Staff at a horse health business are riding high after beating hundreds of other firms competing for the title of Britain’s top specialist internet retailer.
Hannah Wild and her team at Supplement Solutions emerged as the overall category winners at the annual British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards this month.
The Great Eccleston company stocks more than 5,000 products designed to keep horses in good shape, including many types of nutritional supplements.
Her company also dispenses advice to horse owners on how best to care for their animals – and it was the nominations of these customers that helped propel the firm to the top spot.
But before being named winner, Hannah’s company was subjected to “secret shopper” tests by judges in the run-up to the awards ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
A keen rider and teacher, Hannah launched her business 10 years ago after working as technical manager for a manufacturer of horse supplements in Lytham.
Today, Hannah and her team supplies customers by mail order, not just in Britain but also worldwide from the company’s base in the centre of the village.
The BETA award is Supplement Solutions’ second triumph in recent weeks – last month staff member Katie Hest received a special award for her horse care knowledge.
Katie gained the highest marks in Britain in the professional E-SQP exams which allow successful students to prescribe and supply certain medicines to treat horses and other animals.
The exams are set by AMTRA, the official animal medicines training regulatory authority, and horse owner Katie’s score outclassed those of hundreds of other students.
Katie works as a senior nutritional specialist with Supplement Solutions – and, said Hannah, has helped to create the firm’s reputation for providing well-informed professional guidance:
“Although we are a mail order company, customers value greatly the quality of advice which we offer, and often rely on our expertise to resolve a horse health issue,” she said.
“Many staff, including myself and Katie, are educated to degree level in equine sciences – and Supplement Solutions also sponsors employees through additional external training schemes.
“We have invested heavily in internet technology to build our online business, but we never lose sight of the fact that helping individuals and their animals is at the core of our work. That’s why we were so delighted that it was the votes of customers which helped us win the BETA award – and clicking with them is just as important as clicks on our website”.
Her company is a regular competitor in the BETA awards, and has won the overall internet title three times previously.