A reception to celebrate the achievements of the British equestrian teams at the London 2012 Olympics had a royal touch with the Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), hosting the event.
The event, held on Tuesday in the majestic formal rooms of Clarence House, London, was an opportunity for the team to meet the Duchess, an enthusiastic supporter of equestrian sport and to reflect on a successful 2012. More than 80 honoured guests including horse owners, grooms, coaches and team support staff gathered with medallists to enjoy the occasion.
Athletes attending included dressage gold medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer MBE; eventing silver medallists Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King MBE, Zara Phillips MBE and Nicola Wilson; showjumping gold medallist Peter Charles MBE; Paralympic multi-medallists Natasha Baker MBE, Sophie Christiansen OBE, Deb Criddle MBE and Sophie Wells MBE who were presented and photographed with the duchess.
Chairman of the British Equestrian Federation, Keith Taylor said: “Our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, is wonderfully supportive of everything we do. Tonight, HRH played a very personal tribute in hosting and celebrating the successes of our athletes, their owners and the support staff at Clarence House. It was a joyous occasion in celebration of the best ever haul of medals at an Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The success of the equestrian teams during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games saw a record 16 medals won across the four disciplines, from the historic first Olympic medals for dressage, the first showjumping gold medal for sixty years, to the unbeaten British Paralympic team (since para-dressage’s introduction in 1996) exceeding their Beijing medal haul, after securing a total of 11 medals.