Former international show jumper Angelo Telatin has been awarded The Fellowship of the British Horse Society (BHS).
Italian-born Mr Telatin, 44, who is now the director of equine studies programmes at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, becomes the 65th BHS Fellow — the highest accolade of equestrian professionalism.
The qualification, only awarded to those considered to be reliable ambassadors of the sport, is described by the BHS as “the jewel in your equestrian crown”.
Since taking up his post at Delaware Valley College in 2003, Mr Telatin has introduced a BHS programme helping more than 40 candidates to achieve BHS qualifications in the USA, and has coached the US intercollegiate dressage team.
Of the eight candidates that attended the two-day examination, which took place at Warwickshire College on 16-17 February, only Mr Telatin was successful.
“Ever since I started in the equine industry I have had the goal of achieving the highest level of instructor certification,” said Mr Telatin.
“As a European, I was exposed to a variety of equestrian certification programs but felt the BHS was the most rigorous and stringent.”
Each candidate had to prove their expertise and knowledge in all spheres of horsemanship, instructing advanced riders in both private and group lessons across a variety of disciplines, giving lecture demonstrations, riding and taking part in professional discussions.
“The two-day exam was a great learning experience that will stay with me for years to come,” added Mr Telatin.
“It was intense but fair and I learned a lot about myself.”
The panel of nine examiners included chief examiner Jane Goldsmith and BHS chairman Patrick Print.
“Angelo shone throughout the exam from start to finish,” said Mr Print.
“What particularly impressed me was his empathy for horse and rider, and his philosophy, based on sound training and principles. He will be a credit to the society.”