Four equestrian businesses have made it to the regional finals of the 2009 Countryside Alliance (CA) Awards — is your local favourite among them?
The awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside and the nominees are put forward by the public.
This year’s competition attracted a record 3,500 nominations from the public, in the four categories — the local food award, village shop/Post Office award, rural enterprise award and the Daily Telegraph best traditional business award.
All four equestrian businesses are vying to be their regional representative in the traditional business category.
Worcestershire-based bespoke tack maker Helen Leedham
Feed merchants Elms Farm Equestrian, of Claygate, Surrey
Saddlers and riding outfitters Calcutt and Sons, based in Sutton Scotney, Hampshire
Mendit Rug & Tack Ltd, of Dorchester, Dorset, which repairs saddlery and rugs
Judging panels across Britain will now decide the regional winners and will visit each of them to find out why they deserve a Countryside Alliance award.
The regional winners will be announced before Christmas and will go forward to the grand final at the House of Lords in February 2010.
Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, who chairs the national judging panel said: “Our regional finalists represent the colour and diversity of rural enterprise and the Countryside Alliance is very proud to salute our finalists and offer them well deserved praise.
“To get this far is an achievement in itself as the quality of nominations just seems to get better year on year.”