Dressage star Carl Hester has been awarded one of the highest honours in the equestrian world.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist has been presented with the British Horse Society’s (BHS) Honorary Fellowship.
Only seven people hold the title, the first of which was given to Ferdi Eilberg in 2004.
“It was an absolute honour to receive the award and wonderful to be with so many knowledgeable and passionate people,” said Carl.
The title of British Horse Society Honorary Fellow is awarded in exceptional circumstances to people who have made an “outstanding contribution at the highest level”.
“Universally acclaimed as one of the greatest British dressage riders and trainers in history, Carl is a wonderful ambassador for horse sport,” said a statement from the BHS.
“As an Olympic gold medallist, Carl is one of the brightest and best stars in the equestrian world.”
The fellowship, the highest qualification offered by the society, is rated as one of the highest coaching accreditations in the world.
Currently 83 people hold the title, including the honorary members.
The BHS Fellows Association was founded in 1973 and is chaired by Tessa Martin-Bird.
“This award is richly deserved,” said Lynn Petersen, CEO of the BHS.
“Carl is one of the most well-respected equestrians in the world. We are delighted to welcome him into this prestigious circle of BHS Fellows.”
Other recipients of the accolade include Ian Stark, Captain Mark Phillips, Stephen Clarke, Christopher Bartle and the late Kenneth Clawson.
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“Honorary Fellows are an inspiration as leaders in equine education by supporting the work and activities of the BHS,” added the spokesman.
“It is an honour that earns the recipient global acknowledgment of their achievements and stellar reputation.
“Above all, a fellow of the British Horse Society will work tirelessly for the good of the horse.”