Dressage horse owners were recognised for their vital role in the sport during an awards ceremony hosted by the British Dressage Supporters Club (BDSC) on Saturday 28 January.

The annual Grand 2012 Dressage Ball and fundraising auction – attended by more than 350 people – was an opportunity for British Dressage (BD) to thank the sport’s many owners for their invaluable support. Three deserving owners received a Shearwater Insurance Owner’s Award.

Roly Luard, co-owner of Chalotte Dujardin’s star ride Valegro, won the Elite Award for the 10-year-old’s outstanding senior international achievements.

The Negro gelding’s success was spearheaded by his team gold medal win at the European Championships with Charlotte. He went from his grand prix debut to a gold medal in just eight months.

The combination won the Olympia grand prix, scoring 81.04% and finished close behind Laura Bechtolsheimer in the freestyle.

Roly also owned Carl Hester’s former Olympic ride Escapado.

Adrian Wong received the Grassroots Award for his homebred eight-year-old gelding Samurai II, who has been ridden by his 16 year old daughter Jodie since June 2010. The pair achieved 77.73% to claim the Petplan preliminary freestyle at the 2011 Winter Dressage Championships.

Adrian, who has been breeding horses since the mid-1990s, said: “Originally the breeding was for me, but now Jodie is able to benefit from it. Her jump from a pony to a 17hh horse was made easier by Samurai’s kind character; he really looked after her.”

The para award was given to Sally-Ann Brown for her ownership of Teddy, ridden by Anne Dunham since 2006. Their success together earned them a ticket to the Paralympics in Hong Kong, where they brought home one silver and two gold medals. They were also part of the gold-medal winning team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2011.

Emile Faurie also presented certificates to riders who had represented Great Britain in the past 12 months at senior, pony, junior, young rider and para levels. And Jennie Loriston-Clarke awarded 20 Dressage Encouragement certificates to riders who had represented their regions in 2011.

Dane Rawlins, the evening’s MC, persuaded guests to part with £3000 in the auction, for lots including Carl Hester’s Sydney Olympics tailcoat and the Cartier watch he won at Fritzens CDI.