We are just back from our maiden sponsorship at the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials last week where we were delighted to sponsor The Members Enclosure. Additionally we took a chalet on the lake and entertained about 250 friends and clients over the four days. We didn’t really know how it would go but it vastly exceeded our expectations and we have every intention of continuing what we have started.
We had two particular reasons to be there. Firstly Martin Wright, who joined us as a partner in our Swindon office last July, spent 25 years running the NFU Mutual’s office in Wotton-under-Edge with Badminton right in the middle of his old patch. It was therefore a perfect opportunity for Martin to introduce Weatherbys Hamilton to his old clients at what is effectively his village fete!
Secondly, Jonny McIrvine, one of our partners in Dullingham, competed at Badminton several times in the early 80s and so gives us a real resonance with the eventing world. On his final ride in 1985, Jonny’s aptly named Hamlet IV was second after the dressage but sadly they parted company with each other at the Lake. It was deeper in those days and whilst Jonny struggled to come up for air, Hamlet set off back to the stables behind Badminton House. The most direct route was down the entire length of the lake, and so Hamlet swam home past the huge crowds to the considerable amusement of everyone bar his rider!
The Members Enclosure is the focal point of the Main Arena and has a footfall of several thousand over the four days. Our branding, from the gatemen in our green livery to our logo on the Members’ badges, was extremely effective and made us feel very much at the heart of the event. The weather was dry throughout which makes such a difference and Andrew Nicholson on Nereo was a winner who exemplifies what an incredibly difficult and tough event Badminton is to win. The 55 year old rider broke his neck in a fall in 2015 which required eight hours of surgery and this was his first win at the 36th attempt. Qualities that stand one in good stead whatever business you are in.