Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Sasha Melia
The British Equestrian Trade Association has returned from a highly successful Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, where it sponsored the Pony Club Team Show Jumping, highlighted the importance of rider safety and promoted the work of BETA and its members.
“Driving home the importance of staying as safe as possible while enjoying equestrian sport is an integral part of our mission,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “And supporting the Pony Club and meeting a large audience of enthusiastic riders at Gatcombe provides us with the ideal opportunity to do this. It is fantastic to be able to discuss all aspects of safety and equine welfare and flag up the many exciting initiatives that BETA has developed.”
BETA has supported the Pony Club Team Show Jumping for a number of years, but 2018 must surely go down as one of the closest competitions, as a nail-biting jump-off saw the South Hereford & Ross Harriers Hunt branch take the lead by one point, pushing Minchinhampton into second place, with Clifton on Teme third. All three teams were presented with rosettes and cash prizes, and the champions received a BETA-branded rug. All competitors were given a BETA stable plaque and an invitation to visit the BETA stand for a free safety garment check and a BETA goody bag.
Riding hat and body protector checks were also extended to Gatcombe visitors, who received a discount voucher giving them a 10 per cent saving on the price of a new one when bought from a participating BETA retail member.
The BETA stand remained a hive of activity throughout the event, with visitors being offered the chance to win a £100 shopping voucher to spend with a BETA retail member if they signed up to the trade association’s National Equestrian Research Panel – an online resource for members to provide feedback to the industry on all things horsey.
Visitors could also enter BETA’s Equestrian Calendar Competition, with its top prize of a luxury hamper, and be in the running for a Collegiate bridle for nominating their favourite retailer for an SEIB Retailer of the Year Award. Many also supported BETA’s fundraising efforts for the Riding for the Disabled Association by picking up a BETA doggy bandana in exchange for a donation to the charity.
In addition to the Pony Club presentations, Claire Williams was extremely pleased to award the BETA Anniversary Trophy – introduced in 2015 – to Emily King for being the highest-placed rider to complete the British Open Championship for the first time.
As part of its support for the trade, BETA hosted its annual Tradestand Holders’ Breakfast, where the winners of the gold and silver standards in the BETA Best Stand Awards were announced.
In Equestrian & Saddlery, gold was presented to retailers Ayr Equestrian, Wychanger Barton and Horse Direct, and TopSpec Equine and Dodson &Horrell, while silver went to Noble Outfitters, Style Equestrian Products, Treehouse Sporting Colours and Horses in Sport.
In the Lifestyle, Pet & Fashion section, gold was won by country womenswear company Gamebirds Clothing, leather boot and accessories maker Finlows, pet company Ruff & Tumble, lampshade-maker Berry & Grouse and fish-based dog food company Fish 4 Dogs. Silver went to Sarah Beevers Jewellery Design, Accessory Attic, Kitted in Cashmere, shoe and accessories business World Secrets and giftware specialist Grays.
In Food & Beverages, gold went to Roll Me Up – Cotswold Ice Cream Rolls and The Cheesecake Bar, and silver to Greek Souvlaki and Pop Up Grub.
Best in show went to milliner Caroline Nicholls, maker of bespoke headwear.