Horse & Hound and SEIB have joined forces to recognise the country’s top yards in the SEIB Insurance Brokers Yard of the Year Awards.
The awards feature categories for small (20 horses or fewer) and large (more than 20 horses) riding schools, full and DIY livery yards and Riding for the Disabled Association centres plus, for the first time this year, competition centres. Nominations are open to the public and the winners will be revealed in July.
SEIB marketing manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “SEIB has insured livery yards and riding schools for decades and are proud to support the industry with these awards. We are excited to have Horse & Hound on board this year and look forward to their input on the judging panel.
“The inclusion of the competition venue of the year award in 2022 is something we are looking forward to. At SEIB we know that there are many yards, venues, centres and riding schools that provide an outstanding service and we want to recognise and highlight their professionalism, skill and commitment.”
H&H editor-in chief Sarah Jenkins said the H&H team knows well from running the H&H Awards, in partnership with NAF, how much it means to members of the equestrian community to be nominated for industry awards such as these, let alone being shortlisted and winning.
“So many professionals and volunteers in the horse world work tirelessly in their areas and could not be more deserving of wider recognition,” she said. “SEIB has long supported excellence in yards with their awards, in categories that we also feel strongly at Horse & Hound need positive recognition and support.”
The public are encouraged to nominate their favourite yards in the six categories. Nominations are open online until 5pm on 14 April, after which judges will compile shortlists. Each shortlisted yard will be asked to submit video and more information, and will be invited to the awards ceremony in July, at which the winners will be revealed.
The judging will take in competition, training, horse care, marketing and business acumen. Atmosphere in the yard and help and support for clients will also be “vital for the judging panel when it comes to choosing their winners”.
Sarah added: “Riding schools are the lifeblood of our industry, without which we would not have a viable sport with enough new riders coming through developing a love of horses and going on to buy animals for leisure or competition. And of course riding schools in the UK have faced serious challenges, particularly over the past few years where Covid restrictions meant they were unable to operate for months on end while still needing to pay for animals’ care.
“Similarly, Riding for the Disabled centres do incredible work to give life-changing experiences to those who come to them, and again these organisations struggled to operate for much of the past two years, while simultaneously losing numbers of their volunteers without whom they cannot provide their vital service. Livery yards and competition centres, too, face challenges with rates and the cost of horses’ keep, and it is often the hard work of those behind the scenes that goes so far to improve the experience of horses, owners and competitors. For all these reasons and many more, this year more than ever, we are delighted to be associated with these awards, and encourage everyone who is eligible to nominate the centres they feel most deserving of these accolades and prizes from SEIB.”
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