay of the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association told ETN. A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition for companies who have supplied goods or services to the royal households for at least five years. There must be an ongoing trading arrangement, with goods or services supplied on a commercial basis. Elevates our image Shires Equestrian has been a Royal Warrant Holder to HM The Queen for the supply of equine equipment, clothing and footwear since 2009.


“Having the Royal Warrant elevates us in terms of the overall image of our company and the quality of our products,” says Shires’ chairman Malcolm Ainge. “It adds a certain prestige that money cannot buy. Being able to exhibit our products in the gardens of Buckingham Palace for the Coronation Festival in July 2012 was an incredible experience. 7,000 visitors attended for three days from all over the world.” Environmental ethics Royal Warrants must be renewed every five years, something Malcolm thinks may become increasingly challenging for some due to sustainability requirements. “Probably to be a warrant holder to HM The King will be even more difficult due to King Charles’s environmental ethics,” he says. Neither are Royal Warrants a ‘free lunch’. “We received a letter from Buckingham Palace advising us that a Warrant had been granted, and a few days later an invoice from the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association for membership,” added Malcolm. “However, the annual fee is realistic for membership of such a prestigious organisation.”

Malcolm Ainge: “A Royal Warrant adds a certain prestige.”



“Getting face-to-face has never been more important” At a time when businesses rely more on online sales, opportunities to speak directly with end-users have never been more valuable. So says EV Events, the company behind the World of the Horse shopping pavilion which was back at Burghley in September after two years of Covid cancellation. Thirty-six companies exhibited in the 30m x 25m pavilion sponsored by Horse&Rider and PONY magazines. Bookings are open for World of the Horse’s return to Badminton and Burghley in 2023. “We’ve been exhibiting at these two 5* events for nigh on 30 years and are very well established on both show grounds,” said Jamie Hawksfield, managing director of EV Events.

“The World of the Horse is principally about promotion and we’re always very keen to welcome new businesses with interesting and exciting products in the equestrian world. “So many businesses never speak to the end user and this is the perfect opportunity to get feedback from those who use your products.” Waiting lists Over the years, it’s not always been easy for newcomers to get a trading pitch at Burghley and Badminton. However, World of the Horse has offered many companies valuable debut opportunities. “Both events have a waiting list and in recent years companies like Voltaire and Bates Saddlery have been offered

outside space having exhibited with us for a number of years,” said Lara Sherlock of E V Events. “We believe being seen at major events is even more important these days with businesses relying more and more on online sales as it is the only way to communicate face-to-face with end users, who are ultimately the paying customer. “Some companies also prefer exhibiting in the pavilion environment with the convenience and support it gives them.” One such at this year’s Burghley was World of the Horse first-timer Katie Clark of “The whole experience has been an absolute pleasure and we feel extremely privileged to have been part of one of the biggest horse events of the year,” she said.

The popularity of re-using and re-cycling is highlighted by two new BETA members. One offers a selling platform for others’ second-hand goods, and another recycled arena materials. A third company to join the trade association - or in this case rejoin - is Heritage Marketing, founded by Ian Mitchell in 1988. Companies must pass a rigorous monitoring process and be sanctioned by existing members to be accepted into BETA. Once admitted, they can display the BETA logo – a signal to equestrian consumers of a reputable business. The following applications were approved a BETA’s most recent Council meeting. • Hand Me Down Ltd, Loughborough, Leicestershire (Associate member, provisional) – selling platform for other people’s equestrian goods and new products that are eco brands. • Foley’s Equestrian Surfaces Ltd, Redcar (Trade member) – wholesaler of recycled equestrian carpet fibre for arenas. • Heritage Marketing Ltd, Bourne, Lincolnshire (Agent member) – equestrian agent.

Dressage for all

Dressage Circle, the organisation started last year to offer opento-all competitions, is to repeat its championship show at a new venue in 2023. The three-day fixture moves to Pickering Grange in Leicestershire on 30 June to 2 July. “So much fun was had by all and the show had a great encouraging atmosphere. We look forward to welcoming new people joining us as well as all the friends we made from this year,” said Dressage Circle’s founder Jo Graham.


Photo: Jon Stroud


RIDING SCHOOLS: THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD… Interest in riding remains buoyant with many riding schools struggling to meet demand in the face of red tape and riding costs. The supply and demand predicament is revealed by a British Equestrian (BEF) survey of 311 UK riding centres. The good news is that there’s plenty of enthusiasm for riding. The bad is that more than two thirds of centres are finding it hard to take on new clients. On average, centres are running at 75% capacity due to issues around workforce - paid and volunteer, suitable and affordable horsepower and skyrocketing costs. More than 70% of riding schools reported that these issues have been exacerbated by Covid-19, compounded by an average of 62% reduction of income since the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Another challenge is licensing requirements and processes. The costs, complexity and time involved are considerable, and this is a source of frustration for some centre proprietors. WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

Product News

Themed rugs have matching accessories

Hy Equestrian has added to its collection of limited-edition rugs sporting bold patterns and bright colours. First up, Harrison the Hare has arrived for autumn/winter 2022. With a 200g fill and combi neck, it’s based on the StormX Original and features its standard 600 denier ripstop and waterproof outer, twin buckle chest fastenings and adjustable surcingles and leg straps. Matching socks, dog coats and beds, grooming bags and boot bags are available. Well wrapped for Christmas In time for Christmas, Hy Equestrian has introduced the fun and festive Jolly Elves rug. Also from the StormX Original range, with all its attributes, it comes as a 200g combi turnout. Matching accessories include head collar and lead rope set and rider socks. What great gift ideas! “Our StormX rug range is increasingly popular and getting some fantastic reviews and feedback for fit, features and durability,” said Hy Equestrian brand manager Rebecca Howsam. Hy Equestrian is available from Battles.



Bliss of London unveiled a new bridle plus fresh girth and saddle panel designs at BETA International. The new Fairuza bridle was developed with para dressage rider Bert Sheffield and is named after her world championship ride. The bridle was created to suit Fairuza (aka Wonky) as the mare previously objected to wearing a noseband. “Wonky was happiest without any noseband in my many bridle/noseband experiments,” said Bert, “so the challenge was to replicate her preferences in a BD/FEI legal bridle, and it worked. “This is not just another anatomical bridle with even more padding. This is a totally different concept and I believe it helped Wonky feel soft and elastic in her body as well as helping us achieve a quieter, more harmonious contact.” The Fairuza bridle is made in hand-stitched English leather with layered materials under the headpiece and noseband. Eliminating the need for buckles on the side and releasing the pressure on her face has made a big difference to Wonky, says Bert. Innovative saddle panel The new Echo saddle panel from Bliss of London is designed to provide a wide gullet and broad bearing surface under the saddle. Said to help with stability, particularly on broad horses with flat backs, it suits modern warmblood sport horses which are a medium fit but have a broad spine. “The panel came about when we needed to fit saddles for PRE horses,” explained Nikki Newcombe, director of Bliss of London. “This Spanish breed is often not that wide and they have a wither, but they are flat at the back behind the cantle. The Echo panel can be fitted to any saddle in the Bliss range, increasing the options for saddle fitters.” Customisable girth Bliss of London saddles are renowned for stylish custom colours and cantle designs. Now the brand’s new Sym Girth can be coordinated to match. The handmade English leather dressage girth has no elastic. Custom options include contrasting stitching and colours to match personalised saddles for dressage, jumping and eventing.


Photo: Kevin Sparrow




UK distributor Zebra Products is offering a free made-to-measure service on Konig boots until 15 November. Your customers can choose from many customised features including stiffness of the boot leg, colour, type of leather and decoration details. A great pre-Christmas promotion.

Get hooked on this

Hanging things up clears space and keeps tackrooms, cloakrooms and workshops tidy. This new Giganti-Hook from Stubbs England is up to some seriously heavy hanging! At 20cm tall and 4cm wide, there’s not much it can’t handle. Made in heavy steel coated with Stubbyfine, it comes in red, back, blue, green or pink. It’s a very handy hook for displaying items in store too – and what better way to sell it?


E-COMMERCE MADE EASY More brands have joined Citrus-Lime’s Cloud PoS stock integration system. Nettex Equine, Carr & Day & Martin, Keratex and Equi Life are now on the programme that saves retailers’ time by getting stock onto e-commerce sites as soon as it’s booked in.

For hardcore equestrians

Trail riding, fun rides, long distance riding holidays and hacking are all growing areas of interest for equestrians. And they need kit that’s up to the task. New company Freerein Equipment is a spin-off from Freerein Riding Holidays which takes tourists on proper trail rides across the Welsh borders and beyond. And its products benefit from that real-life experience. As managing director Matt Williams explained: “We identified a gap in the market for hardwearing equipment for horse and rider that actually does the job it’s meant to. “We have more than 30 years’ experience of trail riding in all climates across the globe and from that an understanding of how hard these products have to work while still looking good.” Freerein Equipment initially launched its SuperFit range of gloves, socks, t-shirts and riding tights. Next came the Explorer collection of saddle bags, map cases, bottle bags and utility lead ropes. They’re all hand-made in Wales from tough, lightweight machine-washable materials which are, importantly, waterproof and quick-drying. The designs’ attention to detail is impressive. Map cases have straps to avoid them blowing around on a windy day, the saddle bags attach so they don’t flap about with the horse’s movement or make him sore. The Freerein Equipment saddle bag is a must-have for all equestrians who love trail riding. Hand-made in Wales, they’re small enough to go unnoticed by a horse, but roomy enough to carry all essentials – picnic, first-aid kit, waterproofs and water bottle with two slip pockets providing additional space. It all adds up to a genuinely different, cleverly designed, authentic offering to help your customers enjoy their riding.

Stubbs England’s popular HorseShoe NamePlates now come in retailer friendly, point- of-sale boxes of ten. Great gift ideas at any time of year, the smart signs enable a horse’s – or house’s – name to be written on with a permanent market. The reverse side is plain – perfect for adhesive house numbers. The product is made in Stubbythene-coated heavy steel plate, its authentic look completed by rectangular nail holes. It comes in red, blue, green, black, grey, purple or pink with each box of ten containing a mixture of colours.





There’s a small but important difference in the way the new Anti-Jump Anti-Weaver grill has been designed by Stubbs England. “We designed the first anti-weave grilles in the 1960s in conjunction with John Waterfall at Horse Requisites,” explains managing director Chris Bradwell. “They have been universally successful and popular. But some horses, seeing the wider upper section, imagine that they can jump out.” Fortunately, all Stubbs top door grilles have bendable tines as a safety feature. Nevertheless, this new design with its vertical sides actually deters the escapologist from ever making the leap over the door. Made with Stubbs’ usual strong steel construction, it’s hot dip galvanised and supplied complete with standard mounting sockets. Identical tine spacing allows easy interchange with other Stubbs 41”/104cm wide grilles.

Dazzling new design

Uvex’s popular suxxeed blaze helmet is set to impress with a sparkling new design. Its shell, in a piano lacquer finish, has a glitter insert and metal frame in black chrome – ready to outshine one another in the sun or under lights. The uvex suxxeed is noted for its comfort, even on riders who wear spectacles. It adjusts in height and width using the wellestablished 3D IAS system. Thanks to its ventilation system - and breathable, removable, washable liner - riders can be sure of keeping a cool head too. The uxex suxxeed blaze with glitter insert comes in navy, black or burgundy in sizes extra-small to large.

How cool is that?

Battles’ luxury clothing brand Coldstream has added a new colour to its Branxton, Cornhill and Leitholm ranges. Cool slate blue coordinates with the slate blue of the Ednam and Marygold collections of coats and gilets which have quilted faux duck down and gold coloured hardware. “The Branxton, Cornhill and Leitholm are incredibly popular, so we’re delighted to add cool slate blue to the range,” said Coldstream brand manager Rebecca Howsam. “It’s such a flattering colour that will go perfectly with a pair of Coldstream breeches or riding tights, but likewise look super smart with a pair of jeans for best this winter.”


At this time of year, many horsey people are searching for Christmas gifts for friends and relations who shoot or fish. So check out this stunning range of sporting giftware from John Rothery Wholesale. The collection includes whisky, gin and shot glasses, joined by wine tumblers and whisky tasting glasses. Each is made from highquality glass with English pewter highlights. Available individually, customers can choose from pheasant, stag and trout designs, with each in its own presentation box. Complementing the glassware are new heavyweight pewter tableware items. A corkscrew, bottle opener, bottle stopper and a cheese knife each has a pewter stag’s head as the handle. 12 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022


Amerigo’s Safety Stirrup looks good, is lightweight and has a neat, easily replaceable quick-release system. The stirrup’s black tread has a grip finish, while the main arch is made in Ergal, an aluminium alloy. The green coloured, silicone mobile section of the arch releases in the event of a rider’s foot being caught in a fall. No tools are required to restore the stirrup following a release, the rubber arm is simply replaced after activation. Yet the system has no springs, hooks, magnets or other elements that could break or get stuck. The Amerigo Safety Stirrup is available in four colour options. The green silicone arch can be combined with a black, silver, bronze or titanium coloured metal arch. The RRP is around £324.50 per pair with a replacement rubber arm at £51.50.


Join the elite, become a Premier Equine retailer today.


Globally recognised as the forefront of Innovation, Technology & Protection in the Equine sector.



Eventing legend Ingrid Klimke has helped develop Passier’s new Excellence Cross Country and Jumping Saddle. The saddle has a sporty look with a designer leather inset grid on the small calf blocks, plus decorative stitching. The tree has a narrow twist to give the rider close contact with the horse. The skirt, knee inserts and calf blocks are covered with Selloil leather for softness with extra grip. The Passier Excellence has a flat gusseted panel. It comes in seat sizes 16” to 19” and black or Havana.

£2 off feed promotion

Dodson & Horrell has a special offer running with £2 off each bag of Build Up Mix throughout November and December. The promotion is valid on orders placed until 31 December while stocks last. There’s no minimum order quantity. The offer will be promoted to consumers from 7 November. Build Up Conditioning Mix is a high calorie, high quality protein muesli packed with oil, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for topline condition and a show shine. It’s suitable for horses and ponies that need to gain weight and condition in a controlled way, when fed alongside appropriate exercise. 14 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Whatever the weather…

The new Ri-Dry Ladies Lanacre waterproof riding jacket has a long cut front and asymmetric hemline for upper leg coverage. It falls over the saddle’s cantle too. Designed to be worn over another coat for warmth in winter, the elegant Ladies Lanacre has a flattering belted waist. Developed on the wilds of Exmoor and made in the UK with a waterproof rating of 10,000mm, it has taped seams and a reinforced double placket and zip for weather protection. Its large pockets have waterproof flaps. In navy or hi-viz, the RRP is £250.

A MATCH FOR THE MOST STYLISH Two stunning new colours have joined Hy Equestrian’s Hy Sport Active range for autumn/winter 2022. Vivid merlot and desert sand are the latest shades in the coordinating collections of performance rider wear. Moisture wicking base layers pair with saddle pads, boots and fly veils across the range. Desert sand is also available in young rider sizes for aspiring equestrian athletes. Hy Equestrian is available from Battles.



Gut Health

FOR GUTSY SALES GROWTH All horse owners can now benefit from the power of NAF’s Five Star Treatment with the recent relaunch of our highly effective supplements to support gut health, GASTRIAID and GASTRIVET, however “gutsy” their horse. To drive sales we are supporting the launch as follows: • Striking new informative packaging for clearer communication to the horse owner • Evolution of our effective formulations to include NAF Bio G. • National Advertising Campaigns to drive consumer demand • Educational marketing support to all retailers PRE, PRO & POST BIOTICS GET GUT HEALTHY


We are proud of our relationship with our retailers and would like to thank all of you for selling these products on our behalf.

For more information please contact your NAF Area Sales Manager, call the NAF Sales Office on 01600 710726, or our

FREE Nutritional Advice Line on 0800 373 106



the best bench saddlers...

This award, presented in conjunction with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), recognises those who uphold the highest standards of leathercraft skills. theatre, someone said ‘why don’t you just go and be a saddler as you are always making things for the horses’ and it seemed like a good idea.” In a bid to get an apprenticeship, Penny wrote to saddlers all over England. “Luckily Ron Hinton had just taken on the workshop at Canterbury Saddle Centre, and offered me a place,” she says. “I’ve worked in the trade ever since.”


There’s always a new challenge when making saddlery, says Penny Dickson.

ETN/SMS BENCH SADDLER OF THE MONTH: PENNY DICKSON NOMINATED BY: Mark Romain of the Saddlery Training Centre, who says: “I first met Penny in the early 1980s when we had both entered the National Saddlery Competition. A decade later, she came to the Saddlery Training Centre to attend a traditional collar making course with Tony Byrne and made a lovely show collar. Penny has done very well in small business saddle making classes and also side saddle manufacture. Her work is always of the highest standard. ABOUT Penny Dickson Penny’s mother was a ceramic artist who worked in the theatre doing wardrobe and props. So Penny grew up helping her to make things and learning to sew from the wardrobe ladies. “I can remember making a God costume when I was about eleven,” she recalls. “At school, my best subjects were needlework, pottery and metalwork; I had a go at lots of different crafts. As a teenager, my bedroom was my workshop.” Although from a non-horsey family, Penny was allowed to have riding lessons “after a degree of pestering” when she was ten. “That was it, I was hooked,” she says. “A Saturday job at the local stables followed, then I worked in a yard for a year.”


A chance remark set Penny on a career in saddlery. “I used to make ribbon covered browbands and numnahs, and do simple restitching jobs for the riding school,” she explained. “When I was trying to decide whether to go into horses or the 16 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Saddles are Penny’s speciality and favourite thing to create. “They’re what I wanted to do right from the start, and still love to make. I only do madeto-measure to order, so each saddle is unique for each horse and rider.” Penny is most proud of her saddle that won the Small Business Saddle Class at the SMS National Competition in 1986. “It was the first time I had won there and I beat some very good saddlers, I was a bit chuffed with myself for that,” she recalls.

“When I started, synthetic tack was rare, but now it’s normal, as are adjustable trees.” “I’m also rather proud of the tack our horses wear. It’s rather nice when people admire it and ask where we got it from - and to be able to say ‘I made it, thank you.’” Penny’s continued enthusiasm for her craft shines through. “I really enjoy the fact there’s always a new challenge to make, something new to learn and new horses and riders to meet,” she says. “It’s great to see smiling faces on the horse and rider when you have made them a saddle and/or bridle. It’s especially the case when it’s a horse that has been difficult to fit and everyone is pleased with the result and outcome.


When it comes to things she doesn’t enjoy quite so much, Penny names making lip straps, replacing zips in boots - and finding live WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

Penny Dickson with one of her winning entries in the Small Business Saddle Making class at the SMS National Competition.

creepy crawlies hiding in items to be repaired. “They make me shudder,” she confesses. Penny is happy to tackle unconventional commissions. “Over the years, I’ve made a lot of unusual items which get the brain ticking. “The ones that stick in my mind are leather washers for the toilets on a ferry, a leather ceiling and walls for an army truck that was being converted to a luxury camper van, caveman deerskin boots and strange assorted leather bits for vintage vehicles ranging from push-bikes to steam engines.”


Today, Penny is self-employed and has her own workshop near Sandwich in Kent. “I only do made-to-measure and repairs/restorations, but will take on most things so long as I think it’s do-able. I quite like a challenge,” she says. She’s seen many changes in the trade during her career. “When I started, synthetic tack was rare, but now it’s normal, as are adjustable trees. “Women are now happily accepted as saddlers. But we used to be very much the minority. And I would never have thought so much bling and bright colour would have made its way onto saddles and bridles.”


Away from the bench, Penny enjoys spending time with her horse, Bailey. More unusually, she’s a field archer and horseback archer, as well as a National Field Archery Society coach. “I practice Tai Chi and Equestrian Tai Chi for which I am a Level 1 Instructor. And I have a passion for equestrian theatre, costume concours and horse agility,” she adds.




People Tim Smith closed his marketing agency Tim Smith Marketing (TSM) at the end of October – and has retired to pursue life’s adventures. Tim, a journalist before working in PR, founded TSM 21 years ago. The agency had many well-known clients across the equestrian and pet trades. “The [TSM] team are all looking forward to exciting new roles in the industry,” Tim told ETN. “We feel very fortunate to have had so many longstanding clients. “Personally, the industry has been very good to me and I have made some great friends and had so many amazing experiences along the way. I feel very fortunate to have run a successful business for such a long time, thanks to the support and loyalty of so many people.” In a new era away from his desk, Tim says he plans to chase his dreams. “I am, by nature, an adventurer,” he said, “and will now have the time to take on more challenges that I have wanted to do for years - Everest Basecamp here I come!” Saddler and leatherworker Lucy Ellis has been awarded the fifth Abbey England Scholarship. The annual title took on a new twist this year as a competition for the best ‘40 under 40’ to celebrate younger people in the industry and mark Abbey England’s 40th anniversary. Lucy, a Master Saddler, Master Bridle Maker and Master Harness Maker, launched Hertfordshire based Lucy Ellis Leatherwork in 2019. As the scholarship winner, she received £1,000 towards Abbey England’s workshop tools and supplies. She’s also been invited to a masterclass workshop with the BBC’s Repair Shop star and Master Saddler Suzie Fletcher. Dressage rider and Love Island star Gemma Owen has become the latest ambassador for Holland Cooper Equestrian. Her first public appearance for the clothing brand was at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). 18 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Diagnostic tests provider Austin Davis Biologics (ADB) has appointed Professor Jacqui Matthews as director of veterinary science from 14 November. ADB is well known for its EquiSal Tapeworm saliva testing and small redworm blood test, which Jacqui invented. Her new role will see Jacqui lead ADB’s research and product development. She’ll also undertake parasitology studies using ADB’s commercially available tests, as well as advise and train customers. After qualifying as a vet, Jacqui moved into academia to become a world renowned equine parasitologist. She’s had more than 140 peer-reviewed papers published. “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining ADB and given this opportunity to support and promote evidence-based helminth [parasitic worm] control in horses in the UK and overseas,” she said. “I’m also really looking forward to bringing more innovative diagnostics to the market to support animal health”. Added Dr Corrine Austin, founder and managing director of ADB: “Jacqui’s new position within ADB will accelerate future research as well as dissemination of our existing research data.” A chance meeting a decade ago led to a partnership between Britain’s newest world champion and Zebra Products. The UK distributor had the foresight to sponsor Yasmin Ingham - who with Banzai Du Loir claimed the individual gold medal in Pratoni, Italy in September - when she was still a relative unknown. “We first met Yaz and her mum Lesley about eleven years ago when we were parked next to them at Weston Park Three-Day Event,” said Zebra Products’ managing director Simon Middleton who competes his and his wife Lindsay’s horses. “It was Yaz’s first big competition with her pony. They had travelled over from the Isle of Man – and they were both super nervous. Nevertheless, Yaz did very well. Even back then, we knew she was going places,” added Simon. Zebra Products has supported Cheshire based Yasmin Ingham Eventing officially for more than five years with Veredus horse equipment and Tucci riding boots. Simon attributes his talent-spotting abilities to being out and about with Lindsay at competitions up and down the country. “We get to see the new talent early on in their careers,” said Simon. In fact, he has form when it comes to having an eye for upcoming world and Olympic champions. Zebra Product signed Charlotte Dujardin nearly 15 years ago when, as Simon puts it, “her amazing journey was really just beginning.” WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM


BETA’s executive director Claire Williams has been invited to judge the EQUITANA Melbourne Business Awards this month (10 – 13 November). The awards, which are free to enter for exhibitors at the Australian consumer show, are presented in four categories: Equestrian Rider Innovation, Vet/Feed Innovation, Saddlery/ Horse Innovation, and Technology Innovation. Following initial judging of written submissions and photographs, the top three in each category will present to a panel of three judges, including Claire, at the show. “I’m really pleased to be heading over to Melbourne and flying the BETA flag,” said Claire. “I’m delighted to be judging the Business Awards at the show, because it aligns so well with what we do in the UK with our British companies - and that’s promoting and supporting innovation. “I cannot wait to see the submissions and am very much looking forward to heading over with the group of British companies attending the event.” Tom Joule, who founded Joules in 1989, is back on board in an executive capacity at the lifestyle brand. His remit, says Joules, is “the renewed product development process for the forthcoming seasons to oversee the company’s product offer and to ensure it surprises and delights our customers.”


Leading equine vet David Rendle has been appointed as president of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) for 2022/23. He takes over from Huw Griffiths. A specialist in equine internal medicine, David has worked at well-known institutions including Liphook Equine Hospital in Hampshire, The Royal Veterinary College, London, Charles Sturt University in Australia and Yorkshire’s Rainbow Equine Hospital. Today, he combines work as an independent equine medicine and therapeutics consultant with running the family farm on the edge of Exmoor. He is chair of BEVA’s health and medicines committee. During his presidential year, David is keen to continue his work around antimicrobial and anthelmintic [wormer] resistance as well as supporting equine vets globally and having a greater impact on equine welfare. “Around 99% of the world’s horses are cared for by around 1% of the world’s vets so we are not going to change things overnight,” he said. “However, we should use our resources to support equine welfare, irrespective of where equine vets and their patients live and work.”


Alan Smith, who was equestrian correspondent of The Daily Telegraph for almost half a century, died in September. He was 89. As the newspaper’s skiing reporter, Alan was asked to cover “a bit of show jumping”. He went on to report from ten summer Olympic Games and every major equestrian championship between 1960 and 2008. Alan was a walking encyclopaedia of results and unforgettable stories. Dogged in the pursuit of a good story, he was the consummate journalist yet always showed great kindness to young writers. Before The Telegraph, Alan was with a news agency. He then worked on pedigrees for the British Bloodstock Agency and continued to follow racing – and own shares in Thoroughbreds – until his death. Alan was on numerous FEI [international horse sports] committees and developed a lasting friendship with Prince Philip who was then the organisation’s president.

Photo: Peter Hogan

Gordon Thomas, whose company took on the organisation of this year’s BETA International, has been given a lifetime achievement award by the pet trade during the 2022 PetQuip Industry Awards. After working on international exhibitions such as Glee, Gordon launched his own business, Impact Exhibitions & Events, with friend and colleague Annie Foord. They ran the first PATS show for the pet trade at Sandown Park in 2009, followed by a second event in Harrogate the same year. A move from Harrogate to Pictured, from left, are Pat Flynn (PetQuip trade association manager), Telford came in 2015. Steve Brown (CEO of Pedigree Gordon and his team also Wholesale) who presented the award, launched the biennial AQUA award winner Gordon Thomas and show in association with Amanda Sizer Barrett (director general of OATA (Ornamental Aquatic PetQuip). With thanks to Pet Trade Xtra. Trade Association). In September, Impact Exhibitions & Events organised its first BETA International at NAEC Stoneleigh. PetQuip is an international trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of petcare goods and services.

Pictured in 1992, from left, are Brian Giles of The Daily Mail, Alan Smith from The Daily Telegraph and Prince Philip.



In the hot seat

With Jonathan Rippon, director of content, Horse & Country WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?

I’m responsible for all content on Horse & Country’s (H&C’s) platforms. That includes negotiating for and acquiring rights to all our live streamed and broadcast sport, selecting production companies for that work, and commissioning and overseeing all our post-produced content, much of which is produced in-house. That includes training and advice, documentaries and entertainment content.

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS ON YOUR CV AND HOW DID YOU COME TO BE IN THIS JOB? I was headhunted for this role over 12 years ago. My background has always been in TV, both broadcast and production. My career highlights include creating the launch schedules for CBeebies and CBBC at the BBC, and being in the crowd in Greenwich watching Charlotte Dujardin win gold at London 2012. I’m also a singer/composer and one of my choral pieces is being premiered in the US in Kentucky this year.


I love the international nature of my work. One minute I can be on a Zoom call to a production team in Australia, then the next in discussions for a 4* event in the UK and then working on a documentary about Nicola Philippaerts. The world is a big place and H&C is in all the major equestrian markets globally. I find that very exciting.


It’s pretty much a 24/7 role, partly due to the international nature of the business and because equestrian events take place at the weekends too. So, it can be difficult to switch off.


H&C’s business model has evolved from the original advertising supported channel and the company now derives the majority of its revenues from its globally available subscription service, H&C+. Horse & Country linear channels are also carried on payTV platforms (mostly in the Benelux and Nordic regions), and increasingly on free streaming platforms such as Samsung TV Plus. Because we reach a large and well-defined equestrian audience, advertising and sponsorship also continue to be important parts of our business.


Each time the Olympics takes place, there is a new flurry of interest in equestrian sports on the part of mainstream media coverage. However, this isn’t sustained after the big event is over. If there is less coverage than there once was on the terrestrial broadcasters, specialist equestrian platforms like H&C+ have stepped in to fill the gap. Fortunately, new technologies allow us to do a better job than broadcast TV was ever able to do. Also, the increase in distribution for free streaming channels means more people will be introduced to equestrian sport for free than would have been previously. There 20 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Jonathan Rippon: “There is every reason to be positive about the future of equestrian sport coverage in the UK.”

is every reason to be positive about the future of equestrian sport coverage in the UK.


The best way to attract sponsors from outside the equestrian sector is to give them a bigger audience to address. High street and international brands aren’t interested in reaching hundreds or thousands of people – they want bigger and more measurable audiences. H&C has always advocated co-operation among disciplines and media owners, as this is what will bring bigger budgets back to the sport.


We are looking forward to working ever closer with our equestrian partners such as British Dressage, British Eventing and the British Show Pony Society in the UK, in terms of covering their events and bringing new content to their members. We are also planning a new series of our popular ‘Back to Basics’ training format, focused on showjumping.


We’re looking at ongoing enhancements to our services to offer customers greater utility and value, to really make the most of their lives with horses. Watch this space!


I’m very excited to have re-commissioned the LeMieux All Star Academy this year. It’s our big reality competition series, it’s loads of fun, and I love how it involves amateur riders from all over the UK. WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM


The fashionable world of price fixing

Cost-conscious shoppers want to be on-trend. But what happens when price and brand collide?


ixing prices can appear attractive to many businesses. It can provide comfort that your competitors will not be engaged in a price war or that brand positioning won’t be undermined. Sometimes price fixing can occur without management being aware, say where an area manager decides it can equal increased sales and an improved annual bonus. Trouble is, price fixing is condemned under both UK and EU competition laws. The underlying reason being that where it occurs, consumers lose out. And the risk of being found out exists…. Sometimes, for instance, outing occurs as a result of whistleblowing after a distributorship agreement is ended. Or a supplier decides no longer to supply a particular stockist. Price fixing can also come in a variety of forms, including agreements as to when a brand is to go on sale.

Cartel activity

‘Be ye never so high, the law is above you.” Although stated in a High Court ruling 45 years ago, this statement could also be made today about the ‘king of trainers’ JD Sports. In June, the retailer confessed to “cartel activity” after it had been found to fix the prices of Glasgow Rangers FC’s replica football kit that lasted between September 2018 and July 2019.

Photo: Iuliia Khabibullina/

Vertical or horizontal agreements

Price fixing itself comes in two varieties. Firstly, in what are called vertical agreements where a brand agrees with a stockist that, for example, there will be no discounting from recommended retail prices (RRP). However, resale price maintenance can occur at any stage of the supply chain. A prime example is at the retail level where, for example, a retailer agrees – or is persuaded – not to discount from a brand’s RRP. Second, in horizontal agreements. This happens when two parties at the

Lingerie case

Top-end luxury brands – of which the equestrian market has plenty - are particularly susceptible to infringements of competition law including price fixing. Library picture.

same level in the supply chain agree to sell at a particular price. This way, neither is undermining the other’s turnover by engaging in a price war. This is what happened in the case of JD Sports. The three parties involved allegedly agreed that JD Sports would raise its price from £55 to £60, to align with the prices being charged by Elite Sports on the Glasgow Rangers’ website. In September, JB Sports was fined £1.4million by the competition watchdog for colluding with a rival sports retailer to fix the price of Rangers FC replica kit at the expense of loyal fans.

Branding and fixing

Price fixing occurs in a swathe of industries, but the fashion industry accounts for more than its fair share. And, of course, the equestrian industry too loves branded goods. In May this year, the European Commission undertook a number of unannounced dawn raids of various fashion companies amid concerns that they were engaged in anti-competitive activities. This followed its announcement that it was investigating Pierre Cardin for alleged restriction of cross-border and online sales of Pierre Cardin-licensed products, as well as sales of such products to specific customer groups.


In the UK, meanwhile, Belle Lingerie has commenced an action in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Wacoal for various anticompetitive and discriminatory measures. Belle Lingerie (Belle) sells products on eBay and Amazon as well as via its own website. Wacoal is a leading global manufacturer and wholesale supplier of luxury branded lingerie and swimwear. Belle has claimed that an assortment of discriminatory measures was imposed on it selectively. These included a retail price maintenance policy, a minimum retail price policy and an online platform ban. The latter required Belle to align its advertised and retail prices with Wacoal’s RRPs on all eBay sites around the world. If that was not the case, Wacoal wanted Belle to de-list Wacoal’s products from eBay sites so that they were not visible in consumer searches in third countries. Belle claimed that there was a common aim of maintaining or stabilising retail prices for the Wacoal products, which would certainly have an effect on competition in the UK. The case is heading for trial as we write.

Changes in competition law

The beginning of June saw changes in UK and EU competition laws. While there are implications, particularly for the selective distribution business model, there is no change in the law so far as price fixing is concerned. An agreement by two parties at different levels of the supply chain to fix prices still results in an infringement of competition law. Nor is there any change in the consequences. An agreement including an unlawful price fixing provision will render it void - and third parties can claim damages.

About the authors: Stephen Sidkin is a partner and Anna Agbebi an associate at Fox Williams LLP.


STRAW PELLET BEDDING HIGH QUALITY LOW COST Strawmax gives your customers the quality and health benefits they demand for their horses, at a welcome lower cost and in a convenient 15kg bag from their trusted local supplier.

Find out more on our website. Call us for orders and sales support

01668 213467

Strawmax ETN Half Page Ad - Inside.indd 1

13/10/2022 13:08

The original and still the best


The Ultimate Digestive Soother Fast, active & effective Helps maintain healthy acid levels Supports the hindgut Calms stressy horses 0333 0503785 / 07986 183616

Trade purchase Directly from Trilanco Sales: 01772 754844


Sarah Lavelle-Huxley (right) runs Lancashire-based Saddles Direct with co-owner Lorraine Molyneaux.

Sitting pretty in the saddle stakes

Sarah Lavelle-Huxley, founder and co-owner of Saddles Direct, talks to Deborah Hayward about her mission for every ridden horse and pony to have a saddle that is the perfect fit.


arah Lavelle-Huxley is a proud Lancashire lass and a canny businesswoman with an MBA (Master of Business Administration). She’s an innovator, full of ideas and shot through with steely Northern grit that makes her a force to be reckoned with. Knowledge is power and that, coupled with access to a qualified saddle-fitter, Sarah believes, is vital for ensuring that ill-fitting saddles will become a thing of the past.


Sarah set up her business, Saddles Direct, in 2004 after encountering the challenges of buying a saddle as a relative novice. In her quest to source the perfect one, she had ended up out of pocket and with two saddles that were totally unsuitable. “I realised that I needed someone who didn’t sell saddles to help me, and I found a traditional saddle-fitter who got me sorted,” she says. “The experience made me wonder how many people had been in the same position as me.” Sarah recouped some of her wasted money by selling the unwanted saddles on eBay. “It was the only option back then,” she explains. She also bought from the site – with advice and guidance from her saddle-fitter. 24 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

“I was paying £300 to £400 for saddles such as an Albion, which my fitter would check, and I would resell and select another if it wasn’t quite right. With clean saddles, decent photos and a phone number, I always got back more than I had originally paid.” Sarah could see that there was a definite need for a place to sell second-hand saddles with knowledgeable guidance and decent marketing, but eBay wasn’t the right platform. “However, I used it for market research to check what brands sold well,” she says, “and asked people on yards what they did with their saddles when they had finished with them. “It soon became clear that there was a huge gap in the market and I decided to start my own business. I built a website, learned about SEO, put the saddles on and we were away.” She faced some resistance at first from those concerned about the sale of saddles online. “I think they thought I was devaluing saddle-fitting, but I was actually making it more accessible,” she says. “I knew I had integrity and there were a lot of people lacking in experience and with no saddle-fitters in their areas. “We are our customers’ first point of contact and every person who places an order cannot get a saddle without speaking to us. It is important to make them pause and consider whether they have WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

RETAILER PROFILE | ETN enough knowledge themselves – or the support of someone who has – to help them fit a saddle. If they have neither, we won’t sell to them.”


Saddles Direct burst into life at Sarah’s terraced cottage, where saddles were found everywhere in the small open-plan space. “My children, William, Rebecca and Alex, sat on the saddles for dinner and knew that saddle cleaning always followed homework,” says Sarah. “They were crazy but exciting times!” Within six months, the business had outgrown her home,

Saddles Direct offers a wide range of new and used saddles online and at its Burnley store.

so Sarah rented a small unit at a nearby equestrian centre and enlisted the help of saddle-fitter Suzie Mcloughlin, who still works with her today. “She had a Mini and took the saddles up and down to the unit, and we would have a competition to see how many she could fit in the car,” recalls Sarah. Before long, the unit was simply not big enough and, in 2010, Sarah moved the business to Crow Wood Equestrian Centre in Burnley, where a corrugated hay shed was converted into a smart equestrian store.


The £70,000 building project was completed in a year, creating a new store. Sarah expanded the business to include a boutique and country store selling a wide range of products such as rider wear, boots and riding hats. “We had just finished when the recession hit and it was horrendous,” she says. “It was really hard to give attention to both parts of the business and we ended up not doing anything well. “Running the clothing side, as well as the saddlery, was just too much and impossible when coupled with the difficult economic climate. There was no choice – we had to let the boutique side of the business and staff go. I didn’t want people to lose their jobs and I took it very personally. “It is not in my DNA to liquidate, so we sold stock, battened down the hatches and made payment plans to get through it. I don’t like owing money and we owed a fortune. “When we had paid everybody in full and, with the recession behind us, we concentrated on what we do best, offering goodquality new and used saddles, and providing access to a saddlefitting service.” CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE

STUBBS new products loved at BETA!


See nearly 400 quality products at





Available through:Abbey England | Battles | Jenkinson | Mackey Equestrian Saddlery Trade Services | Stockshop | Trilanco

Made in England Since 1836 Still Family Owned

See them all at


Gabbie Robinson (left) is the first to join Sarah and Lorraine’s business through its nationwide campaign to recruit saddle-fitters.


Chaos often results in significant change, and the pandemic certainly brought a seismic shift in the company. Work was busier than ever as Sarah’s team of saddle-fitters supported the welfare of horses in lockdown. “The circumstances were not ideal, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got and do the best you can,” says Sarah. Covid also presented a pocket of serendipity, resulting in Sarah’s good friend Lorraine Molyneaux, a former retail manager, becoming co-owner and finance manager of Saddles Direct. “She and her husband had been furloughed and Lorraine needed to get out of the house,” explains Sarah. “She volunteered to clean saddles at the store and loved it so much that she has bought 50 per cent of the business. “Lorraine has been outstanding and provides the respite I was looking for in the operational day-to-day grind.”


Sarah has a burning belief that everyone buying a saddle online should be able to access help and advice from an independent saddle-fitter and has started a nationwide campaign to make this possible. “We want to get saddle-fitters from all over the country working together with us and each to ensure that everyone with a horse has got access to saddles and a saddle-fitter,” she explains. “We have had lots of independent fitters get in touch as a result because they can’t get stock, they’re curious, lonely or just want to feel part of something. There’s a real need for open innovation where knowledge is shared and people are educated to create that sense of responsibility. “The fitters – who can access our stock and receive commission – get what we’re doing and it’s almost a movement, and it’s changing behaviours. Everyone understands that a car needs an MoT and the implication of bald tyres but, when it comes to their horses, they don’t always know where to go for help or how much it is going to cost.” 26 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022


Sarah is tremendously excited about developments at the company that will be announced this month. A new website is set to be unveiled and the business has been working alongside Dr David Marlin to create a science-based system to educate horse owners and share knowledge.

ETN asks Sarah… Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love design, cooking, gardening and walking the dogs – French bulldogs Boris and CoCo, and Bunny a Parson Russell terrier.

Q: When did you learn to ride?

When I was a small child, my Uncle Tony, who was a mounted policeman, used to bring his 17hh ginger horse, Paddy, to my nana’s every weekend and she would pass me up.

Q: Can you remember your first customer?

Yes, the website had just gone live and someone phoned asking for advice. I sat there in the kitchen, surrounded by saddles, and thought: “Somebody has just phoned me!”

Q: Why did you decide to open a store?

Local people who were interested in saddles they had seen online wanted to come and have a look at them.

Q: Are you involved in any other companies in addition to Saddles Direct?

Yes, I help my husband, Eric Huxley, run our aluminium business. We manufacture commercial glazing systems for the NHS, hotels and companies such as B&Q. I also consult for small businesses, start-ups and charities. WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

The ultimate senior mash for condition & gut health

With digestive, joint & immune support

For senior horses requiring weight gain Low calorie balancer with joint support

To view our other senior friendly feeds, visit


ETN | CPD FEATURE ABOUT ETN’S RAMA/SQP FEATURES ETN’s series of CPD features helps RAMAs (Registered Animal Medicines Advisors/SQPs) earn the CPD (continuing professional development) points they need. The features are accredited by AMTRA, and highlight some of the most important subject areas for RAMAs/ SQPs specialising in equine and companion animal medicine.

Photo: Hannah Cole

AMTRA is required by the Veterinary Medicines Regulations to ensure its RAMAs/SQPs undertake CPD. All RAMAs/SQPs must earn a certain number of CPD points in a given period of time in order to retain their qualification. RAMAs/SQPs who read this feature and submit correct answers to the questions below will receive two CPD points. For more about AMTRA and becoming a RAMA/SQP, visit

FIBRE FOR THE PERFORMANCE HORSE By Katie Williams M.Sc. (Dist) R Nutr, technical and product development manager at Dengie


he importance of supplying sufficient fibre for all horses is widely appreciated and 1.5% of bodyweight on a dry matter basis is increasingly accepted as the minimum amount of forage required to maintain digestive health and function. However, the perceived need for cereals and the energy they supply persists despite their links to diseases and behavioural issues. The use of high levels of cereals is widely accepted to increase the risk of diseases such as ulcers and colic, not only because of the high levels of starch the cereals contain but also the concomitant decrease in forage intake that usually results. The high prevalence of ulcers is widely cited as the rationale for exploring how fibre-based diets can contribute to the energy requirements of performance horses. This review of key studies that have been carried out to date aims to highlight how fibre can make a greater contribution to the energy requirements of performance horses than is often believed. 28 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Studies highlight how fibre can make a greater contribution to the energy requirements of performance horses than is often believed.


Reports as far back as the 1980s highlight the reduction in bodyweight that low forage intakes result in (Carroll and Huntington 1988). More recent studies (Ellis et al, 2002) showed average bodyweights were around 10kgs lower when horses were fed 50% forage rather than 100% forage diets. At Dengie, we have weighed a range of horses who had forage withheld overnight in preparation for an exploratory gastroscope and found a reduction of around 17-20kgs in their weights which is equivalent to a typical bag of feed. This drop in weight results from waste or indigestible material passing out of the digestive system and not being replaced! Clearly the horse has a large digestive system which can hold a lot of fibrous material but it also contains a lot of water too; around 50 litres in fact. The amount is significantly influenced by diet as fibre acts as WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

CPD FEATURE | ETN a fluid reservoir in the gut. Meal feeding has been shown to result in transient dehydration in the gut and feeding a few large meals each day can cause sufficient dehydration in the colon to result in impaction which could initiate other forms of very serious colic such as large colon displacement and volvulus (Blikslager and Mair, 2021). So, whilst withholding forage helps to reduce gut fill and therefore the weight the horse has to move around when racing or competing, there are potential consequences. The dehydration from meal feeding AND low forage intakes may well be responsible for the increased risk of colic and muscle issues seen in performance horses. It is also important to consider whether a difference of 10kgs is significant? Ellis et al (2002) found that maximum heart rates were higher in submaximal exercise tests for those on higher forage diets but in recovery there was little difference in heart rate between those fed 50 or 80% forage diets. Subsequent studies such as by Jansson and Lindberg (2012) have shown that although forage only diets did result in changes to the metabolic response to exercise, there were generally positive rather than negative effects on performance. They did find that horses had lower muscle glycogen stores – which would be expected if starch intake is lower – but the utilisation of glycogen during exercise was the same. The horses in the study were only fed haylage and the researchers suggested using even better quality fibres could help reduce any possible negative effects of forage only rations. It is likely that we are a long way from convincing racehorse trainers to change to a total forage diet; but perhaps there is scope to convince them and those competing in other sporting disciplines that lower levels of cereals can be fed if quality sources of fibre are used. Recent studies, which were presented at the European Workshop on Equine Nutrition in 2022, compared the performance of horses fed a combination of chopped alfalfa and oats alongside their forage with those just fed oats and forage. They found no difference in speed, maximal power or muscle thickness between the two groups. In addition, the same research group found that when higher than recommended starch levels were fed, the addition of alfalfa helped to counteract potential

Using better quality fibres could help reduce any possible negative effects of forage only rations.

negative effects on the microbiome and fermentation process. This was measured by acidity levels, bacterial functional groups and volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels in gastric and faecal samples. VFAs are the end products of fermentation and, as the name suggests, are acidic in nature. The level of acidity of different acids produced varies with those from fibre tending to be weaker than those fermented from starch. This is why if starch spills over into the hind gut, it is fermented thereby creating a more acidic environment. It is this change that disrupts the microbial population.


Our basic understanding of the impact of diet on the microbiota is increasing and again, it is well accepted that adding cereals increases the bacteria that digest starch at the expense of fibre digesting bacteria also described as fibrolytic bacteria. The horse gut microbiota consists of approximately 109 microorganisms per gram of ingesta in the caecum and Mach et al (2020) suggest that physical exertion and stress may have a significant, albeit temporary effect, on the gut microbiota composition and host metabolism. The researchers also suggest that the type and intensity of physical training may impact the gut microbiota too. Our understanding of the impact of The significance of this is diet on the microbiota is increasing. yet to be fully understood but studies in humans are showing significant links between the microbiota and the health and behaviour of the host animal. We are just starting to understand more about this in the context of the horse too. It is known that VFAs produced in the gut interact with the cells of the gut and activate the production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter sometimes referred to as the happy chemical. What isn’t known yet in the horse is how the different proportions of VFAs may impact on behaviour. Previous studies have compared high fibre versus starch-based rations and found horses on high fibre rations had lower resting heart rates and were less reactive to novel stimuli (Bulmer et al, 2015). Although racehorse trainers may be less focussed on behaviour than those training and riding sports horses, there are definitely examples of horses losing races before they even get to the start line as they have become too over-excited in the paddock. As always, there is still so much to learn; but the latest studies and research are showing that fibre should very much be a part of the performance horse’s ration if we want to maximise health without compromising performance. References: Blikslager, A.T and Mair, T.S. (2020) Trends in the management of horses referred for evaluation of colic: 2004–2017. Equine Veterinary Education Bulmer et al (2015) The effects of high starch or high fibre diets on equine reactivity and handling behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Carroll and Huntington (1988) Body condition scoring and weight estimation of horses. EVJ. 20. Ellis et al (2002) Effect of forage intake on bodyweight and performance. EVJ Supplement 34. Julliand et al (2018) Effect of dehydrated alfalfa on equine gastric and faecal microbial ecosystems. Livestock Science. Mach et al (2020) Gut microbiota is associated with equitation conditions and behaviour in horse athletes. Nature – Scientific Reports. CPD QUIZ OVER THE PAGE





1. How much lower were horse’s bodyweights when fed a diet consisting of 50% forage as opposed to 100% forage? a. 5kgs b. 10kgs c. 50kgs 2. What effect did 100% forage diet have on muscle glycogen utilisation during exercise? a. Horses used more b. Horses used less c. No difference – levels used were the same 3. What does the horse rely on to breakdown fibre in the digestive system? a. Microbes b. Enzymes c. Insulin

4. Fibre digesting bacteria are also known as? Fibrolytic a. b. Amylolytic c. Digestilytic 5. What has been shown to cause transient dehydration in the gut? a. Ad lib feeding b. Feeding from a haynet c. Meal feeding 6. Adding which type of fibre was found to counteract potential negative effects on the microbiome and fermentation process associated with feeding cereals? a. Rice bran b. Alfalfa c. Straw

RAMA CP Questio D n (nutrit s Novem ion) ber 202 2 ETN

7. What does VFA stand for? a. Volatile Fatty Acid b. Very Fast Acid c. Volatile Flat Acid

8. The horse’s gut microbiota consists of approximately 109 microorganisms per gram of ingesta in which part of the digestive system? a. Caecum b. Stomach c. Mouth 9. What is serotonin sometimes called? a. The neutral chemical b. The volatile chemical c. The happy chemical 10. Horses had lower resting heart rates and were less reactive to novel stimuli if fed which of the following? a. A high fibre diet b. A high protein diet c. A high starch diet



COURSES Rider safety equipment, Lorinery, Feed, Social media and more...

Register your interest at for upcoming dates

Amy Roberts, Event Rider


“Otto is already looking trimmer”

“Dengie Ulser Lite is perfect for Otto. He is naturally a good doer and I was concerned about gastric ulcers due to his competition lifestyle. It provides him with plenty of fibre and slow release energy without the extra calories. Otto is already looking trimmer and he loves it!” Amy Roberts | Event Rider

Low Calorie | Gastric Health | Soft & Tasty Contact your Dengie Area Sales Manager or the Dengie Feedline for further information:

01621 841 188 Discover more at


Hay, forages and forage replacers Why is forage such an essential part of any horse’s diet? Emma Nissler BSc (Hons), Nutritional Adviser at Dodson & Horrell, has the answers

Photos: Jon Stroud


ibre plays a key role in the horse’s diet. Despite this, it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves in comparison to the more exciting complementary products we feed, like mueslis, cubes, and supplements. Without forage, our horse’s intestines can’t function as they are intended, which is quite unique in comparison to the way that our intestines digest food. As a non-ruminant herbivore, the horse has adapted to survive on a high roughage (fibre) diet. Throughout history, horses spent a great deal of time roaming poor-quality grasslands and grazing throughout the day and night. Their large intestine, or hindgut, slowly adapted to be able to better process the rough, low-energy makeup of forage to more fully harness the energy within it. This highly developed hindgut contains billions of microorganisms that break down (ferment), digest, and utilise fibre 32 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

from forage to provide energy and micronutrients. It’s a mutually beneficial, or symbiotic, relationship in which happy and healthy microbes tend to be more helpful. To keep the microbial population working as it should, and to safeguard normal movement through the intestines, forage is still key, even though a lot of the grass, hay, and haylage on offer nowadays is much higher quality and energy. Other dietary contributions, like probiotics and prebiotics, will indeed support further, but it’s quite important to not discount the impact of forage in the diet. Fibre should therefore make up 50-60% of the horse’s diet each day. It’s also important to ensure they receive at least 1.5% and up to 2% of their bodyweight per day in dry matter weight, to support digestive health. The dry matter percentage represents the weight of forage left after the moisture content is removed. For example, WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM

FIBRE FORAGE | ETN hay and straw are typically higher in dry matter (85%-95%) than haylage, which averages between 50%-70% dry matter. Grazing is even lower in dry matter sitting between 15% and 20% on average. Subsequently, forages that are lower in dry matter need to be consumed in larger quantities to reach dry matter requirements each day. A 500kg horse would need 10kg to satisfy the 2% of its bodyweight requirement each day in dry matter: • Haylage with a dry matter content of 65%, would therefore need to be provided at 15.4kg to meet daily dry matter requirements. • Hay with a dry matter of 90% would need to be provided at 11.1kg per day for comparison.


Consider the nutritional value of the hay or haylage you are buying

Determining the most suitable forage for a horse is best done by understanding the differences between them and identifying the factors most important for the horse. The main difference between hay and haylage lies in the conservation methods used. While hay is conserved through dehydration to reduce microbial activity, haylage is conserved through controlled fermentation to reduce the pH to a level where bacteria growth ceases. As previously mentioned, hay being preserved through dehydration has a higher dry matter (lower moisture content) at over 80%, while haylage typically has a dry matter of 50%-70%. Although conservation method is the main difference between the two forages, there are also other environmental factors affecting how they differ. Hay and haylage also differentiate in the time of year that they are cut. Hay is typically harvested between the end of May and the end of July, and sometimes later, whereas haylage is cut much earlier in the season, before June. With this being said, harvest time also depends on the climate, altitude and aspect, with forage at higher altitudes being cut later than those at lower levels. Forage is often advertised as being early or late, first or second cut, so understanding the key differences is vital when making the all-important decision of which to buy. An early cut typically refers to grass cut sooner, in a more vegetative state, which is usually more digestible. A late cut then refers to the grass cut later in the season, meaning the grass is more mature, fibrous and less digestible. The first or second cut indicates whether it’s the first cut taken or a further cut. This normally refers to the more intensively grown grass crops, typically cut once, then left for 30-35 days and cut again. Taking everything into consideration, it’s the maturity of the grass that holds the most influence on its nutritional value and as such should be one of the main factors considered before buying. In most cases, especially in those where horses are good doers, or in lighter workloads, little to no supplementary calories are needed alongside forage to maintain a horse’s weight. With this in mind, a forage that’s lower in nutrient value is often the desired option. Those with a healthy weight loss as a goal, need to ensure their horse is in a negative energy balance or, in other words, using more energy than they consume. As well as understanding which cut the hay is (better understanding the maturity and nutrient content), having forage tested can confirm its digestible energy content. If weight gain is the goal, the horse’s diet needs to be in positive energy balance (i.e. eating more calories than they are burning). Like weight loss situations, testing forage can help confirm its energy content. Other factors to consider include storage availability. As hay is typically not wrapped, it should be stored in a dry, ventilated area and kept off the ground. Whilst haylage is wrapped, it can be stored outside, making storage capacity a leading factor in decision making. CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE



ETN | FIBRE FORAGE When deciding on the right forage for a particular horse, predicting suitability can be a challenge so the more knowledge, the better. As a rule, hay can’t be characterised as being lower in nutrient value compared to haylage, nor can haylage be said to have higher NSC content compared to hay. This is due to the massive variation in end product, with so many contributory factors. To name a few; growth stage (maturity), time of day, time of year, soil fertility, grass species and even light intensity can all have an impact. Purchasing forage from a supplier that specifically produces forage for horses may also be slightly preferable, and they’ll often have a stronger knowledge of the requirements of horses. As forage is such a huge part of the horse’s diet, understanding it a bit more can ultimately support decision making and in the end, the feeding routine.


Chaffs and other fibre sources like sugar beet can be used as forage replacers

“Without adequate fibre a horse’s health would be greatly impacted” If the moisture content of the hay allows (dry matter in excess of 85%), it can be fed straight off the field. However, traditionally hay is left to cure for 4-6 weeks before feeding to ensure any microbial activity has stopped. If hay is stored appropriately, it can be fed several years later, but will be less nutritious the longer it sits. It can also be quite dusty, which then benefits from soaking for 10-20 minutes or steaming prior to feeding. If it’s poorly stored, it is often unsuitable to be fed to horses. Haylage needs time to ferment, so should never be fed straight away. The time it takes to cure is variable depending on the watersoluble carbohydrate (WSC) content and the moisture when it’s wrapped. As a rough guide, it should take six weeks. Wrapping the haylage so it’s airtight pauses the microbiological activity. If air can penetrate the wrapping, mould can grow, meaning airtight wrapping is essential. Haylage bales should always be checked for damage prior to opening, and once opened should be used within roughly three to seven days. A further factor to consider is the type of forage within hay and haylage, as different species of grass are available. Forage can be categorised as either seed or meadow hay/haylage. Meadow hay/ haylage refers to a forage that’s been harvested from a permanent pasture, containing a variety of grass species. Seed hay/haylage refers to a crop of grass that has been specifically sown for hay/ haylage production and typically is a mixture of ryegrass and timothy. The pastures used for seed hay are usually less than five years old and are rotationally cropped, proving to provide a more consistent end product. 34 | EQUESTRIAN TRADE NEWS NOVEMBER 2022

Forages play an important role in dental health. Since horses have teeth that constantly erupt throughout their life, with an abrasive surface, inclusion of fibre that encourages mastication (chewing) is vital for our horses’ ongoing dental health. The ideal situation would be that the horse has 24/7 access to longer-stemmed fibre (grazing, hay/haylage). However, we know that due to modern, domesticated routines, as well as some clinical conditions and age, this is not always possible or appropriate. For some horses with poor dentition a full or partial forage replacer is needed as an alternative to hay, haylage or grazing. A combination of chaffs, fibre sources like sugar beet and higher fibre hard feeds can be used as forage replacers, providing fibre diversity and calories from digestible fibres. Fibre sources such as sugar beet are commonly referred to as a ‘super-fibre’ because it contains high amounts of digestible fibre, mostly pectin, which is more digestible than other fibre sources commonly found in hay. For example, hay is 40-60% digestible while sugar beet is approximately 80% digestible, which supports the inclusion of sugar beet (molassed or unmolassed) as part of a forage replacer. For horses that require a full forage replacement, it’s really important to ensure the replacement equals to 1.5-2% of their bodyweight in dry matter (forage) per day. Forage replacers ideally need to be split up into as many small buckets as possible to support natural trickle feeding behaviour throughout the day and should only be used in place of hay/haylage and grazing if absolutely necessary. To conclude, hay and haylage can vary significantly and have endless environmental factors contributing to their differences. So, encourage customers to do their homework! The more they know, the better and easier it is to determine which is best for their horse. As a starting point, having a horse’s current forage tested can give a clear estimate on its nutritional content and ultimately confirm or refute its suitability. Whether a horse needs hay, haylage or a full forage replacement, ensuring they have fibre in their diet is vital for their health and wellbeing. Without adequate fibre a horse’s health would be greatly impacted. For more information, visit: or call 01270 782223. WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM


Fibre providers It’s the mainstay of the equine diet – and nowadays fibre comes in bags as well as bales, making it ideal for merchants to stock.

New for good doers prone to ulcers…

Dengie has launched a low calorie, fibre feed for horses prone to gastric ulcers. Dengie Ulser Lite supplies plenty of fibre for gooddoers to maintain gastric health without promoting excessive weight gain. “There has been a significant increase in the number of enquiries to the Dengie Feedline relating to good doers with ulcers,” explains Katie Williams, the company’s technical & product development manager. “Originally, gastric ulcers were thought to be an issue primarily affecting sports and performance horses, and horses with ulcers tended to be underweight and in poor condition. “Now more vets have gastroscopes, ulcers are being found in a wide range of horses and ponies including good doers. “When we talk to owners of these horses, their biggest challenge is feeding enough forage to promote and maintain gastric health without promoting weight gain. Ulcer Lite has been developed with these individuals in mind.”

Joanne Burns-Firth says her horse Freddie is “looking and performing the best he ever has” on new Dengie Ulser Lite.

“Independent studies by researchers in France showed that feeding 1.5kg of alfalfa a day to horses in race training with reduced levels of cereals to reduce starch in the ration had no negative impacts on performance. “Studies are really starting to bust the myth that high levels of starch are needed, even for horses in hard work.”

A straight feed Dengie Ulser Lite is formulated as a straight feed with no added vitamins and minerals. Any amount can be fed alongside a source of vitamins and minerals such as a balancer or powdered vitamin and mineral supplement. Low in calories (8MJ/kg), sugar (6.5%) and starch (2%), it’s made from soft chopped grasses and high-quality oat straw to boost chew time. Chewing increases saliva production which is how horses regulate acidity in the digestive tract.

On trial Joanne Burns-Firth was worried that her horse Freddie might be prone to gastric ulcers due to his competitive lifestyle. Even though he’s in a lot of work, Freddie is a good doer. Jo started Freddie on Dengie Ulser Lite alongside Performance Plus Balancer. “Freddie has lost the excess weight he was carrying and is looking and performing the best he ever has,” she says. “He has more energy, is more forward going off the leg, and appears less grumpy.”

Busting the myth… Feeding straw can benefit good doers, adds Katie. “Recent studies have shown that using straw as up to 50% of the ration does not increase the risk of gastric ulcers and provides a valuable source of low-calorie fibre. “The inclusion of grass and herbs alongside the straw in Ulcer Lite aids palatability and ensures the feed is soft and tasty.” Alfalfa pellets are included for natural buffering due to their high levels of bioavailable calcium. “Studies have shown that alfalfa is a safe and beneficial ingredient to use for horses with ulcers and this was reiterated at the recent European Workshop on Equine Nutrition conference held in the UK in August,” says Katie.

Other ingredients Protexin In-Feed Formula is included in Ulser Lite to provides prebiotics and yeast to promote gastric health. The blend of herbs - including oregano, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary and thyme - used in Dengie’s Healthy Tummy is also included in Ulser Lite to enhance palatability. Dengie Ulser Lite is made from UK grown, non-GM fibres and rapeseed oil. Every bag can be traced back to the field in which it was grown. The product joins Dengie’s Healthy Tummy, Alfa-A Oil and Performance Fibre as products which are independently approved by BETA for horses and ponies prone to equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS). CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE




New ways to feed forage

Stubbs England has developed some innovative products to satisfy increased demand for equine fibre feeding. The new Soak ‘n’ Roll solves the perennial problem of handling saturated haynets. Soaked haynets are too heavy to lift from a container; while most containers are too heavy to tip over when full. The Soak ‘n’ Roll enables owners to roll over the soaking tank easily in two stages after soaking. It tips to the first drainage point for a few seconds, then is effortlessly rolled the rest of the way. The effort required is a small fraction of that for a flat-bottomed container; and integral drainage channels drain almost to the last drop. With capacity for large haynets, the Soak ‘n’ Roll is made in tough Stubbythene and comes in red, blue, green, black, white or pink. Eating as nature intended Also new, Stubbs’ Slo-Grazer is designed for stable and paddock use to encourage steady, natural, forage consumption. The circular ground feeder also cuts waste, and is a great boredom breaker. The Slo-Grazer is designed to mimic natural grazing in terms of a beneficial lowered head posture and rate of intake. It’s filled via a twist-lock hatch on the underside. A plastic grazing-grid – which drops down as the forage level reduces regulates feeding rate. The Slo-Grazer is made in Stubbythene and comes in red, blue, green, black or pink.



Ensure your customers shop with confidence where they see these signs



Join the BETA family to strengthen & grow your business. For more information email or call 01937 587062


Ideal forage replacer

Henry Bell & Co’s EquiGlo Quick Soak 10 Minute Beet is a premium fibre feed that helps to maintain condition and naturally supports healthy gut function. Made from micronized, unmolassed pure beet flakes, it’s quick and convenient to prepare with a ten-minute soak time. This can be reduced to five minutes when hot water is used. A British-grown and processed superfood, it is convenient and safe, and has an excellent nutrient profile for all horses and ponies. It is a source of highly digestible fibre, providing a natural, slow release of energy. Low in sugar and starch, rich in calcium and extremely palatable, Equiglo Quick Soak 10 Minute Beet can be used as a partial forage replacer and is perfect for older horses with dental issues. It is approved by BETA NOPS – the feed assurance scheme designed to help prevent contamination by naturally occurring prohibited substances in feed - and BETA’s scheme created to flag up feeds best suited to horses and ponies prone to equine gastric ulcers (EGUS). WWW.EQUESTRIANTRADENEWS.COM


BUILD UP CONDITIONING MIX The ideal way to help with weight gain in a controlled, slow release way Supports weight gain

Muscle & topline development

Hindgut & recovery support

For orders, please contact your D&H Account Manager, call our orders team on 01270 782 236, or email


Just rewards Licks and treats provide equine entertainment and incentives, with some even offering health benefits too. When well-displayed, they’re a brilliant way to prompt impulse buys. And, of course, Christmas is just around the corner… PICK ‘N’ MIX

Maxima Mix ‘n’ Munch – a selection of pick ‘n’ mix horse treats made with natural ingredients – allows customers to fill a bucket with their favourites. Retail displays, featuring 20 varieties of Mix ‘n’ Munch treats, are already in 70 stores in the UK including R&R Country, Manor Equestrian and Hope Valley Saddlery. The treats smell amazing, and come in a range of colours and shapes such as stars, hearts and flowers, making them visually attractive too. They come packed in 20kg bags and have a 24-month shelf life. Flavours include honey, mint, strawberry, carrot, herbal ball, cumin, liquorice, pineapple, coconut, green apple, orange, cherry, garlic, papaya, apple cinnamon, herbal pellet, alfalfa, banana, pure apple and raspberry. The distributor is Maxima Equestrian.

Make a mint

On the ball

Thanks to its lumpy shape, the Horsey Ball from Stubbs England never rolls in a straight line. Therefore it keeps horses amused for hours as it slowly spills treats from its single hole. With no plugs, stoppers or other removable parts to lose or break, this robust boredombreaker is completely safe. In red, blue, green, purple or pink, it’s made from Stubbythene which is tough enough for indoor or outdoor use.


The Coligone Healthy lick alleviates boredom and associated stress, while providing nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Low in sugar at 6%, the palatable lick contains 20% Coligone - a natural product designed to support the digestive system and maintain healthy acid levels in the digestive tract. Coligone contains prebiotics and Yeasacc to encourage good bacteria in the hind gut, plus a natural seaweed acid buffer. The Coligone Healthy Lick is suitable for laminitics and those with gastric ulcers. Coligone Treats are also available. Trade orders can be made via wholesaler Trilanco.

Delicious, healthy Equerry Minty Treats come in a 20kg pack size – ideal for larger yards or sharing. The fibre-based nuggets are low in sugar, non-heating and cereal-grain-free, so they won’t cause any problems or fizz. They can be fed by hand, in a treat ball or added to feed to tempt fussy feeders.




STOCK UP FOR CHRISTMAS SPILLERS Treats are top of every equine’s Christmas wish list. So make sure you’re well stocked up as they make great gift ideas and impulse buys. The tasty, bite-size pellets can be kept safely in pockets without crumbling. There are three different flavours, and some have added health benefits too. Your customers can choose from Meadow Herb Treats, Apple Treats, Spearmint Treats, Meadow Herb Treats + Glucosamine or Meadow Herb Treats + Biotin.


They taste good and smell delicious. So make sure there’s always a display of NAF Treats near the checkout. These healthy titbits – which make great stocking fillers - are formulated using only the best quality ingredients. With no added sugar and low in starch and calories, they can be fed every day, or now and again as a reward, as a training aid or simply to let a horse know how much he’s loved. RRPs are a tempting £4.20 for each 1kg bag.

While away the hours Horslyx is a balancer supplied in a palatable lick containing optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. As a free access lick, it works as a boredom breaker for stabled horses too. Licking takes time and patience! The ingredients in Horslyx include antioxidants which can help to maintain

a healthy immune system and support all round health and vitality. The Horslyx Balancer range is available in 650g, 5kg and 15kg sizes in six formulations.


The Likit Boredom Breaker is a challenging toy for food-motivated horses. With three different areas to insert licks, it helps relieve boredom and stress by offering a choice of sweet and salty treats. The toy’s multidirectional movement adds to its entertainment value. The Likit Boredom Breaker has an RRP of £29.99 with licks from £2.10. Refills are available.





For more than four decades, ETN has reported on the equestrian trade. Let’s look back at the news, people and products that were making headlines this month five, ten, 20 and 30 years ago. In November 2017, ETN reported:

In November 2012, ETN reported:

l Countrywide agreed to sell its retail business to Mole Valley Farmers. The deal involved 48 of Countrywide’s 53 stores which were still trading, the remainder were to be closed. l Trilanco welcomed 500 guests to a lavish party at its new headquarters near Preston. The celebrations FIVE took place in a gigantic YEARS marquee inside the AGO... wholesaler’s warehouse. l The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) announced that CPD would be compulsory for its qualified saddle fitters. At the society’s AGM, Sue Norton was appointed president and Chris Taylor vice president. l Ahead of Christmas, HKM teamed up with Disney to launch movie-themed matching wear for young riders and their ponies. Mini Mouse featured on a saddle cloth, and a Frozen dandy brush was a top seller.

l It was confirmed that advertisements for horse wormers could no longer appear in consumer magazines. The blanket ban on magazine and internet advertising to the equestrian public referred to all TEN veterinary medicines requiring a YEARS prescription from a vet or SQP AGO... (now RAMA). The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) confirmed that ETN was exempt as a publication read by SQPs (RAMAs) qualified to prescribe wormers. The ruling still holds today. l Ahead of the curve on environmental issues, Northern Crop Driers unveiled a 500kW biogas plant enabling the East Yorkshire based feed manufacturer to operate on renewable energy. l Plus-size clothing label Fuller Fillies launched a direct-to-theconsumer website, but said it would also continue to supply the trade. l Samuel Horrell joined the board at Dodson & Horrell as marketing director. It was the first time the feed firm’s marketing function had been represented at board level.

In November 2002, ETN reported:

In November 1992, ETN reported:

l Companies were branching out. Kraiburg, manufacturer of rubber stable mats, created a collection of half chaps, wellies and mitts in ‘fruity’ colours – all made from rubber. Meanwhile Equestrian Vision’s top Christmas video was highlights from that summer’s World Equestrian Games in 20 Jerez, Spain. YEARS l Worldbeaters Equestrian AGO... Products was offering special deals on winter rugs, priced from £11.50. In other product news, Matchmakers International took on distribution of Jack Ellis body protectors which were endorsed by event rider Ian Stark. l Phil Duff, managing director of the SMD Group, was among the dignitaries and delegates invited to the opening of Germany’s newest equestrian store. The outlet in Mehlen near Bremen was owned by Franz and Lotte Schockemoehle. “It was an amazing occasion,” said Phil. l Ever-modest Master Saddler Mark Romain admitted to a milestone. Around 1,000 people had benefited from his tutelage since he founded The Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury. “I like to think I’ve got patience,” he told ETN.


l Ken Lyndon-Dykes’ Kent Leather group acquired Frederick J Chandler, the Marlborough based retailer, for “a substantial sum.” Thought to be Britain’s oldest saddlery shop, Chandlers was established in 1796 with David Chandler being the seventh generation to run the family business. l Wellep Equestrian 30 International introduced YEARS what they claimed was the AGO... first high pressure, injection-moulded carbon fibre tree for use in race and race exercise saddles. It was said to be fast and cheap to produce and weighed as little as 6oz. l Captain Mark Phillips endorsed the latest edition of the British Equestrian Directory, a sister publication to ETN. l Riding clothing company R H Mears appointed Lincolnshire based Ian Mitchell as agent for its eastern region. Meanwhile Mel Zuydam joined the board at Stylo Matchmakers as finance director. l Charles Owen was advertising “probably the most expensive breeches in the world.” EuroStar breeches, which it was distributing, retailed from £77.53.



Are you a winner?

With the awards season in full swing, be sure to make the most of every accolade, says Rhea Freeman.



ave you won an award? Or are you hoping to do so? There are plenty of opportunities to enter equestrian and business orientated awards, so do keep an eye out and get entering. You’ve got to be in it to win it! So how do you make the most of scooping an award? And can you capitalise on being in the running, even if you don’t win? It can be tricky because, after the initial excitement, many people are onto the ‘next thing’, particularly at busy times. However, it really is a great opportunity, so here are some tips and ideas to help you maximise your award and use it to elevate your brand and product. One big caveat is to check terms, conditions and brand guidelines connected to the use of award collateral. Once you’ve done that, here are some ideas… • Use the fact you’re a finalist to your advantage. Taking BETA International as an example, the show has a dedicated new products area (sponsored by Shires Equestrian) showcasing the latest innovations in the equestrian world. You could win here by pushing people in that direction. Use the fact you’ve entered as an opportunity to talk about the product and why you think it should win. • If you’re the finalist in an award that requires votes, ask people to vote for you. Use your mailing lists and social media followings, and put something on your website too. Make it as easy as possible for people to do what you want. Include links (don’t expect people to go hunting for them), explain why you’d like to win, do a video sharing why, give a countdown until voting closes, promise a ‘celebration’ if you win (this could be a flash discount/value add in orders, for example) and encourage those votes. • When you win, tell people. Take photos, do a newsletter, think about creative reels, do videos, go live, celebrate. It’s so easy to take videos and images on any phone, so there’s really no excuse. A lot of events have professional photographers and you may well be able to use their images too with correct permission. Get everything out on the platforms you own. • Add an icon. If you’re able to, use an icon/badge next to your award-winning product online. It can add an extra level of credibility. • Get writing. Press releases still have a place in the world (quite a big place if you repurpose them and use them well), so get writing and send to your press list. Write a news piece for your own website for SEO and for general information. Contact your local non-equestrian newspapers and magazines too. A lot of people like a good news story of a local firm winning an accolade… so capitalise on that.


• Take it further. Fancy being on the radio? Reach out to your local stations and tell them what you’ve won. Make sure you pitch the local angle first and foremost because that will appeal to them. • And when you’ve bagged these articles, coverage and interviews, don’t forget to share them. If it’s printed media and you’re looking to take an image, ask permission before you share; but if it’s a link you can share on your socials, website, etc. All of the above cost nothing. You might not like having your picture taken, or that wrinkle in the middle of your forehead, how your voice sounds, or your waistline. But don’t let this stop you. You’re your biggest critic, you always will be, and these opportunities - relating to genuine news and newsworthy stories don’t come along every day, do they? About the author: Rhea Freeman is an award-winning PR adviser and social media expert who is a Meta Certified Lead Trainer and accredited #SheMeansBusiness trainer. She provides one-to-one mentoring for brands and also runs a free Facebook group, a membership group, and produces a weekly podcast with the Small & Supercharged prefix. Find out more at Rhea is also running a webinar series with BETA which includes FREE sessions for all BETA members who wish to participate and paid for sessions that are open to BETA members and non-BETA members, although BETA members enjoy preferential rates. Find out more by contacting the BETA office.



Wrap up warm

ETN reviews products to protect those extremities as the cold wind begins to bite.

No more frozen fingers

Rhinegold Fleece Lined Thermal Gloves are perfect for doing jobs on the yard The Neoprene type gloves have a fleece lining for warmth and extra-long cuff for a snug fit. Branded non-slip silicone detail on the palm offers added grip. Available in sizes small, medium, large and extra-large, they’re a hardworking bestseller.

BOOTS WEIGH NO MORE THAN TWO APPLES Everyone who picked up Leon Ultralight Boots when the company exhibited at BETA International for the first time in September was amazed at how light weight they are. In fact, they’re the same weight as a couple of apples - 219g to be precise. The choice of colours made them a great find too with the collection in red, yellow, pink, green, black or navy set to stand out in store or online. Ultralight ankle boots are perfect for quite literally everything from mucking out to dog walking or popping on to nip out. Despite their feather-weight, these nifty looking boots are durable thanks to a one-injection moulding process that makes them split, crack and peel resistant. Already a good seller in the gardening market, manufacturers Leon Boots Co say they have made sure Ultralight boots stand up to challenges of the equestrian trade, such as horse urine. With an RRP of £39.99, these boots look like great value for money. There’s even a cosy, machinewashable liner sock included with each boot.

And for cold weather riding… Rhinegold Winter Warm Pimple Grip Riding Gloves come into their own at this time of year. The lightweight padded cotton gloves have pimple grip palms and touch tape wrist fastening, plus a thinsulate lining for warmth. These versatile gloves are available in sizes small, medium, large and extra-large sizes exclusively from Snowhill.

Weather the storm

Slimline Equetech E-Tech Performance Riding Socks focus on support to the heels and arches. Made from anti-microbial yarns, with moisture wicking properties, there are protection panels to the heel and foot plus an Equetech logo at the back. Perfect for year-round riding and yard activities, they’re sold in sets of two pairs with an RRP of £16.95.



Mountain Horse’s Terry Merino Wool Socks are made with ethically sourced Merino wool, sections of which are strategically placed for warmth on the outer leg and foot. The Swedish-made socks have a thinner shaft to reduce bulk inside riding boots and create a close contact. In black and green, they come in sizes 35 – 39 and 40-45. The RRP is £20.

With their phone-friendly fingers, Equetech Storm Riding Gloves are already a firm favourite. Fully waterproof, without being bulky, they come in black and a range of sizes with an RRP of £39.50.



Jack in a box

This boxed wooden boot jack from Stubbs England has been going strong for more than 60 years. Now this much-needed favourite for every boot room, tack room and at back doors comes in a branded box, making it the perfect gift idea. The attractive, varnished wooden product is handmade with a non-slip rubber tread. And, like all Stubbs’ products, it’s made in England.


Rhinegold Elite Harlem Waterproof Country Boots are made from waxy grained leather with a drawstring and reflective piping detail. As well as looking the part, they feature a Wiltex membrane certifying that they are both waterproof and breathable. Fully lined with a soft brushed lining, the Harlem boot is a stylish, comfortable alternative to Wellington/

walking or yard boots – not least because of the energy return rubber sole for added stability. Rhinegold embossed branding at the heel and a brass badge to the outside of the boot gives a smart finish. The Harlem comes in sizes 3(36) to 8(42) as well as wide calf fitting. Rhinegold is available exclusively from Snowhill.


To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its best-selling Frostline boot, Grub’s has added two new autumnal colours to the range. Tawny red and Bellweather blue join the existing classics of black, moss green, violet and berry to brighten up this season’s collection.

The famously versatile Frostline is insulated and waterproof with excellent grip. A Superdri lining is hardwearing and wicks away moisture from the wearer’s foot. Hexzorb technology in the heel absorbs shock for day-long comfort. And the 6mm Nitrocell footbed provides soft cushioning and insulation from cold surfaces. The RRP is £94.95.

Sock it to ‘em

Ladies and gentlemen, Rhinegold Fully Cushioned Sole Riding Socks are designed for both sexes. With cushioned soles for extreme comfort when riding, these long socks have antimicrobial properties for hygiene - plus special cool/dry properties to maintain a healthy, dry environment for toes. They’re available in a variety of colours exclusively from Snowhill.




The right attire

Specialist footwear and gloves are essential components to any rider’s equestrian outfit. Former retail buyer and product development manager Sara Blackshaw shares what to consider when it comes to showcasing your riding boots, socks and gloves LONG BOOTS

Key features to look at in tall riding boots are: • Boots must allow the rider’s leg to bend at the ankle and knee without too much restriction. • The undersole must be safe for riding and will allow grip in the stirrup. • The inner leg needs to be seam free and smooth to sit well against the horse’s side and anchor the leg position for the rider. • Zippers on tall boots must be robust. A popper or clip is required at the top of the boot to prevent zippers coming undone.

Photos: Lucy Merrell

Long riding boots come in lots of styles, colours, shapes and sizes and offer a wide range of brands and styles to suit different genders, ages and disciplines. Knowing your customer is key to your decisions on how you invest into what range of boots you choose to stock. Long riding boots protect the leg up to below the knee and are often worn for everyday riding in a more casual style. Most riders will have more formal competition boots to wear for smarter occasions and when they compete.



SOCKS, GLOVES, FOOTWEAR | ETN • Leather boots can have a water-repellent finish or have an inner waterproof liner – make sure you know which the boot is, as the price difference and performance of the boot varies significantly. • Foot arch support and a shock-absorbing footbed are all good features to add to any boot for riding. Before selecting your range, read up about the various brands and what they offer. Decide in your mind what your key customers will be wanting from their riding footwear. Look at pricing architecture within the realms of good, better and best and decide where your main profit and investment area in boots will be.


Some competition riders will want a bespoke boot to fit their requirements. For this, here are some guidelines to help: • Have staff who are well trained to measure and offer the customer the wide range of options available to them. • For your entry-price point boots, make sure the brands you decide to offer hold good stocks on key sizes. • Maximise your display area and make sure to display a boot in a key size (such as 38) so a customer can readily try on. • A dedicated area is essential and, if possible, a footwear wall with foot plinths gives an area for the customer to browse and select at their leisure. Modern day LED spotlights are inexpensive and bring any display of products to life. • Your display of footwear needs to be backed up with information about price, technical details and the sizes that are available. Wobblers on a boot help to draw attention to a new boot you may have bought into your store. • A comfortable area with seating is a good idea, where the consumer can sit and try on their selection of boots. • Staff need to be fully trained about the items you sell so they know how to measure, advise and fit the boots, and ensure that your customers are getting the best boot for the job required. Ensure you supply pairs of tall socks, boot pulls and boot tongues so the consumer can use if required. • Add on sales of boot bags, care products should also be on hand nearby as these are all good extra sales that are often easy to accomplish when the customer is making a big investment in their new boots.

“Decide in your mind what your key customers will be wanting from their riding footwear” SHORT BOOTS

These come in many designs these days. The traditional jodhpur boot is still popular and is worn with half chaps by young riders and parents starting out on their riding career. Riders are quite lazy when it comes to footwear, so pull on and zip boots are more popular than a lace boot. Key features for short riding boots are: • They should be easy to get on and off – make sure that the tab for pulling or the zipper are strong enough to last. • Specialist riding outer sole is essential for safe riding. • Safety boots (steel toe cap to standard EN ISO 20345 SB) are still required by equestrian colleges and veterinary schools and worn by farriers.


Any equestrian store that sells footwear and clothing must make sure to offer a good range of socks for wearing outdoors and being out in all weathers. Socks will always sell in good volumes and drive a slightly higher margin return. Most riders seem to like having tall socks, but there are people who prefer to always wear short ones, so offering both styles is important. Ensure you allow socks to be well seen in your store. A dump bin or rack display near the till point area are always a quick add on to anyone’s shopping basket. It’s also important to research your sales on sizes and colours you sell so you maximise your sales growth. CONTINUED OVER THE PAGE



ETN | SOCKS, GLOVES, FOOTWEAR socks carrying a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres often wear longer and offer benefits of both yarns.


Socks range widely in price so if you do carry a good, better, best offering it’s important to display this in a way that the consumer understands your offer. Key features on socks for riding are: • Cushioned foot. • Foot arch and ankle support with extra elastication. • Well elasticated tops so they stay up when worn. • Made from wicking material and anti-bacterial finish. • Tall enough to come to below the knee. • Many are now thinner on the upper leg part to reduce bulk and allow for streamline and comfortable leg when boots are worn. • There are tall socks that now support the leg - compression socks. Some customers like natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo, and wool, whereas others like more technical fabrics that have nylon or polyester, and wick moisture through their properties. Ensure you have a good offer to satisfy both requirements. You’ll find that


Coming soon FOR ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES contact Evie Edgar on tel 01428 601031 or email

Equestrian Trade News East Wing, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AW Tel: 01937 582111 Email: Website:



• • • •



Insurance for the trade and your customers Hoof care products Pets and wild birds Marketing, PR and advertising Editorial for consideration should be received by 23rd November 2022. Email For more information, contact Abi Cannon on tel 01428 601028 Evie Edgar on tel 01428 601031 email


Photo: fotorauschen/


Gloves are another essential part of any rider’s wardrobe and most regular riders will have several pairs. They are a necessary item to wear when riding as they help to give grip and anchor the hand when holding the reins. Traditionally, gloves were made from leather – this type of glove is still used for showing. More serious and professional riders often wear modern-day leather gloves that offer better shaping but perfect grip while riding. People looking after horses also often wear waterproof gloves on the yard to protect their hands against dirt and wet. These waterproof gloves can be quite expensive but will offer excellent protection. Key features on gloves for riding are: • Easy Velcro or elasticated entry point for quick removal and putting on. • Elasticated and durable stretch fabric across the back of the hand to allow the hand to grip. • Firm-grip palm fabric or silicone design on the palm so that the rider can anchor the rein in the hand. • Reinforced padding on thumb and index finger and further additional padding between the fourth and fifth finger where the reins will go when riding. • Easy wash and care. • Mobile phone finger so phone can be used while gloves are on. Make sure to offer summer and winter gloves and a variety of styles, colours, and price points so you’re covering all your customers’ needs.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.