Equestrian industry salutes a champion of the Covid-19 crisis.

Claire Williams, BETA’s executive director, was presented with the Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award at last week’s National Equine Forum. 

The annual award’s emphasis was changed for 2021 to celebrate those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ during the pandemic. 

Claire Williams

Claire was nominated for her tireless work - at all hours, to advise, support and maintain morale across the equestrian sector during the crisis. 

Her efforts included analysis of Government guidelines and the development of protocols to allow feed merchants and tack shops selling feed and horse care products to trade legally and continue with essential safety services such as hat fitting.

“Without Claire's support many would have suffered financial hardship and potential loss of livelihood,” read one of the nominations. “It was her tenacity and quick-thinking that helped to keep many retailers open, and the nation's horses fed and cared for.”

Claire was born and educated in New Zealand, moving to the UK in 2000 to join BETA.  

Her role covers the trade association and BETA’s wholly-owned subsidiary EMC Ltd, organiser of BETA International and publisher of ETN. Claire is a director of British Equestrian, British Horse Council, AMTRA and EMC Ltd.

“I’m deeply honoured to receive this award,” she said. “I know how challenging last year proved to be for so many in our industry, so I was pleased to be able to play my part in helping BETA members and the wider equestrian community through this difficult time. 

“Without the support of the rest of my team, I would not have been able to dedicate myself so wholeheartedly to supporting the trade - and so this award should be shared with the BETA & EMC team who worked alongside me in and out of lockdown.”

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