Delight as Queen recognises equestrians in birthday honours list

  • Equestrians have been recognised for their contributions in The Queen’s birthday honours list.

    Three long-standing Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) volunteers, a vet and the British Horseracing Authority’s medical adviser have been named in the 2021 list.

    Lady Perdita Blackwood was appointed CBE for services to disabled young people and charity in Northern Ireland. She was the founder of RDA in Northern Ireland, forming the first group, Cavallo RDA, in 1967.

    Julie Frazer, former regional chair of RDA in Northern Ireland, said the charity is delighted to hear that its founder has been appointed CBE.

    “I am sure when she started Cavallo RDA group back in the 1960s no one envisaged that it would still be going today or that RDA would have expanded its reach across the province in the way that it has,” she said.

    “Many thousands of riders have been helped over the years all because of her determination and enthusiasm which started it all. Many congratulations to her for this very well deserved acknowledgement of her contribution to society.”

    Pippa Hughes, the founder of Wyfold Carriage Driving group in Berkshire, was appointed MBE for services to people with disabilities. Pippa was a trustee, coach and driving organiser of the group.

    Jane Cepok was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the RDA, Pony Club and equestrian sport. Jane was a coach at Auchterarder RDA in west and central Scotland. She is also the district commissioner of the Strathearn branch of the Pony Club.

    “Congratulations to Lady Perdita, Pippa and Jane. It is always a pleasure to see RDA volunteers recognised in this way – for the many years’ dedicated service they have given to RDA, to their local communities, and, most importantly, to the many riders and carriage drivers they have helped and supported along the way,” said Ed Bracher, RDA chief executive.

    James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine and Alborada professor of equine and farm and animal science at the University of Cambridge, was appointed OBE for services to veterinary science.

    Professor Wood has been a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) since 2013 and is also a member of the RCVS education committee.

    RCVS president Mandisa Green said Professor Wood is a “fantastic” colleague and asset to the council, bringing a wide range of scientific, academic and public policy experience to bear on its discussions and decisions.

    “As an academic, a researcher and a leader at Cambridge Veterinary School, he has made a huge contribution to veterinary science,” she said.

    Jerry Hill, chief medical adviser for the BHA, was appointed MBE for his services to British horseracing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    A BHA spokesman said Dr Hill’s leadership of British racing’s medical response during the pandemic, through his “compassionate, collegiate and methodical approach”, helped the sport chart a safe course through the challenges, and facilitated the safe resumption of elite sport in the UK.

    “Following racing’s suspension on 18 March 2020, Dr Hill worked tirelessly with colleagues across racing, fellow medical advisers and professionals, to develop safe and robust protocols for the resumption of a £4.1bn industry,” said the spokesman.

    Continued below…

    “His expertise was recognised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as he was invited to join a group of fellow sports chief medical advisers and Public Health England to agree guidance for the resumption of elite sports in the UK. Dr Hill personally took the lead on drafting the stage three – return to domestic competition guidance, which was swiftly agreed by the public health authorities and allowed the return of all elite sport in the UK from 1 June 2020.”

    Dr Hill, who in autumn 2020 was awarded an honorary consultant contract with Public Health England along with three other colleagues to formally support the deputy chief medical officer who oversees the sport portfolio, said he was “genuinely humbled” by the appointment.

    “British racing’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a truly collaborative one, and the industry has shown what it can achieve when it pulls together,” he said. “I believe that this award reflects the hard work and commitment of many people across the sport,” he said.

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...