Carl Hester was “delighted” to be named Channel Islands Sports Personality of the Year at the 2016 awards.

The Olympic rider from Sark was announced as the winner last Thursday (26 January) at the Hotel de France in Jersey.

Carl was up against a trio of talented nominees — 400m runner Cameron Chalmers, tennis player Scott Clayton and former Jersey Reds captain Alex Rae.

It was the second time Carl received the award, having been nominated twice before and taking the title in 2012.

On the evening of the awards ceremony Carl was competing in Amsterdam at the World Cup qualifier, but he appeared on stage via Skype to accept his prize.

“It’s a shame I can’t be there, I would love to be there,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate but it always seems to clash with a competition, but it’s huge delight and I’m so honoured again to be part of that award and the Channel Islands is a hugely special place for me.

“I’m very lucky to be here tonight [in Amsterdam] with great mates that I’ve brought over to Sark.

“I still can’t believe that having [started out] riding a donkey in Sark being where I am and thank you so much for voting for me — I hope that I represent the Channel Islands very well for you.”

The following day (27 January), Carl thanked his fans for voting for him on his Facebook page.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for me to win the Channel Islands Sports Personality of the Year,” he said.

“Congratulations to all the other winners. It makes Sark and the Channel Islands even more special to me!”

Carl and Nip Tuck (Barney) gave an impressive performance in Amsterdam on Saturday (28 January).

“Happy team in the Amsterdam World Cup qualifier today,” he said.

“Barney was superb to ride and finished second to an amazing performance from Isabell Werth.”


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Other winners

Carl took home the main award of the night, but there were several other winners at the Channel Islands’ 15th annual ceremony.

Jersey Cricket’s Neil MacRae was named coach of the year, sports administrator Ron Halliwell received the sporting hero award and Guernsey footballer Maya Le Tissier, niece of former England player Matt, won the rising star award.

Guernsey men’s hockey won team of the year and Jersey primary school St Clement’s was given special recognition, picking up the judges’ award for its football team after winning a national competition in 2016.