Horse Dialog Equestrian Club of the Year 2021

Welcome to the Horse & Hound Awards 2021, which are back for the sixth year to celebrate the stars of equestrianism, in partnership with NAF

  • Celebrating the organisation that brings riders together and best supports them in achieving their goals – changing riders’ experiences for the better.

    The winner of the Horse Dialog Equestrian Club of the Year 2021 is Stoneleigh Riding Club.

    Founded: 1968, originally set up for BHS employees being relocated from their offices in Belgrave Square to the new base on the Royal Showground at Stoneleigh where the National Equestrian Centre was being constructed.

    Number of members: 77

    Club’s ethos: “We are unique in that we run an annual long-format two-day event, with 2021 being the 20th, incorporating roads and tracks and steeplechase, alongside the normal three phases.

    “We welcome members of all abilities and help to develop their skills and the enjoyment they get from their horse, whether that’s from our weekly training sessions, Area Five British Riding Clubs [BRC] competitions, or all the way to National Championships. We also enjoy social and educational evenings, in which all members, friends and relations are welcomed.

    One happy member: “This is a proper grassroots riding club. The members all support each other, with lift shares, horses, tack and verbal or emotional support. We have all had our wobbles and health or life struggles and I can honestly say that our weekly get-togethers have been my saving grace.”

    Stoneleigh’s Andrew Ruyssevelt and Jo Hayward were presented with the Horse Dialog Equestrian Club of the Year award by Penny McCann.

    This year’s other nominees were:


    Founded: 1960
    Number of members: 183
    Club’s ethos: “We encourage everyone to achieve their own goals whether it be trotting over poles on lead-rein or jumping 1m in the main ring.
    “We are lucky to own our club field and each year try to improve the facilities. This year we have added a 50cm mini cross-country course to our existing 60, 70 and 80cm courses.
    “We are proud to enter both junior and senior teams in dressage, showjumping and eventing at BRC area qualifiers. A highlight this year was seeing our junior 90cm team achieve their dreams of a win at the national championships.
    “As a club we truly believe in the British Riding Clubs’ motto: ‘ride together, train together, compete together, have fun together’.”
    One happy member: “The most supportive and well-run club and I’m proud to be a member. The committee works hard to put on fun shows and training, and the chance to represent the club, no matter what level. The members are one big family – it’s the best club I’ve ever joined.”


    Founded: 2011
    Number of members: 280
    Club’s ethos: “To provide training, riding, social and competitive opportunities for all members. We are an inclusive club welcoming all ages and abilities of riders.
    “This year we are so proud of the junior members who have done so well at several championships, a senior member taking the novice dressage to music championship title and our British Dressage Quest teams qualifying for the regional finals.
    “And we have enjoyed seeing our non-competitive members take part in fun rally days and training, watching them grow as riders.”
    One happy member: “I joined two years ago and will honestly never join any other club. The range and frequency of lessons is brilliant, with amazing instructors. There are loads of opportunities to be part of a team or single competitions, and everyone is super-supportive. The best thing I could have done with my horse.”


    Founded: 2002, with a show to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
    Number of members: 250 senior and a junior academy of 100 children.
    Club’s ethos: “It’s all about fun and support. Everyone is celebrated and all our trainers, judges, stewards and supporters pull together to ensure everyone goes home with a positive outlook and a smile. We don’t chase championships but celebrate our many members qualifying for prestigious events, such as Horse of the Year Show.
    “This year has been an example of the teamwork the Equi-Fun Club can produce: we’ve run our first virtual dressage series, online hacking and virtual training, and created our junior academy. We also pulled together when one member suffered a tragic event, losing her yard and six horses in an arson attack. The club raised £3,000 and offered help, love and support in so many ways.”
    One happy member: “Exactly what it says on the tin –fun! A wide range of activities throughout the year and riders of all abilities are encouraged, with the club ethos ensuring the riding community supports each other. RDA [Riding for the Disabled Association] riders are encouraged to take part in all activities ensuring no one is ‘different’. What a club!”

    Previous winners of this award include:

    • 2020: Essex Hunt North branch of the Pony Club
    • 2019: Royal Artillery Equestrian Centre Thorney Island
    • 2018: Aberdeen Riding Club
    • 2017: Willow Farm
    • 2016: Crown

    About the Horse & Hound Awards 2021

    We’re back! The Horse & Hound Awards returned for the sixth year in a row, running again in partnership with NAF.

    Last year’s successful online H&H Awards achieved record participation, with nearly 58,000 votes cast. We were thrilled to be back in person for 2021, with a glittering ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse. Around 300 people, including Olympic and Paralympic superstars, gathered to enjoy a glamorous evening of champagne and dancing as the winners were revealed.

    As previously, the H&H Award winners have been nominated and voted for by you. We seek to recognise both the big names who have made 2021 special and the unsung heroes who make it possible for all of us to enjoy equestrian sport and our horses, at whatever level.

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