Equestrians recognised in Birthday Honours List

  • Jane Holderness-Roddam (née Bullen), a leading event rider of the latter part of the 20th century has been recognised for her services to Equestrian Sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

    Jane shot to sporting fame in 1968, when she won Badminton on the 15hh Our Nobby, which resulted in selection for the Olympics in Mexico the same year, where they took home Team Gold.

    “Winning my first Badminton on that tiny horse, and being selected for the Olympics in the same year was quite possibly the proudest moment of my eventing career,” she explains.

    Almost 10 years later, Warrior carried her to victory at Burghley (1976), Team Gold at the European Championships at Burghley (1977) and victory at Badminton (1978).

    Since retiring from event riding in the mid-90s, Jane has kept up her involvement in the sport, as Chairman of the British Eventing Board of Directors from 1999 until October 2003.

    These days, Jane is at the forefront of British AI and sport horse breeding, and with her husband Tim owns the West Kington Stud in the Cotswolds, which was established “to provide a high-class service to collect and freeze equine semen for use nationally and internationally.”

    Jane recently spoke out against the Government’s decision to refuse to grant a licence to one of Britain’s experts in equine reproductive work to continue with his project to clone horses, claiming that it was “ a great shame and showed a lack of imagination.”

    She is currently acting chairman at British Eventing, while Mandy Stibbe returns to health following a scare at Lexington earlier this year. Jane was very keen to express her opinion that the award was not really just for her, but for all of those who have worked to develop eventing in this country into the sport it is.

    “I am delighted to have received the award. I feel very much that it is in recognition of a huge amount of work done by several people during a particularly difficult period for British Eventing,” she said.

    William Snaith recognised for services to Horse Racing

    Other equestrian figures who received well-deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list included William Snaith, who was awarded an MBE for services to Horse Racing and to the community in Newmarket. The 76-year-old jockey rode winners for the Queen and the late Queen Mother.

    A particularly remarkable achievement in the Gateshead-born jockey’s career was finishing placed on the same filly in both the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas in 1953. Snaith insists that winning for the Queen Mother at Sandown was one of the proudest moments in his sporting career.

    Nowadays, he keeps in touch with the racing world through his work with trainer Julia Feilden and her racing tours business, taking visitors up to the heath and to the British Racing School.

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