Britain has a new award to celebrate the glories of equestrianism. The Queen has approved the creation of an accolade in her name, which will acknowledge outstanding services to the sport.
“We are thrilled and honoured that Her Majesty, who is Patron of the BHS and a strong supporter of equestrianism, wishes to recognise outstanding achievement with an award in her name,” says BHS chairman Patrick Print FBHS. “I can think of no greater accolade for anyone involved in the sport than to be recognised in this way.”
The Queen’s Award will replace the BHS’s Patron’s Medal and, like its predecessor, it will be presented every year on the recommendation of the BHS Trustees. The new accolade, however, will have a much broader focus.
“Whereas the former Patron’s Award recognised outstanding service to The British Horse Society, the new Queen’s Award for Equestrianism allows us to consider achievement across the spectrum of equestrian activity,” says Print. “And there are many within the horse world who provide outstanding services and who now become eligible for this recognition.”
The BHS came up with the idea of a wider-ranging award entitled to the Queen earlier in the year, and put it forward to the appropriate government office. They, in turn, proposed it to the Queen, who “was very happy to do it,” according to Oliver Wilson of the BHS.
“We are delighted she agreed,” he says. “The name change is a little thing, but a significant thing. [Calling this accolade] the Queen’s Award and broadening its remit makes it more exciting.”
Wilson is sure that the award will become the sport’s most prestigious recognition after the national honours. “Anybody who has been outstanding throughout any area of equestrianism will be eligible, and there is only one award each year [which] is coming from the monarch,” he says. “If you have devoted your life to equestrianism and get a top award from the Queen, it’s a fantastic thing.”