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Outstanding contributions to equestrianism honoured

Outstanding contributions to equestrianism honoured at BHS Annual Awards

The British Horse Society (BHS) has honoured the incredible winners of this year’s Annual Awards in a ceremony with BHS Vice-Patron, HRH The Princess Royal and BHS President, Martin Clunes OBE.

The BHS Annual Awards programme celebrates the individuals and organisations who have gone the extra mile, making a huge impact on behalf of the equine charity and the equestrian world. With last year’s ceremony cancelled due to the pandemic, Martin Clunes presented the awards to the winners from 2020 as well as 2021.

BHS Chief Executive James Hick said: “A big congratulations to all the BHS Annual Award winners from the past year. These awards are our way to reward and recognise the incredible achievements of our volunteers, supporters and partners, whether that be expanding equestrian access, improving equestrian welfare, campaigning for equestrian safety and more. We are hugely grateful for the valuable contribution made by all of our volunteers, without whom the Society simply wouldn’t be what it is today!”

Jane Cherry’s outstanding resilience was recognised with this year’s Exceptional Achievement Award, after she beat all odds following a fall from her horse during a tragic accident in 2019 and returned to riding and resumed her excellent work as Manager at Washington Riding Centre.

Teenager Katie Turton won the Pamela Almond Changing Lives through Horses Achieve Award, for showing exceptional commitment to her personal development within the programme. Battling significant emotional challenges and with no prior equestrian experience, Katie has shown a natural dedication to horses and is considering a career in the equine industry.

The Helen Barton-Smith Silver Stirrup Award for meritorious work in support of young riders went to Scotland-based APC Bethan McDougall, who provides top class support to her clients and is passionately delivering the new BHS Pony Stars programme, receiving excellent feedback from children and parents so far.

Welfare Awards went to Suzi Swete, for her tireless work in helping rescue and rehabilitate 30-40 ponies who have now been given a second chance at life, and Dr David Marlin, for his life-long work in the field of equine welfare research, delivering unbiased scientific research and advice to horse owners in equine care.

Sarah Hills, a Police Support Volunteer (PSV) on Horseback with Suffolk Constabulary, won an Unsung Hero Award for her contribution to rural crime initiatives in Suffolk and fundraising for a children’s’ charity. Sarah’s horse Robbie won this year’s Equine Personality of the Year Award, having clocked up over 5000 miles on police volunteer duties and rewarded for his efforts supporting Sarah in ensuring safer rural communities. The Tarquin Trophy went to Carmarthenshire County Council, for their work with the BHS to help improve equestrian road safety in the county by placing signs featuring BHS Dead Slow messaging in hotspots areas, identified using BHS incident reporting data.

Gill Plumbley won the Fundraising Award after she raised nearly £80,000 to drastically improve a key bridleway in East Hampshire earlier this Summer, allowing local riders, walkers and cyclists to now safely enjoy the formerly dangerous route. Dedicated volunteers Lynda Warth and Graeme Bruce won Access Awards for their hard work in furtherance of enhanced equestrian access. Lynda supported many key access campaigns and infrastructure projects to benefit Cambridgeshire equestrians. Graeme dedicated countless hours to mapping routes in Lancashire and beyond and worked on Project 2026 applications to protect local rights of way. HRH The Princess Royal praised the incredible work of the award winners in a speech during the ceremony at Newbury Racecourse, before spending time with the 19 amazing long-service volunteers in celebration of their decades of dedicated service to the BHS.

Read more information about the BHS Annual Rewards


2021 Award Winners

Access Award - Individual

  • Lynda Warth
  • Graeme Bruce

Access Award - Organisation

  • Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (ORNI)

Approved Centre Award

  • North Farm Riding

Accredited Professional Coach Award – Approved Centre

  • Rosie Lord, Berkshire Riding Centre

Accredited Professional Coach Award – Freelance

  • Lindsay Gaven

Changing Lives through Horses Coach Award

  • Abigail Irvine, Wilsden Equestrian Centre

Tarquin Trophy for equestrian safety

  • Carmarthenshire County Council

Safety Award

  • Gaynor and Amy McKinnon

Welfare Award - Individual

  • Suzi Swete

Welfare Award - Organisation

  • Dr David Marlin, The Animal Web
  • Dr Suzanne Green, Greenway Veterinary Services

Volunteer of the Year

  • Jane Evans

The Lady Elizabeth Kirk Award for the voluntary dedication of a bridleway

  • Lady Rowena Stuart Wortley

Chairman’s Commendation for exceptional work

  • BHS Chairman’s Consultation Committee

Exceptional Achievement Award

  • Jane Cherry, Washington Riding Centre

Fundraising Award

  • Gillian Plumbley

Award of Merit for consistently excellent service to the Society over a period of years

  • Judith Murphy FBHS
  • Sarah Spencer-Williams
  • Jon Collins
  • Charles Irvine
  • Hugh Craddock

The Bodynfoel Award for excellent service in promoting the work of the Society

  • Mike Vitkovitch

Helen Barton-Smith Silver Stirrup Award for meritorious work in support of young riders

  • Bethan McDougall

Equine Personality of the Year Award

  • Robbie, Mill House Farm

The Pamela Almond Changing Lives through Horses Achieve Award for a participant in the CLTH programme who has shown exceptional growth and commitment to their personal development

  • Katie Turton, Parbold Equestrian Centre

Young Persons’ Award for a person under 25 years who shows outstanding potential and achievement

  • Megan Sorley

Unsung Hero Award

  • Maria Johnson, Trent Park Equestrian Centre
  • Sarah Hills, Suffolk Constabulary
  • Richard Watson, Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre
  • Denise Meldrum

Leo Harris Award for services to affiliated Riding Clubs and Area Liaison

  • Noel Ennett, Cheltenham and District Riding Club

BRC Volunteer of the Year

  • Jo Cocker, Moat View Riding Club

BRC Riding Club of the Year

  • East Yorkshire Riding Club