The 11th Duke of Beaufort has posthumously been announced as the winner of the Horse & Hound lifetime achievement award at a star-studded ceremony tonight (2 November).
The duke, who passed away at the age of 89 at his home at Badminton on 16 August this year, was honoured at the second H&H awards at Ascot racecourse, where his widow Miranda, Duchess of Beaufort, collected the award on his behalf.
The duke, who was born David Somerset and inherited the title from his cousin the 10th duke in 1984, played a significant part in the worlds of eventing and hunting, including finishing second at Badminton in 1959.
The other title decided upon by the H&H panel was the H&H inspiration award, which went to Julie Payne.
Former advanced eventer Julie was told by her doctor five years ago that within two years she would be able to neither walk nor speak.
In August this year, she and Athene Lindebjerg claimed two individual golds at the para dressage European Championships, as well as being on the gold medal-winning team.
The Charles Owen moment of the year went to Jonty Evans’ securing his Rio ride Cooley Rorkes Drift thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, while the professional rider of the year title went to eventer Nicola Wilson, who took team gold and individual bronze at the European Eventing Championships this year.
Carl Hester’s ride Nip Tuck was named Cavalor horse of the year, and eventer Will Furlong Saracen young rider of the year.
H&H magazine editor Pippa Roome said: “Huge congratulations to all the winners at tonight’s H&H Awards – it was a great thrill to see them all head up on stage to collect their awards.
“There was strong competition in all the categories, so the winners really deserve their accolades and we are honoured to be able to celebrate the heroes of the equestrian year in this way.”
Equo Events volunteer of the year went to Mary Tuckett, and Stallions AI yard manager E-J Eldridge won Horseware groom of the year.
Willow Farm took the NAF Five Star riding club of the year award and Natalie McGoldrick was named TopSpec vet of the year.
NAF Five Star ProFeet farrier of the year is James Balfour and Pikeur amateur of the year event rider Alice Goring.
See next week’s H&H magazine for more on all the award-winners.