Equestrian medal winners have been recognised in the 2013 New Year’s honours list.
A host of British riders were included on the list, which was released today (Saturday 29 December) including stars from this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games at Greenwich Park, all for their services to equestrianism.
Double gold medal winner Charlotte Dujardin (pictured) was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her stellar performance with Valegro at the Games. And her teammates Laura Bechtolsheimer and Carl Hester received MBEs (Members of the Order of the British Empire).
Laura tweeted: “I’m very honoured to receive an MBE along with so many awesome sportsmen and congrats to Charlotte on her well deserved OBE. History made!!”
While Carl Hester added: “I’m over the moon to receive an honour for doing something that I love.”
Top showjumpers Ben Maher, Peter Charles and Scott Brash were also named MBEs, for securing Britain’s first gold in the sport in 60 years. Teammate Nick Skelton was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year.
Popular eventer Mary King was named an MBE after her silver-medal winning team performance in what was her sixth Olympic Games.
“It is a huge honour to be recognised for my longevity in this sport after six Olympics and for over thirty years of committment,” she said.
“I had always hoped to be on the New Years Honours List so the recieve it in 2012 is the icing on the cake at the end of a great year.
” I’ve committed myself to Rio 2016 and continue to inspire both young and old to keep going!”
And the Paralympians were just as successful.
Triple gold medal winning rider Sophie Christiansen was appointed an OBE, while Natasha Baker, Sophie Wells and Deb Criddle were awarded MBEs.
“It is a great honour,” Sophie told H&H. “As athletes we strive for gold medals so being recognised in such a way is the icing on the cake. 2012 is the year equestrian shone!”
“I feel totally honoured,” Natasha, who turns 23 tomorrow (30 December), added. “It’s an amazing birthday present and it really has topped the most incredible year off on a high. It’s great to be recognised and to raise the profile of equestrian sport.”
Will Connell, performance director at the British Equestrian Federation, was also awarded an MBE for his services to equestrianism and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
But it wasn’t just those related to the Games who were included on the list.
Hilda Holyman, Patricia Hampshire, Lindsay Hanna were recognised as Medallists of the Order of the British Empire for their work for the Riding for the Disabled Association. And Judy Olby (OBE) and Sally Campbell-Gray (MBE) were also honoured for their support of the organisation.
Maureen Edwards was named an MBE for her services to North Shropshire hunt Pony Club.
David Brace, of Dunraven Stud and supporter of Llangeinor hunt, was awarded an OBE for services to businesses and charities in Brigend.
Clerk of the course and managing director at Pontefract racecourse, Norman Gundill, was appointed MBE and John Sanderson, chief executive of International Racecourse Management was awarded an OBE — both for their services to horse racing.