2016 seems to have been quite a year already and there is much to plan and look forward to as we move into the spring.
We had an excellent BETA trade fair in February and our sales team were out in force meeting new faces and welcoming existing partners to the stand, enabling us to begin new relationships as well as developing stronger bonds with those long and established customers.
We are now starting the busiest period of the year with a variety of events in the pipeline – the first of these is the Crabbie’s Grand National Meeting at Aintree where we sponsor the Owners and Trainers Pavilion. We also sponsor the Owners and Trainers Pavilions at Sandown and Kempton. Racing is a very important area for us and this facility allows us to meet up with key players in the sport and to keep abreast of trends and developments in the marketplace.
The second weekend in May is a really busy weekend for us as the team will split across two key events. Firstly, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials where we have our stand and members of the nutrition team on hand to discuss any questions you might have. We will also be supporting the official charity at Mitsubishi Motors Badminton – World Horse Welfare. Our nutritionists will be giving a number talks during the event and we will be supporting the Cross Country Preview Evening on the Friday night, hosted by the Horse Trials Support Group. This evening enables guests to really get the inside track on the cross country course and two of our brand ambassadors – Harry Meade and Zara Tindall will be on the panel to give their views on the 2016 course – so something not to be missed.
Secondly, we will be hosting the Final of the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Novice Riders Series at Garthorpe in Leicestershire, on Sunday 8 May. The Final follows a series of twelve sponsored qualifying races around the country, so it will be fascinating to see who takes home the title for this Series. This is our 29th year of sponsorship of point-to-points and the series goes from strength to strength – we wish everyone the very best of luck for this important day.
We then move on to the prestigious Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials – title sponsorship of this event allows us to meet and greet the different audiences that attend the horse trials – owners, spectators, competitors – you name it – and what a pleasure it is to be able to meet the array of visitors to Chatsworth. With a variety of competitions ranging from Novice to CIC3* taking place over the weekend and an assortment of attractions for all the family to enjoy, it is also an opportunity to support the official charity in 2016 - The Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA).
The horse trials will be even more important in 2016 as we will be presenting the awards for our Bursary in its’ inaugural year. I have just finished going through the shortlist process with help from my fellow judges Dan Hughes (Performance Director, British Equestrian Federation), Ian Stark OBE (Cross Country Course Designer). The final voting stage to select the winners will take place in the next few days, to vote keep an eye on our website.
With an array of other shows, competitions and activities coming up the spring will certainly prove to be a hectic but productive few months for the brand – more to follow after Chatsworth – and the Olympic Games are just around the corner!
CEO Dodson & Horrell