Brigstock Horse Trials a hit with businesses

Robert Loomes and Robina Hill with Irish rider Austin O'Connor, who rode the closest to optimum time during the Brigstock International Horse Trials at Rockingham Castle

Robert Loomes and Robina Hill with Irish rider Austin O'Connor, who rode the closest to optimum time during the Brigstock International Horse Trials at Rockingham Castle

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Businesses from near and far were boosted when a prestigious equestrian event was held near Corby.

The Brigstock International Horse Trials were held in the grounds of Rockingham Castle earlier this month and attendances were up on the inaugural year, with ticket revenue doubling.

King West Chartered Surveyors returned as principal sponsors.

Mike Holland, of King West, said: “Rockingham Castle is one of our main clients and we know how well they do things.

“The audience is our target market and we see our association as a medium to long-term investment.

“It works very well for us.”

Also returning for a second year as the official time keeper was watchmaker Robert Loomes & Co, of Stamford.

Rider Austin O’Connor won one of their hand-made wristwatches, list price £7,500, for finishing closest to the optimum cross country time in the open/advanced intermediate sections.

Robert Loomes said he was delighted with the publicity and interest this prize generated, both in the build-up to the event, at the event and afterwards.

Mr O’Connor was seen wearing the watch at the recent Badminton Horse Trials.

Mr Loomes said: “The generated publicity continues to benefit us. Our 2013 sponsorship more than paid for itself in terms of watch sales and we have already welcomed new customers to our Stamford shop following this year’s competition.

“Sponsorship also gave us the traditional advantage of being able to offer hospitality to our best customers and suppliers, and to build serious relationships with them, in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Other smaller businesses also benefitted from appearing at the horse trials, including the Little Soup Kitchen Company, which sells home-made soup and other food from a converted Citroen van nicknamed Hugo, and was visited by riding superstar Sir Mark Todd.

Another hugely popular stand was the shared barbecue set up by The Marquess of Exeter pub, of Lyddington, and Launde Farm Foods, of Launde.

“We were blown away with how the show went, the Sunday in particular was incredible,” said Launde Farm Foods’ Gwilym Owen. “I can guarantee 100 per cent that we will be back next year.”

Local hotels, pubs and restaurants also benefitted from extra bookings generated by the event.

Next year the event will be renamed the Rockingham International Horse Trials and will be held from May 22 to 24.