This week on the blog we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane, and have a look back at some of the fantastic businesses who’ve entered our Best Rural Sporting Business Category.

E.J.Churchill Shooting Ground

Winners of the 2016 Best Rural Sporting Business Award, E.J. Churchill, are situated on the West Wycombe Estate, family seat of the Dashwood family. Led by passionate sportsmen, they remain the only shooting business in the UK that has their own gun making facility, shooting ground, corporate entertainment company and sporting agency. E.J. Churchill’s history began in 1891 when Edwin John Churchill set up a gun making workshop in London, laying the foundations for what is now one of the world’s finest gun makers and the largest in British hands. The E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground was voted best shooting ground in the UK in the IPC Media Shooting Industry Awards 2014 and also hosted the World English Sporting Championship in 2014 and 2016.

Rob Fenwick, Managing Director at E.J.Churchill, said: “The Rural Business Awards is an excellent way for rural firms to achieve recognition so, of course, we’re delighted to be included […] It’s vitally important that the rural economy is supported and cherished and its successes recognised for the contribution they make to the wider UK economy.”

Raisthorpe Flyers Ltd

Raisthorpe Flyers, based at beautiful Raisthorpe Manor in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds, offers simulated game shooting at its best. The estate aims to provide as real as possible an experience of shooting grouse, pheasant, partridge, duck and rabbit. They believe simulated shooting, at a fraction of the cost of the real thing, is a great way to introduce people to the countryside and its traditions.

David Medforth, Director at Raisthorpe Flyers, told us: “It’s an honour to be runners-up in the UK-wide Rural Business Awards and it just shows how much hard work the team has put in over the last few years. We look forward to welcoming new people with many bookings already being taken for next year and we are sure we will enjoy new and exciting times in 2017. It has been particularly rewarding to be competing against such big organisations, like EJ Churchill for example, and proving that we can still make it into second place.”

Divoky Riding School

Divoky Riding School won the 2017 recreational category. It is a BHS Approved riding school in the heart of Somerset on the Mendip Hills between Frome and Shepton Mallet, providing training in horse care and riding to able bodied and disabled riders. It offers BHS qualifications plus training to children who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), or partially excluded from school, in equine studies or land management. The school also works with the National Trust as graziers on the Large Blue Butterfly site at Collards hill, using riding school ponies.

Lavant House Stables

Lavant House Stables is a large, BHS accredited riding school nestled in the South Downs National Park. Children and adults come to the stables to enjoy their riding experience which is tailored to their needs and wishes, with qualified instructors to help them reach their goals. The stables offer a livery service and boast the best facilities for miles around including a huge indoor riding school, two outdoor all-weather arenas and cross-country facilities. The stables currently have around 55 horses and ponies which all live out throughout the year.

Lavant House Stables said: “It’s wonderful to know that programmes like the Rural Business Awards are shining a light on fantastic countryside enterprises all over the country. […] Being involved in the Rural Business Awards this year has been a wonderful experience and it’s good to know our hard work has been recognised.”

The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club

The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club has entered the RBAs twice, and was the Runner-Up in 2015 and Highly Commended in 2017. It is a pioneering and fast-growing ladies’ shooting community based in Shropshire. The club holds more than 100 introductions to clay shooting events at more than 40 shooting grounds across the UK each year. With a thriving membership, the club is all about community, support and having as much fun as possible, while instilling confidence in women from all age groups and backgrounds. The club’s events have been praised for the knock-on effect to the shooting industry, with an increase in business to ammunition manufacturers, shooting instructors, local gun shops and country clothing stores, plus local shops, pubs and restaurants.

The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club stated: “It’s a real honour to be highly commended in this year’s Rural Business Awards. The competition is tough, with some fantastic companies involved, so we’re delighted to be among them. At the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club we love getting people back in touch with nature and the countryside. The work being done by the CLA and Amazon with the Rural Business Awards is vitally important in promoting and bolstering our rural economy.”


This year, the Best Rural Sporting Category has had a bit of a facelift, becoming the Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business Award! We’re hoping that this will open the category up to the huge variety of recreational activities that take place across Britain. If you think you could be this year’s winner, take a look at the video below for inspiration!

To enter the Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business category, click here: https://ruralbusiness.awardsplatform.com/

For more information about this category, you can access our entry guidelines by following this link: https://www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/enter/

Still have questions? You can get in touch with us via: office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk or 0116 3800525

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