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Blair Castle International Horse Trials Wins Prestigious Trade Award
Blair Atholl, Scotland
BCIHT Organiser, Hannah Wilkins, Tom Joules and BCIHT Director, Sarah Phillips
Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair has beaten strong competition from all over the UK to win a prestigious trade award.

The event, which takes place from August 23rd to 26th this year was among about 20 events which were nominated for the British Equestrian Trade Association's Equestrian Event of the Year Award.

Scotland's only three star three day event beat the other two finalists, Burghley Horse Trials and Your Horse Live, thanks to the way in which the organisers make an effort to ensure a warm Highland welcome for everyone who attends the event from trade exhibitors and competitors to spectators.

The award presented by BETA and sponsored by Joules Clothing acknowledges the event that best works with its trade exhibitors and takes their needs and requirements fully into consideration. It is open to indoor and outdoor consumer shows and events.

Director of Blair Castle Horse Trials, Sarah Phillips travelled to a Gala Dinner in Birmingham on Sunday to receive the award from Tom Joules. She said, "It is a real honour to be nominated for an award like this and an even greater honour to win. We have over 200 trade exhibitors at Blair and they constitute a major part of the event. This award reflects our commitment to those traders as well as their support of the event. We have a fantastic range of top quality exhibitors and a reputation for great shopping."

Last year nearly 40,000 people attended the event and results of an economic impact survey carried out in 2004 showed that £1.8million was spent at trade stands during the four days of the event, while a further £600,000 was spent on accommodation boosting the local economy in the small village of Blair Atholl and the surrounding region.

Claire Williams, Executive Director of BETA said that after the nominations had been received early this year, many trade stand holders who had been at all the events were contacted and Blair came out top thanks to its attention to detail.

Some of the favourable comments included, "The organisers at Blair went out of their way to ensure that all trade exhibitors and competitors had as easy an event as possible." Also, "The trade stand officer made an effort to visit all the exhibitors and check how things were going." Many said that, despite the long drive north, the size of the event and the reasonable cost of stand space would definitely encourage them to return in future years.

As one of the most popular events in the calendar among competitors the organisers are delighted to know that, "The constant good vibe in the air," makes it equally popular with trade exhibitors.

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