Britain’s Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, was presented with the prestigious Longines Ladies Award on Monday for her achievements in equine sport.
The Princess Royal was presented with theaward at a special ceremony at The Natural History Museum, in London. Taking place for the fourth consecutive year, the Longines Ladies Awards celebrate women who have consistently performed at the highest level and made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry through their work.
Princess Anne was joined by global equestrian industry leaders as they gathered in London on the eve of Royal Ascot to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of great horsewomen. At the event, tributes from across the sporting world were paid to The Princess Royal for her lifelong dedication to equestrianism.
The Princess Royal is an outstanding rider and competed for several years with the British Eventing team. In 1971, she became European Champion and in the same year was nominated for Sportswoman of the Year by the Sports Writer’s Association, the Daily Express and World Sport. A few weeks later, she was voted BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year by the British public.
She went on to win three more European Championship medals, team bronze in 1973 and in 1975 she took the individual and team silver medals. The following year, The Princess Royal was selected to compete for Great Britain in the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.
The Princess Royal’s accomplishments in the saddle led to her appointment as President of the FEI for two terms between 1986 and 1994. She became President of the British Olympic Association in 1983 and is a Member of the International Olympic Committee.
In the below video created by Longines, Princess Anne talks about her success in the sport of eventing, and about race riding.
The Princess Royal’s daughter, Zara Phillips Tindall, followed in her mother’s footsteps to win a European Championship, later adding the World Championship and an Olympic team silver medal.
A tribute to Princess Anne came from multiple Olympic Eventing medallist William-Fox Pitt, who said she has been “huge for the sport of Eventing” throughout his career.
“I think that she was a top rider, a legend in her own right and then she’s taken our sport on and helped the sport develop. She’s got the interests of the sport and horses in general at her heart.”
Lord Coe, who worked closely with The Princess Royal during her role in the organisation of the London 2012 Olympic Games, said the award capped “a herculean career, both competitively and administratively”.
He added: “I think The Princess Royal’s contribution to sport has been enormous. She is somebody that is passionate about sport and enjoys sport for all the right reasons. We need more of those people.”
Juan-Carlos Capelli, vice-president and Head of International Marketing of Longines said: “We are delighted to be honour Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as the recipient of this year’s Longines Ladies Award. She is a formidably talented horsewoman and deserves huge praise for her achievements and contributions in the equestrian world as both a competitor and administrator. Longines is thrilled to present her with this special award.”
The Longines Ladies Awards recognise the success and achievements of women at the very highest level of the global equine sports industry. This year’s award has been judged and decided by three leaders in world equestrianism: FEI President Ingmar de Vos, Louis Romanet, Chairman of the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities); and Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the FEGENTRI (International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders).
The award celebrates women who have consistently achieved at the highest level within the equestrian world and made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry through their work. Previous winners of the highly respected award include former FEI president Princess Haya Al Hussein, event organiser Sylvie Robert, racehorse trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, Asian equestrian organiser Jing Li, animal welfare advocate Bo Derek, racehorse breeder and owner Princess Zahra Aga Khan, showjumper Athina Onassis de Miranda, and television presenter Sophie Thalmann.