On Saturday 11th January, an eclectic mix of awards within the equestrian industry were presented at the British Horse Foundation Awards Dinner, held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, London City.
Guests arrived at the Competition Stallions-sponsored drinks reception before moving on to a sumptuous four-course dinner that followed a Live and Silent Auction, raising funds to enable the British Horse Foundation to continue its work in promoting the industry in general, that includes the breeding of horses and ponies, to advance education, training and research into animal husbandry and allied subjects.
The evening then moved on to the much-anticipated Awards ceremony, compéred by Harry Meade, that this year included three new awards benefitting the diverse nature of the equestrian industry.
The Richard Matson Memorial Trophy and a £1,000 cheque was presented by the British Horse Foundation, to the breeder of the highest placed British bred horse at the 2019 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (providing it finished in the top 20). This was awarded to Peter Teasdale, who bred Charles RR, ridden by Alicia Hawker.
The Anglo European Studbook Award was presented to Mark Evans of Castell Sport Horses, who runs a stud and competition yard with an aim to breed and produce top quality horses for showjumping.
The British Hanoverian Horse Society presented awards to the breeders of the best British bred Hanoverians that gained the highest points in International competition during 2019 in the disciplines of Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping, the winning breeders being:-
Sarah and Tony Pidgley for Duke of Britain (dressage), Eva Meier for Superstition II (eventing) and Caroline Ironside for MFS W. Diva Rosa (show jumping).
One of the three new awards presented was the World Horse Welfare ‘Unbreakable Bond’ Award that formed one of the categories of the charity’s Re-homed Horse of the Year 2019 competition. BBC Radio 2 DJ and charity Patron Sara Cox, judged that ILPH Windy and his owner Jackie Robertson to be the recipients of the ‘Unbreakable Bond’ Award.
The Tomlinson Equine Award, another new award, for the highest placed British-bred mare at the FEI Longines European Championship’s 2019, was presented to Reg and Cassie Passmore of Eastley Stud, breeders of Midnight, who was bred with a sports pony dressage career in mind, as both her dam and sire are graded sports ponies, however, she grew bigger than anticipated. After competing in able-bodied dressage competitions, the mare was sold to Lorna Lee as a Para-dressage horse, who had great success with her before selling her to Georgia Wilson, who co-owns her with parents Geoff and Julie Wilson.
As part of the British Para-equestrian dressage team, the 10-year-old dark bay mare was the highest placed British-bred mare at the Longines, FEI European Championships 2019.
The British Equestrian Federation Award was for the highest placed Equestrian Team GBR rider making their debut at the 2019 FEI Longines European Championships and this was presented to Georgia Wilson, who was a member of the para-equestrian dressage squad. Georgia, a Grade II level rider, rode Midnight, a 10 year old dark bay mare, winning a silver medal in the individual Grade II class with 73.47%, an individual gold medal in the Grade II freestyle class with a personal best score of 78.18% and were part of the silver medal winning GB para-equestrian dressage team.
To honour the impact on rare breeds The Horse & Hound Outstanding Mare Award was awarded to Stainmore Scotch Rose, one of the most prolific pure-bred Cleveland Bay broodmares of all time, bred by Barbara Martindale, the mare is currently out on breeding loan to the Welford family, with her most recent progeny, Mulgrave Royal Emperor having had outstanding success in the show ring and has just been awarded a basic stallion license.
Her progeny contribute to the future of the breed both at home and abroad, with the stallions Stainmore Wolfhound active in the USA , Stainmore Scotch on the Rocks standing at stud in Wales and Lindon Principal at stud in England, having produced twenty-eight Cleveland Bay progeny of his own.
The British Grooms Awards, sponsored by Haddon Training, whose continued support ensure that these often ‘unsung’ heroes of the equestrian industry have the opportunity to be recognised and rewarded. The winning recipients of the 5 categories were:-
Amy McCormack who works for World Horse Welfare Glenda Spooner Farm was the recipient of the British Grooms Award that was open to all grooms working in the UK equestrian industry.
A Highly Commended Certificate in this category was presented to Hayley Renshaw who works for Matthew Wright Eventing.
The Team GBR Grooms Award was open to any groom who supported a senior Team GBR athlete at the FEI Longines European Championships 2019 with the award going to Chloe Fry, who groomed for Kitty King, who as part of the GB eventing squad was placed 7th individually, the highest placed British rider.
The Manager Award was presented to Emma Hill Centre Manager atQueen Mary’s School Equestrian Centre. Isobel Leader, who is just starting out in her career as apprentice at Suddene Park, a livery, training and rehab facilitywas presented with the Apprentice Award. The Employer Award was a new award for 2019 and the recipient was Carol Andrews, proprietor of Wimbledon Village Stables.
The SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards were, another new award category that included, DIY Livery Yards, Full Livery Yards, Riding Schools and RDA Centres. The winners and runners up in the of the four categories were presented with their awards by British Olympic eventer and NAF brand ambassador Gemma Tattersall, SEIB’s Suzy Middleton and Dr Frances Henson of the Animal Health Trust (AHT).
Yard: Court Bank Farm, Staffordshire – Proprietors: Andrew and Vivienne Newton
Yard: Meadow Lane Equestrian, Cambridgeshire – Proprietors: Barry and Jo Meningen
Yard: Berries Farm Liveries, Norfolk – Proprietor: Richard Pointer
SEIB Full Livery Yard of the Year (over 80% full livery)
Yard: Church House Farm, Essex – Proprietor: Bob O’Connor – prize collected by Bob O’Connor and Roxanne Carter
Yard: Anvil Park Stud, Norfolk – Proprietor: Emma Alexander
Yard: East Lothian Livery, East Lothian – Proprietor: Robert Ogilvie – prize collected by – Gemma Williamson
SEIB Riding School of the Year
Yard: Wellington Riding, Hampshire – General Manager: David Sheerin
Yard: Wimbledon Village Stables, London – Proprietor: Carol Andrews – prize collected by Carol Andrews and Caroline Stevenson
Yard: Croft End Equestrian Centre, Manchester – Proprietors: Pat Shepherd and Carole Lyon
SEIB RDA Riding School of the Year
Yard: Cotswold RDA, Gloucestershire – General Manager: Claire Jenkins
Yard: Barrow Farm RDA, Essex – Proprietor: Anne Mitchell MBE
The culmination of the evening was the Stallion AI Services Meritoire Lifetime Achievement Award; this annual award is presented in recognition for a lifetime’s contribution to the breeding industry. The Award was presented to Tessa Clarke an expert in her field of equine AI reproduction, who received a resounding round of applause from everyone in the room, when it was announced who was the recipient for 2019 together with a rousing standing ovation when it was presented by Tullis Matson, Founder and Managing Director of Stallion AI Services.
Picture: Tullis Matson presenting Tessa Clarke with the Stallion AI Services Lifetime Achievement Award
Picture courtesy of Ali Kittermaster