To mark The British Horse Society’s (BHS) 75th Anniversary, the charity has honoured the 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”, across safety, education, access and welfare.

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.”

Worthy winners

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 recently set up a programme to educate traveller children in horse husbandry in Wales, while Sue has ran and taught at her “well-respected and friendly” riding school for over 40 years.

Changing Lives through Horses (CLtH) featured strongly in this year’s role of honour. CLtH Coach Award winner Steph Buchanan of the RACE Saddle Club in Dorset “pushed the programme into the limelight” and was recognised for her commitment to the scheme and to children’s mental health.

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 and are “passionate about delivering inclusivity”, giving up their spare time preparing and taking para riders to national championship level and producing Para Dressage national titles.

An Unsung Hero Award was given to six individuals and organisations that had gone “above and beyond to contribute to their local equestrian community”. This year’s winners were Childvision Equine Assisted Therapy Unit, Dublin; Fiona Dalgiesh, Fiona Dalgliesh Veterinary Services, Lockerbie; Checkendon Equestrian Centre, Berkshire; Zandra Thomas, CABO, Pembrokeshire; Sandra Williams, Trainer, Bucks; and Rachel Wright, BHSI, Owl House Stables, Kent.

Welfare Awards went to Hannah Johnstone and Natalie Munir, who led the ‘Stop Feeding Our Horses!’ campaign. Vet Mark Bowen was the third winner of the Welfare Award, as a supporter of the BHS healthcare clinics since their inception.

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.

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.

Following her passing in May this year, the BHS introduced 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 presented the inaugural Linda Tarrant Award to Linda.

A full list of all the 2022 winners is available here.

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