Thomas Irving Equestrian Superstore in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, has reached the national finals of the 2013 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards.
The Tack Shop (Large category) will be in line to collect the SEIB Retailer of the Year Award during the BETA Gala Dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, on Sunday, 17 February.
Thomas Irving Equestrian Superstore originated as a feed mill in the centre of town and is one of the oldest established companies in Chesterfield, diversifying as a saddlery in 1998, and is run by Anna Franklin who employs a staff of 10. The shop, both online and in-store specialises in Equestrian supplies, country wear and is also a feed merchant catering for most animals from small furies right through to bulk feed by tonne direct to farm.
“We’re delighted to have reached the finals of such a prestigious award, particularly as we were nominated by our customers,” said Anna of Thomas Irving’s. “In the best traditions of a specialist retailer, we always endeavour to offer a personal yet professional service – and it’s satisfying to know that our efforts have been rewarded.”
As part of the final judging, Thomas Irving’s trade suppliers have been asked to add their votes to those of customers. BETA is also conducting a series of mystery shops and incognito telephone calls to the short-listed candidates.
“There were more than 2,000 nominations for the SEIB Retailer of the Year Award, so many congratulations go to Thomas Irving’s for reaching the finals,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.
“BETA encourages the highest standards in equestrian retailing, enabling horse owners and riders to shop with confidence where they see the BETA sign.”
More than 250 tack shops and feed merchants across the UK are entitled to display the BETA logo, indicating their retail membership of the trade association and that they are properly run businesses offering reliable advice.
BETA also runs courses to train retailers in the fitting of riding hats and body protectors, and to enhance their equestrian product knowledge – information that is available to horse owners and riders who shop with them.