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Richard Dunwoody scoops top gong at Animal Health Trust awards

Richard Dunwoody’s year in the spotlight continued when he scooped the 2009 Animal Health Trust (AHT) special award at the annual event, which was held this year on bonfire night in London.

Horse & Hound readers voted for Richard, who has been champion jockey three times and rode over 1,699 British winners, to mark his amazing achievement of raising £100,000 in July for four charities by walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours. He raised much-needed funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, Racing Welfare, SPARKS and Spinal Research.

Whether his “twirls” on Strictly Come Dancing affected the votes was not recorded!

“It was a great honour and I was delighted to receive the award,” said the former Grand National-winning jockey.

Like so many present, Richard rose to acknowledge veteran trainer Barry Hills who received a Lifetime Achievement racing award. Despite serious illness, Mr Hills had one of his best years in 2009.

“It was also fantastic, after all he has been through, to see Barry Hills at the awards,” said Richard. “There was not a more deserving award winner all night.”

This was the 21st anniversary of the Animal Health Trust’s equestrian awards, held each year to honour those who have played a significant role in the equestrian world and to raise funds for the Trust.

This year’s event, hosted by The Princess Royal, raised over £70,000.

Each year, Horse & Hound readers vote online for the special award, sponsored by Martin Collins, and the voluntary service award, which this year was deservedly given to the Air Ambulance Service.

Award winners:

Duralock Racing Award
Veteran trainer Barry Hills

Vion Food UK Limited Dressage Award
The British Silver Medal Team

BSJA Show Jumping Award
Course designer Bob Ellis

Baggrave Eventers Eventing Award
TeamGB

Petplan Equine Vet of the Year
Gil Riley MRCVS

Voluntary Service Award
Air Ambulance Service

Martin Collins Special Award
Richard Dunwoody

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