What do Jonty Evans’ mount Cooley Rorkes Drift, Bill Levett’s ride Lassban Diamond Lift, Paul Tapner’s partner Prince Mayo and Flora Harris’ teammate Monart’s Masterpiece have in common? (Apart from the obvious 4 legs and a tail…)
They were all selected by and sold through a Monart Select Event Horse Sale in Ireland.
After a chance conversation in a very muddy Belton International lorry park in 2016 I began working with Niall Griffin and Polly Jackson Griffin to promote their ever-growing annual Select Event Horse Sale. After promising myself that I would only work with businesses that I fully believe in, these guys fitted perfectly.
Unlike many other equestrian sales, the horses that go under the hammer at Monart have been very carefully chosen by a panel of Olympic and 4* event riders because they tick all of the boxes deemed important when looking at potential top-level event horses. They must move correctly (not necessarily be flashy), they must have a good jump technique (not necessarily polished), they must be 100% sound and their confirmation must not have the potential to cause future issues. Once selected every horse is given a 5* vetting and a set of x-rays by none other than Irish Olympic Team vet Marcus Swails and only horses who pass the vetting & have clean x-rays go forward to the Sale itself.
This formula is beginning to prove itself as the first wave of quality horses to pass through the Sale 8 years ago are reaching the top levels of eventing. With all of them achieving amazing things over the last couple of seasons, my job with them is definitely getting easier!
Where else can you stay in complete luxury in one of the World’s top 3 Spa Hotels while you view some of the best young horses Ireland has to offer?
So where do I fit in?
Having worked for Bede Events promoting Horse Trials such as Belton International and the British Young Horse Championships at Osberton, it turns out I had a bit of form in event promotion and that is essentially what I do for Monart. I promote their annual event. Looking for ways to spread the message about the Sale further and wider each year is my main responsibility and putting bums on seats in the auction room and letting the world know about what Team Monart are getting up to with their strings of both young Sale graduates and their more experienced campaigners also fall within my remit.
PR had traditionally involved managing the reputation a brand, product or event had with the outside world and in effect that is what I do for the Monart Sale.
Social media forms a huge part of our promotional plan and is by far the most effective medium at our disposal. With the opportunity to receive instant feedback and to get our message out to a targeted audience it offers the most cost-effective way of informing the right people about the Sale. The messages we choose to put out there are very important and predominantly focus on following (and shouting about) the successes of the graduates and communicating information about the Sale – dates, times, what people can expect when they arrive etc…
Another huge part of our PR plan this year was a collaboration with the incredible Event Rider Masters Series. We provided them with their owners’ prizes for each leg of the series including the Series’ winning prize too. With a two night Bed & Breakfast stay at one of the World’s top 3 Spa Hotels (according to Conde Naste) for each series leg winning owner and a stay in the Executive Suite for the duration of this years’ Sale to the Series winning Rider up for grabs, it served to recognise and thank the owners who are so vital to the sport of Eventing. The exposure and photo opportunities that Monart have gained from that relationship are almost priceless and whilst the investment was substantial we are very grateful for the support ERM have shown us. With talents like Gemma Tattersall bagging three of the rooms and Thomas Carlile, Izzy Taylor, Shane Rose and none other than arguably the best event rider the world has ever seen, Michael Jung taking the others we hope to have some very famous faces at this year’s Sale too.
Whilst press releases and digital advertising have a much smaller part to play they are still very important. PR isn’t instant – it is about sustainably building a brand reputation and I am lucky enough that when working to build the Monart Sale’s reputation I have some of the most exciting young Irish Horses in the world out there doing some of the talking for me!
Good reputations cannot be achieved over-night and that is something Niall and Polly are acutely aware of. We all work very hard to create an honest, sustainable and positive reputation for the Sale and I ensure that I take time to monitor online feedback (which thankfully has all been pretty positive so far!) and promote the multiple successes that the Monart Graduates have through the eventing seasons… easy when they are so talented!
This year’s Sale takes place on 7th and 8th November and so as I write this our PR is ramping up with online adverts appearing across equestrian sites and Monart Graduate press releases doing their rounds…
I’d love to know if you’ve heard of, or even been to, a Monart Sale before and if so what did you think?
Please visit Emily at https://inkpotandpress.co.uk/