The first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards were held at the glamorous British Horse Foundation dinner at the Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on the 11th January 2020. Winners of each of the four categories in the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards were announced at the dinner and trophies, plaques and certificates were presented to the winners and runners-up by British Olympic eventer and NAF brand ambassador Gemma Tattersall, SEIB’s Suzy Middleton and Dr Frances Henson of the Animal Health Trust (AHT).
SEIB has set up these awards to celebrate the best in riding schools and livery yards throughout the UK in association with horse care and supplements company NAF. The awards are supported by the Animal Health Trust and the British Horse Foundation.
The general public were invited to nominate their favourite livery yard or riding school for the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards back in November. Over 1,400 nominations were received before an expert panel of judges carefully came up with a shortlist of yards throughout the country. Each yard on the shortlist received a judges visit before the panel decided on the ultimate winner in each category of the awards.
Winning the best DIY (do it yourself) Livery Yard category was Court Bank Farm in Staffordshire. Proprietors Vivienne and Andrew Newton proudly accepted their award, Vivienne said: “We didn’t know anything about the SEIB awards until the judge phoned to say they were on the way to do their surprise yard visit.
The girls on the yard had nominated us and kept it very quiet! We are thrilled to have won this.” Andrew Newton said: “We work really hard to make sure that everyone at the yard enjoys their time here and has a positive experience.”
In the best Full Livery Yard category, Church House Farm in Essex took top honours. Bob O’Connor has owned and run Church House Farm for seventeen years now and he and his partner Roxanne Carter went up on stage to collect their award. Bob said: “Winning this means a lot to us all – we will be having a celebratory bottle of champagne for everyone at the yard tomorrow.
You are only as good as the people around you and Adrienne Devonish our yard manager is totally committed and makes sure everything on the yard is done right. I feel very honoured as we all work very hard for our liveries who are a great bunch of people.”
Hampshire based Wellington Riding won the best Riding School category. General manager, David Sheerin collected the award on behalf of the yard. He said: “We are delighted to win this inaugural award, we are very proud of both our horses, ponies and staff who all work incredibly hard and certainly deserve this recognition!”
In the best Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Riding School category, Cotswold RDA headed off some strong competition to win (pictured above) . A thrilled Claire Jenkins who works as general manager at Cotswold RDA said: “I am absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of our amazing volunteers, riders and their families. We are truly lucky to have such wonderful people on our team who do absolutely everything including our new ‘tea with a pony’ afternoons.”
The judging panel of the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards was made up from representatives of the AHT, NAF, SEIB and Redpin Publishing. The judges commented on the exceptionally high standard of yards in this competition and the positive and inclusive atmosphere of the best yards was widely acknowledged and rewarded accordingly.
SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina Mackenzie said: “We instigated these awards to find the best livery yards and riding schools in Britain and were delighted to see just how much people wanted to nominate their yard. It was a pleasure to see so many truly outstanding businesses and this has given us an opportunity to celebrate the service offered by livery yards and riding schools in the UK. The skill, commitment and hard work of the people that own, run and work in these yards is humbling and needs to be applauded.”
NAF Sponsorship and Events Manager, Eloise Chugg-Martin said: “NAF were thrilled to be invited to support the inaugural SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School Awards for 2020. The judging panel really had their work cut out looking through over 1400 nominations, but what a pleasure to be a part of. It was clear to see just how passionate clients, riders, owners and staff were about their nominated yards, riding schools and RDA centres.
“NAF are proud to support SEIB in promoting Five Star equine care at the fantastic yards, riding schools and RDA centres throughout the UK. Congratulations from NAF to all of the finalists, a fantastic achievement you should all be very proud of and we look forward to visiting the winners with their prizes very soon!”
Each winning yard received; a trophy, plaque, certificate and voucher toward business insurance from SEIB; and from NAF, a yard visit including a nutritional talk, a full NAF Care Hamper and a NaturalintX First Aid Hamper.
SEIB would like to thank the British Horse Foundation for allowing us to present our awards at their extremely prestigious black-tie event.
Leading equine Insurance brokers, SEIB Insurance Brokers provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more. The company has a long association with the equestrian world and is renowned for ‘putting something back’ by supporting equestrian events and activities.
For full information please visit www.seib.co.uk/awards.