Consumers are being warned to be wary of using an online retailer that is falsely claiming to be a member of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

Knightsbridge Equestrian, which is based in Stirling, has been displaying the BETA logo on its website — www.knightsbridgeequestrian.com — and stating it was nominated as BETA retailer of the year in 2010.

Several H&H readers have been caught out after purchasing items from the website only to have money debited from their account for goods that have never turned up.

One had £104 debited for goods that were never delivered. To date, she has had no luck in getting any response from the company or a refund.

BETA chief executive Claire Williams told H&H: “This company is not a BETA member. It’s true that it was nominated as retailer of the year, but that doesn’t mean it has ever been a member or that it has won an award.

“We have actually written to Knightsbridge Equestrian instructing them to stop displaying our logo as it’s a criminal act, but we’ve never heard anything back from anyone.”

Trading Standards is also on the case.

A spokesman explained: “We have been trying to contact the owner of the company, but with no luck to date. The contact address on the website is actually a residential block of flats and there’s no answer when we visit or any response to our letters.

“But we will continue investigating — we don’t give up.”

H&H was unable to get through to anyone at Knightsbridge Equestrian.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (16 June, 2011)