The owner of one of the largest riding schools in the country was “truly honoured” to receive an award that celebrates unsung heroes of the equestrian world.

Sue Martin picked up the Sir Colin Spedding Award at the National Equine Forum in London on Thursday (3 March).

Ms Martin is a BHSII and has been involved with Trent Park Equestrian Centre in London for more than 40 years.

She received the award in recognition of her “unstinting efforts to improve equestrian learning and training”.

The other two nominated candidates were Hon Walter Gilbey, former president of the British Show Horse Association, and Countryside Alliance president Baroness Ann Mallalieu.

Ms Martin has made Trent Park Equestrian Centre a training and examination centre for students and she chairs the Equestrian Trailblazer Steering Group.

This has 50 members from all equestrian disciplines from British Racing to the Household Cavalry and horse charities working together on projects to benefit equestrianism.

The group designed the standard for the two levels of equestrian grooms, which has now been approved by the government.

Sue Martin said she was receiving the award “on behalf of the hardworking team of dedicated professionals from across all equestrian disciplines who have given their precious time and effort to bring the new trailblazer apprenticeship into fruition”.

The Sir Colin Spedding Award was setup in 2013. The first winner was Martin Clunes on behalf of UK Equine Welfare Charities; in 2014 it was presented to Dr Andrew Waller on behalf of the Animal Health Trust Infectious Diseases Group, and last year Paul Greeves, former executive director and keeper of the general stud book at Weatherbys won the award.