Individuals who have made outstanding contributions to equestrian safety have been honoured in the annual British Horse Society (BHS) Sefton Awards.
The awards were set up by the BHS in 1984 as a legacy to Sefton, the 19-year-old Household Cavalry horse who survived the IRA bombings in 1982.
The winners are Essex Police PCSO Tracey Johnson, Staffordshire-based horse owner Sue Hays, Greater Manchester Police PC Matt Hill, and Shetland volunteer Kathryn “Susie” Nicholson.
PCSO Johnson has been described as an “equestrian policing hero” for her involvement in an awareness campaign in Canewdon, Essex.
“Following the tragic death of a horse that was hit by a car, Canewdon Equestrians initiated a safety awareness campaign, which Tracey has supported wholeheartedly. She has attended events, effectively enforced speed limits, issuing warnings where needed and educating drivers in the process,” said a BHS spokesman.
Ms Hays was recognised for her work in having BHS Dead Slow signs installed in Brewood, Staffordshire.
“When a property company announced plans for a major housing development, she was concerned about construction site traffic as well as the general increase in the number of cars on the road,” said the spokesman.
“Sue worked with the respective teams at the BHS and Staffordshire County Council highways department and as a result eight special Dead Slow signs were installed at key points in the village – effectively alerting drivers and improving safety for equestrians.”
PC Hill was honoured for his “significant contribution” to improving road safety for equestrians across Greater Manchester.
“Working closely with the BHS, Matt has been responsible for many initiatives to educate riders as well as motorists. These have involved talks, safety patrols, presenting offenders with video evidence, issuing warnings and seeing through prosecutions for dangerous driving. Matt’s work has also critically amplified the importance of riders reporting incidents,” said the spokesman.
Ms Nicholson has been championing road safety on Shetland for more than 20 years and has worked tirelessly to protect the Shetland ponies who live on the islands.
Eight signs have been installed in and around the village
Riders can report any problems with a road or off-road user, slippery road surfaces, dogs, low-flying aircraft, nuisance drones or
“Three years ago Susie set up the BHS Shetland committee with a big focus on welfare education and has now established a robust programme of activity to safeguard ponies and riders alike,” said the BHS spokesman.
BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox added that improving equestrian safety is a huge part of the society‘s work and the BHS is “incredibly grateful” to those who have shown great initiative in helping the society’s mission to improve conditions for equestrians.
“A massive thank you goes to our four Sefton award recipients,” he said.
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