Experts in the equestrian trade industry have been honoured by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards that took place on 21 February.

The awards, which have been running for seven years to celebrate outstanding contributions to the equestrian industry, were presented to deserving retailers, events and riders during the BETA Gala Dinner in Birmingham.

Blair Castle International Horse Trials (pictured), nominated by trade stand exhibitors from the show circuit, were honoured as Joules Equestrian Event of the Year.

“The organising team treat the trade as well we they do the visitors,” explained a nominator. “The run an event with entries that surpass anything in the UK at the same time as a country fair and a huge BSJA competition!”

Event rider Sam Griffiths was another to be honoured with an award. He received the TSM Rider Award in recognition of his hard work for his sponsors. His sponsors, Equilibrium Products, also received an award — the UKTI Export Award — in recognition of their substantial increase in export activity.

BETA president Jane Holderness Roddam presented the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award to Martin Loveday, who has been an active member of BETA council for over 25 years.

Martin joined his family’s footwear company, originally founded as a horse collar manufacturer in 1650, in 1975. He has since been chairman and treasurer of BETA council, been active in the Trade Fair Committee and represented the equine trade in the Industry and Parliament Trust.

“I have enjoyed every one of my 35 years with you all,” he said. “BETA has developed a great deal over the years and the trade has changed dramatically. Things will continue to adapt in the future and you guys are the future.”

The Gala Dinner, a glittering evening of fine dining and celebration that attracted over 400 guests, also raised over £1,000 in a charity raffle for Riding for the Disabled, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“BETA congratulates all award-winners,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “Their amazing achievements are a heartening indication that enterprise, excellence and enthusiasm are thriving throughout our industry.”

Read about BETA innovational awards