Former event and dressage rider Diana Mason heads the names from the horse world recognised in the recent New Year’s honours list.

Ms Mason was awarded an OBE for her services to equestrian sport after a long career. She came third at Badminton Horse Trials in 1954 and won team gold at the European eventing championships in Switzerland in the same year, before switching her allegiance to dressage.

Now 74, Ms Mason is an active dressage judge. She rode on the British dressage team at three Olympic games — Munich (1972), Montreal (1976) and Seoul (1988) — and was team manager of the first British equestrian paralympic team at Atlanta in 1996.

“It’s really exciting,” said Ms Mason. “I had no idea I would be nominated. I’ve been very lucky and horses have given me a wonderful life.”

Former pentathlete Kate Allenby was awarded an MBE for services to sport. Now retired, Miss Allenby won an Olympic bronze in Sydney 2000, two individual senior world championship medals and four team golds among numerous other titles.

“I am thrilled to be recognised individually and for the sport of modern pentathlon,” she said.

William MacDonald, chief executive of Newmarket’s British Racing School, was given an OBE for services to the racing industry and to disadvantaged young people, while former chairman of the Horserace Totaliser Board, Peter Ivan Jones, received a CBE for his services to the racing industry.

Margaret-Anne Hodson, chair of the Riding for the Disabled Warfield Group, was awarded an MBE for services to disability sport in the south.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (10 January, ’07)