The annual Animal Health Trust UK Equestrian Awards brought together British and equestrian royalty at The Landmark Hotel, London on Wednesday 16 October to raise vital funds for the charity.
Its President, HRH The Princess Royal, welcomed professional riders, trainers, leading equine vets and charity supporters to the annual event. The Animal Health Trust’s work over the years has improved the health and welfare of all equines, from elite competition horses to beloved family ponies. The event was the perfect forum, in a year of unprecedented levels of equine flu outbreaks across the UK and Northern Europe, 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 how the charity had analysed thousands of equine flu samples this year; providing expert guidance to vets, horse owners and event organisers which ultimately reduced the risk of a prolonged outbreak, such as that seen in Australia in 2007/08 and prevented unnecessary suffering for many horses.
The event is a wonderful exhibition of equestrian excellence, and an essential fundraiser for the Animal Health Trust, ensuring the charity can continue its work for the benefit of dogs, cats and horses. Every penny of profit made or raised by the Animal Health Trust is reinvested into its industry-leading science and care for animals.
Feedmark Dressage Award – winner: Gareth Hughes
Following three stunning personal-best performances at this year’s FEI European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam with Classic Briolinca, Gareth finished best of the British riders in the Special and Freestyle, cementing his rightful place amongst the world’s elite.
British Showjumping Award – winner: The GB Showjumping team of Scott Brash, Amanda Derbyshire, Ben Maher and Holly Smith
This year the GB Showjumping team won bronze at the European Championships in Rotterdam with four incredible performances. The team objective for the Championships was to qualify for the next Olympics. The riders, not only claimed team bonze, but secured their ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Devoucoux Eventing Award – winner: Hugh Thomas
Hugh has been the formidable force behind Badminton Horse Trials for the past 31 years. Alongside this, Hugh has been an inspirational leader for the sport and has over the years been a Director and/or Chairman of the British Equestrian Federation, British Eventing and is currently Chairman of the British Eventing Charitable Foundation.
Bet Solutions International Racing Award – winner: Frankie Dettori
Well-known among the racing community as ‘racing’s greatest showman’, Frankie has delighted racegoers and punters over a career which has already spanned several decades. In 2019, Group 1 victories aboard Annapurna, Enable, Stradivarius, Too Darn Hot and Coronet, alongside the famous five-timer on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot made Frankie a clear winner of this Award.
SEIB Insurance Brokers Special Award – winner: the Animal Health Trust Equine Flu Response Team
Presented to the Equine Flu Response Team to recognise its’ sheer hardwork and dedication in ensuring the health and welfare of horses. 2019 has seen an extraordinary year in the UK and Northern Europe for outbreaks of Equine Influenza. This team has worked day and night to help protect the welfare of horses and support and protect the equine world.
The Barbour Foundation Under 25’s Star of the Future Award – winner: Bubby Upton
As 2019’s Young Rider European Champion, Bubby competed with Team GB at the Young Rider European Championships in Maarsbergen, Netherlands. Aged just 20, Bubby also made her Senior Team debut at the Nations Cup competition.
Veterinary Achievement Award – winner: Professor Kathy Clarke
Professor Kathy Clarke has devoted her entire career to veterinary anaesthesia, working at the Royal Veterinary College from 1975 until her retirement. During this time she has taught and inspired thousands of veterinary and veterinary nursing students. She contributed to setting up the RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia and was one of the founding members of the ECVAA, ensuring the post-graduate education of many more veterinarians in the UK and beyond. Professor Clarke’s research into aspects of equine anaesthesia has made significant contributions to advancing the specialty.