Sam Twiston-Davies (left) & Chelsea approaching the finishCharity races have been in the news recently - Victoria Pendleton (retired cycling champion) and Tony McCoy (retired jump jockey champion) have both made headlines riding for charity at some of England's premier racecourses.
They were both riding race horses. Chelsea Pearce won her charity race at Chepstow Racecourse on a camel - what is more in the final she came home ahead of the highly rated jockey Sam Twiston-Davies who had been the runaway winner of the three heats.
Though still at school, Chelsea Pearce, who is based near Marlborough, is making her mark as an accomplished eventer.
The race was sponsored by William Hill and was to provide funds for the Bristol-based Paul's Place charity. Paul's Place works to improve the lives of physically disabled adults across South Gloucestershire, Bath and North-East Somerset, North Somerset and Bristol.
Chelsea - in the orange and light blue silks - led all the way in the final race: "It was for a great cause - and I had a wonderful day!" It certainly does not look the easiest of rides.
You can still support Paul's Place at this Justgiving web-page.
Tracy Richards with RosieFor a growing company in the equine and pet care business, Tracy Richards' Aqueos Care is an excellent example of the way SMEs ('small and medium sized enterprises') are run in the twenty-first century business economy.
Aqueos develops, makes and markets a growing range of ground-breaking alcohol and bleach free eco-friendly disinfectants for horses and dogs. They use a technological breakthrough to produce a water-based disinfectant that kills 99.999 per cent of known bacteria, fungi and viruses - and is no more hazardous to anything else than distilled water.
Managing Director Tracy Richards works from home. There is no manufacturing plant at her home near Pewsey. There is not even a warehouse nearby. How did this flourishing business start and how does it work?
Tracy Richards was the managing director of a clothing wholesale company when it was suddenly taken over. The new owners wanted her to stay on for a year, but she decided to leave.
She did not want to work for anyone else and when a colleague showed her a new technique for making disinfectants for dentists, she spotted how it could be applied to animals. She was, after all, a long-term rider - owning a grey called Rosie - and a dog owner.
Four years later and after some very expensive safety testing of each application of the technology, Aqueos has 28 products - split evenly between equine and canine use. And Aqueos now has DEFRA approval for general orders.
The complex biochemistry involved is probably only really understood at post-graduate level. But simply put Aqueos uses a highly stable agent and a complex blending technology to combine a number of biocides which in tiny amounts work together - each one enhancing the effect of the other.
AQUEOS SHAMPOO PACK SHOT For example, Aqueos' horse shampoo kills that proven 99.999 per cent of most bacteria, fungi and viruses including strangles and ringworm. It is so fast acting that it does its work within 30 seconds of contact - and it is gentle to the horse's skin.
This technology also gives the disinfectant a long lasting effect because it disrupts the surface tension of the treated area and makes it difficult for new micro-organisms to attach themselves to it.
The products are manufactured by a firm in Gloucestershire - “Very much made in Britain” - and she uses a pay-as-you-go warehouse in Calne which dispatches and delivers orders to wholesalers around the country and to retailers. Local retailers include TH White and the Wadswick Country Store in Corsham.
Tracy is in the process of employing her first full-time staff members: sales agents. She has one on board so far and hopes to build-up a team of about six regional agents.
She has recruited a number of well-known figures from the equestrian world as 'Brand Ambassadors'. These include eventer Kitty King who earlier this month secured a silver medal for the British team at the European Championships in Scotland increasing her profile with a Horse and Hound cover photo. And last weekend she came third at the Blenheim International CIC3* competition. Kitty King is based near Chippenham.
Other local Aqueos ambassadors are the up-and-coming young Marlborough eventer Chelsea Pearce, and the young show jumper Oscar Hobby who is the son of eventer Fiona Hobby whose stables are close by in Pewsey.
Tracy also works closely with the Greatwood charity near Marlborough which uses retired racehorses to help disadvantaged children. In particular they find Aqueos 's hand sanitising foam a great boon for keep visiting children safe.
Tracy with her PATS awardEarlier this year Aqueous put down an industry marker at the national Pets and Aquatic Trade Show (PATS). Facing 170 new product entries Aqueos was awarded Best Pet Care product for its innovative spray plaster for horses and pets.
This can be sprayed directly onto animals and protects minor cuts and grazes from water, dirt and bacteria - it gives a bandage-like protection and stays elastic but is still breathable and waterproof. Tracy Richards was delighted to win the award: "That was quite exciting as we were up against some big brands."
Tracy and her husband Tim have two sons. The elder is at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire studying equine business management and the younger is at Pewsey School working for his GCSEs.
Keeping stables and kennels free of bugs with safe disinfectants and keeping horses and dogs safe from infections and humans safe too is what the Aqueos range does for establishments with one horse or dog - or with a string of ponies or a yard full of expensive racehorses. And if there's a bevy of hens stalking round a stable yard, they and their hutches can be treated with a special Aqueos poultry spray.
Rosie helps with a pack shot