Hall of Fame for equestrian heros

  • The British Horse Society (BHS) is to set up a “Hall of Fame” to celebrate the heroes and heroines — both human and equine — of the horse world. Noel Edmonds, BHS president, came up with the idea after reflecting on his own elevation into a broadcasting hall of fame two years ago.

    “There is something particularly satisfying in receiving the recognition of one’s peers,” said Edmonds. “One of my most professionally satisfying moments was when I was admitted to the Radio Academy Hall of Fame, alongside such legends as Richard Dimbleby, Kenneth Horne and Kenny Everett.

    “The equestrian fraternity has its fair share of heroes and heroines, all of whom are well known within the sport. But we haven’t been very successful in putting them on a pedestal and proclaiming their achievements to the wider world.”

    Initially, the “hall” will be website-based, including pictures and biographies. But the BHS has not ruled out finding it a physical home, and chief executive Graham Cory has mooted the Household Cavalry as a possible host in due course.

    “It would be nice if there were somewhere to go to see the ‘hall’, like in Hollywood, which has stars on the pavement,” said Cory. “There’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen in time.”

    A selection committee will choose around a dozen “founder” members — largely from history or the more recent past — this summer, with the help of members of the public, who can nominate their heroes on the BHS website.

    Thereafter, half a dozen new members will be added to the hall three times a year, with announcements made — and recipients there in person — at major equestrian events throughout the year.

    “There are no medallions, money or trophies: the kudos comes in the announcement that they’ve been judged great heroes,” said Cory. “Nominees must be truly famous, and we’re also looking for balance in the hall — geographical, age and so on.”

    The selection committee, led by BHS chairman Patrick Print, includes dressage supremos Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer and Jennie Loriston Clarke, BSJA chairman Michael Mac, and former and current Horse & Hound Editors Michael Clayton and Lucy Higginson. One member will leave the committee after each selection, to be replaced by a new selector.

    Print said: “If there’s one person more than any other who, in your view, personifies excellence in the field of equestrian activity — a rider, a breeder, a trainer or a coach — then send in a nomination. And don’t forget our heroic horses.”

    How to nominate your heroes

    Members of the public can nominate admissions to the Hall of Fame, which will be considered by the selection panel. The first set of present-day hall members will be revealed this autumn, but an initial set of “founder” members, comprising horsemen and women, as well as horses, from history and the recent past may be announced sooner. Nominations for historical heroes and present-day candidates can be submitted online by visiting the BHS website Hall of Fame section and writing 75 words on why your hero should be admitted. Visit: www.bhs.org.uk/Hall_of_Fame/HOF.htm to nominate your heros.

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (16 June, ’05)

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