Princess Anne unveils the Hall of Fame plaques. Several officials and laureates attended, including David Broome, third from the right behind the Princess Royal.
© Jane Thompson
The ceremony - at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment's headquarters in Knightsbridge - was attended by many of the BHS Equestrian Hall of Fame's Laureates.
As a BHS Hall of Fame Laureate, HRH The Princess Royal was herself presented with a certificate, along with top eventer Pippa Funnell, both of whom have plaques on the wall of honour.
The BHS's Chairman Patrick Print FBHS said: “It is more than two years since we launched the BHS Equestrian Hall of Fame and it is fitting that it now has a wall of commemorative plaques.
“We hope visitors will come in their droves to see these wonderful, lasting tributes to the truly great equestrians and horses of times past and present.”
BHS President Desi Dillingham spoke about the Hall of Fame at the unveiling.
At a champagne reception before the unveiling, five new Laureates were inducted into the BHS Equestrian Hall of Fame: top eventer William Fox-Pitt, Olympic gold medallist Mary Gordon-Watson, and three more great horses, Nizefela, The Poacher and Everest Forever.
The BHS's Equestrian Hall of Fame was launched in July 2005 with 20 great equestrians and 16 remarkable horses honoured.
The riders (or drivers) included HRH The Princess Royal, Harvey Smith, Colonel Sir Michael Ansell, Cynthia Haydon and Ginny Leng. The horses included Sefton, Milton, and Be Fair.
Additional Laureates including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Captain Mark Phillips, Nick Skelton and Douglas Bunn, and more legendary horses, such as Beethoven, Tosca, Arko III and Shear H2O, were announced at later events.
William Fox-Pitt is one of British equestrianism's great success stories. His background is steeped in horses; his mother was a member of the British three-day event team and his father completed Badminton and Burghley. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, he was a member of the British team that finished fifth. At the Athens Olympics eight years later, he won a team silver medal, adding to his many international honours. He has won five European team gold medals, two European individual silver medals, a World team bronze from Jerez in 2002 and World team silver in Aachen in 2006. In 2005, he was British Open Champion for the third time at Gatcombe Park; in 2006, he won both the British Intermediate Championships and British Novice Championships, and last year his successes included winning his fourth Burghley title.
Mary Gordon-Watson (Mary Low)
Mary is perhaps best known as a member of the great Eventing team that brought home gold for Britain in the Munich Olympics of 1972. She, Richard Meade, Bridget Parker and Captain Mark Phillips pressed home their class with a superb all-round display of equestrian skill. The Times newspaper subsequently rated that victory as one of the 30 greatest sporting achievements of all time. That British team was the first since the Dutch in 1928 to retain the three-day event title for their country. Remarkably, the horse ridden by Mary in 1972, Cornishman V, had also helped to win the title at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico with Richard Meade as his rider. Of course Mary also had many other great victories during her illustrious career. She won individual gold on Cornishman V at the European Championships in France in 1969 and the World Championships at Punchestown in 1970. She is one of only three riders to hold both titles at the same time. Mary also won team gold at the Europeans at Burghley in 1971. Mary has gone on to become one of our most distinguished equestrian writers.
Nizefela was easily identified by his famous 'kick back' over a fence – a sure sign that he was on form! In the jumping world he was known as the cornerstone of the British show jumping team and described by former BSJA Chairman Colonel Harry Llewellyn as a horse who was as "steady as a rock" and "jumps big and clean". The bay gelding, bred in Lincolnshire, was owned and ridden by the great Wilfred White, and it was on him that Wilf achieved many of his greatest victories. Nizefela helped Britain to win its only gold medal at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, and was a member of the Olympic bronze medal-winning team in Stockholm in 1956. In total Nizefela represented Britain in a dozen victorious Nations Cup Teams. He is rightly regarded as one of the greatest horses in the history of show jumping.
The Poacher was one of the greatest horses of his era. He was considered the backbone of the British teams that between 1967 and 1971 won Olympic gold, World gold and three consecutive European gold medals. Partnered by his owner Captain Martin Whiteley, he won "Little Badminton" in 1965 and individual silver in the European Championships at Punchestown in 1967. Martin Whiteley then generously handed over The Poacher to the Combined Training Committee (the equivalent of British Eventing at that time) for the selectors to use as they wished for the British team. In 1968, The Poacher finished fifth in the Mexico Olympics with Sergeant Ben Jones, being last to go in the team and having to cope with the worst of the going after a violent tropical storm. In 1970 he was partnered with Richard Meade. Together they won Badminton, a team gold and individual silver at the World Championships in Punchestown, the National Championships at Wylye and team gold in the European Championships at Burghley before The Poacher went back to Martin Whiteley to retire to the hunting field.
Everest Forever became one of the great show jumping horses, although his career in Britain almost didn't get off the ground. Ted Edgar went to Germany in 1976 to see some horses at a leading yard but Everest Forever was almost not included as he had recently had a wind operation. Ted bought him nonetheless. He turned out to be a perfect gent, a great showjumper and a horse of a Lifetime. The 17hh chestnut gelding represented Great Britain in 19 Nations Cup teams between 1979 and 1986, and at the 1981 European Championships. In a spectacular career, Everest Forever chalked up winnings of almost £190,000. His famous victories included Queen Elizabeth II Cups in 1979, 1981 and 1982, the 1980 Hickstead Grand Prix, the 1980 Aachen Grand Prix, and Royal Windsor in 1983 when he helped Liz Edgar to her fourth ladies championship.
HRH The Princess Royal
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was a leading member of the British Eventing team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Throughout her career The Princess had a number of international successes, not least winning the 1971 European Three Day Eventing Championships at Burghley with her outstanding horse Doublet. In 1973 Her Royal Highness competed as an individual in the European Three-Day Event Championships at Kiev in the Soviet Union. The following year, in 1974, The Princess competed at the World Championships at Burghley, finishing 12th. In 1975, Her Royal Highness won team and individual silver medals in the European Eventing Championships held in Luhmuhlen, West Germany riding HM The Queen's horse Goodwill. The Princess was consistently placed at Badminton Horse Trials throughout the 1970s, including finishing fifth in 1971 with Doublet, fourth in 1974 and sixth in 1979 with Goodwill.
Since winning her first European title in 1999, Pippa Funnell has achieved an impressive array of international honours. She has won three European team gold medals, Olympic team silver in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2002. Her individual triumphs include gold at consecutive European Championships in 1999 and 2001 with Supreme Rock, and an Olympic bronze medal with Primmore's Pride. In 2003 Pippa earned herself a place in the history books as the first rider to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing by adding the Burghley title to victories at Lexington and Badminton. That same year Pippa also became the first rider to win Blenheim International Horse Trials three times, a title she took again the following year. She finished 2003 as the world's leading event rider. In May 2005 Pippa won her third Badminton title in superb style with Primmore's Pride, leading from the start and narrowly defeating her great rival William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo.
Caroline Bradley won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Royal International Horse Show twice, the Toronto Open Show Jumping Championship and was the second woman to win the Hamburg Jumping Derby. Her best horses were Tigre and Marius. In 1979 she was voted Daily Express Sportswoman of the Year. She bought Milton as a newly weaned foal, and rode and trained him until her tragic death in 1983 at the age of 37. Milton went on to become the only horse outside of racing to win more than £1 million. Milton won two team golds at European Championships and an individual silver and bronze with John Whitaker. The partnership also claimed individual silver and team bronze at the World Championships at Stockholm in 1990.
Robert has produced some of the best hacks and cobs in the country. He started out with show ponies before extending his interests into showing horses. He is renowned as one of England's top showmen. His best show horses were JCB, Super Ted and King's Warrior. Over the years, Robert has won many classes at Wembley, the BHS-owned Royal International Horse Show and the Horse of the Year Show. King's Warrior, who was triple winner of the Horse of the Year Show Champion Show Hunter class, has also been honoured in the Hall of Fame.