A reception at Clarence House hosted by British Equestrian Patron The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated the success enjoyed at the Tokyo Games last summer.
Owners and officials mingled with Olympic equestrian and Paralympic riders, whose medals were on show at the reception on Tuesday night.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, admired the medals proudly displayed by the eventing team of Oliver Townend MBE, Tom McEwen MBE and Laura Collett MBE and the para-dressage squad of Sir Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker OBE, Sophie Wells OBE and individual rider Georgia Wilson.
She also took the time to talk with several horse owners and acknowledged the vital role they play alongside the grooms in the teams’ success. Many of the practitioners and support staff who were in Tokyo attended and had the opportunity to chat with the Duchess about their trip to the Games.
The Duchess said she was proud to be Patron of “such an incredible faction of riders, athletes, and everybody who supports them. The owners are so important as, without you, there wouldn’t be any horses”.
“I just want to thank all of you who had this brilliant success at Tokyo, it was wonderful to see medal after medal after medal. Watching on television, it just got more and more exciting.
“I want to thank you all for giving everybody so much pleasure and I’m so deeply proud, and also very envious of everything you do!
“In the far-off days of my youth, I used to dream of winning a medal at the Olympics. Thanks to all of you doing it, I can still dream even if it’s not a reality,” she said.
British Equestrian Chairman Malcolm Wharton CBE, Chief Executive Jim Eyre and Performance Director Richard (Dickie) Waygood, were also in attendance, and Waygood presented The Duchess with a commemorative book of photographs that captured key moments and the team spirit from both Games for her collection.
Eyre said the evening was a great occasion for owners to celebrate their contribution because most were unable to travel to Japan to watch their horses. He thanked the Duchess for her continued Patronage and her hospitality.
He also took the opportunity to thank the riders for their effort and sacrifice.
Eyre also paid to the ‘team behind the team’ – the support staff, the Performance Managers and the practitioners, who all work tirelessly to ensure the riders and horses can perform to their best.