Wootton Bassett’s Hat 2 Hoof in line for top award
Hat 2 Hoof has rapidly turned into a horse and pony rider’s Mecca in Wiltshire.
Now, four and a half years after opening in the Old Post Office in Broad Hinton, the store, and its owner Terri Hemmings have been nominated for a top award – to her complete surprise.
Hat 2 Hoof is in the top four of 167 tack shops in the UK in the Equestrian Business Awards, meaning Terri will be on the podium for possibly winning the event in Nottingham in October.
“I feel like I have won it already because of all the lovely comments,” said Terri.
“I didn’t know anything about it until someone contacted me out of the blue,” she said.
“Customers had nominated me and had sent in all these amazing comments about how I run the shop and the customer service I offer, which is amazing.”
The public vote awards recognise small businesses in the equestrian world from livery yards to farriers to vets.
“I used to be an event groom, and this was always something I wanted to do long term but never thought I would have the funds behind me to do it,” said Terri, a former nanny for top event rider Andrew Nicholson’s daughter.
“Then the Post Office in my village shut down, and I thought, well, Countrywide at Marlborough had closed, the Old Dairy Saddlery at Tockenham had shut down, so I thought there is a gap in the market.”
Since opening in Broad Hinton, Terri’s reputation has spread amongst the equestrian community in the area, where she has earned a name for being able to source quality products and great deals.
She even has an uncanny ability to match riders’ legs with the right sized riding boots, which anyone trying to buy boots will tell you is an art.
She rapidly outgrew the Old Post Office, and was then offered the chance to move to a site at Breach Lane Equestrian in Wootton Bassett.
She has managed to corner the market – despite not being online.
“It is really busy,” she added. “It is one of my flaws that I am not online, but I am not very computer literate and find it hard. So moving here has been brilliant as a lot of people come here to use the gallops, have lessons etc so I get lots of foot fall through the gates which is brilliant.”
Hat 2 Hoof is open Mon-Sat 9:30-4:30pm, Sunday 10:00 – 3:00pm
Breach Lane Equine Centre, Breach Lane, SN4 7QR