It was no doubt a golden year for sport and the achievements of equestrian athletes have been recognised in a bumper New Years Honours list 2013. The British Equestrian Federation is delighted to congratulate the following athletes and team staff who have been acknowledged for their contributions to an amazing summer.
Dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin and para-equestrian dressage rider Sophie Christiansen MBE were awarded Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Both riders were instrumental in helping their teams take gold at the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively. In addition Charlotte won individual Olympic gold in the dressage freestyle recording an Olympic record score, while Sophie maintained a perfect strike rate to lift individual and freestyle Paralympic gold in the grade 1a class.
Dujardin's dressage team mates Laura Bechtolsheimer – who also took individual Olympic bronze in the dressage freestyle – and Carl Hester were awarded Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for their part in the historic win which saw Team GB lift its first ever Olympic medals for dressage in such good style.
London 2012 proved Britain’s most successful Paralympic equestrian competition to date. As well as retaining their unbeaten title in the team competition the squad took home four gold, five silver and one bronze medal, ending every competition with a podium finish. Natasha Baker, Deb Criddle and Sophie Wells were each recognised with Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). The fifth squad member, Lee Pearson, is already a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Scott Brash, Peter Charles and Ben Maher have been awarded Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for their services to equestrianism following their performance in the Team competition at the London 2012 Olympics which saw them secure a Team Gold medal. This was the first gold medal that Great Britain had won for sixty years, a tremendous feat by the team of four which also included Nick Skelton OBE who played a pivotal role by jumping clear across each leg of the team competition. Nick was awarded an OBE earlier this year for his services to showjumping which he collected recently.
Part of the five strong GB Eventing team that took team silver in London, Mary King, has been awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Competing in her sixth Olympic Games the 51 year old finished best of the Brits in Greenwich to be recognised in the 2013 New Year honours list.
All within the Federation recognise that these achievements would not have been attained without the support and dedication of a huge number of support staff, grooms, owners and sponsors. It is therefore fitting that Equestrian World Class Performance Director, Will Connell, Equestrian Team Leader at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games should join these athletes and be awarded MBE for his services to equestrian. This was the first Games at which all equestrian teams have medalled. To have done so in such style was surely a tremendous testament to Will’s unerring leadership.
Commenting on his MBE Will Connell said:
"It is of course a huge honour and privilege to be recognised in the New Year Honours List 2013; I have a great respect and affection for our Nations’ traditions and Honours system. However, what I would really like to do is to take the MBE and divide it in 4, giving one quarter to the owners and horses that were such heroes in London; one quarter to the athletes that performed like superstars; one quarter to the staff and grooms whose dedication made it possible for the athletes and horses to deliver; and one quarter to the wider sport of equestrian, the Federation and UK Sport / BOA / BPA, without whom we would not have such a great grounding for elite sport in the UK. Thank you London forward to Rio."
Congratulations also go to Mo Edwards from The North Shropshire Hunt Branch of The Pony Club, who receives an OBE for her services to The Pony Club.
>> View the full lists
@CSJDujardin The Queen gives me my Christmas present - Charlotte Dujardin OBE!!!
@LauraB_dressage Very honoured to receive an MBE along with so many awesome sportsmen and congrats to @CSJDujardin on her well deserved OBE #history made!!
@NBakerParaRider Honoured to receive an #MBE after what has been the most incredible year!! Thank you to everyone for your support... Bring on #Rio2016
@BenMaher1 It's a great honour to be awarded an MBE. Thank you to all my owners/sponsors/staff and team mates for an unbelievable year #tripplex #MBE
@scott_brash It's an honour to be awarded an MBE. I can't thank my owners and the rest of the team that support me for everything. This is for all of us
@PeterCharlesSJ A great honour to be awarded an MBE. Like the medal, it's for my whole team.
@HesterDressage Over the moon to receive an honour for doing something that I love. Congratulations to @CSJDujardin and @LauraB_dressage. Hopefully this gives our sport a boost!
@sophiewells90 I'm so proud to say that I have been awarded an MBE!!! Its so exciting and I can't believe it! I definitely think this honour should be shared with my amazing horse Pinocchio and fantastic coach — with Angela Weiss.
Mary King: "It is a huge honour to be recognised for my longevity in this sport after six Olympics and for over thirty years of committment. I had always hoped to be on the New Years Honours List so the recieve it in 2012 is the icing on the cake at the end of a great year. I've committed myself to Rio 2016 and continue to inspire both young and old to keep going!"