“I nominated Alex because I truly feel he deserves recognition for all the hard work he does, the fact that he never complains, is always friendly and helpful and, above all, puts the horses first,” said owner Lorraine Hawkins for whom Alex rides intermediate eventer Dream On Doni.
Alexander rides for South Africa and completed his first four-star at Burghley this year riding Tiger’s Eye II. He runs a competition and livery yard in Hinton, near Bath, with his wife, dressage rider Alice.
He said: “My owner was very kind in nominating me. At first, I didn’t know that she had; she told me to keep the night of the 27 October free, but not why. And then she told me that I had won an award and I was really surprised — it was fantastic.”
Alexander is pictured receiving his prize from Marina Fogle, a director of Kasimira, the London-based party planners who sponsored and helped organise the evening, and her sister, co-director Chiara Everts.
Just under 200 people went to the dinner, held at Inner Temple for the third consecutive year.
“What with the recession, we weren’t sure how it would be this year, but it was a well-attended, positive evening with a very jolly, festive feel,” said EHOA chairman Judy Skinner.
After the awards, Paul Gooderham of the Cambridge auction house Cheffins hosted a charity auction. This featured many covetable lots including a week in a luxurious five-bedroom ski chalet in Meribel and a nomination to Billy Be Cool, winner of two Burghley Young Event Horse titles.
The auction helped to raise just over £11,000 for the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and the EHOA.
Other EHOA award winners
- £500 Shearwater owner rider award: Henry Womersley-SmithSusan Lawton, wife of Shearwater founder Jeremy, picked out Henry because the 19-year-old is determined to continue eventing his novice horse Top Street while he is at Cardiff University studying history and politics.
Henry travels back to Salibury each weekend to ride and plans to use the £500 to pay for dressage training with his seven-year-old Irish sports horse.
- £500 Shearwater owner award: Bendigo IIIThis award goes to the owner of the horse that is registered at the beginning of the season as grade three or four (0-21 points) and gains the most British Eventing (BE) points in the season. Bendigo III gained 102 points this season, ridden by Clayton Fredericks, and owned by Edwin and Peta McAuley.
Clayton (pictured left with Jeremy and Susan Lawton) bought Bendigo III from Germany last year to replace Nullabor, the horse he sadly lost at Saumur in 2008. This is the 10-year-old gelding’s first season eventing, although he had done a little dressage and show jumping before.
Clayton describes Edwin and Peta McAuley as “the ultimate owners”, adding: “They stand back and let me get on with producing the horses in the best way I can.”
- EHOA owner trophy: Fernhill UrcoThis award goes to the owner whose horse, registered for the first time with BE, gains the most points in the season. Fernhill Urco gained 143 BE points this season, ridden by Mary King, owned by Sue and Edwin Davies and Janette Chinn.
“He’s an extremely quiet, trainable and really pleasant horse to have around,” said Janette, who purchased the eight-year-old after he was spotted by Rachel Wakefield of Uptown Eventing.
- EHOA Eventing award: James and Marian StewartThis award goes to the overall winner of Eventing magazine’s “owner of the month” series.
The couple were originally chosen as the magazine’s “owner of the month” when their mare, Get Up And Go II, won her intermediate section ridden by Matthew Heath at Isleham back in March.
“We feel it is a great honour to have been chosen from so many owners who have contributed more to the sport, for a lot longer than us,” said Marian.
“‘Go Go’ was bred by James’s mother Phoebe Stewart and previously ridden by our daughter Rosie, who sadly died in a car accident in November 2007. Rosie adored Go Go and was a member of the junior squad that competed in Avenches, Switzerland, in August 2007.”
- Huntridge Plaque: Miners FrolicPresented to the owner of the horse that gains the most BE points in the season, the sire or dam of which is a full thoroughbred. Miners Frolic, by Miners Lamp, is ridden by Tina Cook and owned by Sarah Pelham (pictured with Sharon Hunt) and Nicholas and Valda Embiricos.
“Miners Frolic began the season with a virus so it’s very gratifying to have finished so well,” said Tina. “He’s now on holiday with his part-owner and will have eight weeks off before we start afresh with Badminton, looking towards the World Equestrian Games.”