A small business in the south west of Cumbria has been on a roll this summer; having won Best Tourism Experience in Cumbria in May (no small accolade considering the size of the county and diversity of the experiences on offer in the Lake District, one of the UK’s most well loved and visited areas), they recently went on to win at the Regional Finals , held in September at Manchester’s “The Point” (a new venue at Lancashire County Cricket Club), beating stiff completion from Shark Diving Experience, Art Exhibitions, and GoApe, amongst others.
Proprietor Annie Rose is delighted with the win, a true accolade for all the hard work and passion the team, both equine and human, put in to make this business a special experience, not just a horse ride. The main ethic behind the business is to promote the Heavy Horses as riding horses, and by winning this Award they continue to highlight the versatility of the horses, and what a fantastic experience they give to riders of all abilities and experience levels. Clydesdale and Shire horses, as well as Ardennes breeds, are often categorised as draught horses fit for farm work only – a line of thought which has had them on the Rare Breed Survival Trusts “At Risk” list for many years. Annie and Tim hope that, in promoting these beautiful horses in this way, they are ridden far more for the fantastic, fluent, energetic riding horse they are! To win the award the business has been mystery shopped, visited, and examined in great detail with assessors going out to every business, as well as having to put forward a detailed portfolio to back up any information put forward.
Building on this success they may be shortlisted for the England Finals, but Annie and Tim are simply delighted with their success so far. “It’s all about the horses” said Annie, “the whole team make this business work, it’s a lifelong love, a business built on a true passion for these magnificent horses, and we will continue to diversify and build on our current business model, promoting the heavy horse as a riding horse in a variety of ways. We believe that all our clients look for a quality experience, everything has to be right, from the moment they arrive in the yard to the quality of the ride, the horse, it’s training and how it looks all contribute; we have been a BHS Approved yard for years, which says alot to equestrians ”.
Cumbrian Heavy Horses was one of many business’ in Cumbria badly affected by the floods and cold last winter, They hope this next year will be an improvement, with plans afoot for an Indoor ménage with many ideas for its use, and a further Riding Holiday planned to add to the existing Cumbrian Classic Ride. So will we see them at the England Finals? We’ll find out in February.