This August we all had the pleasure of attending York Races for Ebor Day, together as a company we were treated to VIP service, lunch and a private box to enjoy and share in the excitment of Race Day.
There was however a significant reason for our day out, it was a celebration, a group recognition for the 50 years of service and leadership Richard Bentley has given Stephenson Group.
It’s a special and in fact rare moment not only when an indivdual has been at a company for 50 years but has also led, changed and inspired a business. Not only has Richard done all of this, but also remains a key influence whilst gracefully releasing responsibility to allow the next generation to carve their way.
Richard can be extremely proud with not only what he has achieved but also the foundation he has laid here at Stephenson Group. Richard has taken the company from quite humble beginnings from an annual turnover of £80,000 a limited number of products and just a few customers to the Stephenson Group of today, twice the winner of the Queens Award, repeated export success, thousands of customers, hundreds of products, 3 different industry specialities and sales of approx. £22 million – he has guided the buisness through some of the most challenging of economic times, and in turn built strong diversification in order to underpin our growth and secure the long term future for the company and those that work within it.
For that we say ‘Thank You’ to Richard and ‘Congratulations’ for all you have acheived!
So, onto the races. It’s a chance to ‘dress to impress’ get carried away with the buzz, glamour and speed of flat horse racing. The Ebor festival was established in 1843 with the first running of the Ebor Handicap, and established itself as one of the top flat races in Europe.
Each of the four days at York has feature races:
- Wednesday is called Juddmonte International Day and features the Juddmonte International, the Great Voltigeur Stakes and the Acomb Stakes.
- Thursday is Ladies’ Day and features the Lowther Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
- Friday is Nunthorpe Day and features the Nunthorpe Stakes, the Gimcrack Stakes and the Strensall Stakes.
- Saturday is Ebor Day and features the Ebor Handicap and the Lonsdale Cup.
The feature race of our day (Saturday) is the Betfred Ebor , this is the oldest, and probably most famous race at York as well as the richest flat handicap in Europe. The excitement that this famous handicap generates has been constant since the 1840s; Mudawin a winner at over 100-1, Sergeant Cecil, a victor who became horse of the year, Purple Moon who landed a nationwide gamble and then headed down under and very nearly became the first British trained winner of the Melbourne Cup, a flying dismount from Frankie – and that’s just in its recent history.
The buzz about the racecourse on Ebor day is infectious, we all shared in the excitement and hope that one of us might unravel the puzzle to find the winner of the Betfred Ebor. There is no doubt that the day was enjoyed by all, we had winners and of course losers, but we all shared in the joy of what Richard has acheived, a quite remarkable leadership and a fitting celebration as we look forwards to the next generation and chapter for Stephenson Group.