Horse Trust receives £10,000 in SEIB charity awards

SEIB's Suzy Middleton, left, and Bipin Thaker, right, present the £10,000 cheque for the top prize in the SEIB Charity Awards to Jan Rogers and Jessica Keane of The Horse Trust.
SEIB’s Suzy Middleton, left, and Bipin Thaker, right, present the £10,000 cheque for the top prize in the SEIB Charity Awards to Jan Rogers and Jessica Keane of The Horse Trust. © Trevor Meeks

British charity The Horse Trust has received the top prize in the SEIB Charity Awards, presented on Wednesday night at a champagne reception at the at Dallas Burston Polo Club in Warwickshire.

A cheque for £10,000 and a commemorative plaque was presented to Jan Rogers and Jessica Keane from The Horse Trust, by SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer Suzy Middleton and Chief Operations Officer Bipin Thaker.

Suzy Middleton said she was proud that SEIB, with the support of the company’s owners, Ecclesiastical, was in a position for itsprofits to go to good causes. “To be able to support and make a difference to the futures of some of those that have had endured bleak times over the past 18 months is heart-warming.”

Nine other charities reached the final voting stage and received £33,000 from SEIB between them, including £8000 for the Epsom Riding for the Disabled as voted top small charity (with a turnover of under £100,000).

The other finalist charities were Children’s Heart Unit Fund (£6000), Missing People (£4000), Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital (£3500), Me&dDee Charity (£3000), SiMBA Charity (£2500), and Proteus Reptile Trust  World Horse Welfare and Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare, which each received £2000.

The general public nominated their favourite charities in the first stage of the decision-making process for the 2021 SEIB Charity Awards before SEIB clients went on to have the final vote for the top 10 placings and the recipient of the £10,000 top prize.

The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible. In light of the many and often overwhelming demands placed on charities by Covid-19, for the second year running, any money granted by SEIB can be used as the charity sees fit and to cover running costs for the charity. In previous years the grant had to be awarded for a specific project. SEIB introduced this flexibility into the awards to ensure that the money granted will really make a difference.

SEIB and Horseworld Trust Inspirational Award

A relay ride celebrating horses and the important role they can play in helping mental, physical and emotional wellbeing has received the SEIB and Horseworld Trust Inspirational award.

The Great Horses for Health Relay ride, founded and organised by Sophie Gifford, has proven a great success throughout Britain. Launched on May 2 in Yorkshire, riders and their horses in the relay ride are helping to raise funds for seven equine charities. The ride will conclude in the South West in October.

Gifford said many people have worked hard to create events across the UK. “So this award is a testimony to their enthusiasm and commitment.”

SEIB Livery Yard, Riding School and RDA Centre of the Year Awards

More than 1100 nominations were made for yards, riding schools and RDA centres throughout the country for the 2021 SEIB Livery Yard, Riding School and RDA Centre of the Year awards, with nominees undergoing a rigorous judging panel including a video submission before a shortlist was drawn up.

Panel judge Richard Ramsay said the quality of care, teaching and horse management seen in this year’s livery yard, riding school and RDA awards had been magnificent. “For these top yards nothing is overlooked and standards across the board are exceptional.”

The SEIB RDA Centre of the Year went to Barrow Farm RDA in Essex. A delighted Anne Mitchell and Karen Lehner went up on stage to collect the trophy. Peggy Douglas and her daughter Sophie from Erme Valley RDA in Devon took the highly commended prize. Contessa Riding and Training Centre headed the Small Riding School of the Year awards with Tina Layton and Betty Vegere collecting the award. Highly commended in this section went to owner, Gerry Dunne and manager Cam Christie of Grovely Riding Centre near Salisbury.

The Large Riding School of the Year Award saw Abergavenny-based Triley Fields Equestrian Centre take the win for Beccy Field. Lorraine Webster and April Eley of Kingsmead Equestrian Centre and Pippa Hutton and from the Talland School of Equitation both went home with highly commended prizes.

The SEIB Do it Yourself (DIY) Livery Yard of the Year went to Berries Farm Liveries, represented on awards night by Jen Brooker and Richard Pointer. Highly commended in the DIY section went to Andrew and Abigail Turnbull from Richmond Equestrian centre in North Yorkshire.

The Full Livery Yard of the Year award went to Jason and Helen Newbold of Folly Fields Farm.

SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award

Nigel Lymn Rose, Company Chairman of A.W. Lymn The Family Funeral Service, received the SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award. It was presented by National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) president Kate Edwards, and SEIB’s Middleton and Thaker.

In the fourth generation of the family business, Rose has spent more than 50 years of his life helping the bereaved in Nottinghamshire and South Derbyshire. He said he was humbled by the award. “IIt is nice to have my family here – even though they must have cheated on me by sending on words and pictures without me knowing – I really am honoured. People ask me why I don’t retire, but my work is my hobby, I don’t want to do anything else.”

Awards Master of Ceremonies Chris Clark, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Planning Services Ltd, said there could be no more worthy a winner of this award. “He truly has dedicated his life to helping provide a caring service to grieving families, and in addition to this, playing a crucial role in securing government support to ensure that funeral directors are able to be in a position to do their important work.”

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