Equestrian world’s unsung heroes sought for British award

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The Princess Royal presented Claire Williams with the National Equine Forum (NEF) Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 at Gatcombe on April 29.
Princess Anne presented Claire Williams with the National Equine Forum (NEF) Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 at Gatcombe on April 29. © Bob Langrish

Nominations are open for the 2022 renewal of the prestigious Sir Colin Spedding Award, which recognises an exceptional individual or organisation within the equine sector.

The award is part of Britain’s annual National Equine Forum (NEF) and was introduced in 2013 in Sir Colin’s memory.  It is presented annually to an exceptional unsung hero or heroine of the equestrian world.

The 2021 winner British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Executive Director Claire Williams, was recognised with the Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award for her efforts across the equestrian sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the award will return to its normal format in 2022.

Nominations close on July 31, and those who know of an “unsung hero” in the horse world, be it an individual or organisation are invited to submit a nomination.

The NEF Spedding Award Committee will produce a shortlist of nominations, from which the winner will be selected by the organising committee. Multiple nominations for the same person will not carry additional merit and the decision will be final. The winner will be invited to attend the National Equine Forum, where the award will be formally presented.

Previous recipients of the award include Nigel Oakley, tireless protector and promoter of the Suffolk Punch horse and Horse & Hound journalist Eleanor Jones (joint 2020 winners), Gordon Wesley, an all-round champion of the equestrian cause (2019), Dr Simon Curtis, FWCF, a farrier in Newmarket, Suffolk (2018), and fire and rescue pioneer Jim Green (2017).

The National Equine Forum is organised by a committee reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry and has as its President Princess Anne, The Princess Royal. NEF 2021 is sponsored by Bedmax; Bransby Horses, Rescue and Welfare; British Equestrian; British Equestrian Trade Association; British Equine Veterinary Association; The British Horse Society; British Horseracing Authority; The Donkey Sanctuary; Equine Register; The Horse Trust; Horserace Betting Levy Board; Mars Equestrian; Redwings Horse Sanctuary; RSCPA; and World Horse Welfare.

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