The Symm International Horse Trials take place on the Culden Faw Estate, Hambleden, Henley on Thames. They run in the Spring of each year as one of British Eventing’s (the sport’s governing body) official fixtures. Three full days of competition take place and the event runs from 8.00 am until about 6.30pm each day, with some 850 competitors taking part. Although it could be considered to be a grass roots level event, it habitually attracts Olympians and National team riders that are either bringing on young horses, or who need to use it as an opportunity to warm-up for Badminton Horse Trials which is a couple of weeks later.
The event is always heavily over-subscribed by competitors, very popular with spectators and is fortunate to have the benefit of good sponsorship – hence the need to ensure that the hospitality facilities are capable of producing food at the highest level.
From the outset, corporate hospitality has always been an integral part of the event. When the event started back in 1997 the commercial catering equipment hire industry was not as advanced as it is today, and caterers were expected to produce first-class food from what was frequently a muddy tent with no facilities! Indeed it was witnessing the lack of available facilities that made Event Kitchens proprietor, Chris Hughes, first come up with the concept of a mobile kitchen hire business that could provide a temporary kitchen for such events, which would facilitate a far greater level of hospitality service. His temporary kitchens provide a portable kitchen facility that is totally compliant with food hygiene regulations. The client also books a walk-in fridge to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to chill food and wine for 250 guests per day for breakfast, lunch and tea.