Horse & Hound Awards 2016: SPILLERS Professional Rider of the Year

  • SPILLERS Professional Rider of the Year Award
    2016 winner: Charlotte Dujardin

    This award is to honour the greatest rider of our age, who is a hero and inspiration to the rest, and whose ability is a blessing for both their horses and our sport. Sadly this year’s winner Charlotte couldn’t attend, so her mother Jane collected the award on her behalf.


    SPILLERS Professional Rider of the Year Award nominees

    Charlotte Dujardin, 31

    Sport: Dressage

    Base: Gloucestershire

    The stats: Charlotte and Valegro have an unrivalled record — team and individual gold at London 2012; 2014 world individual gold and team silver; 2015 European individual gold and team silver and 2015 World Cup champion. The pair also hold the current world records for grand prix, special and kür.

    2016 highlight? Charlotte added a second individual Olympic gold at Rio 2016 and helped the Brits to team silver.

    You may not know… Charlotte has two gold postboxes to her name, in Newent, Glos, and in her birth town of Enfield.

    What the fans say…  “Charlotte has inspired dressage riders young and old. Her partnership with Valegro has changed the face of dressage — judges are rewarding relaxed, happy horses with subtle riders.” — Sonja Fitzpatrick

    Carl Hester, 49

    Sport: Dressage

    Base: Gloucestershire

    The stats: A five-time Olympian, Carl was on the gold medal-winning team at London 2012. He has ridden at 15 other senior championships, winning a host of team and individual medals at European and World level. He also holds more than 65 national dressage titles.

    2016 highlight? Carl won an Olympic team silver medal at Rio 2016, having trained all three of his team-mates.

    You may not know… Carl has a talking cockatoo on his Gloucestershire yard.

    What the fans say… “Carl has proved himself to be among the best in the world on different horses and over a long time. In addition he trains the best of British and is a great ambassador for the sport. He is an inspiration to all of us aspiring dressage divas.” — Louise Stroud

    Nick Skelton, 58

    Sport: Showjumping

    Base: Warwickshire

    The stats: A member of the Olympic gold medal-winning team at London 2012, Nick added individual gold at Rio — his seventh official Olympics. He made an astonishing return to competition in 2002 after breaking his neck in a fall, and has also won nine European and six World Championship medals.

    2016 highlight? Nick and
    Big Star taking individual gold in Rio was a stand-out moment from the Games.

    You may not know… Nick is a huge Only Fools and Horses fan — his sons, National Hunt trainer Dan and jockey Harry, once bought him a bright yellow Reliant Regal.

    What the fans say… “Olympic individual gold at 58 takes pure determination. Nick is admired by professionals and amateurs alike.” — Caraleen Light

    William Fox-Pitt, 47

    Sport: Eventing

    Base: Dorset

    The stats: A stalwart of senior British eventing teams for the past 20 years, William has two Olympic team silvers and a bronze to his name. He has also won 13 medals at senior World and European Championships, won five out of the six CCI4*s in the world, Badminton twice and Burghley a record six times.

    2016 highlight? Following a serious head injury in October 2015, William made an inspirational return to competition this year and finished the best British rider in the eventing at Rio.

    You may not know… Both of William’s parents Oliver and Marietta completed Badminton and Burghley.

    What the fans say… “A true gentleman who has overcome huge odds to be riding again — he should be an inspiration to all aspiring riders.” — Heather Turner H&H 

    About our sponsor: SPILLERS

    HH AWARDS SPILLERSSPILLERS feeds help to maintain the health and performance of thousands of horses in the UK from family ponies to winning competition and race horses. We are especially delighted to sponsor this year’s Horse & Hound Professional Rider of the Year Award and feel privileged to support such talented riders and trainers, in what is a very important year for equestrian sport.

    SPILLERS has a collection of more than 30 feeds to suit every type of horse or pony, comprising an assortment of chopped fibres, balancers, low energy mixes, conditioning, performance and racing feeds.

    As one of the most trusted brands on the market, SPILLERS is committed to supporting the needs of professional and leisure riders alike. We are one of the preferred feed suppliers to many professional riders, as well as being the official feed supplier at several leading horse trials, show jumping and dressage competitions.

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