Five “outstanding” members of the equestrian community have been honoured by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) at Olympia (21 December).
The medals — presented by BEF Chairman Keith Taylor — went to team GBR showjumping vet Robrecht Cnockaert, lunger and vaulting coach John Eccles (pictured), chef d’equipe and chairman of the eventing pony team Ginnie Keen and owner, show organiser and dressage scorer Sara Green.
World Class director of equine sports science and science medicine and FEI vice president John McEwen, was also presented with a medal of honour for his service to the sport and the BEF.
More information on the five recipients:
Robrecht Cnockaert MRCVS
As World Class performance showjumping team vet, Robrecht has provided support to British athletes at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games (WEG) and four European Championships — as well as more than 70 Nations Cup competitions. Robrecht was also given the showjumping prize at this year’s Animal Health Trust (AHT) UK Equestrian Awards (6 November).
John has helped Britain to win 15 championship medals at junior and senior level. He added to his medal tally at this summer’s WEG, where he took gold and silver with his daughters — champion vaulter Joanne — and Hannah. A member of the FEI vaulting committee and a FEI three-star international judge; John also actively encourages and develops vaulting in Britain.
Employed at Ernst & Young, Sara has been involved with dressage since the 1980s, as a rider, owner and show organiser. Rules and fixtures director for British Dressage (2006-2012), her work behind the scenes has ensured high standards have been maintained within the sport. Sara was also part of the scoring team at the dressage events of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Virginia ‘Ginnie’ Keen
One of eventing’s most successful chef d’equipes and chairman of selectors for the past 15 years, Ginnie led the British pony team to 18 European Championship medals — five of them gold.
John has been at the heart of international equestrian sport since the 1990’s and the World Class Programme since its inception. His work as team veterinarian with GB showjumping and dressage squads and as World Class director of equine sports science and science medicine, has contributed greatly to the preparation of Britain’s elite horses.