“The biggest week of my year” is how I describe having a stand at Hickstead! A fantastic week of catching up with old clients, watching my sponsored riders do extremely well, selling artwork and promoting photo shoots.
The Royal International Horse Show ran from 29th July to 2nd August and every day thousands of people attended the renowned show to watch international level show jumping and some of the best showing in the country.
My stand was part of the secondary reason people come to Hickstead – to shop! Either side of my stand were clothing companies and opposite me was a fortune teller, a stand selling country goods for your home and a feed stand.
As part of ‘Craig Payne and friends’ at this event were Peter Bainbridge, Tony O’Connor and Belinda Sillars. Peter attended every day bar Thursday and painted during the day so people could see him at work, Tony flew over from Ireland especially to be with us on Thursday afternoon, and Belinda dropped off her beautiful sculptures the day before the Show began after she completed them the night before!
Tony O’Connor is an internationally acclaimed artist and I was delighted to have a painting of a Stag and a painting of my photo, ‘Peaking Skylla’, on display. You can find out more about Tony on his website.
Belinda Sillars is well known in the equestrian and rural world for her characterful bronzes and great personality. Filled with movement and expression they come to life and her grey Arabian horse attracted a lot of attention. You can find out more about Belinda on her website.
Peter Bainbridge has been painting wildlife and horses for the last twenty years. At Hickstead he displayed otters, wrens, race horses, show jumpers and barn owls, all of which complimented each other to form a beautiful display. Peter welcomes commissions and you can find out more on his website.
What a week they had! I am pleased to be working with a small number of local riders who reflect the ethos my business and it was a delight to see Ben Parnaby and Michael Emeny jump at Hickstead. Amongst a full spread of placings the highlights were Ben winning a class and Mike coming third, the first time he has broken into the Top 10 at Hickstead!
It was lovely to meet a few brides-to-be and show them my wedding photography. This was a small side line to the stand as I wanted to show people my wedding work and hopefully this will lead to a booking or two to add to my busy diary for next year!
As well as those that are planning their weddings, I also caught up with brides whose weddings I have photographed in the past. Meeting the new additions to their families and see how married life is going was wonderful and I even gave Hayley & Chris their wedding album!
Peter and my thoughts
One of the big questions for our time at Hickstead was whether or not it would be worth investing in? Now Hickstead is over for another year, we know the answer was ‘Yes’! While the stand looks relatively simple, hours and hours have gone into making it look smart and sophisticated, but also welcoming and inviting. All the work for this was done by Peter and myself and we both feel the event was a success. We are hoping to attend again next year!
The next ‘Craig Payne and friends’ stand will be at Firle Place Horse Trials on 29th and 30th August, website. We then go to the Chiddingstone Castle Country Fair on 13th September and the Moorcroft Charity Race Day at Plumpton Racecourse on 19th October.
Please do come along and if you would like to see us at a particular event then please do let us know as we are currently planning our events for next year.