Rural reigns in national awards

Directors and Co-Founders Jemma Clifford and Anna Price (L-R)

Rural businesses were under the spotlight at the Rural Business Awards Ceremony, held at the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. One of the UK’s most prestigious and respected awards for rural businesses, the RBAs were founded by countryside based business-women Jemma Clifford and Anna Price.

Following hundreds of entrants and a competitive shortlist process, winners were announced for a range of sectors, from manufacturing to professional services and sport to tourism.

Equestrianism truly shone with a number making it to the final – and even winning the category in the case of Derriere Equestrian. Nominated in the Best Rural Clothing or Accessories Business category, Derriere Equestrian Ltd came out on top much to the delight of managing director Claire Galer and director Tim Galer who attended the event.

When asked whether Derriere Equestrian expected the award, Claire commented, “Absolutely not! We had been so tremendously proud to have been nominated as a finalists and went with much nervous anticipation that there could be a possibility of a win! The business has continued to gain growth, momentum and strong brand following over the past three years, so we felt we would be worthy winners.

Claire and Tim Galer with the award

“The standard of entries and finalists in this year’s RBA’s was exceptionally high, to have been announced as the winners at the Awards Ceremony was an outstanding achievement for our team here in the UK, our production crews in Tunisia and Italy, and of course for all of our retailers around the world.”

Claire continued, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved with the Derriere Equestrian journey thus far. I believe in business it is essential to surround yourself with the best of the best! It takes input from many facets to drive a business forward and the support we have had from all involved since launch has been quite incredible. I could not have achieved such success for Derriere Equestrian without the support of such a fantastic team.”

Equestrianism was also represented by renowned equestrian media company Holdsworth PR, that was shortlisted in two categories: the Best Rural Creative or Media-based Business category, and for owner Rachael Holdsworth, Rural Entrepreneur of the Year.

The event was compered by Jules Hudson of the BBC’s Escape to the Country

Placing highly commended in both, Rachael commented, “We had a very enjoyable evening at the glittering Rural Business Awards ceremony, which truly sparkled thanks to the indoor fireworks that went off as each winner was called.

“The evening was a showcase of the huge diversity of rural businesses and a celebration of rural business success, and we felt proud to be a part of it. We met many interesting people, from brewers to poultry producers, and the equestrian industry was well represented. It was thrilling to receive two Highly Commended Awards and I am very proud to have the work of our small team recognised at this prestigious national event.”

Other equestrian businesses to gain attention were in the Best Rural Sporting Business category, sponsored by Glanusk, which saw Divoky Riding School in Shepton Mallet take the top spot. Judges felt Divoky was an inspired business with excellent social credentials which successfully combined teaching with grazing and conservation.

Pat Bishop from Divoky Riding School said, “Since I started Divoky Riding School in 1999 we have steadily grown our team and our facilities to become a really successful business. With outstanding coaches, our students get the very best training and our location in the Somerset countryside is ideal. For our work to be highlighted at the Rural Business Awards is a wonderful achievement and I’m delighted to have picked up the award up on behalf of our team.” Also in this category, Radway Riding School was announced as runner up and Lavant House Stables came away as highly commended.