BE celebrates top achievers of 2005

  • BE’s chief executive Peter Durrant presented this year’s trophies and 500 partygoers toasted the three team gold medals, plus a full complement of gold, silver and bronze individual medals and 22 national champions at the annual BE ball on Saturday evening.

    William Fox-Pitt took home the Tony Collings Memorial Trophy for gaining the highest number of eventing points on any horse or horses during the season. With four three-day-event victories at Bramham, Burgie, Boekelo and Burghley, an Open Championship title, victory at the first ever Barbury Castle, 2nd at Badminton and winning the inaugural BE Premier League Riders’ Accumulator, Fox-Pitt had a stunning season. He also won individual silver and team gold at the European Championships, amassing a total of 1554 points on 15 horses, with the star of his stable being Mary Guinness’ Tamarillo.

    European gold medallist Zara Phillips was awarded the Jane Holderness-Roddam Trophy for the highest placed senior rider in the respective championships. Phillips has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the sport after a second place at the new European four-star event in Luhmuhlen, Germany earnt her a spot in the squad for the FEI Blenheim Petplan European Championships. Despite immense sporting and media pressure, the 24-year-old rode with wisdom beyond her years to take the European title. Last week she won the coveted Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year ahead of names like Dame Ellen MacArthur and Paula Radcliffe and is up for nomination for 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

    Phillips could not have achieved such prowess without Cantor Index Toytown, who was awarded with the Calcutta Light Horse Trophy for the horse gaining the highest number of points. The up-standing 17hh chestnut gelding was bought by Zara and Mark Phillips in 1999 from Meryl Winter and went on to earn 412 eventing points during 2005 — 20 more than second placed Tamarillo.

    But Tamarillo did not go unrewarded. His breeder and owner Mary Guinness won the Wide Awake Trophy for the British-bred, owned and ridden horse gaining the highest number of points. By the part-bred Arab Tarnik and out of the thoroughbred mare Mellita, Tamarillo is the ultimate eventing machine, combining movement, jump, speed and stamina within his compact frame.

    Christine Hardinge received the Martin Whiteley Trophy for being the British rider gaining the most points on one horse who has never been entitled to wear a Union Jack and who has not previously won this trophy. Hardinge notched up 160 points on Rachel Davis’ Hiawatha II with a runner-up prize at the Bowmore Blair Castle three-star and some good advanced placings in the early season. Francis Whittington (pictured), who won the fifth leg of the BE Premier League at Thirlstane CIC***, was awarded the Jemima Johnson Memorial Trophy presented to a rider who has not been awarded a senior union flag and epitomizes the spirit of the sport.

    Also presented on the evening was the 2005 Hartpury College Young Rider Scholarship worth £2,000. This year it was awarded to 19-year-old Melissa Shawcross. Melissa has been eventing for just three years and has gone from Pony Club level to being a member of the British Young Rider Squad, finishing 17th at the Young Rider Europeans.

    Other awards

    Edy Goldman Trophy, presented to the British Rider gaining the most points who is under 21 in the current year, was awarded to Gemma Tattersall.

    Sir John Burder Trophy, presented to the highest placed British competitor in the 2005 Young Rider European Championships in Segersjo, Sweden, was awarded to Phoebe Buckley.

    Hubert Allfrey Trophy, presented to the highest placed British competitor in the 2005 Junior European Championships in Saumur, France, was awarded to Alice Pearson.

    Jane Rook Trophy presented to the highest placed British competitor in the 2005 Pony European Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, was awarded to Laura Collett.

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