The 2015 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business awards — for companies have made a “significant contribution” to the equestrian industry — were presented last Sunday (22 February).
The 12 winners were picked from a number of nominated companies and individuals and the categories ranged from the best retail employee to the leading equestrian event.
The winners were:
- TopSpec Equine was the winner of the Haygain Nutritional Helpline award for the eighth time. In the final judging mystery callers posed questions designed to challenge each nominated helpline. The runner-up was Norfolk-based Allen & Page.
- The equine careers sales representative of the year was presented to Shane Broughal (pictured below), who told the judge that being honest and having products he believed in was the most important part of his job. Shane is a representative for Horslyx, Casco, Tredstep, Zilco, Schockemohle Sports and Prestige Italia.
- The Harry Hall retail employee of the year is Rachel Ealey who has worked for Rugby-based Tower Farm Saddlers for 13 years. “She is a delight to talk to and balanced sound product knowledge with real enthusiasm for the ranges she sold,” said a judge.
- The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby meeting claimed the Caldene Competition Equestrian Event of the Year. The iconic show has been running for 53 years, attracts 40,000 visitors and is held at a spectacular venue agreed the judges. The runner-up was the Horse of the Year Show.
- The Blacks Solicitors trade supplier of the year was won by Battle, Hayward & Bower of Lincoln. Judges were impressed by the company’s “attention to detail and astute use of customer research.”
- The SEIB Retailer of the Year was divided into four categories; large, medium, small and mail order/Internet. The final judging took into account suppliers’ votes and visits by mystery shoppers. The winners were Wadswick Country Store in Corsham, Wiltshire (large retailer), Redpost Equestrian in Totnes, Devon (medium), Tower Farm Saddlers in Northamptonshire (small) and Supplement Solutions (mail order/Internet retailer).
- The TSM Rider award for sponsored riders who make the greatest contribution to the trade and work hard for their sponsors was divided into amateur and professional sections this year. Carriage driver Mike Hodgson took the amateur award. “He provides us with countless training features, participates in photo shoots and his next project is a series of ‘how to’ videos’,” said his sponsor, Abbey England. Canadian Para-dressage rider, Roberta Sheffield, won the professional category. Judges were impressed by her in-depth knowledge of her sponsors products and willingness to promote them.
- Bliss of London — who are one of Roberta Sheffiled’s sponsors — took the UKTI Export award (pictured top). Judges felt the company showed “clear structure to its strategy and impressive results.”
- The BETA Social Media award was presented to Weatherbeeta (pictured above). The rug company said the judges displayed “strong creative content” and had “a good mixture of technical product and fun interactive posts.”