Three members of the same family have been recognised for their huge achievements in equestrian sport with a prestigious accolade.
Joanne, Hannah and John Eccles all received the FEI badge of honour at the end of 2019 for their achievements in World and European Vaulting Championships over the years.
Joanne, who won five gold, four silver and two bronze medals at senior championships during her vaulting career, received a gold badge from the FEI. Hannah, whose CV boasts gold, three silver and one bronze senior championship medals, was awarded a silver FEI badge. Both sisters have also had top international results as lungers.
Their father, John, received a lunger gold FEI badge of honour for his six senior championship gold medals. He has been part of numerous silver and bronze medal-winning teams.
Joanne told H&H the family were all “absolutely thrilled” to receive the accolades and paid tribute to their long-term equine teammate, W.H.Bentley (“Henry”).
“The fact that we all received badges made it even more special, as we always worked towards our goals as a team,” she said.
“We are incredibly proud that the FEI has recognised our achievements over the last decade and hopefully we will continue to inspire other vaulters from the UK and other smaller nations as well as all equestrians to continue to strive to achieve their goals.
“There have been many people who have supported us on our journey through the sport and we are grateful for everyone.
“It is so important to remember that despite competing as individuals or as a pair it is ultimately a team sport.
“On that note we would never have achieved all that we did without our horses and without a doubt without Henry, who is the absolute dream horse.
“He continues to help train up our club vaulters and keeps the other horses in check!”
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