Launching a successful career
The Innovation Awards – sponsored by Equestrian Trade News – are prestigious industry accolades that celebrate creativity, cutting-edge technology and inspirational invention. Over the years, they have acted as the launch pad for many products that have gone on to enjoy highly successful careers in the marketplace.
Taking part in the awards puts products firmly in the spotlight, as buyers and members of the media are always among those first in line to hear the winners announced as the corks pop and glasses of bubbly are served.
I won an Innovation Award!
Tricia Palmer Lewis made her exhibitor début at BETA International 2017 when, much to her surprise, she won one of the show's celebrated Innovation Awards with CryoChaps, an ergonomically shaped ice wrap she had designed to aid equine recovery after exercise and rehabilitation following injury.
“Winning the highly commended award was a hugely emotional experience for me because all the months and years of planning and preparation are rewarded and recognised in a moment. I have never been so overwhelmed in my entire life and I cried – a lot – which was most embarrassing when I look back.
“Everyone was amazingly kind and lots of people came up to congratulate me afterwards. The award gave me a positivity that I had developed a good product and could go into business with a seal of approval.
“I haven't looked back since winning and, without the Innovation Award, Cryochaps would not exist – it's as simple as that. People have been extremely positive towards the product and often comment that there is nothing quite like it on the market. It was a real highlight for me when CryoChaps were even worn by horses competing at Badminton.”
The Innovation Award judges
Each member of the Innovation Awards judging panel is an expert in his or her own field and they have been specially selected for their depth of knowledge and expertise. In 2018, the following judges will take up the challenge of selecting the winning entries...
Clare MacLeod, MSc Nutr
An independent consultant equine nutritionist, Clare MacLeod is registered with the Association for Nutrition. She has a first-class BSc honours degree in equine science and a masters degree with distinction in human and equine sports science. Clare's scientific knowledge is backed up with two decades of practical experience feeding both her own and countless clients’ horses. Clare runs a successful nutrition consultancy and her work ranges from giving advice to horse owners, trainers, yard managers and vets to lecturing, writing articles, training and commercial consultancy for feed companies.
Tracey Morley Jewkes
Tracey Morley Jewkes has worked in senior leadership throughout her 25-year career. She was the co-owner of Fly Away before launching the Groom Away range and has taken care of the UK marketing and brand management of leading equestrian brands such as Pikeur, Eskadron and Baleno. More recently, she ran her own management and marketing consultancy, and took on the role of managing director of Blacks Vets, voted Best UK Vets in 2016. Tracey is also managing director of Born to Bark – a natural dog grooming product company – and distributor for a US anti-ageing and wellness brand. She was previously a rider, competitor and instructor and is keen to take back the reins when she finds time. Tracey lives in the Midlands with her partner, Simon, and dog, Ollie.
Wendy Beal is retail manager of R&R Country Store, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, a position she has held for seven years. She also sits on the British Equestrian Trade Association's Council and Retail Committee. A graduate of the University of York, from where she gained a BSc honours degree in equine physiology, Wendy has worked in the equine industry for almost two decades and enjoyed a range of roles on both dressage and racing yards. A keen eventer, she competes at a low level but is involved in fence judging at 4* and is the proud owner of two lively Hungarian Vizlas.
Showing supremo Allister Hood has been producing everything from lead rein ponies to heavyweight hunters for the past 35 years with his wife, Anne, and son, Oliver, from Buttons Farm, in Norfolk. He has claimed every major accolade at the Horse of the Year Show, including the Supreme Horse of the Year in 2016, and has trotted down the show's centre line 60 times. In 2017, he took both first and second places in the Winston Churchill Supreme Championship at the Royal International Horse Show with riding horse Diamonds Are Forever and Our Cashel Blue – the same horse with which he won the 2017 HOYS Champion Cob.
A master saddler and harness maker, Michelle Miller is also the owner of M Miller Saddlery – a combination of retail store and workshop – which she runs from her family farm in Shawforth, near Rochdale, Lancashire. She and her husband, Andrew, breed ponies and their Wellbrow Fell ponies are in demand all over the world. She trained at Cordwainers Technical College, London, and has been a master saddler for more than 30 years.
Combining her love of horses and travel led Wendy Hofstee to set up her equestrian holiday company Unicorn Trails in 1998. Twenty years later, the business is a highly regarded knowledge resource for horse travel worldwide and Wendy is still very much at the helm, taking responsibility for the development of new products, marketing, budget and finances. Born in Holland, Wendy grew up in South Africa and moved to England in 1990 after qualifying as a veterinary surgeon. Horses have been a lifelong passion for her and she tries out every holiday offered by her company and experiences rides first-hand. The welfare of horses is paramount and she won't offer rides in places where the horses aren't treated as well as the guests. In her spare time, Wendy likes to socialise and go to the theatre, and is well-known for her parties.