Those who have given outstanding service to the cause of equestrianism were recognised at The British Horse Society’s annual award ceremony held at Saddlers' Hall, London on Friday 8 November.
Among the winners were those who have dedicated miles of new equestrian routes, supported horse owners through the tragedy of losing their horse, and enabled countless riders of all ages and abilities to achieve their dream of becoming equestrians.
Kelly Snelling, who received her award for outstanding dedication to equine welfare, summed up the feeling of many of the wonderful volunteers when she said: “Receiving this award makes me realise I am not alone.
"When it’s three o’clock in the morning and you are trying to help a horse, you think you’re the only one out there, but you’re not. This award shows that people are aware of what I’m doing and next time I will know that, in some way, everyone who cares about horses will be there with me.”
The awards were presented by the President of The British Horse Society, Martin Clunes, a role in which he takes great pleasure. “This is what I love about the BHS – the fact that people who are passionate about horses are not just talking about what needs to be done, but getting out there and doing it.
"The hard work and dedication of our volunteers and supporters never ceases to amaze me, and it is a real honour to be here today recognising these wonderful achievements.”
Some well-known faces were also recognised, with Clare Balding receiving the Elwyn Hartley-Edwards Award for the writer, broadcaster or publication whose work has been particularly beneficial to the wellbeing of the horse.
Speaking on Clare’s behalf her father, Ian Balding, said: “Clare is honoured and delighted to receive this award. She has always loved the equestrian world, especially the horses and the people.
“Clare loves covering Badminton, Burghley and Olympia and she was thrilled to be presenting for the BBC when Team GB won its first Showjumping Olympic Gold medal for 60 years – and to get a hug from Nick Skelton!
"Clare is very grateful to the BHS and the equestrian world for being so supportive and just extremely happy to get this award.”
Read the full list of award winners.