Celebrating excellence: shortlist announced for yard of the year awards

  • The finalists have been announced in the 2023 SEIB Yard of the Year Awards, in association with H&H and British Equestrian.

    A panel of judges has decided on two finalists in each of the six categories; small and large riding schools, DIY and full livery yards, Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre and competition venue. The winners will be announced at an awards lunch in July.

    The awards were set up by SEIB to celebrate excellence in teaching, training and horse care in yards across Britain. Horse & Hound came on board to support them in 2022 and this year British Equestrian has added its support by “rewarding and recognising the vital services provided to the equestrian industry by livery yards, riding schools, RDA centres and competition venues”.

    The winners will be announced at a lunch at Dorney Lake, Berkshire, next month, to which the owners of the finalist yards have been invited.

    SEIB marketing manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “Our judges have done a brilliant job in going through all the many wonderful yards people have put forward. At SEIB, we know there are many livery yards, riding schools, RDA centres and competition venues that provide outstanding service and through these awards we are determined to put something back by recognising and highlighting their professionalism, skill and commitment to the industry.”

    Yards were nominated by clients and the public and judged by a panel including H&H editor-in-chief Sarah Jenkins, Winnie Murphy of the BEF and Cheryl Johns, founder of Livery List. Shortlisted yards sent videos detailing their highlights and what they offer, after which the finalists were decided upon.

    Sarah Jenkins said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to judge these awards again. I’m always blown away by the depth of support for all those yards nominated and the clear excellence shown in terms of both best practice and building wonderful communities that offer tremendous support to participants.

    “The impact a great yard can have on riders’ lives is significant – and in many instances quite moving, too. I particularly enjoyed seeing those yards that give strong consideration to providing for and supporting all children and adults while recognising we are a neurodiverse society, as well as those yards adapting to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious – taking positive actions that put them a step ahead.”

    Finalist yards – by category in alphabetical order

    Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Centre

    Arrow Riding Centre – Kent

    Gordon Group RDA – Aberdeenshire

    DIY Livery Yard

    Mill Farm DIY Livery Yard – Somerset

    Swarthdale Stables – Lancashire

    Small Riding School

    Hemps Green Riding Stables – Essex

    Sweetlands Farm – West Sussex

    Large Riding School

    Pinkmead Farm Equestrian Centre – Hampshire

    Rein and Shine Equestrian – Wiltshire

    Full Livery Yard

    Hurston Dressage and Eventing – Oxfordshire

    Nodwood House Equine – Surrey

    Competition Venue

    Beechwood Equestrian Centre – Essex

    Chard Equestrian Centre – Somerset

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