Rare breeds preservation and equestrian specialist Stallion AI has been crowned Shropshire’s Company of the Year at a glittering night of celebration.

It was one of two triumphs for the Whitchurch-based business, which also won the Trailblazer award in recognition of its innovation.

Stallion AI is using ground-breaking technology to harvest and preserve the DNA of rare breeds from all over the world to ensure their survival.

It has also grown into the UK’s largest equine semen collection and distribution centre, and is the holder of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The company fought off competition from finalists Aico of Oswestry, and two Shrewsbury-based companies – Arrow County Supplies and Riverside Cabins – to win the top prize for the first time.

More than 600 people were at Telford’s International Centre to see all the winners revealed for this year’s Shropshire Chamber Business Awards, the largest event on the county’s business calendar.

It was a particularly good night for companies from Telford and Shrewsbury, which dominated the prize categories this year.

Telford-based winners included best small business Chrisbeon Office Supplies, manufacturing and engineering winner Bridge Cheese, community champion the Learning Community Trust, and Hadley Park House Hotel which took the retail, leisure and hospitality award.

Elizabeth Wilkinson, known as the ‘Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant’ for her pioneering work raising the profile of the learning difficulty, also received the John Clayton Award for her outstanding contribution to the county.

Winners from Shrewsbury included best new business Lilakshop, outstanding business growth champion R1 Construction, eco award winner Arrow County Supplies, and Salop Leisure for outstanding customer service.

Elsewhere, Maddie Hughes from Agritel of Oswestry won the young business person award.

Finalists came from all corners of the county including Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Market Drayton, Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Shifnal, and Whitchurch.

The Shropshire Chamber Business Awards have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity over the years. This year’s recipient was Severn Hospice.

Piran Littleton, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce president, said: “From the outset of this year’s event, the buzz of anticipation has been palpable.

“This event stands as a magnificent tribute to the exceptional qualities of Shropshire businesses – a celebration of business excellence.”