The British Horse Society has announced the winners of its 2004 awards, which include John Greenway MP, the Thames Valley Police Mounted Division and Horse & Hound’s columnist, Pammy Hutton.

Every year, the BHS awards recognise people who have played an important role in furthering equestrian training, education, safety, access and welfare.

Among the 18 awards, one is devoted to training and this year it celebrates Pammy Hutton’s achievements as both rider and trainer. The Training and Education Advisory Group put her name forward because “there is hardly a greater example of the all round trainer than Pammy. Her commitment and enthusiasm to all who train with her, from the local Pony Club to the Olympic competitor, is a reflection of her passion for her sport and her love of the horse.”

Contributions to the welfare of horses and ponies also feature prominently, claiming four awards. The BHS award for best achievement to advance welfare of all equines goes to John Greenway, MP for Ryedale, who sponsored the Ragwort Control Bill.

“I nominated John Greenway because he was the one out of 20 MPs [drawn in the 2002 Private Members’ ballot] who took up the cause of the BHS,” says former BHS media officer Wendy Peckham.

“He came up with the idea of drumming up support from the BHB and the NFU. His bill paved the way for a code of practice in England, and now the Welsh Assembly are working on their own code of practice which will be similar to the English one. And there are Scottish MPs interested in taking forward a Private Member’s Bill along the same lines. Thanks to John, we managed to achieve so much and put the ragwort campaign on a political footing.”

A lifetime of commitment to animal welfare gained Chief Animal Health Inspector for Rotherham Borough Council, Tony Lowe, the BHS award for contribution to equine welfare over many years. Shropshire vet and welfare officer Tony Bradley, who spent 30 years supervising New Forest ponies, wins the BHS award for outstanding dedication to equine welfare.

The last welfare award goes to police inspector Andy Norton of the Essex police and John Prince of the Thurrock Council, in Essex for their work to curb illegal grazing in the Tilbury Dock area.

“Following a large number of welfare problems resulting from horses being grazed illegally in the area around Tilbury Dock, and sometimes being killed or severely injured, Inspector Norton took a leading role in the formation of a partnership to improve horse welfare,” proponent Claire Aldridge writes in the citation. John Prince is the partnership’s treasurer who ensured the scheme had financial coverage.

Another police department, the Thames Valley Mounted Police, wins the award for the person, persons or community group who have done most to promote equestrian safety. The mounted division first worked with the BHS when they jointly promoted the “Don’t be a Dark Horse” campaign, and three years ago they offered financial support to encourage the visibility of riders who took the BHS Riding & Road Safety Test within their policing area. Their support of the BHS riding and road safety campaign has been “unstinting,” according to proponents Amanda King and Claire Aldridge.

King — a BHS volunteer from Berkshire, who is regional safety representative for the south — is one of the three recipients of the BHS Sefton Award for services to equestrian safety for the part she played in “promoting the message that riders be safe on the roads.” Annie Lovell, from Devon, and Diana Wilson from Northumberland are the other two Sefton winners.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to thank the people who have made such an outstanding contribution to the work of the BHS in 2004”, says BHS President Noel Edmonds. “Their efforts have not only helped the BHS in its invaluable work, but have also assisted horses and riders throughout the UK. The BHS depends upon people such as these and it is therefore appropriate that they be publicly recognised by the whole equestrian industry.”

Edmonds will personally present the awards to the winners at a ceremony which will take place at Saddlers’ Hall, Gutter Lane, London on Wednesday 4 November.

BHS Awards 2004 winners

Access Award – For the BHS member who has done most for equestrian access

  • Mrs Susie and Mr Marcus Bicknell – Buckinghamshire

Access Award -For the local Authority most active in opening up equestrian routes

  • Cambridgeshire County Council

Access Award – For the National Park most active in opening up equestrian routes

  • Exmoor National Park

BRC Life Vice President’s Award

  • Mr Tony Vaughan France – Somerset

BRC Long Service Award

  • Mrs Jane Carter – Leicestershire

Leo Harris Award – For outstanding service to the riding club movement

  • Mrs Rosemary Batten – Northamptonshire

Overseas Award- In recognition of service to the BHS Overseas

  • Mr Nick Rodgers – Hong Kong

Safety Award – For the person, persons or community group who have done most to promote equestrian safety

  • Thames Valley Police Mounted Division – Buckinghamshire

Sefton Awards – For services to the cause of equestrian safety

  • Mrs Diana Wilson – Northumberland
  • Mrs Annie Lovell – Devon
  • Mrs Amanda King – Berkshire

The BHS Silver Stirrup- In recognition of support for young riders

  • The Worshipful Company of Saddlers

The Bodynfoel Award – For the person who has done the most to promote The British Horse Society

  • Mr Robert & Mrs Sylvia Sullivan-Tailyour – Wiltshire

Trainers Award – For the person who has made an outstanding contribution to equestrian training

  • Mrs Pammy Hutton – Gloucestershire

Welfare Award – For contribution to equine welfare over many years

  • Mr Tony Lowe – Head of section, Animal Health, c/o Rotherham Borough Council Environmental Health Department

Welfare Award – For outstanding dedication to equine welfare

  • Mr Tony Bradley – Shropshire

Welfare Award- For extraordinary assistance by others to equine welfare

  • Mr John Prince – Thurrock Council
  • Inspector Andy Norton – Essex Police

Welfare Award – For best achievement to advance welfare of all equines

  • Mr John Greenway MP