Carl Hester was “honoured” to be given the highest qualification the British Horse Society (BHS) has to offer.

BHS CEO Lynn Petersen and fellow Tessa Martin-Bird presented Carl with the BHS fellowship at Olympia this week (13 December).

“As the most successful British dressage rider in history, Carl’s achievements speak for themselves,” said a BHS spokesman. “However, his contribution to the sport, and to equestrianism as a whole, goes far deeper than his many titles and medals.”

In a citation sent to Olympia, the BHS said it was proud to give Carl the award.

“Carl is a wonderful ambassador for horse sport; although he is remembered for his outstanding success in dressage, he previously competed at eventing, and Carl is passionate about individuals having an all-round grounding in all aspects of equestrianism,” read the statement.

“He brings enthusiasm and accessibility to dressage that has undoubtedly helped to widen its appeal. Quite simply, British dressage would not have enjoyed the same level of success on the international stage without Carl’s expertise, knowledge and guidance.

“Most of all, it is his commitment to promoting the very best standards of welfare, horse care and training that make him a perfect fit to receive the honour of being a fellow of The British Horse Society.”

Fellows of the BHS are well-known equestrian personalities and coaches, whose reputations “support and promote the work of the BHS”. The award is only given to coaches who have achieved “exceptional” results, or made “outstanding” contribution at top-level international equestrian sport.

“There could be no greater recipient of this honorary fellowship than Carl, who has dedicated so much of his life to his sport,” read the citation. “Carl’s talent as a coach is second to none, he coached every member of the British dressage team that attended the Olympics in Rio this year.


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“Not only has he made his country so proud with his own achievements, but he has so generously put such passion into developing the success of others – all the time keeping the welfare of the horse at heart.”

Carl added: “I originally moved to the UK to take a BHS qualification so it’s an honour over 30 years later to receive the fellowship and I am delighted to be a support to them.”