Lux­ury rid­ing hol­i­day firm scores dou­ble awards win

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News - BY ATHWENNA IRONS

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

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