Several of Britain’s equestrian leaders have been recognised at the Animal Health Trust’s 25th anniversary Equestrian Awards.
More than 400 people attended the awards evening at the Lancaster London on November 7, hosted by Mike Tucker and Zoey Bird. Awards in seven categories were presented to the winners by AHT President Princess Anne, The Princess Royals.
Winners included Charlotte Dujardin, who took out the Dressage Award. Dujardin and Valegro won two gold medals at the European Championships in Denmark this year, and scored a world record 85.942% in the Grand Prix.
The Eventing Award was won by Bramham International Horse Trials, which was initiated 40 years ago by the late George Lane Fox at his family seat at Bramham Park. It is one of the leading three-star events in the world and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year under the guidance of George’s son, Nick Lane Fox.
The Showjumping Award went to Katrina Moore, who has led the GB Pony Team for the last 18 years, filling the Chef d’Equipe’s role for the first time in Bartahus, Denmark in 1996. During this time GB has won 22 European team and individual gold medals, eight European team and individual silver medals and six European individual bronze medals.
The Racing Award went posthumously to Sir Henry Cecil and was collected by Lady Jane Cecil. Newmarket-based Sir Henry was ten-time champion racehorse trainer, and remains one of British racing’s most famous personalities as well as one of the industry’s most respected trainers. He won 25 British Classics, including the Derby on four occasions and has a total of no less than 75 Royal Ascot victories to his name.
The Veterinary Award was presented to Dr Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the AHT’s Equine Clinic. Dyson is a world-renowned expert in equine orthopaedics with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses, and is also an expert in diagnostic imaging. She has lectured internationally and published more than 200 refereed papers in scientific journals, and has been awarded numerous awards for orthopaedics, radiology, as well as earning her place in the International Veterinaries Hall of Fame.
The Voluntary Award went to London’s Ebony Horse Club, which works with young people in Brixton and Lambeth (some of the most disadvantaged inner-city neighbourhoods in the country), offering horse riding, outdoor activities and mentoring. Some of its members have gone on to jobs within the horse world, including training at the British Racing School. And after years of travelling to other riding schools across the capital, Ebony opened its own equestrian centre in Brixton in 2011.
The Animal Health Trust Special Award was presented to Rob Hoekstra, who was appointed Performance Manager to the World Class Showjumping Programme in February 2010. He represented The Netherlands on the Junior Showjumping team aged 14, and after changing nationality represented Britain on seven Nations cup teams. He has won numerous international competitions and Grand Prix, competed in three World Cups and won the Hickstead Derby in 1999 on Lionel II.
This year an additional award was presented to Desi Dillingham MBE for her unique contributions to the equestrian world over the past 10 years, and more specifically for her role as Chair of the Animal Health Trust Equestrian Awards Organising Committee for the past decade.
The AHT’s Corporate Fundraising Manager Chloë Bowler said: “The 25th anniversary of the Animal Health Trust UK Equestrian Awards was a huge celebration of equestrian talent and contribution. This year nominations recognised contribution and achievement over the last 25 years, which showcased a great array of talented individuals and horses.
“We are very grateful to our President, HRH The Princess Royal, for attending the evening, and presenting the winners with their awards. We are also grateful to all our sponsors who make this event possible each year.
“The Equestrian Awards is the flagship event in our Fundraising Calendar, raising vital funds to continue our work fighting disease and injury in animals. We are thrilled that it has been so well supported yet again, and look forward to seeing everyone next year.”