Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

If it's new and it's happening at Robinsons, you'll find it here. Keep checking here to stay fully up-to-date with the latest developments at the UK's biggest and best equestrian provider!

Saddle Theft From our Cannock Superstore

Just after midnight on Thursday 4th April, this van was filmed entering the car park at our Cannock store, while a number of individuals gained entry to the premises and stole a number of saddles. We'd like to ask anyone in the Cannock area that night if you saw a van like this in the area at that time and can give further information about it. Furthermore, we'd like to ask all our customers in the wider area to be aware of anyone attempting to offer any of the items listed below – especially at suspiciously low prices for unused items. If you have any information at all that you think may help, please contact Staffordshire Police with any details. We appreciate any help and awareness you can give and we're already immensely grateful to the many messages of support we've already received and to all who have shared this story on Facebook and Twitter. As with any major theft, our chief concern is not necessarily the loss of the goods but the threat posed by the individuals involved who may do this again and may not be concerned about harming others in the process. Thankfully, that wasn't the case this time but no-one should take for granted that these people weren't prepared to resort to violence, if challenged.   The items stolen include:      Apollo Nevada Western Saddle (Havana, 13") Bates All-Purpose Saddle (Black, 17.5") Bates Wide Saddle (Classic Brown, 16.5") Elite Gymkhana Pony Saddle (Black, 14" Medium) Genesis All-Purpose Saddle (Black, 17") Maxam GP Saddle (Black, 15", 16" & 17.5") Optimus York All-Purpose Saddle (Black, 16.5") Optimus Devon Synthetic GP Saddle (Black, 16.5") Optimus Kent Synthetic Dressage Saddle (Black, 18") Optimus Suffolk Synthetic Close Contact Saddle (Black 17.5" & 18") Optimus Puissance Close Contact Saddle (Havana, 18") Requisite Roamer Saddle & Pad (Brown, 16"/16.5" & 17"/17.5") Thorowgood T4 High Wither GP (Black, 17.5" & Brown, 17", 17.5" & 18") Thorowgood T4 GP Saddle (Black, 17") Thorowgood T4 Cob GP (Black, 17" & 18" & Brown, 17" & 18") Thorowgood T4 Pony Club Saddle Changeable Gullet (Black, 15") Wintec Pro Stock Saddle (Black, Medium & Large) Wintec New VSD/Cair Saddle (Brown, 42cm & 46cm) Wintec New 500 AP Saddle (Black, 43cm, 44cm & 46cm) Wintec New 500 AP/Cair Saddle (Black, 44cm) Wintec New 500 AP/Cair Saddle (Brown, 42cm) Wintec 250 All-Purpose Flock Saddle (Black, 44cm) Wintec New 2000 All-Purpose Cair Saddle (Black, 43cm & Brown, 46cm) Wintec 500 AP Flock Saddle ECFS (Black, 44cm) Wintec 500 Dressage Saddle (Black, 44cm) Wintec Pro Dressage Saddle (Black, 42cm) Wintec 500 Dressage Saddle Cair (Brown, 16") Wintec Isabell Dressage Cair (Black, 42cm, 43cm & 44cm) Wintec Western Saddle E-Leather (Black, 40cm & Brown, 38cm & 40cm) Wintec Pro Pony Dressage Saddle Cair (Black, 38cm & Brown 40cm) Wintec Pro Jump Cair Saddle (Brown 42cm, 43cm & 44cm) Wintec Pro Jump Flock Saddle (Black, 42cm, 43cm & 44cm) Thank you for any help you are able to give, Paul

The RDA Returns to Robinsons!

In March last year, we were proud to host a meeting of the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving) – North West Region at our Ashton Megastore and we're pleased to announce that we'll be hosting them again! Last year, the 80-plus delegates enjoyed a training event on the topic of 'Fundraising and Gaining Publicity for Individual Events', together with a buffet meal in our Nosebag Café, a raffle and a spot of after-hours shopping in the store! This year, the meeting will include the topic "The Essentials of Safeguarding: What Every RDA Group Needs to Know and Do", presented by Claire Milican and Marisa Bretherton-Mackay from the RDA's National Office. Our hosting of last year's event was the brainchild of the RDA NW's Chairman Shelia Saner, who was kind enough to tell the RDA NW website: "…such a great event with a wonderful buffet. The venue was excellent and the staff were so helpful and willing to please. I was impressed with their hospitality." This year's meeting takes place between 5:30pm and 9:30pm on Monday 18th March at our Ashton Megastore and is open to all RDA Group Members and Trustees. This time, over a hundred people are expected to attend but there's still room for more delegates, if you're eligible to attend. All instore purchases on the night will include a 10% discount! For more information about attending this event, please contact the RDA NW direct. The store will be closed to all other visitors for the duration of this visit. Look out for more pictures of the event on our blog next week!

End-of-Season Sale Starts 8am, Thursday 14th Feb!

It's February half-term, which means only one thing here at Robinsons: our End-of-Season Sale! With loads of Winter products left to sell and space needed for our new Spring/Summer range in March, we'll be slashing prices on thousands of items, online and at each of our four stores! There's over £¾ million of savings to be found, across tens of thousands of items. More than half the items in the Sale are priced at over 40% off the 'Normal' price! The Sale starts everywhere at 8am on Thursday 14th February and goes on until Sunday 24th February. Here's a run-down of the amount of bargains on offer – and the amount you can save: Over 6,000 items of Outerwear: almost 3,000 of them are half price – or better! Over 9,000 items of Leisurewear: almost 3,000 of them are at least 40% off! Almost 14,000 items of Ridingwear: over 10,000 of them are at least 40% off! Almost 5,000 items of Footwear: over 3,000 of them are at least 30% off! Almost 9,000 items of Rugs: almost all of them are at least 30% off! Over 10,000 items of Saddlery: almost 8,000 of them are at least 40% off! Over 1,500 items for Dogs: over 1,000 of them are at least 30% off! Over 11,000 items for the Home: over 6,000 of them are at least 40% off! Online The Sale selection is available to view from today in 'Preview' mode – which means you're able to browse through the items, as normal but will be unable to buy them. Once the Sale starts at 8am on Thursday, the mode will change from 'Preview' to 'Live' and will allow purchases. If you've ever tried to buy from a Sale and found the items you wanted have already sold out, we have a tip to help you! The best way to beat the rush and get just what you're looking for is to add the items you require to your wishlist. It won't reserve the stock for you – you'll still need to log in to check out your wishlist as soon as possible after the Sale begins – but it's much quicker than finding each item and then adding it to your trolley on the day – so you're far less likely to find the item has sold out. All you need to do is log in to the site – or create a login if you haven't got one yet. The other advantage to logging in to our site is that now, you'll receive Rider Rewards for every purchase you make online (5 points for each £1 you spend) – and it applies just as much to Sale purchases as for any other! Instore Each store will feature a broad selection of Sale items, taken from lines that are reduced to clear to make space for the new Spring/Summer '13 range, out next month. To avoid confusion, each store will also open at 8am on Thursday 14th February and the Sale will run on until closing time (5pm) on Sunday 24th February. Look out for more items being added as the Sale goes on and we may even offer further reductions on items that have not sold out by the last weekend! For more information about our four stores, please refer to the information page about each store on our website. Ashton Basingstoke Cannock Cardiff

Beating the Weather - Where We Can...

With significant levels of snowfall across the country - and more to come - here's your at-a-glance guide to see how our stores and services are affected by the weather (or not) this weekend: Mail Order Service: Fully-functioning and open as normal - although we can't promise that all deliveries by our couriers won't be affected by weather conditions between our warehouse and your delivery address, adding some delay to delivery times. Ashton Megastore: Open as normal Basingstoke Megastore: Open as normal Cannock Superstore: Open as normal Cardiff Store: Open as normal Naturally, we apologise for any inconvenience caused by any restriction of services due to the weather. We will update this page wth any further information throughout this period of snowfall.

Robinsons Launch ‘Rider Rewards’!

Robinsons, the UK's number one equestrian provider is pleased to announce the launch of a new customer points programme to help riders get the most from their horsey purchases – and we're calling it 'Rider Rewards'. We're all familiar with the idea of so-called 'loyalty schemes', many of us will have a Tesco or a Nectar card and more and more of us seem to be collecting points for some card or other. With this in mind, Rider Rewards are intended to be the definitive version of points in the equestrian world. "We're really excited by the launch of this, the first phase of 'Rider Rewards'," said Paul Bentham, Sales & Marketing Director. "The structure of earning and redeeming points was designed to be as similar as possible to the Boots Advantage card as we'd all identified it as one of the most popular schemes amongst retailers with a comparable offering. Many of our head office staff are avid Boots Advantage card holders and it didn't take long to get them to explain why they love it so much!" "The main difference we've decided to make from the Boots model is that you only earn 4 Advantage points with every pound you spend at Boots, but we've decided to give you 5 points for every pound you spend. As with Boots, every point you spend can be redeemed at the value of 1p each." At this stage, Rider Rewards can only be earned and redeemed for purchases from the Robinsons website. In the coming months, the principle will be extended to orders placed via telephone and then purchases at the four Robinsons stores around the country. “We plan to launch Rider Rewards across our entire operation in the new year but the chance to launch it online before Christmas was an opportunity we didn't want to miss,” said Martin Bentham, Operations Director. Here's a brief run-down on how it all works, with an instance of how one purchase can help you claim other products free in subsequent orders and how you can choose to combine payments between points earned and conventional card payment.Example One day, Miss Jane Smith places an order with Robinsons, a pair of Dublin New River Boots, at £109. She has no points previously in her account but by spending £109, she instantly earns 545 points which can be used at 1 point = 1p for future transactions.Her order arrives and some time later, Jane decides that she'd like a couple of pairs of thick socks to wear with her new boots. She decides to buy a Requisite 'Pack Of 2' Argyle Socks, for £7.50. With 545 points to her name, she has the equivalent of £5.45 in her account, which means that Jane has the choice to pay the £7.50 for the socks on her card or redeem any amount of her points to pay for them and pay the difference, conventionally. She chooses not to pay from points and so earns more points for this second purchase. This means her points total is now (545 + 35) = 580. Six months later, Jane decides she needs to get another pair of gloves. She's totally forgotten about her points balance but in the process of placing her order, we're able to remind her. She orders a pair of Harry Hall Glow gloves at £3.50. She notices on the payment screen that her points level is more than the 350 points she would need to get the gloves free of payment. She decides to save herself the £3.50 and 'pay' for the gloves from her saved points, which doesn't earn her any more points and reduces her balance of 580 by 350, leaving her with 230 points remaining. Shortly afterwards, Jane decides to buy her sister a pair of Requisite Two Tone Jodhpurs for her birthday. At a price of £20, she knows she doesn't have the 2,000 points she'd need to pay for them in their entirety so she chooses to pay for them by a combination of points and conventional payment. She redeems her full bank of 230 points (£2.30) and pays for the difference on her card (£17.70). The £2.30 redeemed value doesn't earn her any points, but the £17.70 entitles her to earn another (17 x 5) 85 points for future use. What will she decide to do with them? The choice is hers…Here are a few restrictions and further benefits of collecting our Rider Rewards: Currently, Rider Rewards can only be earned by and redeemed against purchases on the Robinsons website (www.robinsonsequestrian.com). In early 2013, the programme will be extended to telephone ordering and then to the four Robinsons retail stores (Ashton-in-Makerfield, Cannock, Basingstoke and Cardiff). Rider Rewards points can be redeemed against a part of or the full goods value of an order at the rate of 1 point = 1p. Points can be used as a part-payment method. Rider Rewards points may be redeemed against the cost of products in an order and also against any postage and delivery costs, at the same rate of 1 point = 1p.  Where refunds occur on orders where payment has been split between redeemed points and conventional payment, spent points will be refunded first, then pounds spent until the value of the refund has been reached. Each point earned will expire 365 days after the date it was earned. You can log into the new Rider Rewards area of the 'My Account' part of the website to see how many points you have earned and what the expiry status is for each of them. If you have points that are nearing their expiry date, you will be sent a 'Use them or Lose them' email alert at the email address held against your account, two weeks before the points are due to elapse (although you have the choice to opt out of these alerts). You can view your points balance at any time by logging into your account from the header area of any page of the Robinsons website and clicking on the 'Rider Rewards' option on the left-hand menu. Please keep your login details and your password secure. From time to time, we may operate 'Double Points Weekends' or similar activities in which you can gain additional points for qualifying purchases. These activities will be communicated by email and via our homepage.

Pay with PayPal at Robinsons!

Robinsons, the UK's number one equestrian provider has joined the likes of John Lewis and Argos in accepting PayPal as a payment option. The Robinsons website will now give customers the choice to pay by credit or debit card, as normal, with the additional choice of payment by PayPal, the online payment service owned by eBay. With over 15 million PayPal account holders in the UK and 110 million worldwide, it's an incredibly popular and secure choice of payment for millions of people. Certainly, anyone who has bought or sold on eBay will be quite familiar with it. According to research undertaken in 2011, half of UK online shoppers questioned said they used PayPal when buying products. "We've been increasingly asked to introduce PayPal as a payment option" said Mike Church, IT Manager, "and recent changes to our systems have made this option much easier for us to introduce. With so many users and with its reputation as an ultra-secure method of payment, we're sure it will very quickly become a popular option for our customers."

Spend £75 Online and we'll pay the Postage!* (This Offer Has Now Ended)

Please note, this offer ended on December 18th 2012 Cold weather. Nights drawing in. Christmas on the horizon. It's that time of year when there always seems to be lots of reasons to replace this item or buy that gift. We know that customers tend to spend more at this time of year and we've decided to help make your money go that bit further. Starting today, if the value of the items in your order is over £75, we'll send the order to you FREE of Postage charge!* Here's just a few ways you can take advantage of this great offer: Some types of products only start at £75 or above, so that means any General Purpose Saddle will exceed £75 and the offer will apply!   Using the Price filter on the website, you can search for any outdoor jackets that are priced at £75 or above. Any item chosen from that selection means that the offer will apply!   Using the Price filter on the website, you can search for any turnout rugs that are priced at £75 or above. Any item chosen from that selection means that the offer will apply!   Using the Price filter on the website, you could search for a pair of Ariats priced £75 or above. Any item chosen from that selection means that the offer will apply!  Here are a few more imaginative ways you could take advantage of this offer: If you wanted to buy 50 Robinsons Trolley Coins (£1.50) for 50 friends for Christmas, it would cost £75 and the offer would apply!   Requisite Original Mane & Tail Conditioner (£5.00) is one of our most popular products and tends to last most customers for an average of 3½ weeks. If you wanted to buy a year's supply, which would be 15 bottles at that rate, it would cost £75 and the offer would apply!   If you have five horsey kids to buy for this Christmas and wanted to get them a Breyer Classic Model each (£15), it would cost £75 and the offer would apply!   If you have two large dogs and would like to treat them to a nice warm bed each, two Consort Superior Dog Beds (33", £39) would cost £78 and the offer would apply!    * 'Free P&P' offer applies to orders delivered to the UK only. It also does not apply to Express Delivery orders or orders that do not include any items marked as a 'Heavy Duty' item, normally incurring a £12 P&P charge – although in both cases, the P&P charge for these delivery types will be reduced by £6.95 for the duration of the offer.  Overseas P&P charges will remain unchanged.

Longer Call Centre Opening – Back by Popular Demand, until December 19th

This week, we took the decision to extend our Contact Centre opening hours from 8am to 7pm on weekdays, 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and 10am to 3pm on Sundays. Not only will this enable anyone to speak to our team to place an order or make an enquiry, it will also mean that our Live Chat online assistance feature will be available for these extra hours. "We can tell from our records when customers are trying to contact us and we're simply responding to their wishes" said Dominic Fagan, our Retail Operations Manager. "We anticipate that these extended opening hours may be in operation all the way until the last postal date before Christmas but if they prove significantly popular, we may even choose to extend them beyond that." To access our Live Chat facility, simply click on the link beneath the Details & Care text on any product page or the 6th link beneath the 'Customer Service' area on the footer on every page of the Robinsons website. Please note, after December 19th, our Call Centre will revert to our published opening hours, closing at 5pm, weekdays.

Warm-Up for our Summer Sale Instore and Online!

Celebrate the end of a glorious summer at each of our stores and online from 8am this Saturday with our sizzling Summer Sale! What a year 2012 has been so far! A Diamond Jubilee, the odd sporting event and even some occasional sunshine! It's been a fantastic summer here in the UK and we've all become a bit giddy from the rollercoaster ride we've been on, as a country, over the last few months. It had to happen that eventually, someone would utter the awful phrase 'get back to normal', as we quietly contemplate a more typical, humdrum, day-to-day routine. What if we don't want to get back to normal, though? What if we want the fun to carry on just a little longer? Are you looking for a bit of excitement, now the Greatest Show in Earth is over? Well look no further! We decided to spare our friends from that Greek mountain any possibility of clashing our massive Summer Sale with their quadrennial bash. Yes, we chose to wait until after the closing ceremony to announce (without an Oscar-winning creative director in sight) that our much aniticipated Summer Sale will start at 8am on Saturday August 18th!! So the spectacle of record-breaking Jamaicans, under-performing Australians and of course medal-wearing Brits was in fact nothing but a pre-cursor to the 'other' Greatest Show on Earth, the Robinsons Summer Sale! You might think we're slightly over-selling it - but then wait until you see the products and prices on offer!! Here's some numbers to illustrate the size of our Summer Sale: * We've worked out that there are over half a million pounds of savings across the whole Sale, based on the reductions we're offering and the amount of stock available. * The greatest level of discount on offer when you take the reduced price from the standard price is a whopping 79% off but the majority if items are offered with at least a third off! * In addition to the 229 products with reduced prices in the Summer Sale Catalogue, look out for 10 'Special Buy' items we've bought specially for the Sale. * The Summer Sale catalogue offers great prices on a choice of 12 styles of jodhpur, 31 styles of rug, 18 styles of footwear, 23 styles of tack, 13 styles of jacket, 19 styles of gifts, 41 styles of leisure tops amongst many, many more. * Remember, there are many more offers available online and instore than just the 239 items listed in the Summer Sale catalogue.Useful Information Sale start times: Online: 8am – www.robinsonsequestrian.com > Our online sale will include everything that’s in the catalogue plus loads more besides! By phone: 8am – 0844 573 1000 > Our friendly contact centre operators will be waiting to take your call from 8am, plus they’ll be able to offer advice on alternative products should anything on your order have sold out! Instore: 8am > click on the store link below for general opening hours, directions and other helpful information Ashton Megastore Basingstoke Megastore Cannock Superstore Cardiff Store Important information about the Summer Sale at our Stores While there are many more offers available at our stores than just the 239 items listed in the Summer Sale catalogue, we can't always guarantee to feature every catalogue item in every store. Where we have limited stock of items listed in the catalogue, it can mean there isn't enough stock for those items to appear in the Sale at every store as well. If you require a specific item in the catalogue and are planning to buy it at your nearest store, we recommend you call the store to check they have it before you visit. We can also advise you what similar items we have at that store that are not listed in the Summer Sale catalogue.