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Inside this issue Features 12






Why Britain is at the top Popular trends

The other side of the market

Regulars 5
















The latest industry news Horse boots

Reader opinion

Your questions answered Beating the blues

A behind the scenes look

Retailers’ top selling products New websites on show

Contact US Equestrian Business Monthly, The Old Dairy, Watton Road, Hingham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 4NN, UK T: +44 (0)1953 850678 F: +44 (0)1953 851936 E: W: Editor – KIRSTY WHITTLE E: Advertising Sales & Production T: +44 (0)1953 852946 E: Design – HOLLY TODD @ PressPoint E: Disclaimer

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the information and reviews contained in this magazine are both accurate and up-to-date, neither Equestrian Business Monthly nor its contributors accept any liability to any party for loss or damage incurred by reliance on the information contained in this magazine or through omission or errors, howsoever caused.

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Risky business With Easter done and dusted for another year and the competition season well under way, it’s time to think about the months ahead. April saw the arrival of one of the most talked about dates in the racing calendar – the Grand National. Whether you’re

for or against racing, I don’t think that anyone will argue the fact that the deaths of both Synchronised and According to Pete were tragic. After last year’s two deaths, new regulations to restrict the entrants into the race, as well as adjust the height of fence four (and 20) and the width of the drop on Becher’s Brook were put into place in order to prevent such an occurrence again. As the number of euthanised horses hasn’t decreased, I find myself asking whether this is enough? Does the National hold its appeal due to the sheer magnitude of its jumps, or could a further reduction in the size of fences make it safer? Should there be a lower number of entrants or would the falls still occur despite numbers? As someone who admittedly knows very little about the sport I may well be completely off the mark, however we will have to wait to find out whether any alterations will be made. While on the subject of the sport of Kings, we are fast approaching an important regal event – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant, which will run in the

evenings of the Windsor Horse show between 10th-13th May. With an extra day at Windsor, there could be a cash injection for retailers both manning stands and welcoming shoppers during the two bank holidays (4th and 5th June). Keep an eye on next month’s issue where we’ll be talking to some of those attending the event.

attendees to attend the annual ‘camp’ event, I think the range could be a big success and even spill onto the high street. Good on Dublin for having the guts to try something risky! Visit our website to read the story and view the video.

Have something to say?

Inspiring work It was brought to my attention this week that Dublin has made a very bold move with the introduction of a new range of boots. The ‘Dare to be different’ range features red, patent, – yes patent – short boots and gaiters. Now while these might not be to everyone’s taste, I have to commend Dublin for taking the plunge and bringing a muchneeded burst of attitude to the industry. Accompanying that burst is a brilliant video that is sure to go viral among the horsey fraternity in no time. The risk is undoubtedly huge, but should this craze take off, in perfect time for young riders and pony club

- email editorial@ebmonthly. or write to Equestrian Business Monthly, The Old Dairy, Watton Road, Hingham, Norwich NR9 4NN

New for 2012 is Rhea Freeman’s blog on social media. Head to www. to find out what’s got everyone talking.

Kirsty Whittle


Let us know what you think!


Throughout 2012 we’ll be introducing new features both in the publication and on the website and we want to know what you think. The latest inclusion is our new social media blog and the introduction of the QR code below. If you have a Smart phone, iPhone or Android phone, all you have to do is download a QR code reader app and scan the barcode and it’ll take you directly to the Equestrian Business Monthly website where you can access the latest news stories, features and products on the market.

Let’s Talk Products – numnahs & saddle cloths Grooming & coat care Supplements Rider safety – hats, body protectors, personal

July Let’s Talk Products – jodhpurs, breeches & over trousers Olympics build-up Hoof & leg care Diversification: Pets, livestock & wildlife

Follow us on Twitter: @EBMonthly and keep us up-to-date with your news and opinions by emailing: editorial@

August Let’s Talk Products – Winter rugs (turnout & stable) Bedding & stable hygiene Fibre & Forage Clippers


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Trade directory Web banners News & blogs Advertise jobs View latest issue online

UK News A round-up of the UK’s equestrian trade news Nominations open for Petplan Equine vet of the year Petplan Equine is calling for nominations from horse owners across the country for this year’s Petplan Equine Vet of the Year Award. The prestigious award, presented at the annual Animal Health Trust Equestrian Awards in November, recognises the dedication, knowledge and skill demonstrated every day by equine vets across the UK. It also gives horse owners the perfect opportunity to publicly thank their vet for the care they provide to their horses and the support they provide to each owner. The person who submits the most compelling nomination will receive an annual subscription to Horse & Rider Magazine and a Petplan Equine branded numnah and Horseware Jacket.

Horse & Country TV shortlisted for Best Specialist Channel

The Petplan Equine Vet of the Year Award, now in its fifth year, reflects both Petplan Equine’s commitment and support for the veterinary profession as well as the huge contribution local vets make to the equine community. The current holder of the prestigious ‘Petplan Equine Vet of the Year’ title is Chris Pearce who grew up riding horses and has worked as a vet since 1990. Based in Dorset, in 2001 Chris became the first veterinary surgeon to qualify as an Equine Dental Technician, the area in which he now specialises. Nominations can be made by visiting www.petplanequine. before 5th July 2012. The winner will be decided by an independent specialist panel and will be announced on Thursday 1st of November 2012.

and online. “We’re delighted to be shortlisted,” says Jonathan Rippon, head of programming at H&C TV. “Our mix of world-class sport and equestrian lifestyle programming such as ‘Getting to Greenwich’, and ‘Rudall’s Roundup’ is proving a huge success with more than 2 million horse riders in Britain. It’s great to receive further recognition of this from our peers in the broadcast sector and to be in contention with such excellent channels run by some of the world’s largest media companies.” The winner will be announced on 20th June 2012.

Extended opening hours for RPA centre

New location for Hucklesby The company has moved to a larger warehouse in Norfolk due to an increased demand for space. With the uptake of new products from both current and new suppliers including a range of Just Togs Hats, Toggi Deck Shoes, new Equisafety products and the KBF99 range from Vale Brothers, along with a new agent in Ireland the move to 20 Bertie Ward Way,

Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) has been shortlisted in the Best Specialist Channel category for the third year running in the Broadcast Digital Awards. The Awards, run by Broadcast, a publication for the UK television industry, celebrate the best in UK digital television. For the Best Specialist Channel category, entrants are required to demonstrate innovation, creative programming and scheduling, and clear appeal to their specialist audience. H&C’s entry focused on the success of their commissioned series, ‘Getting to Greenwich’ along with advertising initiatives both on air

Rash’s Green Industrial Estate, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1TE was necessary. “We are excited about the new opportunities that the larger premises will bring for the company,” says Jackie Hucklesby. The couple’s daughter, Becky will also be joining the company. For information call: 01362 696309 or visit: www.

From 21st April, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) customer service centre will be available at weekends and some public holidays to help those farmers and food producers who have yet to submit their 2012 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) applications. The lines will be open from 9am3pm every Saturday until 12th May 2012. There will also be a service for the same hours on

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Monday 7th May and Sunday 13th May. Depending on call volumes, the Agency is also preparing for extended service availability for a further four Saturdays between 19th May and 9th June. An announcement on this further extension to the service will be made in due course. RPA customer service centre: 0845 603 7777.

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John Lewis backs the British Equestrian Federation The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is backing the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) Hoof Olympic Legacy programme of ‘Take Back the Reins’. The retailer will be hosting a series of workshops specifically designed to increase awareness and quality of ‘customer care’. The workshops will be offered, free of charge, to staff of riding centres that will be participating in the Take Back the Reins (TBTR) scheme, an initiative to encourage former riders and those who would like to take up riding for the first time, into the saddle.

“The feedback from our pilot session was really positive as the workshop gave riding school proprietors and their staff time outside their normal working environment to think differently about how they work,” says Alex Ferrario, personnel manager for John Lewis. The first of five JLP workshops took place at the British Horse Society offices at Stoneleigh in early April. “Wherever we are and whatever we are doing we all appreciate good service and who better to teach us, the equestrian

industry about customer care, than John Lewis whose name is synonymous with good service,” says Maggie Still, head of regional development at the BEF. “Just having the time to think about customers and clients rather than horses and ponies puts a different aspect and perspective on our businesses and I am sure that all those who attend these workshops will go home having learnt a lot that they can apply and that can only be positive for their riding schools.”

Lucinda Green launches CLA equine business report Equestrian star Lucinda Green launched a Country Land and Business Association (CLA) policy report aimed at creating a modern and thriving equine business sector. Clearing Hurdles – launched by Lucinda Green, CLA President Harry Cotterell and Equine Business Working Group Chairman Judith Norris at Hyde Park Stables in London – said the equine industry is being held back by restrictions on planning, insurance and tax. “Equine businesses are unable to develop because of planning restrictions,” says CLA President Harry Cotterell. “The CLA is calling on the government to reform the planning system so that it is cheaper, simpler and faster to use, and recognises the limited impact of well-managed equine businesses on the environment and landscape. We want planning authorities to take a far more positive approach to equine businesses.” Mr Cotterell said the Government should consider deregulation for smaller business tenancies

while respecting the rights of those who own property. “The CLA is proposing that the government retains the Small Business Rate Relief and other simply administered reliefs and to reverse the abolition of the partial exemption for empty commercial property,” he says. The report also calls on the government to resolve the spiralling cost of horse insurance, which is forcing some equine businesses to close. “We need the government to make good

its promise to amend the 1971 Animals Act so owners are not deemed liable for incidents involving their animals that are beyond their control,” says Mr Cotterell. “I am very pleased the CLA is lobbying for much-needed changes to the law and giving practical advice to equine businesses on how to overcome the challenges they face,” says Lucinda. “For many in the industry, this is just the kind of leg-up they need.”


British Horse Society elects new chairman Lynn Petersen was recently elected as chairman of The British Horse Society (BHS) following the decision of Dr Phil Wadey to step down due to the demands of new ventures at his satellite communications company. For the past year and a half, Lynn has been the board trustee responsible for the Society’s modernisation programme. “I am looking forward to serving as Chairman committed to developing a new chapter in the Society’s distinguished history,” says Lynn.

Buy Five Get One Free MSD Animal Health is offering a free bottle of Coopers Fly Repellent Plus, with every five bought from Battles or Trilanco. Coopers is the only product licensed to UK standards that kills and repels flies and helps to control infestations of the biting louse Damalinia equi. Distributors will also receive ‘shelf talkers’ to promote the product and ensure that the bottles fly off the shelves.

Gallagher fences arena at Badminton

Vale Brothers Ltd reaches WM Exporting Growth Final 2012 Congratulations to Vale Brothers Ltd for reaching the final stages of the WM Exporting Growth final. Over 50 companies entered the competition and nine regional finalists won their place after auditioning in front of a panel made up of representatives from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), PwC, HSBC and independent specialists.

News In Brief UK News

The finalist will attend the International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham where they will be asked to make a presentation in front of representatives from Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Chambers of Commerce, the Manufacturing Advisory Service, the CBI, universities, legal firms, training companies, translators and others who can support

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the companies going forward. The winner will receive support worth up to £5,000 and access to mentoring support from UKTI, HSBC and PwC. Managing director of Vale Brothers Ltd Peter Wilkes said “I’m delighted to reach the final stages of this prestigious award and look forward to further expanding our business overseas.”

Gallagher Europe, a manufacturer of equestrian and livestock security has been chosen to supply the fencing for the competitors’ training area at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Gallagher Europe will also be exhibiting at the event this year and is offering visitors the chance to win an M1200i (£489 worth) for taking part in their short survey. The company is also is offering new dealers 10% discount on the first order at Badminton.

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Dog Rocks announces USA distribution Dog Rocks USA Distribution Ltd and Dog Rocks Distribution LLC is delighted to announce its launch into the USA. The company has been distributing its products in Australasia for 11 years and Europe for seven. “It has taken us six years to get ourselves into the position where we can realistically service the American market in terms of stock levels and cash flow but we are now ready to roll and having attended Globex 2012 we have some really exciting

contracts underway and sales are beginning to snowball, just as they did in the UK, really exciting times” says Carina Evans from the company. The Dog Rocks Distribution LLC’s staffed distribution office and warehouse is based in Wellington, Florida. Dog Rocks are sold through vet, pet and garden centre wholesalers and distributors both online and to retailers in these markets. Visit: scoops Hitwise Award has won a prestigious Hitwise UK Top 10 Award, recognising it as one of the most successful UK websites for pets and animals during 2011. The website has been ranked fifth in the pets and animals category by Hitwise based on the market share of UK visits it received from January to December 2011. In 2012, the website has so far achieved the second highest number of pages viewed in the pets and animals category, according to Hitwise. “ provides an

affordable, effective marketplace for horse riders and equestrian businesses to advertise their horses, equipment and services,” says business manager, Kate Kidger. “We attract over 800,000 horse riders to our site each month and have over 150,000 members in our online community. According to Hitwise, over 70% of equestrian-salesrelated pages viewed online are seen on The Hitwise UK Top 10 Awards programme celebrates the most successful UK websites.

Red Horse Products supports the Brooke Red Horse Products has donated £400 to the Brooke charity to support their work tackling poor hoof care of working equines abroad. Every year the company makes a donation to the charity in order to support its very important work. This year it has donated to the ‘Healthy Hooves’ appeal. Red Horse Products will continue

to support the Brooke in 2012 by donating 20p from every online order to the charity.

SQPs retain their title Despite recent efforts to amend the usage of the term ‘Suitably Qualified Person’ (SQP) to Animal Health Advisor (AHA), the former will remain. The term AHA was introduced in a bid to assist the public’s understanding of the role of the SQP, however this is not the legal

title of those qualifying through the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA). The term ‘Animal Medicines Advisor’ was the description of choice, recently voted for at an AMTRA Council meeting, to accompany AMTRA literature due to its clarity in regards to the role.

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Restructure for Davies & Co Kettering

Hickstead Horse feeds acquired by ForFarmers

Equimat manufacturer and distributor, Davies & Co Kettering, has recently undergone an internal restructure with the aim of refocusing its matting business to gain larger market share. The changes for 2012 will see a new fully interactive e-commerce web site that will integrate the Equimat brand with the Farmat and The Black Mat brands as well as a large selection of matting for applications from workshops to sports halls. To coincide with the web site a new range of

ForFarmers has acquired BOCM PAULS, manufacturer of Hickstead Horse feeds, making it Europe’s major feed producer. The contract of sale, which was signed on 28th March, will see all shares of BOCM Pauls transferred to ForFarmers for a value of €85 million – after an adjustment for pension fund deficit plus a deferred consideration from surplus property. The transaction still has to be approved by the general meeting of shareholders of the ForFarmers Group. In addition, a

brochures will be available later in the year that will feature the new company branding as well as a number of exciting new products. In line with the refresh there will be a drive to gain more stockists both in the UK and overseas allowing the brands to be available to even more end users. “We have been really pleased with the way things are going but knew the time was right to have a refocus on how we present our products,” says managing director, Andy Gregory.

The directory returns The Trade Suppliers Directory – also known as the TSD – is being brought back in a printed format to complement its online counterpart at www. britishequestriandirectory. com. This reference guide for retailers includes websites, email addresses, brands and product listings. The decision to reintroduce the TSD followed calls from equestrian trade members who, although appreciating the speed and accessibility of the online version, felt a hard-copy companion would make life even easier. “We listened to the requests and agreed that there was a definite case for a dual-format directory,” says Claire Thomas, commercial manager of Equestrian Management Consultants, publisher of the TSD. Inclusion in both the online and printed TSD – available from June

– is completely free of charge. It will be distributed free of charge to all BETA retail members in the UK and can be bought by British and international manufacturers, suppliers, non-member retailers, agents, marketing companies and other bona fide members of the equestrian and related trades.


Finnforest becomes Metsä Wood The Metsäliitto Group, of which Finnforest has been a part, has changed its name to Metsä Group. In line with this Finnforest is now Metsä Wood. Despite the changes, the Hunter Woodshavings brand will remain the same, with the only change being a new logo on the packaging. “We are proud to bring a product of the quality of Hunter Woodshavings to horse owners,” says Jackie Blundell, Metsä Wood sales manager. “In fact in these harder economic times the vacuum packed virtually dust free bales are offering such excellent quality and value for money we are

seeing demand increasing,”she adds. “The new logo is fresh, proud and modern. It is an excellent reflection of Metsä Wood - we are continually moving forward, without forgetting our roots. Our customers have known us as ‘Finnforest’, and this change will strengthen our corporate identity,” says Timo Karinen, group executive vice president of Metsä Wood. For details of Hunter Woodshavings visit www.

Horse&Rider and Pony join HorseWorldLive

Protexin Equine Premium receives medical approval Probiotics International Ltd (Protexin Equine Premium) has received Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval for the manufacture of capsules, tablets, sachets and paste products. The MHRA is recognised around the world as a leading regulatory body, and shows that Probiotics International Ltd has manufacturing capabilities of the highest standards. In some countries outside of the EU, probiotics are classed as medicines so MHRA accreditation

European competition procedure will have to be completed. The works council will also be consulted for advice. BOCM PAULS is the leading concern in Great Britain regarding the production and sales of animal feed. It notes a market share of 20% and has a turnover of €600 million. Through the acquisition of the activities of BOCM PAULS, ForFarmers will produce 8.8 million tons of feeds, employ 2.500 employees and create a turnover of € 6.6 billion.

will aid in the registration of Protexin products in those countries. “Customers and regulatory authorities around the world recognise this accreditation and it gives them the confidence that they are working with a company that works tirelessly to ensure the best quality standards at all times,” says Jonathan Sowler, commercial director at Probiotics International Ltd. The company was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2011.

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HorseWorldLive is delighted to announce that Horse&Rider and Pony Magazine are the official equestrian media partners of the London show. “We are huge fans of Horse&Rider and PONY Magazine and are pleased to have them as our equestrian media partners,” says Karen Cooper, show director. HorseWorldLive will be held from 16-18 November at London ExCel and will feature, among other things, a masterclass with William Fox-Pitt, an Express Eventing competition where 14 riders will compete in teams of two and performances of Adrenaline by equestrian production company EquiCirque. As well as the ‘Mounted Fashion Show’ which is sponsored by equine retailers, Equetech.

Visit: for details.

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NEW APPOINTMENTS Finn O’Sullivan joins TopSpec

Spillers appoints new competition nutritionist

Area sales manager for Allen & Page

Finn O’Sullivan has been appointed business development manager for Ireland by innovative horse feed company TopSpec. With more than 11 years experience working in the feed industry, Finn has a wealth of knowledge and will be covering both Northern and Southern Ireland. A farrier and keen huntsman, Finn also breeds Sport Horses and has shown horses at the Royal Dublin Horse Show. “I am looking forward to representing TopSpec throughout Ireland and continuing to promote the brand and product range to retailers and horse owners,” says Finn.

Sarah Elphick has joined Spillers as a competition nutritionist for the south of England. As a successful competition rider herself Sarah has an excellent understanding of the market, as well as a thorough knowledge of horse nutrition. Based in Gloucestershire, Sarah is responsible for the whole of the south of England and Wales, from Peterborough across to Pembrokeshire and below. She holds an equine studies degree from Warwickshire College and has previously worked with Genus Equine, managed a show jumping yard and been travelling groom for the show jumper Guy Goosen.

Annie Hughes has joined the company as the new area sales manager for the Essex, Suffolk and Kent region. Annie has been involved in the equine world on both a personal and professional level for many years, beginning her working life as a secretary and then attending agricultural college. “My first equine job was as head girl for an international event rider in Surrey and I then worked as head girl for event rider Nigel Taylor, when he was based at the Milton Keynes Eventing Centre,” says Annie, who graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a first class honours degree then worked as a research assistant to Dr Charlotte Nevison as part of the Equine Research Anglia Group (ERA).

Bedmax launches Jubilee Pine Tree Campaign As a commitment to the 2012 Jubilee celebrations Bedmax will be launching its ‘Jubilee Planta-Pine Tree Campaign’ at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. The company will be giving away 1000 Scots Pine saplings to visitors from its stand at Badminton. Bedmax will continue to roll out its campaign at other events throughout the year, including the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse

Trials, The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Blair Castle International Horse Trails and Your Horse Live. Bedmax has been making shavings predominantly from pine ever since the company launched its bedding in the United Kingdom in 2000. In the UK, pine predominately grows in the East and the South of the country while spruce tends to be found in the wetter western side.

Dear Editor, I must say that the editorial from Suzanne Wild has really hit the mark this time (visit to read Suzanne’s April column). My husband goes to BETA by train, it gives him time to read the books on who to see and on the way back, he falls asleep! When I did go I found exactly what Suzanne says, and I am convinced I am not the only one, but no one likes to put their head above the parapet, in view of what can and does happen. All the exhibitors are going to say it went well, and all the retailers are going to say they are selling lots in their shops, well we all know that is pants and the sooner the exhibitors cut back on their ‘you must buy from us’ and be sensible and only sell to the retailer who has the necessary retail shop and pays business rates the better. One thing that we have learned, we now ask suppliers to give us a list of their top twenty selling items that is always interesting. This year we were deluged by exhibitors and our regular wholesalers too to check out if we were going and to book us in to see their stand. This is the only year that we have been contacted before the show. We went to PATS at Sandown last month, again seeing all our local competitors, and being nosey we wondered if selling some pet products alongside our feed and saddlery would offer more to our customers and to be honest, we were told not to by the wholesalers themselves as they all stated to us that the only thing that kept pet shops going was that they sold wild bird food! This I did find a little worrying. But it was a fun day and we saw some nice products but not sure of anything that would be the sure-fire seller the exhibitors professed it to be. I guess what I am saying is that it is nice to see someone voice our thoughts but it’s also nicer to stay hidden and agree quietly as we all know what happens to the one that yells a lot. Name witheld


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WALK ON THE WILD SIDE For the first time since the beginning of the much-heralded recession I can see the effects coming to fruition; the seeds are sown and the harvest threatens to be meager! As a visitor to BETA I saw a distinct lack of new products, exhibitors and visitors; my understanding is that it is rising costs of standing at the fair that is driving exhibitors away, and as a direct result, visitors are falling. As a manufacturer I am acutely aware that the pricing equation simply isn’t working anymore either; factory prices are going up but the amount that the end user is prepared to pay isn’t. At the same time factory minimums are as high as they always were which is all we need when ‘make do and mend’ has kicked in. Speaking to our FedEx driver I am in no doubt that their pricing is about to explode too; we have the ‘Next’ warehouse in our area, a client which usually yields around 300 collections per day – at the moment they are rarely numbering beyond 10. As anybody dealing with couriers will know – the more you send, the lower the cost; diversely – the less you send, the higher the cost. And herein lies the basis of this month’s ramble; why do things become more expensive when you buy fewer of them? What happened to the universal laws of ‘supply and demand’? Sorry, but here’s the science bit… Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular product or service will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in an economic equilibrium of price and quantity. To this end, if demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and lower quantity. Taking this model and pulling it inside out, to reignite interest in the BETA trade fair and to increase sales in almost all areas of business we need a reduction

in price which will ultimately lead to an increase in demand...and of course, if demand increases as a result then it ultimately leads to higher equilibrium price and higher quantity. All in the garden is rosy. So, as an industry how flexible are we prepared to be? Cotton prices rocketed in 201011 and because we knew that the increase in price would lead to lower sales, we swallowed the increase – as I am sure many did - and kept our ‘equilibrium price’ with the trade customers; but for so long as the retailer insists on keeping their 60% mark-up (in clothing at least) the consumer won’t benefit which still leads to declining demand. As a business consultant I often heard a saying; “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll only get what you’ve always got”… it is supposed to suggest that you need to keep on your toes and be creative to grow your business; well, if we carry on doing what we’ve always done in the current climate believe me, we won’t have an industry to grow and the crops will be left in the ground to rot.

Suzanne Wild is designer and managing director at Fuller Fillies.

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With manufacturing output in the UK likely to rise over the next three years, there’s never been a better time to be British. Why British is best Britain has stood its ground at the forefront of manufacturing for decades and despite the industry

of the equestrian industry and know exactly what consumers are wanting.” With many eyecatching designs coming directly from the fingertips of the UK,

Within Britain we have access to some of the finest top quality fabrics and a very strong tradition of quality manufacture and design flair appropriate to the equestrian demands

as a whole reporting a slow down towards the end of 2011, things are looking up. The sector grew at its fastest pace for 10 months in March and the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 52.1 last month from 51.5 in February – a reading above 50 implies growth. This significant increase means that in 2012, the industry has avoided a recession. A distinct pick-up in order was evident in March, however this was boosted by clearing backlogs of existing work. Notorious as a leader within the industry, it’s not surprising that so many manufacturers are proud to be British. “The appeal of British made garments is the quality and in some disciplines the kudos that goes with it,” says Lynn Mears of Mears Country Jackets. “Within Britain we have access to some of the finest top quality fabrics and a very strong tradition of quality manufacture and design flair appropriate to the equestrian demands.” Home to the world of tweed fabrics, Lynn describes them as ‘some of the best in the world’. She goes on to say: “As tweeds are extensively used in many disciplines our history and tradition does mean that in Britain we lead the world.” Julia Andrews of Kate Negus Saddlery agrees: “British made products give the customers assured quality,” she says. Lisa Davis-Lindholm from Barnsby believes that Britain possesses unique qualities. “There is a great wealth of knowledge and experience which cannot be found in any other country,” she says. “We are also at the heart 12

Leon Flynn at Fyna-Lite believes that his products are high in quality and innovative due to the country’s resources. “We retain our position within the market due to British engineering and manufacturing know how, our entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to create the best possible products without compromise,” he says. If you were to ask a foreigner to sum up Great Britain, sitting just behind

purpose and for the high street. “We are a quintessential British brand with a passion for country life and country sports,” says Claire Brudenell at Sherwood Forest owned Grassroots Country Clothing Ltd. “We are passionate about supporting British manufacturing and the heritage; tradition and quality that comes from UK manufactured garments and we endeavour to promote this through our brand. By using British manufacturers Grassroots can cater for a more bespoke brand and for all shapes and sizes – customers have the opportunity to work with our in house design team on a contract basis to create

can also state exactly who made the saddle and when; something that is not always possible with foreign

manufacturers. We also believe that consumers know they are getting a saddle which was made with understanding and experience gained through many years of being in business, along with a love of the industry.” Richard Balfry of New Equine Wear shares similar ideas: “Britain has a very large equestrian home market and

designs unique to them,” she adds. A tailor made service is largely appealing, as is knowing exactly where your product has come from. “We produce handmade high quality products using English components,” says Lisa. “Each manufacturer

Europe is the biggest market in the world for English saddle riding, that combined with the relatively low employment taxes and high skill levels, low distribution costs and excellent communications, makes Britain a desired place to operate,” he

Image courtesy of Fyna-Lite

monumental landmarks such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, would be collections of country revellers dressed head to toe in tweed while out enjoying a fine day of shooting. Many retailers relish in producing this attire, which sells both for

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BEST OF BRITISH says. Aside from the grandeur that comes from buying British, the costs are likely to be higher than if sourced from overseas,

products. It also means that, in my case, I have control over the whole process, which is really valuable,” she says. Rosie Fell at

In this present economic climate we have seen quite a resurge as often a purchase is considered as an investment, so quality and choice become increasingly important

however with importing products comes an increased waiting time. “The benefits of British manufacturing are shorter delivery times, replacing the three to four months from overseas factories with a six week lead time from our UK factories,” says Claire. “Other benefits are the reduction in the carbon footprint and more realistic order minimums. Julia agrees: “Manufacturing in Britain gives the best flexibility and fast turn round for new

The London effect Manufacturers and retailers throughout the UK allowed themselves a slight smile after hearing that London had won the 2012 Games. With the industry likely to benefit hugely – both in raising the sport’s profile and financially – London 2012 couldn’t have come at a better time. Manufacturers have gone wild, creating every item imaginable for both horse and rider to cash in on this once in a lifetime opportunity, however there are mixed views among manufacturers. “At Fyna-Lite we have noticed an increase in interest in our products from all export markets,” says Leon. “As all eyes are on London for this sporting spectacle, the benefits for British manufacturers are being reaped.” Lisa says that the company has yet to see any positive results. “Unfortunately, to date the Olympics has not increased business for us. However, there are still a few months to go and this could change. Mears Country Jackets is also waiting to see any change. “The Olympics has had a limited effect on our business as yet,” says Lynn. This is the same for Kate Negus Saddlery. “The Olympics could have been a fabulous showcase of British made goods whether equestrian or otherwise but this is not happening which is a shame,” says Julia Andrews.

Keratex is proud to be a British manufacturer and says: “We have good relationships with our contractors and suppliers because we visit them often and understand the exact processes involved in making our products absolutely unique in their own right. Because we use Britishbased companies, we are not importing raw materials so we are helping the environment by saving on fuel and ultimately this can keep our costs down to customers and fulfil our own company ethics on green issues.”

Fighting back “In this present economic climate we have seen quite a resurge as often a purchase is considered as an investment, so quality and choice become increasingly important,” says Lynn Mears. “Many equestrian garments have to endure tough treatment, a quality garment will still look good and last for many years and people are looking to spend wisely”. Claire believes that ‘customers are supporting their home economies and industries more’ and suggests that the recent TV interest in developing British manufacturing ‘can only help’. Leon agrees. “Our observations at Fyna-Lite suggest that although customers watch the pennies during a recession, the purchaser still requires high quality products that are well designed, last a long time and are value for money. So although end users are more careful with their money, they have become much more informed as to what products are available and which works best for them. Poorly designed or flawed products with low quality components will generally not pass close scrutiny of the buying public,” he explains. “Support of British made products has grown considerably in recent years from the general public as well as the trade. British manufacturing has also seen a strong resurgence with many companies returning

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Equestrian Business Monthly


BEST OF BRITISH we maintain this position and market our skills accordingly. If we lose the position, then

their manufacturing base back to the UK where the culture of innovation and the desire

We remain as leaders as we have many years of experience and knowledge

to produce the best quality products is at its strongest and Fyna-Lite is proud to be a part of this manufacturing renaissance.” It’s this integral support that continues to keep Britain at the pinnacle of the industry. “We remain as leaders as we have many years of experience and knowledge,” says Lisa DavisLindholm. “However, other countries are catching up and it is on the British manufacturers to work together to ensure that

Saddlers: A dying breed? The word on the grape vine is that the saddlery trade is under threat. With times still hard for retailers and manufacturers across all sectors – not just our own – it wouldn’t be surprising if another area disappeared into the abyss, however as in most cases, there are two sides to every story. Julia Andrews from Kate Negus Saddlery believes that the industry could be in trouble. “Yes, the number of saddlers in the UK is decreasing – it would be as there is little incentive to keep them going,” she says. However, Lisa from Barnsby doesn’t agree. “I do not believe this to be the case as the well-established saddlers are still in business and are actually doing well,” she says. “However, I feel that there is less presence on the ‘high street’ and more of them are operating on a mobile basis which could make it look as though there

we will only have ourselves to blame. That is why Barnsby are continually reviewing their range and ensuring that we move with the market.” This year Barnsby won the Saddlery and Tack award at BETA for their innovative new saddle, the I Tree, which features a thermoplastic composite carbon fibre tree and uses integrated heating technology to allow enhanced adjustments.

is a decrease.” Someone who knows, the industry inside out is Pat Crawford from the Society of Master Saddlers. “The British saddlery industry remains largely craft-based – and proudly so,” says Pat. “The skills demonstrated by members of the Society of Master Saddlers are among the very best in the world and, in terms of value for money, British saddlery, bridlework and ancillary equipment has little competition. The grass is often wrongly perceived as greener on the other side of the fence – and horse owners sometimes apply the same lack of logic when buying tack! As with so many things in this country, we tend to pay homage to goods produced overseas whilst totally failing to recognise that the very best is produced right here in the British Isles. We should be blowing the horn, applauding, cheering and celebrating the best of British. It’s good for the economy and – in the case of saddlery – good for the continuance of elite craftsmanship.”

British skills and labour Key to maintaining a core manufacturing base in the UK is the maintenance of skills and in the equestrian industry, with many highly skilled jobs required, this is particularly important. The UK government is placing a heavy emphasis on apprenticeships in an attempt to tackle the rising rates of youth unemployment, but this is also a good way to expand your workforce, training your own staff in key skills with the help of government grants. Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of fields, from grooms and yard managers, to veterinary nursing, fencing and wildlife management. There are a number of benefits that apprentices can bring to your workforce in the UK, including filling skills gaps and improving your bottom line, but apprenticeships can help more than just large national companies. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is offering up to 40,000

Barnsby It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a saddlery company with more knowledge and experience than Barnsby. Based in Walsall, the centre of the English saddlery industry, Barnsby has been making top quality saddles and bridles for over 200 years. Barnsby is also unique in that it holds a Royal Warrant as supplier of Saddlery and Lorinery to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. The name Barnsby is synonymous with the very best in saddlery and whether you require a saddle, bridle or piece of ancillary equipment you may be assured that every item in the range is of the highest quality and designed using the latest research and development techniques for comfort of the horse and rider. One of the new saddles launched this year is the Kingdom Mono Flap Dressage Saddle. It is without a doubt, the most luxurious dressage saddle. Covered all over in super soft calfskin giving an ultimate feel with a closeness of fit from its unique mono flap design. The contoured block is sculptured into the flap whilst the panels have been designed to give optimal fit. Barnsby: +44 (0)1922 621676


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Equestrian Business Monthly

Apprenticeship Grants to small and medium sized businesses (employing less than 250 employees), to the value of £1,500, that recruit their first apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old. Last year, despite difficult labour market conditions, over 270,000 16-24 year olds started an apprenticeship, but the government is keen that many more young people are given the opportunity to benefit and take their first steps on the career ladder. Skills Minister John Hayes says: “By reviving apprenticeships, this government is helping thousands of young people discover the purposeful pride that builds successful careers, thriving firms and strong communities. “In the past smaller firms have been deterred from hiring an apprentice due to perceived logistical, training and administrative costs but the new incentives of £1,500 are encouraging SMEs to give thousands of young people a great start to their working life.” Visit for more information.


Black Country Saddles Proud to be British, Black Country Saddles pursues the traditional values of quality and service in everything it does. The area in which it is based – Black Country, the industrial area of the Midlands around Birmingham – gained its name in the mid-nineteenth century. The saddlery specialises in custom-built saddles, mainly made to order. The worldwide dealers are all able to offer a saddle assessment as well as the all important aftercare service. The saddlery works closely with trained and qualified saddle fitters and offers an extensive array of saddle trees and panels. The saddle fitter will then make any alterations regarding flap length and blocks and offer a choice of leather finish and colour. Manufacturing time is normally within four weeks. Black Country Saddles: +44 (0)1543 578243

Champion Champion, has a tremendous safety heritage and has been producing riding hats, helmets and body protectors to the highest safety standards from the Champion factory in Cardiff for over 30 years. Although the manufacturing process for Champion hats, helmets and body protectors is highly sophisticated and uses the latest cutting edge technology, a huge amount of skill is also required by production staff. Each and every product produced must be finished to Champion’s exacting standards and as all Champion hats carry the BSI Kitemark, an extraordinary level of attention to detail and rigorous testing procedures guarantee that every Champion hat will comfortably outperform the four main areas of testing: penetration, shock absorption, harness strength and stability. Providing exceptional comfort, fit and performance and certified to the latest safety standards, Champion’s FlexAir and ZipAir body protectors are chosen by some of the world’s top event riders, including Pippa Funnell and Piggy French to name a couple. With a reputation built on safety, the Champion brand stands as one of Britain’s most trusted equestrian safety brands and retailers around the UK know that when they choose Champion they can be 100% confident in every product sold. Champion: +44 (0)1132 707000

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



Clarendon Equestrian


Clarendon Equestrian is one of the oldest horse boot manufacturers in the UK. With a reputation built on quality, the company offer 14 different designs of boots, in a variety of colours including: navy, black, white, brown, pink and bottle green. Many of the boots are constructed with a tough synthetic leatherette outer, for durability and ease of cleaning, which encases a 6mm layer of high impact resistant foam. The boots are lined with fur to ensure a perfect comfortable fit, without preventing air circulation to keep the horse’s legs cool. The boots are fastened with Clarendon’s unique system of three elastic and hook and loop straps, which are securely held in place by three stainless steel hooks on elastic. These ensure the boot straps will not undo thus making it unnecessary to over tape. The elastic is made exclusively for Clarendon. Its elasticity and strength is very important, and should never be substituted. To clean the boots after use the exterior should be hosed down and the lining brushed clean. The boots can also be machined washed at 30°C spin dry – heavy soil cycles and strong biological powders should be avoided. Once clean, the boots should be left to dry naturally.

To compliment the lunge aid, EquiAmi has developed a lunge cavesson that simplifies and improves lungeing for both horse and handler. This lunge cavesson is lightweight, flatter and soft providing a better fit to minimise movement which may cause pinching or rubbing. With more room for the eyes and a broader noseband it is more comfortable for the horse. Designed and made in England, it has two extra D rings for optional bit straps, removing the need to use a bridle. Runner-up in the innovation awards at BETA 2012 the judges said: “The low cheeks and wide noseband are beneficial adaptations resulting in a comfortable and well-fitting cavesson. It is user friendly, durable and offers excellent value for money”. Endorsements already include comments such as “This cavesson remains firmly in place regardless of which ring is used. The noseband is well-padded and the rings are fixed in a way so that they do not move as the horse moves in trot or canter. We have no hesitation in recommending the EquiAmi Lunge Cavesson” (Equine Management & Training). Made from top quality materials with an attractive price, they come in cob and full sizes and will enhance any range of lunge accessories. EquiAmi: +44 (0)1584 891049

Clarendon Equestrian: +44 (0)1825 733361

The British Barrow


The new Classic Showjumps Equibarrow is a fantastic, one piece ultra-sturdy plastic barrow that is available in a choice of colours from stock. The really unique feature on the barrow is the UK-made puncture proof tyre that is also available in a choice of colours and means that no longer do you have to put up with cheap tyres popping after two weeks’ use! With a large capacity of 90 litres/kg, the Equibarrow is a real workhorse and even has a handy storage area for essentials. And there is no need to worry, if there isn’t space to stock it, the company are happy to ship direct to customers anywhere in the UK – contact Classic Showjumps for rates and the company will do the rest. The company also manufactures a huge range of products for the yard, field and stable including: Mounting blocks, super strong poles made from polypropylene in any colour, wings and blocks in various sizes, saddle carriers, tack packs and feed, tack and blanket storage boxes in many sizes. All stockists get full access to our images & free catalogues. Why not ask for a free point of sale stand for your shop!

Fyna-Lite is celebrating 26 years of being at the forefront of innovative designed British made stable tools and field maintenance equipment. “The number of products has grown considerably since the company was started by my father George in 1985, but the values and skills we started with are as important today as they were then,” says Leon Fynn, general manager. The company has always believed that the skill of the craftsman, the use of the best quality materials and innovative designs are essential to creating the best possible tools. Even though technology advancements have meant that the forks are made more efficiently and to an everhigher standard, the basic principle and production methods have remained constant. Our investment in tooling and machinery has been pivotal in our quest to improve the quality of our products. As our reliance on sub-contract services has been cut, so the speed at which each batch can be manufactured has increased along with the ability to be more flexible with a production run if the need arises. By using in-house expertise, the company has been able to constantly improve designs to ensure the product the customer receives is of the highest standard.

Classic Showjumps: +44 (0)161 7652013

Fyna-Lite: +44 (0)1789 764848


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Equestrian Business Monthly


Grassroots From the same group that manufacturers Sherwood Forest and Puffa Country clothing, Grassroots is a quintessential British brand with a passion for country life and country sports. Established in 1996 the brand has grown in sourcing and manufacturing over 90% British made garments. The company is passionate about supporting British manufacturing and heritage, tradition and quality that comes from UK manufactured garments and endeavours to promote this through the brand. Benefits of British manufacturing are shorter delivery times replacing the three to four months from overseas factories with a six-week lead time from our UK factories. Other benefits are the reduction in the carbon footprint and more realistic order minimums. From fine tweed ranges to waterproof and breathable country sport clothing and classic country casuals Grassroots can provide traditional clothing for men, woman and children. By using British manufacturers Grassroots can cater for a more bespoke brand and for all shapes and sizes, customers have the opportunity to work with our in house design team on a contract basis to create designs unique to them. Grassroots: +44 (0)1159 424265 Website:

Horse & Jockey Ltd Welcome to the range of Capz cap covers supplied by Horse & Jockey Ltd, a family run business based in the UK. The company has been manufacturing and supplying customers with the British made cap covers for over 30 years at the factory based in Peterchurch, Herefordshire and has a strong relationship with top safety headwear manufacturers having regularly updated and developed the products with their advice and cooperation. Each Cap comes with a Capz logo on the peak and will be attractively packed using the company’s own branded packaging. The caps have been developed to meet the needs of a younger market, using high quality innovative designs. For more details contact Sarah, Hannah or Kate who will be happy to help. Horse & Jockey Ltd: +44 (0)1981 550467

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



Hilton Herbs


As an established player in the natural supplements industry, and with solid sales in the UK and exports to 40 countries worldwide, Somerset-based Hilton Herbs has always been at the forefront of supplement manufacture. All production is carried out in the UK, in an UFAS-accredited warehouse facility. Product formulation is handled by a medical herbalist using human-grade herbs and great attention is paid to packaging and labelling. Carrying on this tradition Hilton Herbs announces the launch of a brand-new catalogue printed on FSC mix offset paper, which excludes the use of pulp sourced from unacceptable forestry. Alongside the new catalogue the company is also launching two new equine products and re-branding mainstream packaging. New labels incorporate improvements to the existing ‘category by colour’ system and some products have been re-named. “Our primary aim is to ensure that busy horse and pet owners, spending hardearned money, can make quick and informed choices about the supplements they buy,” says sales and marketing manager, Heather Giles. Hilton Herbs is also proud to have won and been short-listed for a number of business and export awards, ensuring that the ‘best of British’ goes to the rest of the world.

Keratex is renowned for its extensive range of equine hoof care solutions. Founded in 1991 by two horse owners with a background in science, Keratex is now one of the world’s most reputable hoof care product ranges and a global leader in its field. The Keratex aim is to tackle common problems and issues relating to horse’s feet with solutions that use both experience in the field and technical knowledge. Keratex delivers these high quality horse care products both directly through the online store and through a worldwide network of distributors. The company backs up sales with a support system for all Keratex customers, from individuals buying online to the world’s biggest equestrian wholesalers and their retailers. The Keratex website offers a wealth of comprehensive up-to-date information on hoof care plus details of our product range. Advice on hoof care issues is always readily available and is just a phone call or email away. Keratex: +44 (0)1373 827649

Hilton Herbs: +44 (0)8002 941250

Kate Negus Saddlery

Mears Country Jackets

Kate Negus Saddlery is a thoroughly British brand. Not only is the leather that the company uses in its products English, it is tanned in Yorkshire, and the leatherwork is crafted in Walsall. The company started trading in 1989, and has continued to provide British leatherwork with the option of selecting the correctly sized component pieces to create a bridle that fits the horse first time, with no need to buy additional pieces. “We are very proud to be British,” says Julia Andrews from Kate Negus Saddlery. “We believe that the quality of our products is truly exceptional, and having everything based in the UK means that we can take the product from conception to full production very quickly.”

Mears Country jackets supplies top quality British made equestrian coats and jackets manufactured in house at the West Midlands based factory, this enables the company to offer you and your customer’s choice and individualism. This is achieved by offering a wide range of styles, fabrics, linings and trims, resulting in a unique jacket not worn by the masses with the added kudos and quality of British manufacture. All the equestrian disciplines are catered for from the novice rider to dressage and side saddle habits, the comprehensive range of Pytchley Hunt wear covers all the style requirements for the most discerning of hunt person. As the company is a family run concern, it prides itself on its personal service and considers the differing requirements of each individual customer. Mears is proud yet again to be manufacturing the jackets for Team GBR and wishes them every success for the forthcoming Olympics.

Kate Negus Saddlery: +44 (0)1249 740590

Mears Country Jackets: +44 (0)1922 476930 18

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Equestrian Business Monthly


Parkgate Equestrian The PROtector Riding Hats are 100% British made including all the component parts. The company is small and uses specialised firms throughout the country to make the hats at the premises in Surrey. Worn by many International riders such as Peter Charles, showjumper and Francis Whittington, eventer, the PROtector hat and X-Country helmet are made of reinforced carbon fibre with a high density liner which can take enormous impacts. It has the SNELL E2001 standard, the highest manufactured equestrian standard in the World. The pass rates for these tests are extremely high and it has a unique anvil test which simulates falling into a rail or a flying hoof. The PROtector hats have several designs and are available in many colours. The peak is breakaway and the laced harness at the back ensures a secure fit. It is sold in sizes 0.5 to 4. Prices retail from ÂŁ240 plus Vat PROtector Hat and ÂŁ140 plus VAT X-country helmet Parkgate Equestrian: +44 (0)1306 631374

New Equine Wear New Equine Wear (NEW) is a thoroughly British brand, in fact, this is something that is very important to the company and its founder Richard Balfry. NEW has two manufacturing units in Wiltshire. This helps to provide local employment and support the local economy. In addition, the company has full control over the design and production stages, and an idea can go from a mock-up to full production very quickly, as the Vent-Tex Leg Wraps did, following their launch at Badminton Horse Trials. NEW also believes that manufacturing in the UK reduces its carbon footprint and is much greener, something that is very important when considering how manufacturing impacts on the environment. NEW produces an exceptional range of equine leg protection products and other accessories. Key products include: Brushing boots: Airoflow, Lite, and Fleece; SoftTouch exercise boots; cross-country: Airoflow, Lite, and Fleece; NewFit over reach boots; moulded tendon and fetlock boots; VentTex Leg Wraps and Freedom S-T-R-E-T-C-H turnout socks. New Equine Wear: +44 (0)1172 303700

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly





When it comes to first-class British manufacturing, PolyPads is one of the best-known names in the business and the company firmly believes in the benefits of British manufacturing. “I can confidently say that our quality is significantly better than any imported product currently on the market,” says managing director, Lee Buck. “We are also much better placed to fulfil fluctuating requirements and react to market trends and keep tabs on tight quality control by manufacturing only on-site within our Norfolk factory. We also stock a wide range of colours and can deal easily with non-standard sizing requests and custom embroidery within the range.” The innovative range of equestrian saddle pads, leg protectors and pet beds are designed and manufactured exclusively in the UK, using the highest quality materials available. PolyPads products not only look good but are made to last far longer than imported budget brands. Adding to its growing portfolio of quality British-made products, PolyPads acquired Libbys. The high quality range of Libbys synthetic equipment includes webbing bridles, martingales and schooling aids as well as the BETA Innovation Award-winning RS-tor safety aid. All of these products are manufactured at the PolyPads factory in Thetford, Norfolk.

ShowQuest is a wellestablished British company with both the head office and manufacturing facilities based within the UK. The quality of design and materials is of the utmost importance to the ever-expanding range of competition attire and accessories for all disciplines of equestrian sport. The company even offers a bespoke product service for specific requirements including individual or team colours, which holds on to the more traditional, personal touch that seems to be ever diminishing. More than 90% of materials and fabrics are sourced or woven in England many of which are the company’s own design. The purchase Policy was described: ‘If quality materials can be sourced within the UK they are – Simple!’ All this combined with the importance of supporting British manufacturing is more significant than ever. ShowQuest makes this easy with its unique designs, quality materials and made to order service at realistic prices.

PolyPads: +44 (0)1842 752020


Ryder Saddles


Ryder Saddles is a traditional saddle maker that has been making and fitting top quality saddles for over 20 years. The company takes great pride both on the service that it delivers and the materials used, using only the best quality premium leather. All saddles are hand made and made to measure, so as well as the saddle fitting the horse perfectly the rider has the freedom to choose their preference. The company provides a multitude of saddles including dressage, jumping and everyday saddles. Each and every Ryder Saddle is made from the highest-grade premium leather, ensuring that the saddle will last for many years to come. Only 100% wool is used to flock the panels in the saddles, not synthetic. The saddles are individually made for each rider. The company has an agent who is based in Bourne, Lincolnshire who offers a personal service. For any enquiries please contact Jane Riley on 07852 479698 or email:

Sportsmark By Signam is a British manufacturer and distributor that can provide retail outlets with an ideal profit opportunity with no stock investment if required. Sportsmark is based in the Midlands and manufactures equipment for dressage, mounted games and eventing use. A popular product is the New Summit markers within the dressage range. The Sportsmark range can be seen from the likes of Badminton and Burghley through to the local Pony Club rallies. Pictured is the CCI Arena that is used by most of the 4* courses in the United Kingdom. In the design stage a key requirement is that the products can be easily moved by a typical Pony Club mother and that where ever possible the products can be stored in a box. The mounted games range is used by the Mounted Games Association and Pony Club and the range plays an important part in developing and training in Riding for the Disabled Groups.

Ryder Saddles: +44 (0)1922 616578

Sportsmark: +44 (0)1926 417300 20

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Equestrian Business Monthly

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



All about…NAF With our Best of British feature in this month’s issue, what better time to find out all about one of the UK’s industry leaders.

From acorn to oak tree Mr Richard Cleeve, current company chairman, founded NAF in 1982 on his former dairy farm as a result of a diversification from dairy farming. Now, under the watchful eye of managing director, Nigel Oswell, NAF is still essentially family run and a significant number of the ninety employees have remained loyal to the company for many years. “NAF is very much research led, we don’t simply make products because we think the market needs them” NAF currently occupies a purpose built production plant and offices in the Welsh border town of Monmouth, which was officially opened in 2008 by HRH The Princess Royal. “NAF is very much research led, we don’t

simply make products because we think the market needs them,” says Richard Cleeve. “Many of our formulas are very detailed, some have in excess

of forty or fifty ingredients, which are necessary to get the accurate synergistic balance we are looking for from our products.” Mr Cleeve goes on to say: “The first supplement we launched was called Thrive, which was an extremely advanced product for its time and its success put NAF firmly on the map. Soon after Thrive hit the market, I met British based Australian vet Dr Nicholas Larkins BVSc DSc MRCVS a leading scientist and specialist in the micro-nutrients of diets and world expert on nutrition generally. He soon became veterinary director and ever since, most NAF products have been produced as a result of his research.” Dr Larkins has since been joined by a number of world renowned veterinary scientists, experienced nutritionists and NAF’s in house chemist, Dr Sara Matthews Ph.D BSc, who all work together in the continued research and development of pioneering nutritional formulas.

The driving force

UK sales and marketing is headed up by Linda Porter, who after working with NAF for more than eight years, has just been

newly appointed to the position of head of UK sales and marketing. During her time with NAF, Linda has been responsible for the rebranding of Superflex and the

ALL ABOUT... creation of the highly successful, premium NAF Five Star Range,

fully traceable back to source. NAF is proud to be one of the

“Consumers in general prefer to buy products made in Britain” in her new position she is now is looking forward to fully integrating the five star sales and marketing team – of UK sales and business development manager, Lorna George, who drives the eleven strong UK sales team and the company’s Team GBR initiative; Tracey Lloyd, UK marketing manager and the marketing team, and, Kate Jones, nutritional development manager. Meanwhile, sales director, Vicki Black has moved

over to the International side of NAF’s business and is now leading NAF’s export sales and will be working along side veterinary director, Dr Bernhard Lischka who is responsible for NAF’s veterinary export sales. NAF products are produced in state of the art facilities at the NAF headquarters in Monmouth. They start life in the fully equipped laboratory, where the NAF team of top veterinary scientists, nutritionists and chemists work together to produce the highly effective and uniquely targeted formulations. These are then manufactured in accordance with strict guidelines and standards. NAF guarantees quality. As an ISO 9001 Accredited firm, and a fully UFAS accredited supplement company – NAF has to adhere to astringently high quality control standards in how the products are manufactured and all the ingredients used are

first companies in the UK to meet the strict manufacturing requirements of the BETA NOPS UFAS code.  

Born and bred

NAF is one of the most innovative and respected British manufacturers in the equestrian market. Whilst British to the core, NAF utilises cutting edge research and the very best

natural ingredients from across the globe to formulate its unique nutritional formulas and remain world leaders in the nutritional support products for horses. Consumers in general prefer to buy products made in Britain. Not only do they feel better doing so, there is also a sense of confidence in purchasing a product made in Britain, and, while it has to be said production costs here are higher than in other parts of the world, the quality of ingredients and manufacture can be guaranteed, which is extremely important when purchasing products. In keeping with the British theme, NAF is also the Official Supplier of feed supplements to Team GBR. This means that the riders from the British team have access to NAF products and to the NAF nutritionists, under the direction of the team vets, to help support the health and fitness of the team horses when training and competing.


Bits and bobs A bit is a vital piece of kit for any horse man or woman and with the competition season well underway, keeping a good selection of bits and accessories in a variety of sizes and materials is essential. variety of bits and if you want to make money from this sector, you must be able to cater for needs such as: training bits, driving bits, competition-legal bits, double bits and even bitless bits. As

With five families: the snaffle, Pelham, gag, curb and bitless, it’s not surprising that the bitting sector is big business. Stainless steel, vulcanite, rubber, copper and sweet iron are all common

Since CAD enables specific pressure points to be employed, the company can promote a particular way of going or eradicate an unwanted bitting evasion owing to discomfort

materials for bits and vary in price. Given that each horse has a unique need and no mouth is the same, a correctly fitting bit is vital. The type of port and the thickness of the mouthpieces should be considered carefully as a horse that has a smaller mouth and a fleshier tongue might work better in a thinner bit, however the thinner the bit, the stronger the severity. Throughout the horse’s training it will become accustomed to a

bitting can be a tricky business, especially if the customer is unaware of the severity or nature of the bit, ensuring that your staff are fully trained in this area will be sure to increase sales as a customer who is unsure themselves will certainly not try a new bit if the seller cannot provide sufficient information on it. Many retailers, predominantly online as time goes on, offer a bit bank service, which allows customers to try before they buy.

Purchasing a bit usually revolves around trial and error, therefore the option to switch bits – especially in the current financial market is largely appealing.

Competition accessories The equestrian competition market is a booming business. With so many disciplines

to choose from, the list of accessories that can accompany the required tack or clothing is huge. With the season kicking off in early spring, and the Olympics bringing big business, it’s important to ensure that items are stocked up – especially as these purchases tend to be last minute. Whips, stud girths,

With the Olympic Games in London this year the trend is for the patriotic colours of red, white and blue in riders casual and riding clothing through to horse wear, tack and accessories

breastplates, studs, stud kits, fancy head collars, bibs, medical arm bands, bridle tags, cross country colours, stock pins and showing canes are just a handful of these items that often become riders’ guilty pleasures. “With the Olympic Games in London this year the trend is for the patriotic colours of red, white and blue in riders casual and riding clothing through to horse wear, tack and accessories,” says Tom Eastwood, managing director at Tagg Equestrian. “In the accessories market the subtle hint of these three colours comes through in items such 24

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Equestrian Business Monthly


Revolutionising the art of the Loriner Neue Schule (NS) has been developing bits for years through the use of modern technology. Company founder, Heather Hyde, talks to Equestrian Business Monthly about the use of this technology and how the company can help retailers. “Computer Aided Design technology (CAD) has made it possible for NS to be much more innovative when creating new mouthpieces and cheeks,” says Heather. “CAD allows the design team to precisely reproduce ergonomic shapes and details in any size. NS acts on mouth conformation, profiling and engineering critical design features to fit comfortably within the tight parameters and sensitive areas of the mouth. This utilises the connection points necessary to promote effective communication through the rein. Since CAD enables specific pressure points to be employed, the company can promote a particular way of going or eradicate an unwanted bitting evasion owing to discomfort.” The exact design of these bits makes them a popular choice with customers. “The fit of the bit is critical to comfort

and performance, therefore the NS range is available from 4” – 6.5” in ¼” increments,” adds Heather. The company has also developed a unique material. “Salox Gold in all of our mouthpieces,” she says. “It is a warmer metal that heats up within seconds of being placed into the horse’s mouth. Comfort and acceptance is accelerated enabling the horse to quickly focus on the action of the bit, rather than fixating on the presence of it.” Apart from the intricate design of the bit and popularity among customers, it is important, as a retailer, to know that the brand offers sufficient promotional materials and advice, especially on areas such as bitting. “NS offers regular training days – there are also training DVDs, a YouTube channel and regular Facebook competitions,” says Heather. “The company offers an array of stand options, very informative product catalogues and flyers. NS bits are displayed on high impact header cards with instructions on product warranty registration. They have individual bitting advice tags, including what is dressage legal.” Supporting stockists online is also an important factor. “Our stockists appear on our website with a postcode locator and details of other services such as bit hire or saddle fitting,” explains Heather. “NS values and supports its retailers and will boost their sales by giving advice at open days and other promotional events such as Badminton. We also host bitting clinics throughout the UK and will advise new stockists on the most popular bits to stock based on their individual customer base profile.”

The NS Verbindend bit could not have been achieved without CAD technology

as browbands, head collars, ropes, gloves and whips. For the rider it is quite difficult to find an alternative strong colour

handmade designs. Varying wildly in price from £20 to £200, this market is nowhere near finished. The diamantes are now

The bling craze still continues to surprise us. We introduced a new bling product last year and it well exceeded the sales forecast

favourite, but the bright pinks of a few years ago seem now to have calmed down across the ranges.” Aside from the Olympics theme, there is little adjustment to typical seasonal colours. “Red is the most popular colour, but we are being asked for browns and oranges and in keeping with the last couple of years, we’re still selling purples and lilacs,” says Eileen Hall of ShowQuest. The ‘bling’ business is still very much booming with many riders choosing to add a sparkly browband to their favourite bridle. Variations in colours, sizes of stones, shapes and patterns are all available. With brands such as Swarovski jumping on the bandwagon, some horses are now lucky enough to wear real gems. What began as a few sparkles on a brow band has escalated to spurs, spur straps, belts and even dog collars featuring ornate,

May 2012

being interspersed with detailed charms and embellishments – some even made from real silver! Ready made designs and made to order are both available. Retailers that offer a tailor made embroidery service from their shop, could offer this an additional service. “It still seems popular with the younger riders,” says Tom. “For the older riders, especially for the show jumping ladies, it is still popular but more subtle with hints on clothing and bridle work – sales are still there in these areas for the quality products though.” Eileen agrees: “The bling craze still continues to surprise us. We introduced a new bling product last year and it well exceeded the sales forecast.”

On display The sport of equestrianism has long since stood the test of time,

Equestrian Business Monthly


BITS AND COMPETITION ACCESSORIES with many elements continuing throughout the decades, such as the clothing and accessories. The showing fraternity is high up on the list, with a multitude of necessities. Showing canes, which tend to be wrapped in brown or black leather and may feature an ornate end, are a must for any handler. Canes are also available in bamboo for specific classes. Accompanying items such as bowler hats, hunt caps, buttonhole accessories, hairnets and hair ties all have a substantial place in the market. Although it may be hard to prevent veterans in the show ring from shopping online due to the vast choice, beginners or those wishing to try showing on a budget would be happy to collect all required items in one go, so a beginner’s showing kit may be a good idea. Stock pins and ties are required in both dressage and showing and are down to preference. “Well merchandised these products will sell,” says Tom. “They make a statement in the sales area and properly displayed with complementary products, they will attract sales, left on the shelf or packaged

they may be lost in the myriad of other like products without their obvious extra pizzazz.” Eileen also feels that display has

a large part to play in the selling of these products. “Keep stock rotating so that it looks different every time your customers visit,”

she says. “You should always have that element of surprise – products keeps your shop interesting.”

Ready to ride

Hold your horses


Abbey England supplies the trade with specialist Equus polymer products manufactured in England to the highest quality standards, using materials suitable for all climatic conditions. Highly regarded for its rubber-based products, the range includes rein grips, bit guards, bell boots, quarter and quick release boots to name just a few. Also popular with Abbey England customers, is its extensive range of high quality Britishmade bits favoured by leading professional and amateur riders alike, looking for quality and innovation from a supplier specialising in traditional and unusual bits. The vast range includes snaffles, gags, pelhams, double bridles, driving bits, hackamores, sweet irons and a variety of rubber and vulcanite bits.

Now the competition season is underway riders of all disciplines and ages can benefit from the unique properties of Sekur Grip. Sekur Grip is a unique product that ‘improves your grip by stopping the slip’. All competitive riders require a no-slip contact on reins, saddles and boots. This product will improve traction while still allowing the freedom of movement. Sekur Grip is made from all natural ingredients and may be safely applied directly to the hands, reins, riding boots or saddle to provide extra traction and no slip. Sekur Grip is easily applied in its 1oz push up container. Sekur Grip will not mark breeches or leatherwork. RRP: £9.95

ShowQuest is a designer and manufacturer of exquisite accessories for the discerning competition rider. Most materials and products are designed and manufactured in house in the UK, including a variety of neckwear suitable for all levels and disciplines, beautiful colours and styles of hair accessories, stock pins and earrings to compliment. The company has stocks in an unlimited choice of untied and ready tied styles, using the finest quality fabrics of silk, cotton, woven designs and satins. New updated designs of browbands and other matching accessories from the basic, everyday, design to supreme competition level. Because ShowQuest manufactures in the UK it offers an extensive bespoke range, supporting the retailer in supplying customers with unique quality products to create that ultimate finishing touch.

Abbey England: +44 (0)1565 650343

Leslie Sutcliffe: +44 (0)1608 68 38 55   26

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



Soft touch

Sleek and stylish

For 2012 Tagg introduces a new range of diamante browbands which complements its extensive bridle work range. Available in four different inset designs, white diamante, gold and white diamante, gold chain and the most appropriate for this year, the red, white and blue diamante. The decoration is inset into a quality leather browband in a choice of either black or havana. The browbands are lined, stitched and padded and come in a choice of pony, cob and full size at an RRP of £11.95. They will make a stylish addition to any bridle.

SSG is the leading glove manufacturer in the world, Tagg Equestrian has been appointed as the UK distributor and offers an extensive range in its new 2012 catalogue. The Soft Touch gloves can be used in every discipline and for everyday riding. The gloves come in a choice of black, brown, camel and white. The Soft Touch is made from a synthetic leather, which has a decorative snake pebble pattern. The back of the glove is ventilated for ultimate comfort, breathability and style. The fastening is a broad touch and close flap to the back of the glove and the wrist is elasticated to ensure a close and comfortable fit. The size range is unisex with sizes from. 6 to 10. RRP: £25.00

Tagg Equestrian introduces a new range of whips for 2012 which have soft gel handles making them comfortable and easy to use and handle. While orginally created as a fun and stylish accessory they have proven to be especially helpful for those with joint problems in the hand and for children. The whips are light and well balanced and the gel handles provide an easy soft grip surface, making them easy to use and the bright colours will appeal to all ages. The two options available are a dressage whip and a crop, all available in a choice of black, hot pink, lilac and sky blue. RRP: Dressage £9.95. Crop £9.50

Tagg Equestrian: +44 (0)1636 636135

Tagg Equestrian: +44 (0)1636 636135

Tagg equestrian: +44 (0)1636 636135


Making studs simple StudSafe is a protective cover which fits over studs, allowing the hoof to stand level and balanced on hard surfaces, substantially reducing abnormal stress on the pedal bone, coffin joint and navicular area. For the first time customers can fit studs before travelling and safely cover them with StudSafe. On arrival, the covers, which push on and peel off in seconds, can be easily removed. Also between rounds and competitions, you can refit StudSafe and return the horse to the box. StudSafe is an innovative new equestrian product. The unique design allows the cover to remain securely in place without the need for fastening devices. The product was invented and developed by a horse owner from Co Down, Northern Ireland, who has over thirty years experience as a breeder and producer of young horses for showjumping and eventing. Attending shows on grass arenas, he identified a problem with the fitting of studs to horseshoes. He wasn’t trying to change this well tried and tested method of providing grip, but to make the process easier and safer for both horse and rider. StudSafe can be wiped clean and refitted once any debris has been removed. The StudSafe comes as a pack of two and fits any size hoof, front or back. RRP: £36.00. For more information visit:

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



Mind over matter

With technology ever evolving and finances tight, it’s not surprising that alternative therapies are on the increase. Equestrian Business Monthly looks at what’s available.

The natural horse Barefoot The argument of barefoot versus shod has been causing controversy within the industry for years. According to the website there are three main elements to successfully removing the shoes. Trim – the hooves must be trimmed regularly every 4-8 weeks and in an appropriate fashion i.e the trim should be non-invasive and only remove excess growth. Hooves left for too long without shoes will begin to deform. Diet – A natural diet that is low in sugar and high in fibre will promote healthy growth. Environment – Movement increases blood flow so horses that are left out 24/7 will do better. Once a customer has decided to remove the horse’s shoes, there are several ways in which retailers can support them. Hoof boots, which protect the soles, especially if the horse is out hacking on stony ground, play an important role in successful removal of the shoes. The boots, which are made from materials such as Thermo Plastic

Urethane (TPU) are available in very specific sizes, measured in millimetres to ensure maximum comfort. Manufacturers will vary wildly in cost of these boots, and as always the quality will be reflected in the price. Stocking two options that are opposite ends of the price scale is beneficial. You can also advise customers that these boots are great for covering a poultices foot or providing support for

Retailers can get on this bandwagon with items such as treeless saddles, specialist halters, barefoot boots, training lines, ‘carrot sticks’, clickers and associated training accessories – indeed, some even specialise in this sector of the market. For add-on sales, stock relevant books and DVDs that will help explain to the customer how to use the products they have bought, reminding them that, if

Consider putting in place special offers and promotions in order to persuade people to buy and try

arthritis, pedal bone fractures, jarred shins, navicular disease, ringbone, knee fractures, bruised soles or hoof walls and scalping from overreaching. Alongside from the boot itself, there are several accessories in the form of cushioned pads, gaiters and studs that can be stocked.

used incorrectly, some Natural Horsemanship methods may cause more harm than good. There will always be a clash of opinion between some traditionalists and some advocates of Natural Horsemanship as to whose methods are the more beneficial. Before stocking these products, it is worth evaluating whether or not your customer base is likely to respond well to these sorts of therapies. It is always worth encouraging ‘traditionalists’ to try something new however, particularly if they come to you looking for help to solve a difficult problem. Consider putting in place special offers, discounts on subsequent purchases,

Natural horsemanship In recent years, interest in ‘Natural Horsemanship’ and related methods of training has grown significantly to the point when this form of training has become highly commercialised.

Image courtesy of Trelawne Equine 28

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

promotions and personal recommendations in order to persuade people to buy and try.

Hot and cold The therapeutic properties of both warming and cooling equine legs have long been known, but specially designed hot or cold therapy boots or bandages today make the process much easier. Cooling boots are the more common and have replaced the need for cold hosing. Types vary; some use ice packs, some contain crystals which when soaked in cold water form a cooling gel, and others incorporate pump systems to flow water through the boot. Used to help reduce inflammation and muscle spasm, provide pain relief and also to reduce bleeding, they are most effective during the first 48 hours after injury or swelling, for around 20 minutes at a time unless otherwise recommended (longer than 30 minutes may cause cellular damage). Cooling therapy (known as cryotherapy) is very useful after exercise, but before exercise a bit of warmth can be beneficial to help improve tissue extensibility. It can also help soothe any chronic complaints or stiffness, increasing blood supply to the affected area and improving oxygenation and the removal of toxins. Some manufacturers produce two-in-one products that can be used either hot or cold – usually by freezing or microwaving the item or its inserts depending on the desired effect – and can be a convenient or more cost effective choice for consumers. With all such products however, it is important for users to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how to heat or cool the boots and how long they should be used on the leg.


Magnets and massage

appropriate strength of magnet to use, and length of time to use it for.

Magnets attract different types of metallic particles, one of these being iron. When a

Just the same as humans, horses can benefit from seeing a chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath. Retailers who

Higher strength magnets penetrate more deeply but also generate more heat due to the increased blood flow

magnet is placed on top of the skin, it attracts the iron in the blood, which causes movement within the blood stream and the increased activity causes the

know their customers on a first name basis may offer to pin business cards of professionals who provide these types of services onto their notice board and provide a recommendation service in return for the same. These bone-fide professionals

blood flow to improve. The improvement in blood flow is centred around the area where the magnets have been placed and allows oxygen, nutrients and hormones to be distributed to the organs and tissues much more effectively, nourishing organs and Image courtesy of FMBs encouraging healing nutrients and hormones including endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkilling hormone Subject to the Protection to be released. It also helps of Animals Act 1911, the to return ions to their natural owner of the horse can give positions – one negative area whatever treatment they like and one positive – both in and to the animal, as long as it around the cells that may have does not involve intrusion become mixed together due to into the animal’s body. For injury. Popular products within example you are not entitled the equestrian industry include by Law to give your animal an rugs, boots, wraps and individual injection. You are only able to patches that can be applied via give an injection if instructed the rug to specific areas. As with to do so by your vet. While most alternative therapies, the owners are allowed to do results can vary and are hard this, there are strict rules on to prove. Magnetic strength is others ‘treating’ horses and measured in one of two ways, offering advice should be in gauss or in tesla –100 gauss done with caution. Therapies equates to around 10 tesla. termed as ‘manipulative’ Products for equine use usually such as chiropractic, range from around 500 to 3,000 physiotherapy, osteopathy gauss. Higher strength magnets can be administered by their penetrate more deeply but also respected professionals, generate more heat due to the however, it is illegal for any increased blood flow. As horses other non-veterinary therapist do not dissipate heat as well as to treat an animal. Even those humans, their bodies may react who are certified to carry out more negatively to excess heat, manipulative treatments can particularly in areas such as the only do so after the permission hoof. Therefore, the type and of a vet has been given. location of the injury or complaint should determine the most

The law

will treat any issues and check that the horse has no stiffness. It is recommended that this type of therapy is carried out every six months. Aside from the physical factors that these therapists work on, they are also giving the horse a massage. Massage pads are a great way to provide the horse with similar benefits and can help to aid respiratory, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and skin problems. The vibrations help to ease muscle stiffness and can be used before and after exercise. Although these pads can be expensive, for the premium end of the market they are big business. For customers who cannot stretch to a pad, stocking a massage mitt is a more cost effective option.

Off the beaten track Holographic bands A fairly new addition to the market is the use of holographic bands. The bands or patches contain holographic discs that are programmed to work with the horse’s natural body frequencies through natural meridian points sometimes resulting in improved performance. These bands are also available for humans and do not come with a risk factor, however their level of effectiveness is as yet unproven. While working with the body’s natural aura, the holographic element is said to have a desired effect on improving the horse’s balance, strength and stamina. Mojo horse patches can be attached to the horse’s cheek piece, headpiece or any other part of the tack.

May 2012

Homeopathy Generally this is a safe, inexpensive option that is often used alongside veterinary treatment or in addition to the horse healing on its own. Arnica is a popular treatment that is used to reduce bruising and can be added to the horse’s water. Natural remedies are traditionally fed over time and come into effect once the body has built up a sufficient amount of said ingredient. Over time the market has diversified hugely to provide homeopathic options for almost anything: calming, aiding digestion, increasing immunity, assisting mobility. Some retailers offer ‘emergency kits’ which include a selection of remedies for common ailments in one pack. Although the more traditional customer may not be interested in anything other than veterinary medicine, there are plenty of owners who either use the remedies themselves and therefore trust the results or have tried numerous other options and are seeking an alternative method as a last result. Either way, this is a booming market that continues to grow. Aside from feeding these alternatives as powders, liquids or dissolvable tablets, creams and sprays are also available for instant application.

Equestrian Business Monthly


fo Wh r S at uc to ce St ss ock ful Sa les

let’s talk products


Given the fragile state of many horses’ legs, boots are a vital addition to most tack. Available in a range of colours, sizes, designs and brands, horse boots can be used for a variety of disciplines. Collectively, the term horse boots can cover all manner of products. Brushing, tendon, fetlock, knee, hock, travel, hoof and overreach are all ‘types’ of boots that have been specially designed to offer protection to a specific area of the horse’s leg. With a variety of styles and brands on the market, choosing can be difficult. Customers that seek the boot for a tougher job, such as competing, may rate priorities such as durability and breathability over appearance or cost due to the increased time and demand for them. Some boots may offer better protection for shock over impact and vice versa. However, given that there is no specific testing in place to confirm that the products are of a certain standard, it can be a minefield for both customers and retailers.

Materials such as: neoprene, leather, ethylene vinyl and rubber are common among horse boots and may vary in quantities and quality. Fleece is used frequently to line the inside, ensuring that boots won’t rub, however again this may be suitable for riding in the arena, but jumping into a murky water jump, might be leave the material dirty and spoiled. Hook and loop fastenings, which can have a double or single closure are common in horse boots due to their ease and efficiency. Retailers should instruct customers that correct storage of boots will increase their longevity. Hook and lop fastenings that are left unfastened or bent will not last as long as those that are closed correctly and dried as soon as possible. Large, single closure boots are becoming more popular due to their ease. However,

although unlikely, should the horse catch the strap during action, the whole boot may be more likely to come off.

New additions A hard round of jumping can put pressure on the tendons. Applying specially designed cooling boots after fast work will help to reduce the heat, reducing the likelihood of swelling or injury. Aside from the time and water saved hosing down legs, cooling boots can be applied instantly at competitions rather than waiting for the horse to return home. These boots vary in price and feature a non-toxic freezable gel, which has cold retention properties. These boots will also feature a thin inner layer that prevents the gel from coming into direct contact with the horse’s

legs and causing discomfort and burning to the skin. For higher end customers, boots in excess of £500 can be purchased, which create a Jacuzzi effect around the leg, using water that can be altered in both volume and temperature. Hoof boots and turnout chaps have seen a rise in popularity over the past few years. Hoof boots, which can be worn in place of a shoe or used to keep a poultice in place need to be extremely durable and fit correctly. Manufacturers should supply an exact size guide both on their packaging and in promotional material that retailers can use when advising customers. Equine chaps offer protection from skin irritations such as mud fever. Designed to fit securely to the skin, the chaps are breathable and soft and keep the horse’s legs dry.

Strapless Brushing Boots Caldene

Funnell Cross Country Boots Tagg Equestrian

Sizes: Pony, cob, full Colours: Black, white Materials/bindings: moulded neoprene RRP: £41.50

Sizes: Full Colours: Havana Materials/bindings: Leather, neoprene RRP: £65.00

The fully breathable neoprene gives ultimate protection whilst allowing air to circulate around the horse’s legs. A specially designed moulded pattern allows the boot to comfortably wrap around the contours of the leg giving a closer fit. The boots feature moulded neoprene, extra strong webbed hook and loop straps, contrast lining, strike pad and rubber end tabs.

The boots are practical, stylish and easy to use, offering complete protection to both the back and front legs. They have an innovative strapping arrangement, using no elastic which can easily stretch particularly when wet, allowing the boots to twist or slip down. They are quick and easy to get on and off the leg with centred hook and loop straps and additional buckle and strap fastenings.


May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

let’s talk products Cool Leg Wraps Harpley Equestrian Ltd

Hot-Chilly Leg Wrap Harpley Equestrian Ltd

Sizes: Pony, cob, full Colours: Blue Materials/bindings: Cotton, polyester RRP: £59.00

Sizes: One size Colours: Blue Materials/bindings: Hook and loop RRP: £13.50

Once immersed in water for 30-40 minutes, the internal crystals turn into a cooling gel. To be used in the stables after strenuous work, the boots should be applied to tired legs or when a cooling treatment is needed. They are easy to fasten with hook and loop straps.

The perfect leg shaped, two-in-one wrap for warm and ice therapy. The wraps should be placed in the freezer or warmed in the microwave, or preboiled water. The boots fasten easily with hook and loop fastenings. To be used on impact injuries and to reduce swelling.

No-Turn Bellboots Horze

ProTec Boots Horze

Sizes: Pony, cob, full, extra full Colours: Dark blue, black Materials/bindings: Nylon RRP: £16.83

Sizes: Pony, cob, full Colours: Brown, white, black Materials/bindings: Hook and loop fastenings RRP: £36.30

These bell boots have a highly durable cover. A projection on the inside of the back of the boots prevents them from turning while in use.

These ProTec boots offer effective leg protection that increases performance levels. Specially designed for increased freedom with soft padded lining and a low cut on the top.

Allround Bell Boots Horze

ProBell Boots Horze

Sizes: S-XL Colours: Black Materials/bindings: PVC RRP: £13.01

Sizes: S-XXL Colours: Blue, black Materials/bindings: Neoprene RRP: £9.77

The Allround bell boots offer thin and light hoof protection. Covered with PVC synthetic leather and lined with neoprene.

Neoprene bell boots with Velcro closure.

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly


let’s talk products Greenwood Shipping Boots IV Horse

Recuptex Stable Wraps Kentucky Horsewear

Sizes: XXS-XL Colours: More than five Materials/bindings: Durable cordura RRP: £27.05-£65.65

Sizes: Full Colours: Black Materials/bindings: Recuptex RRP: £130.00 These wraps combine 21st Century fabric technology with an anatomically shaped outer, incorporating removable, breathable wraps styled in an intelligent material called Recuptex. The breathable neoprene outer skin allows freedom of movement and the hook and loop straps allow for a secure fit. Both wraps and outer boot can be machine washed at 30 degrees, without reducing their effectiveness or performance.

Ultra comfortable padded shipping boots in a range of sizes. Strong, wide hook and loop fastenings offer enhanced, secure support. Manufactured in the UK under the UKOK! label.

Deluxe Open Front Tendon Boots Masta

Mark Todd Protective Boots Westgate EFI

Sizes: Pony, full Colours: More than five Materials/bindings: Neoprene RRP: £18.50

Sizes: Cob, full Colours: Black, white Materials/bindings: Neoprene RRP: £35.95

These boots are great for hacking or jumping and ideal for cross-country. The boots will allow flexibility whilst guarding the horse’s legs. Deluxe Open Front Tendon Boots have been carefully designed with round soft edges to fit comfortably round the horse’s leg. The durable neoprene material, tough moulded outer and elasticated straps make these boots extremely hard wearing and secure.

These lightweight and flexible boots are manufactured in soft, shock absorbent material, which moulds to the horse’s leg for a good fit. Featuring three touch and close strap fastenings plus additional pastern support, the boots are ideal for schooling, dressage and everyday use.

X-Country Airoflow New Equine Wear

Vent-Tex Leg Wraps New Equine Wear

Available sizes: S-L Colours: Black Materials/bindings: Foam linings RRP: £70.00-£77.00

Sizes: S-XL Colours: Black Materials/bindings: Fur fabric RRP: £40.00

The X-Country Airoflow Boots combine a tough and protective boot with a special construction that allows large volumes of air to move around the leg in a constant flow, to help keep tendons cool. The strong splinter proof tendon and cannon bone guards help to protect vulnerable areas. The boots are shaped to fit fore and hind legs to offer maximum protection. 32

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

The wraps can be used after washing to help the legs dry whilst keeping them clean, for turnout in dry conditions, and they can even be used for travelling. The fitted leg wraps are made using Vent-Tex, a fabric which combines a cellular outer with a low pile fur fabric lining, making these wraps great for sensitive horses. They are also designed to prevent slipping.

let’s talk products Roma Neoprene Brushing Boots Weatherbeeta Ltd

Shires Leather Tendon Boots, Leather lined Shires Equestrian

Sizes: Pony, cob, full Colours: More than five Materials/bindings: Neoprene RRP: £19.99

Sizes: Pony, cob, full Colours: Black, Australian nut Materials/bindings: Leather RRP: £35.99

These brushing boots are ideal for protecting the horse’s legs against any knocks and bumps when being worked. Made from strong neoprene the boots also feature a single locking hook and loop fastening for quick fastening and ease of fitting.

Leather tendon boots featuring stitching detail with cushion leather linings and two wide elastic straps for a snug fit. Double layer strike protection at the rear of the boot. Doubled over touch close fastenings for security. Supplied in a reusable case.

Shires Travel Boots Shires Equestrian

Veredus Carbon Gel Front Boot Zebra Products

Sizes: S-L Colours: Navy bound white/red Materials/bindings: Nylon RRP: £29.99

Sizes: S-L Colours: Black, grey, brown Materials/bindings: 54-Shore TPU RRP: £120.00

Smart travel boots to match Shires’ summer and fleece rugs. Nylon linings and outers with generous padding to protect against blows and scuffs. Ergonomic shaping and strong touch close straps with easy open tabs help keep the boots securely in place. Set of four.

The Veredus Carbon-Gel Boots have been designed in conjunction with top show jumper Marcus Ehning. The main shell is made from 54-Shore TPU, a flexible and extremely strong polyurethane mixture that provides excellent protection against abrasion. The fetlock area is protected by a thin carbon plate inserted inside, whilst at the back of the tendon, there is extra protection to the flexor tendon, with a special X made of 66-Shore TPU.

Veredus Magnetik Hock Boots Zebra Products

Veredus Magnetik Four Hour Boots Zebra Products

Sizes: M, L Colours: Black RRP: £99.00

Sizes: M, L Colours: Black RRP: £179.00

The Magnetik Hock Boot by Veredus is a therapeutic device specifically designed for the hock, equipped with 16 neodymium magnets each developing a power of 2400 Gauss, distributed on both sides. Made from “Aerox” material, lined and edged in Lycra, the Magnetik Hock Boot ensures maximum comfort and allows perfect breathability of the leg, eliminating overheating of the tendon system.

A healing cannon bone protector with intensive action, the Magnetik Four Hours is the real strong point of the brand-new Magnetik Line: an intensive therapy device, which can obtain the effects of a normal device in a concentrated time of just four hours. Loaded with as many as 40 neodymium magnets each developing a power of 2400 Gauss, distributed at the flexor and extensor tendons, at the fetlock and bulbs.

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly


let’s talk products Travel Boots Weatherbeeta Ltd

Smart Fetlock Boots Woof Wear Ltd

Sizes: Pony-full Colours: Black/silver, navy/ red/white & navy/silver Materials/bindings: Boa fleece RRP: £39.99

Sizes: S-XL Colours: Black Materials/bindings: Neoprene, lycra RRP: £35.00

Weatherbeeta Travel Boots come as a set of four. These travel boots feature three hook and loop fastenings, which help to ease the fitting and removal of the travel boots. The travel boots feature a fleece lining to help protect the horse’s legs and wick away any moisture. Travel boots available in sizes pony to full.

Manufactured using a tough PU shell and neoprene with soft lycra binding, these boots provide exceptional protection for the hind leg against knocks and brushing injuries. The inclusion of Poron Xrd foam in the key strike area means that the PU shell can be more flexible and therefore more comfortable than other products on the market because on impact the Poron Xrd foam stiffens to give added protection.

Smart Tendon Boots Woof Wear Ltd Sizes: S-XL Colours: Black Materials/bindings: Neoprene, Poron XRD RRP: £55.00 Manufactured using breathable neoprene and a vented PU shell. To ensure a secure fit it features innovative fetlock locators incorporated in the ergonomic design. The inclusion of Poron Xrd foam in the key strike area means that the PU shell can be more flexible and therefore more comfortable than other products on the market because on impact the Poron Xrd foam stiffens to give added protection.


Matchmakers International

WeatherBeeta Ltd


New Equine Wear

Westgate EFI

Harpley Equestrian Ltd

Shires Equestrian


Horze UK Ltd – Finn-Tack Ltd

Tagg Equestrian

Zebra Products

Countries available: Worldwide T: +44 (0)1274 711101

Countries available: Worldwide T: +44 (0)1274 711101

Countries available: UK & Worldwide T: +44 (0)1565 723525

Countries available: All T: +44 (0)115 9611537

Countries available: Worldwide T: +44 (0)1172 303700

Countries available: All T: +44 (0)1568 613600

Countries available: All Europe T: +44 (0)7824 387643

Countries available: UK and Europe. In Ireland Darragh Equestrian T: +44 (0)1636 636135

IV Horse Ltd

Countries available: Worldwide T: +44 (0)1888 544261 34

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

Countries available: UK T: +44 (0)1295 226900

Countries available: UK & Europe T: +44 (0)1303 872277

Countries available: International T: +44 (0)1208 265920

Countries available: All T: +44 (0)1352 763350


Dublin Intensity range

Heavenly Horse Ltd

Dog Rocks placed in the dog’s water bowl are a 100 % natural and hassle free solution to urine burn patches on the lawns and shrubs from loving pets taking a pee. Safe for all household pets, Dog Rocks do not change the pH balance of the dog’s drinking water or urine; the dog is not being medicated in any way and there are no known side effects apart from a lush green lawn. Dog Rocks has been selling worldwide for 10 years and is fast becoming a household name in the UK, where the product is sold through pet, vet and garden centres as well as online. Dog Rocks are hassle free – simply leave the rocks in the water bowl(s) and refresh water as usual, replace rocks every two months.

Dublin stands out from the pack and in a bold move, launches a new innovative range of footwear, sure to challenge the status quo. The new range dares the fashionista rider to jump on board. The limited edition red patent leather boot sports a zip up style and unquestionable quality signified by its full grain leather upper and industrial strength rubber sole. The positive stirrup traction on the sole ensures a close contact feel in the stirrup and multidirectional grip on the yard, while the flex grooves in the footbed provide excellent movement for control. Designed with a breathable Ortholite insole to keep feet cool and dry, the insole moulds to the shape of the foot for support and rebound pods provide shock absorption for a comfortable dismount. Matching gaiters are also available.

Heavenly Horse Ltd is the creation of actress and amateur show jumper Cindy Marshall-Day, and her business partner, wedding caterer Julie Taylor. Having enjoyed a successful year, which has seen their treat range flying off the shelves of stores throughout the UK and abroad, the two ladies behind this enterprise have not been sitting on their laurels, but have been busy developing their new Stable Angels range of licks and also designing their own line of riding wear with the launch of the Equine Couture range. The Equine Couture Range is a superb new equine clothing collection that aims at combining high performance and glamour. “The Fit Filly Collection features soft shell show jumping jackets with a fabulous price point,” says Cindy Marshall-Day “Jodhpurs are available in two colors with the Fit Filly logo on the back encrusted in crystals, which the dressage and show jumping crowd will go mad for.”


Dog Rocks: +44 (0)1628 822243

Heavenly Horse Ltd: + 44 (0)1724 721872

The boys in blue

In the last issue of Equestrian Business Monthly, two of the Let’s Talk Product rugs slipped through the net with the wrong details, so to ensure that readers are aware of the latest summer rugs that FalPro and Funnell have to offer, via Tagg Equestrian, here they are again.

Fal Pro Multi Purpose Day Rug

Funnell Mesh Cooler

Sizes: S-XL Colours: Blue RRP: £115.00

Sizes: 5’-7’ Colours: Royal blue RRP: £29.95

This rug is the perfect addition to any yard. By incorporating Silver Interactive technology into a lightweight classically designed rug, FalPro has created the most technically advanced cooler on the market today. The excellent wicking properties of the outer fabric combine with the unrivalled ability to transfer heat from the horse’s body through the rug and into the atmosphere, which cools the horse effectively and safely. The silver interactive technology provides dynamic temperature control by addressing the heat transfer mechanisms; it is anti static eliminating the associated discomfort for the horse. The anti microbial agent present in silver eliminates bacterial and fungal micro organisms that can lodge in the rug, helping to promote healing and keeping the horse healthy and comfortable and inhibiting the odour causing bacteria.

The Mesh Cooler new to the Funnell range for 2012 is ideal for the spring and summer after exercise or when travelling it will dry the coat after bathing or keep the coat clean in the stable. The rug is a classic shape with gusset to the shoulder to allow the horse to be walked easily when cooling down. The cooler has removable leg straps, which can be attached for travelling or in the stable, cross surcingles and a double front fastening. Tagg Equestrian: +44 (0)1636 636135.

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly


Sponsored by Let’s Talk horses Your portal to the ’ equestrian world


Let s Talk


We want to hear what you think. To join the debate or to send in your question ideas email or Twitter @EBMonthly.


Q: “Is social m edia having a positiv e impact on the industr y?”

Name: Liam Killen Company: Abbeyview Equine

Social media has the power to grow participation in our sport in many ways. Social media helps to remove any preconceptions people have about the world of equestrian because they can easily see and connect with horse lovers, chatting away on Twitter about everything: from boot recommendations to holiday destinations, and feeding tips to schooling exercises. On Sunday, The Observer had an interesting piece about how social media, mainly Twitter, has transformed the world of women’s football with an increase in attendance at matches of more than 600%. Having been previously over-looked by mainstream media, fans are turning to social networking sites to follow the sport. Similarities can be drawn with equestrian sports. As the equestrian community grows on the social sphere - which it is hugely at the moment - this can only be good for the industry. And, with the organic creation of hashtags, like #eventinglive and #horsebiz, connecting professionals, amateurs, officials, journalists, members of the trade and people who may want to have a go or get back in the saddle, I for one am super-excited to see how the industry moves forward with these new media!


Name: Moya Law Company: Oak Farm

Definitely! Since we have had a Facebook page our sales have increased, customers feel that they have a closer affinity to us as they can view pictures of the shop, our animals and the products. They seem to find it an easy conversation opener to say “oh we saw you on Facebook and thought we’d come and have a look.” Regular customers see a Facebook post showing a picture of a product and want to buy it, even though it has been in the shop for weeks. Sometimes they don’t look around the shop – Facebook allows you to push it right under their nose, without the customer feeling that you are giving them ‘the hard sell’. We also use this medium to get feedback from our Facebook friends as to what products they want us to stock. They also message me during the day to ask about items in stock, prices and to order goods, via the Facebook medium. Long live Facebook!


Name: Rhea Freeman Company: Rhea Freeman PR

I think that social media is hugely beneficial for the equestrian industry when used correctly and with thought. There are some great examples out there of businesses who use social media how it’s meant to be used, by interacting with fans and, essentially, being social! Businesses can gain a lot from its use, and very cost effectively too, but they need to be aware that results do not happen overnight. To get the most from social media, businesses need to think about what they post and what it says about them as a company and a brand. It opens up and creates another line of communication, and allows people to really get under the skin of what a company and brand is all about, so the customer feels like they know you, and they want to ‘buy in’ to what you’re about. It’s also a great way to spread a message, test an idea and find out what your customers actually want. I really believe that social media can be a brilliant tool for equestrian businesses of all sizes.

Next month’s hot topic will be: “Will the relaxed trading rules on the eight Sundays during the Olympics have a noticeable effect on business?”


May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly



If you’v e got a quest ion tha t you want an us know swering, let at: ebmont editorial@ k

ASK THE A few thoughts EXPERTS Equestrian Business Monthly seeks out on customer service

Some years ago when I was a middle manager for a national retailer I used to attend all sorts of management courses. Some, like the coaching and empowerment course, were pretty life changing to be honest and have had a huge impact on my business career. Most were ok and mildly informative, some like many of the customer service courses were more about smiling Americans stating the blindingly obvious. But one such course did contain a nugget of wisdom that has always stayed with me, ‘whenever you make a decision ask yourself if it’s to suit you or to suit the customer. If it’s to suit you don’t do it’. Obvious when you think about it. Of course some of the things which are done to suit retailers can’t be helped, dirty rugs being bagged prior to being brought into the shop to meet health and safety legislation for instance. Even then though there are helpful ways and blunt un-helpful ways to get this message across to the consumers, and sadly I’ve seen both. As in many things sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it that matters. Another bug bear of mine is lots of restrictive notices just as you come in the door near the till: no dogs, no food or drinks, no

the answers to your questions

muddy shoes, no refunds (which is an illegal sign in any case), long lists of what the returns policy is, often full of ‘musts’ and ‘nos’ and can’ts, ‘rugs must be bagged‘, ‘special orders must be paid for in advance’, ‘no cheques’. Often all perfectly reasonable statements and requests in their own right but why put them straight under the customers nose as they come in, it’s hardly friendly and welcoming now is it? Then the poor customer gets jumped on by an over enthusiastic member of staff (or one who has been told to ask every customer if they want any help by an over zealous boss who is completely missing the point of sales techniques), and no surprise they retreat from the shop muttering ‘I was just looking’ and go and buy it on the internet. And lets be honest in the majority of equestrian retailers few customers are just looking, not after having had to make a special journey down numerous country lanes to get there (I’ve got two accounts that don’t even appear on the sat nav). A customer walking out of the door is a lost sales opportunity. And of course as retailers you are customers as well, customers to your suppliers and so the next time you are looking at certain suppliers terms and conditions it might be an interesting exercise to ask yourself the same question; are these terms there to suit me or suit the supplier? It’s just a thought next time you have five minutes.

Mike Potter provides sales and retail training for equestrian retailers and can be contacted on mpotter@

I want to start an online shop as I am bringing a new product to the market. How do I go about this once I’ve secured the domain name? Ben Dyer, chief executive officer, Actinic Desktop Selling products online is easy and there are plenty of ecommerce services to help that cost as little as £20 per month. These solutions are easy to use and cover the main bases – you only have to run the business and make sales. Five further key things to consider: Test your market: Sell some products on eBay and Amazon and look at the kind of people who purchase them and the prices they are willing to pay – it will help you size your market and inform promotional activities. Payments: You will need a payment processor. PayPal is an obvious choice for micro businesses, because it’s easy I want to give my store a revamp – we sell feed, bedding and general farm supplies – but costs are limited. Do you have any suggestions for jazzing things up without spending a fortune? Julia Andrews, managing director, Kate Negus Saddlery. Julia is also a visual merchandising consultant and has worked with Wadswick Country Store on their refit, previously working for Marks and Spencer. Without seeing the store it is difficult to be specific, however they are a few things that you can do which will only cost your time. First impressions really count as they will set your customers’ expectations, so look at the outside of your shop and ask yourself the following questions: Is the shop easy to find? Is the shop name clearly

May 2012

to setup an account with few up-front costs. Alternatively ask your bank for a merchant account. Fraud: You are bound to get the occasional dodgy order. In low volume businesses common sense can suffice, but using a payment system with in-built fraud protection is better. Terms and Conditions: Legal documents are boring, but essential. Read the ones your competitors use and ask an expert to draft some to protect you from standard business risks. Promotion: Remember, “no visitors” means “no orders”. Make sure your store is searchengine friendly and register your site with Google. Promote your domain on anything your customers might see. Be confident: If you have some retail experience, you probably have much of the knowledge you need to run an online store. Learning the geeky bits is, well, like falling off a horse. visible? Is the sign clean and tidy – also ensure that the outside of the shop is clean and tidy too. Can the customer get inside the shop easily? It is amazing how many shops have lots of stock and signs at the entrance thinking that they will catch the customer’s eye, when actually all that they are doing is stopping the customer getting inside. Once inside the shop, can the customer see clear department definition? Where is the feed department? Where is the bedding department? Within each department there should be clear brand/end use definition. These areas must be clean, tidy and well sign posted. Finally, is the till area spacious, clean and tidy without any clutter? Of course, depending on your budget, there’s a lot more that can be done, but if you get the basics right, you can build on this.

Equestrian Business Monthly



Beating the blues

If you’ve just exp anded or business is boomin g we’d love to hear about it: edit ebmonth orial@

With many retailers safely out of the clutches of the recession, it’s time to look forward towards a positive year full of prosperity and growth. In this month’s Business Advice feature, Equestrian Business Monthly is profiling a selection of companies that have not only beaten the recession but have increased in size, status and sales.

Saferide Saddlery Saferide Saddlery Products was established in 1986, originally set up as a partnership between Eddie Hinton and his eldest son Chris. The partnership lasted for nearly 20 years and ended when Eddie decided to retire (although Eddie still works at Saferide for three days a week) and sell his share in the company. Chris bought his father’s share and took over the running of the business. Within the company there are three generations of the Hinton family, one grandfather, two sons and one grandson. Recently, the company purchased an adjoining property, providing the saddlery with much needed space in which to expand. “In recent years many industries have been impacted severely by what

Vale Brothers: KBF99 range The range of grooming equipment contains an additive in the plastic that has two major components; nitrogen which is positively charged (bacteria and fungus are negatively charged on their surface membranes, so there is an attraction between the two), and molecular strands that form tiny spikes or swords on the surface of the plastic. These swords stab the bacteria or fungus microbes and kill them. “We got lucky with the idea,” says Peter Wilkes, 38

has been a global recession,” says Chris Hinton. “Fortunately we have seen little effect on the business and profits.” The saddlery has a long established method of doing business, which can be traced back to the original setup of the company. “The majority of saddles produced by us will not go on to bear the company name,” says Chris. “The saddles produced by the business are specifically designed for the client’s requirements and bear their own company names and logos, this method of doing business has helped to establish strong business links and relationships with a loyal customer base. We do not sell saddles to the public.” The company has a steady source of business from its existing customers and potential for growth with new customers. “The future looks bright for Saferide Saddlery Products,” says Chris.

managing director at Vale Brothers. “Coventry University approached us about 18 months ago with the idea and it has taken this long to reach a point where we are ready to bring the product to market. To date we have invested over £60,000 in laboratory tests, market research, product design, brush back moulds, brush prototypes etc. That should tell you how confident we are of achieving high sales with this range. Our forecast for the UK in the first 12 months is over £1.5 million at retail prices.” The company believes that now is the perfect time to launch

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

Equiport Equiport was founded in 1992 with the aim of creating high quality bespoke items for horse and rider. Finding off-the-peg equestrian items uninspiring, the company wanted to allow customers flexibility in design, colour and fabrics for their show rugs, saddle cloths and show jackets. The company built its name through trade stands at major equestrian shows, and it soon became clear that equestrians loved the made to order items, personalised with their choice of colours and bespoke embroidery. A mail order facility and website followed, to allow customers to place orders any time of the day or night. But one thing was missing – a retail outlet. Directors Ashley and Pam Gaynon had a vision of creating a unique equestrian retail store

the product. “There have been outbreaks of strangles over the last few months in Derbyshire, Northumberland, Berkshire, South Wales to name a few,” says Peter. “We all live busy lives and KBF99 doesn’t require you to change anything you do. No scrubbing, no increased frequency of cleaning. It will kill bacteria and fungus continually for two years and is under £15.” Although the company experienced a dip in sales during the first year of the recession it has remained strong and is proud that in these times of gloom it is launching a new range. “It’s an exciting time

more akin to a fashion boutique than a conventional tack shop. Suitable premises were found in the shape of a former pub with excellent motorway links, and the process of transforming the property into a multi-function building comprising a shop, manufacturing area, offices and storage areas commenced. The Equiport showroom, near Knutsford in Cheshire, was officially opened by Oliver Townend and Louise Bell on 11 February 2012. “We strive to be unique, and specialise in offering products that are different from your local tack shop,” says Pam Gaynon. If you spot a top international rider on television using an innovative new product, the chances are it will be on the Equiport shelves. One thing is for certain, Equiport is not the sort of company that rests on its laurels – so watch this space for further developments.”

and the consumer reaction has been phenomenal. We’ve done our forecasts and we expect demand to be substantial from the outset,” he adds.


Access all areas Jeremy Edwards is the venue general manager for Greenwich Park. Growing up in New South Wales, Australia on a cattle and sheep farm, Jeremy’s interest in horses began from an early age. Since then he has followed his equestrian pursuits all over the world, ending up right here in London.


Have you managed an event of this magnitude before?

I have been involved with five Olympics in a variety of ways. My first Olympics being the Sydney Games in 1998, where I worked as the procurement and logistics manager for the equestrian centre. This followed with the 2002 World Equestrian Games, then with the Australian Equestrian Team at Athens, then with The Hong Kong Jockey Club during the 2008 Beijing Games, following Hong Kong I was appointed as the venue manager for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore before finally moving to London 2012. What does your job involve?

crowd modelling programs to come up with numbers. For the cross-country day especially, we had to consider the space each person needs while moving around the course safely and comfortably. We tested 50, 60 and 65,000. We also had to test the ability to get visitors to the venue from the station, through Greenwich & Blackheath via the last mile. A task force

In the fourth in our series behind the scenes at the Olympics, Equestrian Business Monthly caught up with the man in charge to find out exactly how tough it is to organise the Games. and Greenwich while they’re there.


How does this compare to other Olympics? People ask me this a lot. Although I’ve been involved in a number of Olympics, there’s something about London that makes it magnificent. Greenwich is an amazing venue with the Naval College and the Meridian time line and The Old Royal Naval College – being surrounded by buildings that were built in 1640 just adds to the magic. London is a fantastic city and hosting the Games right in the middle of the city is incredible. At the Sydney Olympics the Equestrian centre was about 20 miles


There will be 50,000 spectators on the cross-country day and 25,000 on the arena days.


How was this figure reached? We went through a series of


Why did you want the job?

I love this job and being involved with the Olympics. I also like that it has a definitive start and finish to it as I feel like I can see what I’ve delivered and the fact that this is probably the pinnacle of my career.


Will your role change much between now and the first event? How? There are two parts to an event, the planning and the delivery and we’re in the delivery part now. My role won’t change as such, but it’s now time to ensure that if we say that something is going to be done at a certain time or that something will be in a certain place that it is. It’s all about managing and monitoring.   How many jobs have been generated through the Olympics in terms of staff that will be present on the day such as security, attendants, press team, volunteers?   Around 40-60 companies have been involved and among that we’ve got 2,200 paid contractors and 1,800 volunteers – so a workforce of 4,000, which is necessary as this is the biggest and best event in the world.



My job involves delivering the venue and ensuring that all the elements are in place to ensure a successful Games. I work with several teams, including 6065 functional area managers, My immediate team comprises of three operation managers and a venue coordinator to ensure that things come together, all the venue licences such as health and safety are all in my name.   How many spectators will be present on crosscountry day?

and local councils, and although I wouldn’t say it’s been a challenge, it’s certainly an interesting experience for me.

was created, which included Transport for London (TFL), Docklands Light Railway (DLR), South Eastern trains, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and LOCOG and focused on such matters as which stations that would be used in central London, and the numbers of passengers including commuters that are normally on the trains, plus those attending the Games, the width of footpaths and the capacity of each entrance of the park. We want to deliver a spectacular experience for everyone and encourage visitors to explore town centres such as Blackheath

away and although they were great, it did make you feel a little disconnected at times. In London you really feel a part of the games.


What has been your biggest challenge so far?

The pressure of delivering. I love being part of the Olympics and want to make sure that everything is perfect for both the athletes and spectators. In London I’ve had to work with a lot with the authorities, stakeholders, the government

May 2012


I understand that there won’t be any trade stands present but there will be retail booths? What does this mean? LOGOC will be selling official merchandise, so pens, caps, t-shirts etc. On cross-country day there will be four of these divisions and two on the arena days.

Equestrian Business Monthly



Stock take

In our new tried and tested feature we hear from retailers directly about their top selling products and why they continue to stock them. Anthony Sinfield-Green TC Feeds & The Tack Haven

Sara Gracey Millwheel Tack Shop & GG Feeds

Brand: Havens Product: Slobber-Mash Stocked for: Six months Rating: 9/10 RRP: £13.90 (20kg)

Brand: Equine America Product: Glucosamine 10,000 plus MSM & ASU Stocked for: As long as they’ve produced it Rating: 10/10 RRP: £17.99 (900gm)

“We began stocking the feed as the manager’s friend is the rep. We started with one pallet to see how it went and it proved really popular. A lot of people that have tried it have ended up putting all of their horses on it. I think it sells well as it’s completely different to other feeds. It’s great for old or shy feeders as it adds condition without fizzing up the horse. The only reason that I didn’t give this product a ten was because I don’t like the packaging.”

“This product does exactly what it says on the tub. It’s good value for money, it has been on the market for years and is proven to work. Equine America are also a good company to work with. It’s a great seller because of its price and the fact that it’s packaged well and is easy to shelf. I can’t fault it at all.”

Lorraine Adcock Baverstock Country Supplies

Nicola Barnes Speedgate Saddlery

Brand: Carr & Day & Martin Product: Belvior Leather Balsam Intensive Conditioner Stocked for: Five years Rating: 9 ½/10 RRP: £10.15

Brand: Ariat Product: Windermere Boots Stocked for: Four years Rating: 9/10 RRP: 139.99

“I really like this product as it doesn’t need to be used too often, it smells nice and it doesn’t leave that sticky residue that some cleaners do – it’s also great for conditioning the tack. This product always sells as aside from its effectiveness, it is presented in an appealing way using an old-fashioned style tin. A lot of customers repeatedly buy this. The reason for knocking off half a mark is because it is quite expensive.”

“The Ariat Windermere boot is very popular in both of our stores, it offers the traditional country look at an affordable price. As it is lower in price that some of the other boots, it prompts good sales. The fact that they are waterproof and unlike many other country boots can be used for riding but offer extreme comfort as the Ariat technology in the foot bed offers support and cushioning for everyday wear is a bonus too.”

To tell us about your top selling product, email: 40

May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

With an added twist, this month Equestrian Business Monthly went to the companies themselves to find out how their new websites have been directly improved.

If you have a new webs ite and would like it to feature on these page s then email: editorial@ ebmonthly.c

Equifeast Launch date: March 2012 What’s new about the site? EquiFeast aims to offer its customers a higher level of service and information, as well as an easy shopping experience. The site has been stripped back and totally reworked, significantly moving away from the dated look and becoming a real asset to the business. How will the new site benefit the end user more so than before? There is a lot going on behind the scenes and this website offers customers a complete,

personalised shopping experience, access to the latest information, news and real life testimonials, the site will even remember when customers return! Shoppers can set up their own accounts and make stress free purchases. Customers are able to make informed purchase decisions, as well as gain an understanding of why supplements are important and how they work. Which areas have been developed? EquiFeast has also developed its

product section, giving customers the option of checking out the ranges such as DrS, specialists in supplements for pets and also The Birdcare Company, ideal for backyard poultry. SECRET SURFER: The website features a selection of language options, visible social media

icons and a clear assortment of categories from brands to products. The online shop offers an alphabetical list of all products, as well as subcategories making navigation quick and simple. Clear RSS feed running on right hand side of page.

Peter Hunter Seeds Launch date: Spring 2012 What’s new about the site? The e-commerce website allows you to buy the seeds you require, efficiently and easily. How will the new site benefit the end user more so than before? Peter Hunter Seeds has launched an informative new website dealing with everything that customers need to know about selling and growing grass and wild flower seeds. It also

offers advice on all aspects of grassland management and supplies grass seeds for the equine and agricultural industry. Which areas have been developed? The user-friendly website is packed with useful information including a FAQ section, so all queries are answered. Whether it is for grazing, cutting, general-purpose use or strip

seeding, the Peter Hunter range contains a scientifically formulated, quality grass seed mixture for every requirement. SECRET SURFER: The website uses bright, clear imagery

allowing customers to make an informative decision. The shopping cart icon is clearly displayed, alongside a helpful FAQ section. No news, Facebook, Twitter displayed however.

ease. The ‘contact us’ page is very important and has a more personal feel which is why specific information pages are translated – the company is global after all. SECRET SURFER: The simple use of colours makes the site easy to look at. There is a clear

display of ‘news and media’, as well as history of the company and reasons to use them. There is also a sizable selection of language choices and a section for customer testimonials.

Loddon Stables Launch date: Early May What’s new about the site? The entire feel of the site has changed, the company wanted to reflect its history but also show the new innovative methods adopted in manufacturing techniques and design. The website shows both tradition and innovation which is exactly what Loddon does. How will the new site benefit the end user more so than before? The end user, wherever they may be in the world, will find it easy to

contact the company. The website is a great platform to showcase the product range. Which areas have been developed? The main area of development has been to make the site clean, clear and easy to use. The idea is to showcase the product and let customers know that Loddon is able to build exactly what they want, where ever they are in the world. Customers can navigate through the site with

SUPPLIERS DIRECTORY A­­­ bbey Diagnostics +44 (0)1638 552122

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Puffa Country Sports Ltd +44 (0)115 9424265

Airowear +44 (0)1434 632816 Andis Company +1 262 884 2600 Animal Health Company Tel - 01787 476400 Animalife +44 (0)1527 857 920

Black Country Saddles +44 (0)1543 578 243 Bolla Bags +44 (0)8456 430777 Brinicombe Equine +44 (0)8700 606206 British Horse Feeds +44 (0)1765 680300 Brogini +44 (0)1706 514 230 Buffera Ltd +44 (0)1707 852244 Burlerrow Farm Miscanthus +44 (0)1208 841264 Cabotswood +44(0)117 9669944

Equestrian Vision +44 (0)1403 865320 Equi Matters Ltd: +44 (0)1494 721763 EquiAmi Ltd +44 (0)1584 891049 Equistro +44 (0)1280 814500 Equine Management +44 (0)1825 840002 Equisafety Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1516 787182 ESF Services +44 (0)1600 780051 Faulks & Co. +44 (0)1455 848184

Halley’s Feeds +44 (0)1738 840830 Harold Moore +44 (0)114 2700513 Haybar +44 (0)1723 882434 HaySoft +44 (0)1277 375647 Heavenly Horse Tel: +44 (0)1724 721872 Hilton Herbs Ltd +44 (0)1460 270700 Honeychop Horse Feeds +44 (0)1359 230823 Horse & Jockey Ltd +44 (0) 1981 550467

Childs Farm +44 (0)1264 736 772

Finest Brands International (Toggi and Champion) +44 (0)113 270 7000

Horsefair +44 (0)1264 811425

Clarendon Equestrian Ltd +44 (0)1825 733361

Fly Away +44 (0)1384 877857

Horse First Ltd +44 (0)2830 848844


May 2012

Equestrian Business Monthly

Lets Talk Horses Let’s Talk RS-tor + 44 (0)1953 850678 Robinson Animal Healthcare +44 (0)1909 735000 LexveT International +44 (0)8003 345856 Rockall +44 (0)121 5558334 Life Data Labs Inc +1 256 3707555 Rockies +44 (0)1606 595025 Likit For orders Westgate EFI +44 (0)1303 872277 Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds: +44 (0)1948 880598 Limpet Saddle Pad +44 (0)1432 508944 Rugs R Us +44 (0)1695 716262 Littlemax +44 (0)1668 213467 Ryder Saddles +44 (0)1922 616578 LITOVET www. +44 (0)1452 524012 Santé Franglais Ltd + 44 (0)1858 464550 LS Sales (Farnam) Ltd +44 (0)1608 683855 Saracen Horse Feeds + 44 (0)1622 718 487 Marie Bridgwater Equestrian PR & Media Consultant +44 (0)7795 416511 Sherwood Forest Ltd +44 (0)1159 424265 Maxavita +44 (0)8450 752754 ShoeSecure +44 (0)1475 54068 Mears Country Jackets Ltd +44 (0)1922 476930 Silvermoor +44 (0)1665 602587

Smart Grooming +44 (0)1823 681076 Solocomb +44 (0)1235 511358 Spartan Equestrian Products +44 (0)1474 705065 Spoga + Gafa +44 (0)208 6818166 Sportmark by Signam +44 1926 417300 www. Stable Environment + 44 (0)1422 310483 Starkie’s +44 (0)116 2592022 Stormsure Ltd +44 (0)1638 570478 Stuart Canvas +44 (0)1925 814525 Studsafe +44 (0)28 406 22658 Www. Taurus Footwear and Leathers Ltd +44 (0)1328 851432 TBK +44 (0)1580 292632 The British Horse Society +44 (0)8450 777692 Top Paddock +44 (0)1469 563995 Trelawne Equine Ltd +44 (0)8442 578585 Tuffa International Footwear +44 (0)1953 880914 Uncle Jimmy’s Brand Products +1 866 965 4669 Unibed +44 (0)1977 796278 V-Bandz +44 (0)8450 956810 Virbac Animal Health +44 (0)1359 243243 W F Young, Inc. +001 413 526 9999 Westgate EFI Ltd +44 (0)1303 872277 Westgate Labs +44 (0)1670791994 Wicked or What +44 (0)1285760656 Worklite Ltd +44 (0)1279 418052 Your Gift Horse +44(0)1454 202033 Zilco +44 (0)1844 338623 www.

EBM May  

EBM May issue