Equestrians recognised on New Year Honours List

  • Campaigners for horse sport were recognised in this year’s New Years Honours List.

    Sheila Layton, Vice-chairman of the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) and founder of Contessa Riding Centre near Ware in Hertfordshire was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

    Mrs Layton, who is currently in South Africa, founded the Contessa Riding Centre in 1977 and has worked for more than 30 years managing the school and promoting riding.

    “We’re really proud of her,” said Sarah Jackson, senior instructor at Contessa.

    “Sheila does such a lot of work and campaigning for riding schools. It’s a great achievement.”

    Julian Marczak, chairman of the ABRS added: “We’re absolutely thrilled and delighted.

    “As well as vice-chairman for us Sheila also organizes all inspections and has a vital role, she’s invaluable. It’s well deserved — both for the work she does for the ABRS and also at the school she runs.”

    William (Billy) Roulston was also awarded an MBE — for services to equestrian sport in Northern Ireland.

    Mr Roulston has been a top show jumping official for more than 30 years in Northern Ireland and is chairman of the Causeway Coast Charity Show Jumpers which runs shows at Portrush, Co Antrim.

    He founded Causeway Coast Jumpers Club in Coleraine with Brian Henry about 25 years ago and has been fundamental in helping grass-roots riders in Northern Ireland.

    He is a keen golfer, was previously an international clay pigeon shooter, and also played hockey in his youth.

    Mr Roulston also runs show jumping events to raise money for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

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