The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) celebrated a fantastic year, honouring equestrian talent by presenting BEF Medals of Honour last night at The London International Horse Show, Olympia to eight individuals who have shown outstanding achievement and contribution to the international equestrian world.
Showjumpers Scott Brash, Peter Charles and Ben Maher; vaulter Andrew McLachlan and eventer Zara Phillips were all awarded medals for their exceptional achievements in their respective disciplines.
Performance Director Will Connell, British Paralympic team coach Michel Assouline and Tim Hadaway, LOCOG Sport Competition Manager for equestrian events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, also received medals for their outstanding roles ‘behind the scenes’ in equestrian sport.
The medals were presented by BEF Chairman, Keith Taylor.
Information about those awarded medals:
Michel Assouline (Essex)
Michel has been the British Paralympic team coach for seven years, during which time the GB team have remained unbeaten at major team championships, amassing 74 medals in total, including the summers Paralympic haul of 11. A successful dressage rider in his own right, Michel was long-listed for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Scott Brash (Scotland)
Making his debut at top level competition in 2010, Scott’s career has gone from strength to strength. Part of the 2010 World Equestrian Games team, he made his Olympic debut this year where the team secured team gold.
Peter Charles (Hampshire)
With three Olympic, World and two European Championships to his name Peter boasts a wealth of championship experience. After winning Individual Gold at the 2003 Europeans, Peter achieved golden success again during the summer, returning from the London Olympics with team gold.
Will Connell (Leicestershire)
A member of the Royal Artillery for seventeen years and commanding officer of the King’s Troop RHA, he became Chef d’Equipe of the British Young Rider Eventing team in 1997. Appointed Equestrian Performance Director in 2003, Will co-ordinates and manages the World Class Programme, encompassing Performance, Development and Equine programmes and has been Equestrian Team Leader at last three Olympic Games.
Tim Hadaway (London)
A stalwart of the eventing community, Tim has previously worked as a cross country course builder, the Director of Blair Castle International Horse Trials in the 1990s and was appointed technical adviser for British Eventing, before becoming Sport Technical Manager in 2002. He was then appointed as the LOCOG Sport Competition Manager for equestrian events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was instrumental in the successful deliver of the equestrian competitions and in bringing our sport to a global audience.
Ben Maher (Hertfordshire)
Ben has been winning European gold medals since his Pony Club days and has enjoyed success through the levels. Making his senior team debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ben went on to compete at two European Championships – winning team bronze in 2011, before taking to the London stage in 2012 where he won team gold
Andrew McLachlan (Scotland)
Vaulting since the age of seven, Andrew has now competed in all three competitions – squad, pas de deux and individual, and has been the Junior Male British Champion for the past two years. 2012 saw Andrew place first in Saumur - the first ever British junior male top spot placing, before winning individual bronze and pas de deux gold (with Rebecca Norval) at the Junior Vaulting Championships – the first time GB had won at a junior level.
Zara Phillips (Gloucestershire)
Zara has enjoyed a successful eventing record since young riders. On her senior debut, at the 2005 European Championships, she rode into the history books, taking individual and team gold; a year later she went on to take individual gold and team silver at the World Championships. 2012 has seen Zara represent GB once more, this time securing team silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Unfortunately Tim Hadaway and Zara Phillips were not able to be there on the night to receive their awards and will be presented at a later date.