Equestrian stars celebrate at the 30th anniversary of the Animal Health Trust UK Equestrian Awards
The annual AHT UK Equestrian Awards brought together British and equestrian royalty at this year’s event at The Dorchester, Park Lane on Wednesday 31 October.
Our long standing President, HRH The Princess Royal, welcomed professional riders, trainers, leading equine vets and charity supporters to this year’s 30th anniversary event. Our work over the years has aimed at improving the health and welfare of all equines, from elite competition horses to beloved family ponies.
The event was the perfect forum, in this year of the World Equestrian Games, to celebrate the Trust’s vital research into equine infectious diseases and injuries, which has supported many of the guests present, ensuring the good health of horses today and in the future.
In particular, the Princess highlighted some of the charity’s greatest achievements and current projects including research into developing an effective vaccine against equine herpes virus. An infectious disease which is a major welfare concern for horses and foals and causes emotional as well as financial strains on horse owners, trainers and breeders across the world.
This event is not only a wonderful exhibition of equestrian excellence, but is an essential fundraiser for the AHT to continue its work for the benefit of dogs, cats and horses. Every penny of profit made or raised by the AHT is reinvested into its industry-leading science and care for animals.
“We’d like to thank everyone who supported our flagship fundraising event which over the last 30 years has become the highlight of the equestrian calendar” says Director of Fundraising and Marketing Kevin Clements. “Without the generosity of individuals, companies, charitable trusts and funding organisations we would not be able to continue our vital work for years to come.”
Devoucoux Dressage Award – winner Sophie Wells
Grade V para rider, Sophie Wells is the ultimate sportswoman. Supreme dedication, a 360° approach, a desire to constantly strive for improvement and determination beyond measure. All her hard work paid off at the World Equestrian Games where she took the two individual gold medals on offer with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction – both with World Record scores – and was pivotal to the team securing Paralympic qualification for 2020 and the silver medal. She has represented Great Britain at the last nine consecutive para championships, winning 25 medals in total, 16 of them gold.
Dodson & Horrell Eventing Award – winner The World Champion Eventing Team
The World Champion Eventing Team of Ros Canter, Tom McEwen, Gemma Tattersall and Piggy French with reserve Tina Cook went to Tryon to regain the championship title last won in 2010. The Team riders were all relatively ‘new’ riders to the team but under the leadership of World Class Performance Manager Richard Waygood and World Class Performance Coach Chris Bartle the team came back victorious.
British Showjumping Award – winner Harry Charles
Harry Charles, aged 19, is openly talked about on the international circuit as being the most talented youth rider the sport has on a global level. This year saw Harry step up into the Young Rider environment where, as a member of the Young Rider European Championship team, he posted four clear rounds at the Championships to ably deliver a Team Gold for Great Britain before going on to win Individual Gold forty-eight hours later.
Following the Championships, Harry received an invite to compete at the London leg of the CSIO5* Global Champions Tour series. Showcasing his talent he posted a Grand Prix clear to finish in 6th place against the world’s very best and top ranked riders before going on to appear on a top level Nations Cup team in Gijon where he posted the sole double clear proving that even the top level of team competition was no match for him.
The Barbour Foundation Under 25’s Star of the Future Award – winner Harry Charles
Harry Charles would be one of the brightest talents within Great Britain within the 25 & Under category but also on a global level.
Bet Solutions International Racing Award – winner Jessica Harrington
Jessica Harrington was one of Ireland’s top three day event riders who has trained horses to the highest level. She predominately trains National Hunt racehorses but has also had much success on the flat. She has trained many Cheltenham Festival winners, including the brilliant Moscow Flyer and last year won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John.
This year she has steered the career of the brilliant filly Alpha Centauri to wins in the Irish 1000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and also the Jacques le Marois at Deauville – all Group 1 races.
SEIB Insurance Brokers Unsung Hero Award – winner Mike Tucker
For the 30th anniversary of the AHT UK Equestrian Awards, this year the SEIB Insurance Brokers Award was presented to an extraordinary Unsung Hero for their lifetime of selfless contributions and dedication to the sport of equestrianism. A man that touched many people’s lives and was a huge and much-loved character and true friend to many including the Animal Health Trust. This special award was given to Mike Tucker who sadly passed away in 2018 and the award was collected on his behalf by his wife Angela, son Andrew and daughter Emma.
Veterinary Achievement Award – winner Dr. Ed Robinson
This year the judges decided to award the outstanding veterinary achievement award to Dr. Robinson who is truly a great pioneer of equine medicine. Dr. Robinson has a number of veterinary firsts. The first person to perform direct measurements of hoof blood flow. The first to pioneer studying recurrent airway obstruction as a model of human asthma. The first to develop a two-horse model to study RAO, an idea which has since become the standard model for studying this disease.
Dr. Robinson founded the World Equine Airways Symposium and was founding editor of one of the most well-known textbooks in equine medicine, “Current Therapy in Equine Medicine”. Publisher of more than 200 scientific papers, 10 textbooks and author of more than 140 book chapters. Dr. Robinson serves on 35 editorial and scientific advisory boards. This award is in recognition of Dr Robinson’s phenomenal contributions to veterinary medicine which have also had a great impact on human medicine.