Awards celebrate excellence in equestrian businesses

  • A new awards ceremony celebrating “equestrian excellence” in business has taken place for the first time

    The Equestrian Business Awards were created by Katy Wright, who came up with the idea 10 years ago while working in a tack shop, and launched them this year having heard great stories of small businesses helping clients despite limitations during the pandemic.

    Nominations took place earlier this year, following which finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including Katy, farrier Ashley Berry, commentator Sam Gerrard-May and British Association of Equine Dental Technicians chairman James Arkley. The winners were revealed at a ceremony on 22 October at the Village Hotel in Nottingham.

    Horsefit UK was named groom of the year, AW Equestrian Services Ltd won the livery yard of the year and CleanFields took the equine service honours. R Abbiss Farriers won farrier of the year, Peak Performance Therapies took the therapist title and Field of Equitation won the equine dental technician category.

    The instructor award went to EKW Dressage, Laura Nickel of Amayzing Saddlery won saddle fitter of the year and Buckingham Equine Vets was victorious in the vet practice category. Instinctive Horse Training won the behavioural trainer award, Amanda Beal Equine Transport the horse transporter category and Team Tutsham was named riding school of the year. Cobham Manor Events won the event venue award and Horses and Ponies Protection Association’s tack shop, The Fussy Filly, was named retailer of the year.

    Saddle fitter Laura Nickel said to be recognised for her “true passion” is a “huge honour”.

    “This job can be so hard with many hours on the road and many horses needing help,” she said. “Every day is different and a challenge. I relish every second and it was such a shock to have won,” she said.

    Katy added: “I am determined to do everything I can to give back to those that work within the equestrian community, so they know just how valued they are. The comments I have received about the awards from owners, nominees and finalists have been extremely heartwarming, and I am thrilled that they are providing a platform where we can champion the hard work of
    those in the industry and foster a culture of collaboration, appreciation and kindness.”

    Voting for this year’s Horse & Hound Awards in partnership with NAF is open now until 4 November, with categories including vet, farrier, groom, club, volunteer, horse, pony, amateur, professional and young rider. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse in 1 December, so do take the opportunity to vote for your favourites.

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