Equestrian figures recognised in Birthday Honours List

  • A host of equestrian figures on both the elite and grass-roots sides of horse sport have been recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

    British Equestrian Federation (BEF) chief executive Andrew Finding —the man who championed Greenwich Park as the London 2012 equestrian venue — has been rewarded with an OBE for his services to equestrianism.

    The OBE was also awarded to Clare Balding, for broadcasting and journalism — in recognition of her coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Andrew Finding, chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), paid tribute to “a great team” supporting him.

    “All success comes as part of a team effort,” said Mr Finding, 62. “It is a privilege for me to represent so many talented and dedicated people in equestrian sport. It gives me great pleasure to be able to share this [OBE] with the directors, staff and membership of the BEF.”

    Clare Balding, 42, who won plaudits for her outstanding coverage of London 2012, her fourth Olympic Games on the BBC, said the OBE was “the pinnacle” of a year of “unexpected delights”.

    Continuing the Olympic theme, British team vet John McEwen, was awarded the MBE for services to equestrian sport.

    John, who is director of equine sports science and medicine for the BEF’s World Class programme, attended his eighth Games at London 2012.

    He has been team vet to the British showjumping and dressage teams for more than 30 years. He is also chairman of the FEI veterinary committee and national lead vet for the BEF.

    Equestrian performance director Will Connell said: “There is many a British medallist that owes John a huge debt of gratitude. He is tireless and selfless in his support to the programme, the teams and the FEI.”

    MBEs were also awarded to people at the forefront of services to grass-roots riders. Rachel Thompson, a founder member of The Trails Trust, was honoured for her work creating bridleways in the Mendip area of Somerset.

    More than 80 routes have been opened up for riders and cyclists since Mrs Thompson founded the charity with her late husband, Michael, in 1997.

    Long-standing British Horse Society (BHS) volunteer, Catriona Cook — who works for its Access and Rights of Way department — also received the MBE for her work to increase off-road riding in the UK.

    Three volunteers working with disabled riders were also awarded the MBE. Heather Pegrum and Pamela Rigby were awarded MBEs for services to the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), while Nora Setterfield, 74, was rewarded for 37 years of working with people with disabilities through the Thanet Disabled Riding Centre in Kent.


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