Dressage rider and trainer, Ferdi Eilberg, has become the second person in the British Horse Society’s history to receive an honorary Fellowship.

The BHS Fellowship is the pinnacle of equestrian professional qualifications and is held by only 53 other people around the world, with Olympic eventing trainer Christopher Bartle the only other person to hold the honorary award.

BHS spokesperson Wendy Peckham said: “Ferdi has been closely involved with the BHS for many years, including leading regular workshops for some of the society’s top trainers through the Fellows and Instructors Association.

“He has been awarded the Fellowship to recognise his longstanding services to horsemanship in Britain.”

Born in Germany, 49-year-old Ferdi spent his early life ridingand training with the infamous Olympic Gold medallist Dr Reiner Klimke, before moving to England in 1980.

He took British citizenship in 1991 and represented Great Britain in dressage at the European Championships in 1993 and 1995, plus theWorld Equestrian Games in 1994.

Ferdi was the British eventing team’s dressage trainer from 1981 to 1992 during which time they won three Olympic team gold medals.

Last year, he became the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) World Class Performance Director of Coaching and is now the BEF’s Acting World Class Performance Manager and Director of Coaching.