The partnership of Leslie Law and the Shearwater Syndicate have won BEIB Event Horse of the Year for the second year in succession. Shear Leau is this year’s winner, while Marius Claudius was crowned the Show Jumping Horse of the Year, and Wie Weltmeyer (pictured) the Dressage Horse of the Year.
A special presentation was also made to Pippa Funnell, whose outstanding achievements of 2003 could not have gone by unrecognised.
The BEIB launched their Event Horse of the Year Award in 1997, and this successful concept was followed, in 1999, by an award for the top show jumper and dressage horse.
The awards celebrate horses that have excelled in their discipline, and recognise their owners, as well as their riders, to highlight the important contribution of the owner in equestrian sports.
Shear Leau was in the successful British Gold Medal winning team in the European Championships in Ireland this year and finished fourth individual. He also came home victorious from the CIC World Cup Qualifiers at Lulworth, as well as gaining an admirable fourth place in stiff competition at the Gatcombe advanced championships and fifth at the Rolex Kentucky International event.
Robert Smiths ride, Marius Claudius, who is jointly owned by Di Cornish and her daughter Penny, has had a superlative season on the show jumping circuit, putting him at the top of the BSJA 2003 ranking list. Following a good win at Windsor in 2002, the horse-rider combination has gone from strength to strength, winning the grand prix in Athens and world cup qualifiers at Olympia and Oslo.
Dressage Horse of the Year, Wie Weltmeyer was the highest placed British individual in the European Championships at Hickstead in 2003, the highlight of a fantastic season which has won rider, Emma Hindle, a place on the British Olympic dressage team shortlist.
The owners will receive a bronze commission of their winning horse, the riders receive a BEIB rug and the eventing horse also receives a bridle and special magazine front cover from Eventing.
Pippa Funnell, who was shortlisted for 2003 Sports Personality of the Year after becoming the first ever winner of the Rolex Grand Slam, will receive a bronze head of the horse of her choice.