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Exceptional equestrian voluntary groups and individuals were recognised at the annual British Horse Society (BHS) Awards at Saddlers Hall, City of London today.

Awards were presented to 15 individuals and groups, who have made an outstanding contribution in training, education, safety, access and welfare.

BHS Chairman Patrick Print presented the awards, highlighting the tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure a better understanding of equestrian needs.

“The BHS would fail tomorrow if we lost the support of our volunteers,” said Print, who is a Fellow of the British Horse Society, “But even this select group cannot get by without help from others. Time and again we come across local authorities, private companies, educational establishments and all manner of other people and organisations who give our work a real boost.”

In addition to the awards, the BHS also presented an Honoury Fellowship to leading equestrian Stephen Clarke. Having risen through the ranks of the Pony Club, Clarke competed at top level show jumping and horse trials before specialising in dressage. Clarke has judged at events including World Equestrian Games and Athens Olympics and now specialises in the development of young professional trainers, travelling regularly throughout the UK and abroad presenting training clinics.

BHS Awards 2005

  • Access Award for the BHS member who has done most for equestrian access: Pat Clarke (posthumous award)
  • Access Award for the public agency which has done most for equestrian access: Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Access Award for the local authority most active in opening up equestrian routes: West Berkshire Council
  • Access Award for the National Park most active in opening up equestrian routes: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
  • Access Award for the best carriage driving facility: Crychan Forest Association
  • The Bodynfoel Award for the person who has done the most to promote the BHS: Barry Fehler, South Essex Insurance Brokers
  • The Lady Elizabeth Kirk Award for the best voluntary dedication of a bridleway: Tarmac Ltd, North Yorkshire
  • Leo Harris Award for outstanding service to the riding clubs movement: Val Malka (Warwickshire) and Jill Hillyard (Suffolk)
  • Safety Award for the person, persons or community group who have done most to promote equestrian safety: The London Borough of Merton
  • Sefton Awards for services to the cause of equestrian safety: Barbie Clarke (Wiltshire); Peter Hern (Hertfordshire); Kim Knightley (North Humberside)
  • The BHS Silver Stirrup in recognition of support for young riders: Val Allen (Cardiff)
  • Trainers Award for outstanding contribution to equestrian training: Judy Harvey FBHS (Milton Keynes)
  • Welfare Award for outstanding dedication to equine welfare: Vivian McIrvine (Warwickshire)
  • Welfare Award for extraordinary assistance by others to equine welfare: Chris Aegerter (Lingfield)
  • Welfare Award for best achievement to advance welfare of all equines: Professor Derek Knottenbelt, OBE, Liverpool University