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Joan Lee-Smith, founder of the showing society Ponies (UK), became the first recipient of the Showing Council’s lifetime achievement award at the inaugural Showing World Personality of the Year awards in Birmingham last night.

Ninety six-year-old Mrs Lee-Smith received a standing ovation from over 200 attendees at the pre-Horse of the Year Show event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Mrs Lee-Smith has also held the posts of chairman of the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), chairman of the Womens Institute, Executive Committee Council member for the East of England Show and Chairman of Ponies of Britain.

The new awards ceremony celebrates the best of the showing world with awards for riders, grooms, horses, breeders and volunteers.

Award winners

  • The Absorbine home & away award (grooms): Nia Marshalay
  • The PRP Rescue Services show rider: Robert Walker
  • The Equester junior show rider: Henrietta Windsor-Phillips.
  • The Global Herbs show horse personality of the year: Heathersedge Eurovision.
  • Equimax/Eraquell show pony: Murrum Park Phantom.
  • Alltech Lifeforce breeder: The Rotherwood Stud, Liz Mansfield-Parnell
  • Missina Horseboxes show handler: Zoe Skyme.
  • Volunteer of the year: Sandra Barker.