Alan, 48, was presented with the prize at the ninth annual FEI Awards Gala, held last night (21 November) in Montevideo, Uruguay.
An emotional Alan, who was also nominated for the award in 2014, 15 and 16 but narrowly missed out each time, said: “Words can’t describe how I feel — it’s just amazing.”
Alan has been a huge part of Carl and Charlotte’s success on the world stage in recent years, being responsible for the day-to-day care of superstars Valegro and Nip Tuck, among others.
“There is definitely no ‘I’ in team and if it weren’t for Alan I don’t believe me and my horses would have achieved so much,” said Carl.
“This is a reward for a lifetime of dedication, and the whole yard is thrilled,” Carl told H&H. “Alan really is one of the original super-grooms, of which there are very few around. He’s made being a groom trendy and chic, and this is really something to be proud of.”
Carl also joked on social media: “Alan, it’s time to leave Uruguay and get back here — there are horses to muck out and feed!”
Germany’s multi-medalled dressage rider Isabell Werth received the FEI best athlete award. With the 12-year-old Don Schufro mare Weihegold OLD, Isabell won this year’s World Cup final in Omaha, as well as sweeping the board with triple gold at the European Championships in Gothenburg.
“It makes me really proud, really happy to get this support from so many people,” said Isabell. “2017 was just amazing…the highlight was the World Cup final with Weihe.”
Alan Davies was among the grooms recognised for their outstanding contribution to the equestrian industry
Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin's travelling groom, Alan Davies, recalls the emotional moment Valegro retired from competition at Olympia
The talented young rider has become the first Irishman to win the Longines Rising Star Award
Other winners included young Irish showjumper Harry Allen, who won the Longines FEI rising star award; Australian para dressage rider Emma Booth, winner of the FEI against all odds award; and Manoj Jalan, who claimed the FEI solidarity award.
Nominations in each category were received from all over the world before the final results were decided — 50% by public vote and 50% by an exclusive panel of judges.