The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) promoted the work of its members and drove home the importance of rider safety at the Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park on 4-6 August. The Association enjoyed a high-profile presence as presenting sponsor for a 12th year.
BETA supported the Pony Club Inter-Club Team Show Jumping, which was won by the Polden Hills branch, as well as the Pony Club Mounted Games. All riders who took part in these competitions – as well as Arena Eventing participants – were given a BETA goody bag when they visited the trade association’s stand for a riding hat or body protector safety check. Those in the Pony Club Show Jumping were also given a commemorative BETA stable plaque.
This popular safety initiative was extended to Gatcombe visitors, who received a discount voucher giving them a ten percent saving on the price of a new hat or body protector when bought from a participating BETA retail member.
As presenting sponsor, the trade association awarded the BETA Anniversary Cup – introduced in 2015 to mark its ten years of sponsorship – to Alex Bragg as the highest-placed rider to complete the British Open Championship for the first time.
Visitors to the BETA stand entered the luxury BETA prize draw, with its £1,500 worth of equestrian clothing, feed and equipment, and nominated their favourite retailer for an SEIB Retailer of the Year Award, which gave them automatic entry into a prize draw to win a leather Collegiate saddle.
Fundraising for charities
RoboCob and Duchess, two mechanical horses from the BETA stable, were on parade with the help of The Brooke volunteers, who collected funds for the charity in return for a ride. BETA also raised money for the Riding for the Disabled Association and Horseback UK with its doggy bandanas, which were handed out in exchange for donations.
As part of its support to 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 the Lifestyle, Pet & Fashion section, gold was won by luxury accessory retailer Will Bees Bespoke, The Luxury Tweed Clothing Company – which also won Best in Show – shoe and boot company Carl Scarpa, stove and woodburner specialist Knight Stoves and pet business Philomena London Pet Outfitters. Silver went to fashion boutique Moloh, giftwear company Polka Dot Pie, quirky womenswear store Gamebirds Clothing, country clothing company Lula Bo and furniture store Neptune.
In Equestrian & Saddlery, gold was presented to retailer Townfields Saddlers, Dodson & Horrell and online retailer Uptown, while silver went to TopSpec and retailers Ayr Equestrian and Horses in Sport.
In Food & Beverages, gold went to the Pulled Pork Trough and silver to Flaming Cactus Mexican Cantina.
“It was a real pleasure to be back at this wonderful event, which is a landmark in the British equestrian calendar,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “It is a fabulous celebration of all things horsey, with competitions for both top-flight riders and those at grass-roots level, a tremendous range of high-quality tradestands and a large audience of country people who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about rural life and equestrianism.
“The Festival of British Eventing gives us the perfect opportunity to meet many enthusiastic riders and owners, hear about the things that are important to them and tell them about the work that BETA and its members do on their behalf.”