The late Mike Tucker celebrated for gifting bridleway to riders

The late legendary equestrian commentator Mike Tucker was among those to be acknowledged at the British Horse Society’s (BHS) annual awards.

The awards, which took place on 22 November at the Saddlers’ Hall in London, recognise the outstanding achievements of the society’s volunteers, supporters and partners over the year.

Former BBC commentator Mike Tucker, who commentated at top events including Badminton and several Olympics, received the The Lady Elizabeth Kirk Award posthumously, for an individual, business or organisation who has voluntarily dedicated a bridleway to the society.

“The award related to a length of track, privately owned by Michael that was added to the Tetbury Trail, Gloucestershire, which in turn led to additional bits of track being donated to complete the full link,” said a BHS spokesman.

“Journalist and broadcaster John Craven OBE was awarded the Elwyn Hartley-Edwards Award, which recognises a writer, broadcaster or publication whose work has been particularly beneficial to the wellbeing of the horse. Craven was commended for always championing the countryside, something of vital importance to equestrians.”

The Police Scotland road policing unit and mounted branch were the recipient of the Tarquin trophy for their operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’, initiated by constable Lisa Dunlop. The award acknowledges excellent service by an organisation, business or business associate in the cause of equestrian safety.

“In 2019 during eight days of action, 112 motorists were directly educated at the roadside by officers on how to safely pass horses on the road,” said the spokesman.

The president’s award which recognises exceptional service for individuals who go “over and above” all expectations was awarded to Claire Aldrige, while four people were given the award of merit: Phil Wadey, Janice Bridger, Penny Dodd and Ruth Dodd.

The Bodynfoel award for excellence service promoting the work of the BHS went to Morag Cartney of Ayrshire, and the Helen Barton Smith silver stirrup award for meritorious work in supporting young riders was won by Pat Bishop of Somerset.

Jane McDowall of BHS Dumfries & Galloway received the volunteer of the year award, Robyn Smith the young person’s award, and Lily Arnold the Pamela Almond changing lives through horses achievement award.

The access award went to Sylvia Briggs of the Durham 2026 research group and the Hampshire Countryside Access Forum. Richard McKenzie of Northumberland Council received the safety award, and Margaret Paterson and Zoetis both won welfare awards.

In the education category, Ben Mitchell-Winter of Littebourne Equestrian received the accredited professional coach approved centre award, Carly Moore the accredited coach freelance award and Tracy Steel of Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled (RDA) group received the changing lives through horses coach award. The RDA Sandyflat in Glasgow won the approved centre award for making the greatest difference to its community and the Hallam Riders group received the chairman’s commendation for exceptional work.

Clarissa Dawson won the exceptional achievement award posthumously for a “notable triumph” against the odds showing determination, courage and sportsmanship. BHS Orkney won the fundraising award.

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In the British Riding Clubs category, Saffron & District riding club took club of the year, Kay Bradley volunteer of the year, while Steven Johnson received the Leo Harris award and the NAF partnership award was given to Penny Jann.

BHS chairman Tim Lord said: “All our volunteers, affiliated groups and supporters play a vital role in ensuring the BHS is able to deliver on its work across safety, access, welfare, education and participation.

“The awards are our way of acknowledging and celebrating those who have made an exceptional contribution in aid of our charitable work over the past 12 months. We are hugely grateful to all those who dedicate their precious time to helping us in our mission to protect and promote the interests of all horses and those who care for them.”

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