THE master saddler of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery said learning he had been appointed MBE is a “moment he will remember for ever”.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Godfrey Boyd Morris is among the equestrians recognised in the 2023 New Year Honours List, which also includes Louenna Hood, daughter of showing producer Allister Hood, for her work in supporting those affected by the war in Ukraine.
Mr Morris, described by an Army spokesman as “one of the Royal Artillery’s finest soldiers”, was born in Jamaica in 1974 and moved to the UK 25 years later, joining the King’s Troop as a mounted gunner and then completing a saddlery apprenticeship. He has been master saddler of the troop for eight years.
“I’m very grateful and pleased, but very humbled at the same time,” he said. “When I got the news I was a little bit stunned, you don’t know what to say. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen to me.”
Mr Morris was responsible for the tack of all the horses involved in The Queen’s funeral last September, and was part of the Trooping the Colour parade for the Platinum Jubilee.
He said when he was summoned to be told of his award, he thought it might be bad news.
“I sat back in the chair and froze,” he said. “It caught me totally off guard. You want to live the moment, but you don’t know what to do or what to say. It was a lovely moment and one I will remember for ever.”
Helen Yeadon, CEO of Greatwood Horse Charity, was also appointed MBE, for services to disadvantaged young people and former racehorses. Mrs Yeado, who founded the charity with her late husband Michael 25 years ago, told H&H the honour was a complete surprise.
“It’s wonderful; a remarkable honour, for me and for the charity my late husband and I founded,” she said. “I’m sure he’ll be up there absolutely chuffed to bits.”
She added that it was special to receive the honour in Greatwood’s anniversary year. It was the first charity of its kind, to facilitate second careers for former racehorses, before the “fabulous” Retraining of Racehorses was formed. In 2006, it started working with children and young people, offering educational programmes with the horses, and qualified teachers.
“Thousands of children have been through us,” Mrs Yeadon said. “It’s horses helping people and people helping horses.”
Evelyn Pattinson, founder of the Eden Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group, was appointed MBE for charitable services.
There were British Empire Medals (BEM) awarded to the sector; Louenna Hood’s was for services to refugees; she worked with senior showing steward Phil Judge, of agricultural transport company Philip Judge International, to send container loads of essential supplies donated by the public to Poland. An impromptu auction held in the horsebox after the first trip, with lots including Horse of the Year Show and Hickstead tickets, as well as a bottle of Ukrainian vodka that went for £1,000, raised a further £12,000 for the cause.
Susan Anderson, founder Member of the Barton RDA group, was awarded the BEM for services to people with disabilities and to the community in Linton, Cambridgeshire.
Defra’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Helen Middlemiss, was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB), for services to the veterinary and farming sectors.
You might also be interested in:
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 your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.