Jilly Cooper and War Horse author to receive New Year honours

  • War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and queen of the “bonkbuster” Jilly Cooper are among the stars of the equestrian world to receive accolades in the New Year Honours list.

    Michael receives a knighthood for services to literature and charity, while Jilly is appointed CBE for the same reasons.

    War Horse has sold more than a million copies since it was first published in 1982 and has been adapted into a hugely popular stage show and an Oscar-nominated film.

    Michael is also president of the Book Trust and co-founded the charity Farms for City Children with his wife, Clare, which gives children from urban areas a chance to live and work on a real farm for a week.

    Jilly, whose famous works include Riders, Polo and The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, is currently working on her latest novel — which is set in the football world.

    Four-time champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson is made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order and former jockey Paul Taiano is appointed OBE for services to drama training and horse racing welfare.

    Master farrier Doug Bradbury, FWCF of Clay Cross, Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, has received an MBE for his services to the farrier profession and the community in the East Midlands.

    Four Riding for the Disabled Association volunteers receive awards in the list — Anne Blair is appointed OBE for services to children and people with disabilities; Susan Law is appointed OBE for services to Riding for the Disabled; Jean Clarkson is receives a BEM for services to Riding for the Disabled in Dumfries and Galloway and Sister Mary-Joy Langdon receives a BEM for services to disabled and disadvantaged children.

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    In total 1,123 people have received awards and 70% of these are people who have undertaken “outstanding work” in their communities, either in a voluntary or paid capacity. Women make up 49% of the total list.

    “The honours system continues to recognise those doing extraordinary things to support their community and reinforce civic life across the UK,” read a statement from the Cabinet Office.

    “It is built on/relies on nominations put forward by members of the public and we urge everybody to nominate the person in their lives that they think deserves an honour.

    “We continue to see inspirational action by people up and down the country.”

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