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Badminton 2015 Blog

Here’s the first of our blogs from one of the several shows we attend over the season. Written by Rachel Hornby, from our Equine sales team. Rachel is based at our Head Office – Mark Westaway & Son, down in Devon.


“I can never quite understand how the Badminton Horse Trials seems to come round so quickly. It is the first show of the season which we attend with our full trade stand so it is always one we look forward to and I always feel it hails the start of summer. The empty spaceTuesday is set up day which always flies by in a hive of excitement and activity. Kate, the rep from the South East and I arrived at lunch time after a brief supermarket stop to stock up on yummy goodies for the week ahead. I always get a slight feeling of panic when we arrive at the trade stand site and it is completely empty. The forthcoming task of filling the vast space seems almost impossible but we haven’t failed yet and despite the wind’s best efforts to whisk away various parts of the stand we didn’t fail this time. The stand was soon up and ready for the following morning.”

stand2Wednesday sadly started very wet and our thoughts turned to the poor riders competing in the Grassroots competition. Kate and I were very impressed at the Great British public’s resilience as they still turned out in their thousands to support the competitors and enjoy the great variety of trade stands and shopping available. The rain did subside but was replaced by incredible gusts of winds. We were very grateful for the lovely people who came to ask a variety of feeding enquiries and patiently listened to our advice as we clung on to various parts of the trade stand.”

“Thursday and Friday, thankfully, were much improved and we were kept very busy with lots people, interesting enquiries and some fascinating stories. We were also treated to visits for some gorgeous dogs who left the stand sporting one of our Mollichaff or HorseHage bandanas!”

“The beginning of Badminton also marked the launch of our new competition to win a Mollichaff Sponsorship Package which is proving to be very popular with lots of very worthwhile entries being received in just the first 24 hours! Friday also saw the arrival of Debbie, the National Sales Manager, and Karen, the sales representative from the North, or as we had fondly named them ‘The Cavalry’.”



“Cross country day on the Saturday was an early start as we all met for breakfast at our lovely B&B, slightly blurry-eyed at 6.45am. All full up with a good hearty breakfast of bacon and sausages we were on the stand by 7.45am with the kettle boiling whilst we busied ourselves with hoovering and filling the samples ready for the very busy day ahead. The day passed so quickly we barely had chance to catch our breath between speaking to people. It is such a privilege to attend an event like Badminton and speak to so many lovely people. We were very thankful for Penny who had joined us for the day to fill samples and she also did an amazing job of supplying us with endless cups of tea, coffee and biscuits also known as the ‘fuel’ of sales reps! It was with great delight, having popped off the stand for a quick dash to the ladies, that I bumped into the beautiful police horses. Contrary to what many people think it is not often that we get chance to see a horse at events so it was a treat to see the two big beautiful bays.”

cake“Saturday is a late finish so we always book a table at the local pub for a much needed hot meal and a glass of wine. I often think that anyone else in the pub may find us a peculiar bunch as we are so tired that we barely hold a conversation during our meal. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the dessert menus appeared for us to muse over. Debbie was so tired that she ordered her Turkish Delight Cheesecake to go!”

“Sunday started a little more sedately than Saturday. We checked out of our B&B, thanking Laura, the owner, for another lovely stay and booking our rooms for next year which will come round so quickly. The full quota of staff on a Sunday gives us a chance to have a break and enjoy some of the show ourselves. We each popped off for a short break and inevitably returned with a shopping bag or two! Some with gifts for family, friends or ‘thank- yous’ for the fantastic people who had looked after horses in our absence and others with gifts for themselves. We also had a lovely surprise visit from Cassie James who regularly writes a column for our website and her partner Simon. The almighty roar coming from the grandstand direction indicated the show jumping had come to an end and the 4pm finish of the show soon came round. We started the task of breaking down the trade stand as the last few members of the public headed to their cars with arms full of shopping bags. There is something a little sad about the end of a show as the bustle of the many people dies down and the colourful trade stands slowly get packed away but it is always lovely to head home to long-suffering partners and muddy ponies. Thank you to all the lovely people we met, stockists and friends who came on the stand to say hi and to the organisers of Badminton Horse Trials for another great show. Roll on next year!”