Weatherbys Hamilton will be supporting the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this year – providing sponsorship of the Members’ Enclosure.
The world-famous event takes place from 3rd to 7th May on The Duke of Beaufort’s magnificent Badminton estate in South Gloucestershire and attracts crowds of around 160,000 to watch the world’s leading horses and riders compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping.
Weatherbys Hamilton is renowned for its expertise for the insurance of houses, farms, country estates and bloodstock and has a thriving office in Swindon which serves the Cotswolds area and all neighbouring counties. Weatherbys Hamilton partners’ Richard Chugg, Martin Wright and Angus Maclean all have a strong local following. The firm also has offices in Mayfair, Newmarket, Wellingborough and Penrith.
Charles Hamilton, Chief Executive, Weatherbys Hamilton, commented: “Badminton is a world-class event and we are thrilled to be supporting this exciting and hugely popular competition in the equestrian calendar. It is our ambition to be the first name that someone think of when they need private client insurance, in the same way that the Badminton name is synonymous with eventing. The arrival this year of Martin Wright in our Swindon office has added significantly to our farm and estate expertise and we pride ourselves on the fresh approach and excellent, competitive service that we are able to provide from all of our offices.”
Hugh Thomas, Event Director, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, said: “The Members’ Enclosure is the social heart of Badminton and we are delighted that Weatherbys Hamilton is supporting us. The Members’ Enclosure is wonderful place to meet friends and enjoy lunch or drinks and we look forward to seeing our members there this year.”
Weatherbys Hamilton’s programme of sponsorship took us to Exeter on Tuesday where we sponsored a novice chase over 3 miles. Acquired by Jockey Club Racecourses some 10 years ago it is yet another example of the unique diversity of British racecourses and how they form such an attractive part of the fabric of the local community. It is a two mile oval, which I believe makes it the biggest circuit in the country, and a broad undulating track which is a very stiff test when the going is as tacky as it was on the day. However, Exeter is so well located that it is readily accessible and popular with trainers, particularly for introducing novices.
Our race was won by Red Devil Lads, trained by Rebecca Curtis on the Pembrokeshire coast and they were all very strung out with the winner coming home 12 lengths clear of the 2nd, who was in turn 40 lengths clear of the 3rd.. The worst part of training must be the hours spent on the road and it was a four and half hour trip for the winner just to get to the course! It was about the same time as it took Jonny McIrvine and me to get there from Newmarket but we don’t have to do it every day.
We entertained various owners, trainers and local professionals during the afternoon and the facilities are excellent. The winner’s lass came up to collect the trophy which meant that Nick Cheyne, ex Clerk of the Course at Sandown and Ascot, and currently Client Relations Director at Weatherbys, had to be pressed in to action to mind the horse while she did. He is a natural!
When we started trading in October 2012 the sole purpose of our website was to provide contact details and proof of or our existence. We didn’t give it much more thought than that until Justin Gott, the head of Private Clients at Hiscox, came to talk to us about the state of the market last September. He very kindly volunteered to get his in-house experts to audit our website and the result shocked us in to action. Out of the 53 preferred broker websites that they had audited we unfortunately came 53rd! View the report here
This opened our eyes to the importance of an informative, up-to-date website and the need to embrace social media. I haven’t yet dared asked Hiscox to re-audit us but I certainly hope that we will have climbed the table when they do and that our new site will be found sufficiently interesting to merit further visits. We have every intention of remaining pertinent and topical and there is nothing that gives a worse impression of a firm than an out of date web-site. Having reviewed quite a few brokers and insurers’ websites in the course of designing ours, it has to be said that many do look quite dreary..
It is always good to wave good-bye to February and for those of us interested in racing, Cheltenham in March is a highlight of the year in more ways than one. Not only will we be insuring a large number of runners but the meeting signals the onset of Spring and the chance to reconnect with many friends and clients after the winter. The redevelopment work at the racecourse is unlikely to get in the way of a fantastic meeting and the backdrop of Cleeve Hill has to make it the most spectacular racecourse anywhere in the world. It is the best part of the job to call it work!