Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials topped the 2014 BETA Business Awards to win the Joules Equestrian Event of the Year at a gala dinner last Sunday (16 February).

The award is designed for the event that works best with exhibitors.

Nominators said that the 24-year-old horse trials, which attracts more than 60,000 visitors and features 20 tradestands, “has a fantastic range of shops, with something for everyone”.

While British Eventing chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith described the accolade as “a feather in the cap for the event”, Blenheim director Mandy Hervieu (pictured above) paid tribute to support from exhibitors, who “help make [the event] a success”.

“It is lovely to hear that they also appreciate what we do behind the scenes to make it as successful for them as possible,” she said.

There were 13 awards in total.

TopSpec Equine landed the Haygain Nutritional Helpline Award — commended particularly for its initiative to send out feed wallcharts and discount vouchers to callers.

Ariat Europe’s Anna Rankine won the best Equine Careers Sales Representative, while Redpost Equestrian’s Jess Papworth was named Harry Hall Retail Employee of the Year.

BETA executive director Claire Williams said that the atmosphere was “phenomenal” leading up to the award announcements.

“Our congratulations go to everyone who was nominated,” she said. “They should feel justifiably proud of their tremendous achievement, as the standard has been incredibly high.”

 2014 award winners:

Haygain Nutritional Helpline

Winner: TopSpec Equine, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Runner-up: Allen & Page, Thetford, Norfolk

Equine Careers Sales Representative 

Anna Rankine, Ariat Europe, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

Harry Hall Retail Employee

Winner: Jess Papworth, Redpost Equestrian, Totnes, Devon

Runner-up: Sophie Sperling, Tower Farm Saddlers, Rugby, Warwickshire

Joules Equestrian Event

Winner: Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials

Runner-up: Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials

Blacks Solicitors Trade Supplier

Winner: Battle, Hayward & Bower, Lincoln

SEIB Retailer

Large winner: Wadswick Country Store; runner-up: Countrywide Farmers

Medium winner: Houghton Equestrian; runner-up: RB Equestrian

Small winner: Alan’s Ark; runner-up: Eskdale Saddlery

Mail order/internet winner: Equestrian Clearance Warehouse; runner-up: Cavaletti Clothing

TSM Rider

Amateur winner: Samantha Osborne

Professional winner: Gemma Tattersall

UKTI Export

Winner: Horslyx

BETA Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Dr Roderick Woods