The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has secured government funding to boost British exports to the American market.
BETA will lead a British group on a trade mission to the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) Fair at the Baltimore Convention Center in the US on 31 January to 2 February, 2009.
Eligible companies can each apply for a £1000 subsidy from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) towards the cost of exhibiting.
BETA will have its own stand at the trade-only AETA Fair, provide logistical support for exhibitors within the British group and display literature on behalf of companies unable to attend.
"British equestrian products continue to be renowned in the US for their innovation, high standards and traditional values," said BETA's executive director Claire Williams.
"Many companies find that being part of a BETA export group ensures instant recognition and enhanced credibility."
As a UKTI Approved Trade Organisation, BETA has injected more than £500,000 into promoting equestrian products and services from dozens of British companies to the Australasian, Russian, European, American and related markets during the last five years.
Access to funding is open to BETA members and non-members, to companies of any size, and to manufacturers, distributors and retailers. With new eligibility criteria in place for AETA Baltimore, more companies are expected to be entitled to support.
BETA-led missions particularly appeal to companies new to exporting or for whom a specific show represents a new export market.
With new eligibility criteria in place for 2009, more companies are expected to be entitled to support.
Previously, funding was only available to companies whose exports comprised less than 25% of their total turnover. For these companies funding expired after support at three fairs, but under new UKTI guidelines, eligible companies in this category may apply for one further support package per year, provided it is for a fair designated as a 'core' event. The funding year runs from April to April, so companies that received their third funding after 1 April 2008 will be eligible again from 1 April 2009. If their last funded participation was prior to April 2008, then they may take advantage of funding to the remaining core event in this year, namely Equitana in Essen, Germany.
Under another change of criteria, companies that were ineligible for support by virtue of their exports exceeding the 25% of turnover cap may now apply for a UKTI subsidy for one show per year. The only constraint is that they did not attend the last edition of the chosen show.
Subsidised places to exhibit with BETA-led groups will be available for the Dubai International Horse Fair in Dubai on 19-21 March 2009 and Equitana, Essen, Germany, on 14-22 March 2009.
BETA has already secured UKTI funding for the World Equestrian Games on 25 September to 10 October 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky and is bidding for support for other events in 2009/10 including the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary.