NEWSInsider ▲ PLAYING CHICKEN Two deer were caught on film last week, belting across the track at Newcastle just as the runners were making their way round the corner. Showing a fair turn of speed though, both whisked across well in front of the leading horse. Has talent, needs direction perhaps? ▲ STREAKING Talking of unexpected visitors, there was also the streaker who decided to cartwheel through an equine auction house in New Zealand. As you do. “An unusual lot,” mused one bystander. Indeed. ▲ WORDS And on the above streaker, one was intrigued to read, in a national newspaper’s coverage of the incident, that the unknown naked one “shouted something illegible”. “At least she didn’t write something inaudible,” quipped a wag. GOOD WEEK BAD WEEK H&H When a parcel arrived at H&H Towers bearing a Swiss postmark and a label saying “chocolate”, you can be sure it was not left unopened for long. So imagine the reaction when inside was just a calendar, with not as much as a solitary Malteser anywhere in sight. Sigh. COMMENTATORS So instead of the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead’s July fixture is now called, wait for it, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show. Try saying that three times fast. POLICE Video has emerged of a US cop trying to stop a runaway pony on the road, by asking it to: “Please stop.” In the same vein, he adds: “Come on. Can you stop? Please?” Nothing like a bit of courtesy, although the pony did not seem impressed, and five more officers were needed to apprehend her… Hard work is rewarded as companies honoured British equestrian companies celebrated the best among their ranks at the annual BETA business awards “THERE are no secrets, just hard work” is the view of Shires founder Malcolm Ainge, who received the 2018 British Equestrian Trade Business Association (BETA) lifetime achievement award. Mr Ainge was one of a host of winners at this year’s BETA business awards, in which BETA director Claire Williams said the standard of the finalists was “exceptionally strong”. Shires Equestrian Products was the most successful company on the night, claiming two awards. The company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, won the trade supplier of the year prize as well as Mr Ainge’s award. In 1968, Mr Ainge started the company with £200. He used this to buy stock and sold it at cattle markets and racecourses. He grew the business to manufacture its own products and today it has a base in Herefordshire, a factory in China and distribution centres in Ireland and the US. “I wasn’t expecting it!” Mr Ainge told H&H. “It was just me for a couple of years, then my father-in-law came in and we started the manufacturing. “It’s taken a lot of hard work, there are no secrets to being in business, it is just hard work.” This was also the second year And finally... Cavalry goes back to work IF your horse has a penchant for mud, winter can seem eternal. But as you watch your horse enjoying a lovely roll in the swampiest patch of the field, spare a thought for the servicemen and women of the Household Cavalry. The unit’s horses have returned from a long, welldeserved Christmas holiday in the wide-open fields of the Defence Animal Centre at Melton Mowbray. The soldiers are busy washing, clipping, pulling, trimming and polishing to transform the mudlarks back into gleaming cavalry horses, fit to present to The Queen. Malcom Ainge of Shires By LUCY ELDER in a row and the third in total that Shires has won the trade supplier prize. The award recognises exceptional customer service, product knowledge and awareness of retailers’ requirements. Eventers William Fox-Pitt and Georgie Wood took the pro and amateur sponsored-rider awards. Musto, which nominated William, said he goes “above and beyond in everything he does”. The retailer of the year award was split, with Feedmark winning the online category and Houghton Country the retail store prize. Feedmark’s Chris Townsend Perseus is to be groomed to perfection Among these is the Shire Perseus, the regiment’s newest drum horse, who has taken muddy feathers to an art form. “The boisterous Shire horse is back on his fitness regime, will be groomed back to sleek perfection, and begin the important work of learning how thanked customers for their nomination and employees for their “dedication” and “expert nutritional advice”. Bramham International Horse Trials won equestrian event of the year, while the two social media awards went to Simple System Horse Feeds and Horseware. Charlotte Bilbie, of Tower Farm Saddlers, took retail employee of the year and Patrick Robertson, of Allen & Page, the sales representative title. TopSpec Equine won the helpline award and Dengie Crops the equestrian export title. The awards were held at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on 22 January. to lead the mounted band in the nation’s biggest and most important parades,” said a Household Cavalry spokesman. “The troopers of the Household Cavalry regiment certainly have a challenge ahead, but Perseus’ lovely nature makes the job easy.” LE Pictures by Sgt Paul Randall @armyinlondon and Simon D Jones 12 Horse & Hound 8 February 2018
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