A total of 14 equestrians have been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list – with Lee Pearson receiving a knighthood.
Most successful para-equestrian
Lee is the most successful para-equestrian of all time, winning 11 Paralympic gold medals, 14 World Championship titles and five European golds.
“My life has been full of surreal moments, changes and situations but the enormity of this honour will certainly take some time to get my head around,” said Lee.
Fellow Paralympian Anne Dunham – who was at 68 was the oldest member of the Paralympic team in Rio – was awarded an MBE, while gold medallist Sophie Christiansen was upgraded to a CBE.
Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Nick Skelton also received CBEs. There was some disappointment in the horse world, however, that Nick was not awarded a knighthood despite winning gold in Rio – nor was dressage rider Carl Hester recognised in this year’s Honours list.
MBEs went to Jonathan Agnew (aka ‘Aggers), who swapped cricket for horses, commenting at the Rio Olympics, and former event rider Claire Lomas. Claire was paralysed in a cross-country fall in 2007, and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity by undertaking a number of arduous tasks, including completing the London Marathon and Great North Run in a ‘bionic’ suit.
In racing, Tim Adams, John Gosden, Sam Morshead received MBEs as did Dr Robert Welby Henry, who was also recognised for his services to medicine. Rhona Elliot, who set up MS Borders Racing Club, was recognised for her charitable work with people suffering from multiple sclerosis, as well as her services to racing.
A British Empire Medal went to Albert Clyde, secretary of the Riding for the Disabled Coleraine in Londonderry, for services to the community.
Frances Roche, master saddler at the Royal Mews, received a MVO.