Inspirational eventer and ‘voice of equestrianism’ honoured at awards

  • Hannah Francis and the Princess Royal were among those celebrated at the British Horse Society’s (BHS) annual awards ceremony.

    Commentator Mike Tucker was also honoured at the event held at Saddler’s Hall in London on Friday (25 November).

    Dedicated event rider Hannah suffered from bone cancer and died earlier this year (1 August) aged 17.

    The teenager, who set up the Willberry the Wonder Pony charity, was honoured with the BHS’s exceptional achievement award.

    “Hannah captured the imagination and hearts of equestrians everywhere, with top riders carrying her mascot Willberry around the toughest cross-country tracks andfundraising events taking place around the globe,” said a BHS spokesman.

    Princess Anne received the Queen’s award for equestrianism, recognising the achievements she has made, both as a competitor and as a supporter.

    The Princess Royal is patron of the Pony Club, president of both World Horse Welfare and the Riding for Disabled Association and vice patron of British Showjumping.

    BHS president Martin Clunes presented Princess Anne with her award.

    “It’s always a thrill rewarding the volunteers and members; it was particularly exciting this year to give HRH Princess Anne an award for her outstanding contribution to the equine industry,” he said.

    Mike Tucker, acknowledged as the ‘voice of the equestrian world’, received the Elwyn Hartley-Edwards award.

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    Mike has worked at countless major agricultural and equestrian events for nearly 40 years.

    “This is a special day, celebrating and recognising the incredible achievements of our wonderful volunteers,” added Lynn Petersen, chief executive of the BHS.

    “Their dedication to the BHS makes all the difference.”


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