Delight for Di Lampard in Queen’s birthday honours list

  • British Showjumping (BS) performance manager Di Lampard said she was “both delighted and surprised” to be included in The Queen’s birthday honours list.

    Di has been appointed MBE, for services to equestrianism.

    The former international competitor, who represented Britain at two World Equestrian Games, two European Championships and some 50 Nations Cups, was appointed to manage the British showjumping team in February 2015.

    She had previously coached Britain’s juniors to three European golds in the 1990s and served as chef d’equipe to the GB Nations Cup and youth Olympics teams.

    “This is an incredible honour,” Di said. “At the end of the day, I’m just doing my job in the best way I can and I never expected this for one moment.

    “I’d really like to thank my family, who have supported me endlessly, and also BS for the support they’ve given me within the roles I’ve held with them.”

    Di’s record with the senior team includes team gold in London 2012 and of course Nick Skelton’s individual gold in Rio 2016.

    BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “I am delighted for Di that her hard work and commitment to the sport since retiring as a British team rider has been recognised in this way.

    “Di has supported BS from assisting the delivery of our training programmes through to the role she is in today in which she played an important part in Great Britain’s gold medal success at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.”

    Britain’s most successful female vaulter Joanne Eccles, the 2014 World Equestrian Games gold medallist, was also appointed MBE, for her services to vaulting.

    Services to the RDA

    Jean Clarke was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in Northern Ireland, while Evelyn Aitken, owner of Fergushill Riding Stables, was appointed MBE for services to equestrianism and the RDA in north Ayrshire.

    Mrs Aitken said she was “overawed” when she got the letter.

    “It’s an absolute honour and privilege, even to be considered,” she told H&H.

    Mrs Aitken has been running Fergushill Riding Stables in north Ayrshire for 52 years and was a founder member of the Winton RDA group. She is also a British Show Pony Society judge, who officiated at the Horse of the Year Show last year.

    Her equestrian centre is linked to the Pony Club, so children without ponies can still take their Pony Club tests, and has raised some £50,000 for charity in recent years.

    “I’m 75 and have no plans to retire – I’m still mucking out stables!” Mrs Aitken said.

    “When I read my letter, I was in tears of joy. I’m very lucky to have the support I do, from RDA volunteers to parents.”

    An RDA spokesman told H&H: “I’m always pleased to see our volunteers recognised in this way because they put so much into it.”

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