The British Horse Society’s Sefton Awards honour those who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of equestrian safety. The winners for 2020 are PCSO Tracey Johnson, Staffordshire horsewoman Sue Hayes, PC Matt Hill and Shetland volunteer Kathryn Nicolson.
Police and community support officer Tracey Johnson has been described as an equestrian policing hero for her involvement in an awareness campaign in the Essex village of Canewdon. Following the tragic death of a horse that was hit by a car, Canewdon Equestrians initiated a safety awareness campaign which Tracey has supported wholeheartedly. She has attended events, effectively enforced speed limits, issuing warnings where needed and also educating drivers in the process.
Sue Hayes is a passionate horse owner who lives in the remote Staffordshire village of Brewood. When a property company announced plans for a major housing development, she was concerned about construction site traffic as well as the general increase in the number of cars on the road. Sue worked with the respective teams at the BHS and Staffordshire County Council Highways Department and as a result eight special Dead Slow signs were installed at key points in the village – effectively alerting drivers and improving safety for equestrians.
PC Matt Hill has made a significant contribution to improving road safety for equestrians right across Greater Manchester. Working closely with the BHS, Matt has been responsible for many initiatives to educate riders as well as motorists. These have involved talks, safety patrols, presenting offenders with video evidence, issuing warnings and seeing through prosecutions for dangerous driving. Matt’s work has also critically amplified the importance of riders reporting incidents.
Kathryn ‘Susie’ Nicholson has been championing road safety on Shetland for over 20 years, working tirelessly to protect the ridden and unridden Shetland ponies that inhabit the island. Three years ago, Susie set up the BHS Shetland Committee with a big focus on welfare education and has now established a robust programme of activity to safeguard ponies and riders alike.
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS said: “Improving equestrian safety is a huge part of our work and we are incredibly grateful to all those who have shown such great initiative and are helping us in our mission to improve conditions for riders and their horses. A massive thank you goes to our four Sefton Award recipients, commemorating the legendary Household Cavalry horse who survived the IRA bombings in London in 1982.”
The winners will be presented their awards at the Household Cavalry Barracks in London later this year.
To see more of what we do at the BHS to keep you and your horses safe, view our Safety page