Miranda, Duchess of Beaufort said her late husband would have been “delighted and thrilled” to know he had won the H&H lifetime achievement award.
The 11th Duke of Beaufort was posthumously named winner of the prestigious award, which the Duchess collected on his behalf, at a ceremony at Ascot racecourse last night (2 November).
Guests were shown a video created by H&H to pay tribute to the Duke, featuring greats of the horse world such as Ginny Elliot, Harry Meade, Mike Tucker and Capt Ian Farquhar.
H&H magazine editor Pippa Roome told those present at the ceremony it was a “great honour” for H&H to present the title to someone who “gave a lifetime of service to equestrianism”.
“The Duke passed away in August this year, aged 89, after making an incredible contribution to the horse world, particularly in the fields of eventing and hunting,” she said.
Pippa added that as a young man, the Duke was invited to make Badminton his home by his cousin the 10th duke, known as “Master”, who had founded Badminton Horse Trials in 1949.
“A courageous horseman, the 11th Duke finished second at Badminton riding Countryman in 1959, finding time to compete and train around his career in the art world,” she added. “Over the course of seven decades at Badminton, he played a huge part in turning the horse trials into the tremendously successful event it is today, including appointing longstanding directors Frank Weldon and Hugh Thomas – the present director.
“In addition, the Duke was president of the British Horse Society for two years.”
The Duke joined the mastership of the family pack of hounds, the Duke of Beaufort’s, in 1974 and continued as joint-master until his death.
H&H hunting editor Catherine Austen added that in inheriting the title and estate from Master, the 11th Duke was “following in the footsteps of one of the greatest hunting men in history”.
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“While he did not aspire to hunt the Beaufort hounds himself, he was keenly aware of the importance and significance of Badminton to the hunting world,” she said. “He preserved the traditions of Badminton, and kept the hunt and the kennels going at the highest level.
“He was a fine horseman and had an excellent eye for a horse, a hound or a piece of art. He was enormously popular in the hunting country, and the hunt thrived under his light, considered touch for many years.”
See next week’s H&H for more on all the winners, out 9 November.