Luxury riding holiday firm scores double awards win
A bespoke luxury riding holiday firm based on Dartmoor is celebrating after a double victory at the prestigious Devon Tourism Awards.
Liberty Trials, which organises the world-renowned Dartmoor Derby challenge, scooped two golds at the glittering annual ceremony – one of only two businesses from 164 entries to achieve this feat.
On what was their first attempt, Liberty Trails triumphed in both categories they entered: active and sporting experience and international visitor experience of the year.
They now qualify to go forward to the South West Tourism Awards in February 2019.
Elaine Prior, founder of Liberty Trials, said: “It doesn’t take awards really to know that we’re getting something very right at Liberty Trails.
“The broad smiles on our guests’ faces – and our rebooking rates – tells us this, along with their all important feedback.
“But it is rather wonderful to win such industry recognition and two gold awards the first time we enter.”
Liberty Trails’ core business involves taking individual parties – not grouping guests together – for the riding holiday of a lifetime.
The firm arranges transfers and accommodation before taking competent riders deep into the moors, at a full range of paces, with expert guides and full ground support.
Mid-way through rides a delicious lunch is served, using local ingredients. Working with many local businesses from hotels, B&Bs, horse hirers and livery yards, to farriers and falconers, Liberty Trails, which has been trading for four seasons, has now generated over £600,000 of business for the local Devon economy.
Mrs Prior said: “We must also thank from the bottom of our hearts the growing team behind Liberty Trails, the many Dartmoor people who are essential to a business like this – the welcoming farmers; the dedicated horse owners who turn out horses so beautifully for us; the farriers, hotels and many other colleagues, friends and supporters of Liberty Trails who have helped us to achieve this.
“Crucially, they’ve also put Dartmoor at the top of the list of top riding holiday destinations for many hundreds of people around the world.”
Liberty Trails’ headline offering, the Dartmoor Derby, tackles some 50 miles over three days. Hailed as an “English riding safari”, small guided teams of riders spend each night in a luxury Mongolian style camp, built in the heart of the moors especially for this event.
In addition, 2019 will see two special Dartmoor rides hosted by legendary British Olympic medal-winning and former Badminton and Burghley champions, Mary King MBE and Ginny Elliot MBE.
They will be based from luxury five-star hotels in Devon.
Farming and rural affairs reporter @AthwennaWMN
Liberty Trails triumphed in both categories they entered: active and sporting experience and international visitor experience of the year