To mark The British Horse Society’s (BHS) 75th Anniversary, the charity have honoured the exceptional winners of their Annual Awards in a commemorative ceremony with BHS Ambassador Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and BHS President Martin Clunes OBE.
Thirty-two of the Society’s volunteers, supporters and partners were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the equestrian industry, leading the way as shining examples of humanity, endurance and hard work across safety, education, access and welfare.
It was a memorable celebration, reflecting on the support and dedication that has been shown by so many over the last 75 years to help the BHS become what it is today.
Speaking at the event, BHS Chief Executive James Hick said: “A huge congratulations to all the BHS Annual Award winners. These awards are our way to honour and recognise the incredible achievements of all those who dedicate their time to support our charitable aims across safety, access, welfare, education and participation.
I am truly proud to work with such passionate and knowledgeable people who support us in our mission to protect and promote the interests of all horses and those who care for them. We have even more to celebrate in 2022 as we mark the 75th Anniversary of The British Horse Society. It’s been wonderful to commemorate this occasion with our brilliant volunteers and supporters, without whom we couldn’t achieve everything we do.”
This year two Awards of Merit went to Ellie Griffiths and Sue Hollingsworth for their dedication to the equestrian industry, and the welfare of horses and their riders. Ellie has played a significant role in her local area and has recently set up a programme to educate traveller children in horse husbandry in Wales. Sue ran and taught at her well-respected and friendly riding school for over 40 years. Many hundreds of riders have passed through the riding school over four decades, benefitting from her knowledge, care and ever-watchful eyes!
Changing Lives through Horses (CLtH) featured strongly in this year’s role of honour too. CLtH Coach Award winner Steph Buchanan of the RACE Saddle Club in Dorset is a true advocate for the programme. Steph has pushed the programme into the limelight and has been recognised for her commitment to the scheme and to children’s mental health. Recently, Steph was selected as a finalist for a UK Coaching Award.
Teenager Jacob Porter won the Pamela Almond Changing Lives through Horses Achieve Award, as someone who has overcome adversity by applying himself with tenacity, courage and determination. Having successfully completed the scheme, Jacob is now looking to go on to complete the BHS Stages and professional pathway.
The Helen Barton-Smith Silver Stirrup Award for meritorious work in support of young riders went to Cornwall-based Becky Monk and Mark Cunliffe. They have worked tirelessly over the years to support their local community, offering riding tuition at Lakefield Equestrian. They are passionate about delivering inclusivity for all riders and grooms, giving up their spare time preparing and taking para riders to national championship level and producing Para Dressage national titles.
Welfare Awards went to Hannah Johnstone and Natalie Munir, who led the successful ‘Stop Feeding Our Horses!’ campaign to make sure no more owners suffer the tragedy of their horse being made extremely ill due to being fed without permission. Vet Mark Bowen was the third winner of the Welfare Award, as a valuable supporter of the BHS healthcare clinics since their inception. Mark is responsible for overseeing all veterinary procedures on the day and has been essential with helping the less experienced vets.
The BHS paid tribute to Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police Joint Operations Unit with the Safety Award. Working with the BHS data, TPS Dave Hazlett and PC Liz Johnson have made a huge impact on road safety in their area by running joint Close Pass operations and static educational stands.
Dedicated volunteers Vyv Wood-Gee, and Graham and Myra Bennet were recipients of the Access Award. Myra and Graham have worked for over a decade to promote, improve and extend safer off-road riding throughout Wiltshire, culminating this year in the opening of the Imber Trail.
A hardworking, access consultant, Vyv was very much the driving force behind equestrians getting the same rights as walkers and cyclists under the 2003 Land Reform Scotland Act. Vyv is also an inspirational long-distance rider. In 2016, she explored Britain’s horse history on horseback visiting white horses and statues and covering 1,400 miles. She has also ridden Lands’ End to John O’Groats and countless other routes on her beloved Fell ponies.
Following her very sad passing in May this year, the BHS were also proud to introduce the new ‘Linda Tarrant Award for Services to Equestrianism and Volunteering’. As a volunteer, coach and welfare adviser, Linda made an enormous contribution to the Society and the wider equestrian industry over many years. The Society are honoured to present this inaugural Linda Tarrant Award to Linda.
- View the full list of all the 2022 winners is available
- Read more information about the BHS Annual Awards and how you can nominate for the 2023 Awards
- Find out more about becoming a volunteer for The British Horse Society
Notes to editor
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As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes, and safety for horses and riders. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers are committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere.