Some of British Eventing’s prestigious awards were presented to their deserving recipients at the 2012 Event Riders Association (ERA) Ball held at Headley Stud last weekend (Saturday 28th January 2012).
The stud, near Newbury, is the home of the already legendary young party hostess, US event rider Jules Stiller who generously put on the party at her own expense meaning that all proceeds from the ball could go back to the association which supports Event riders in the UK. The award ceremony was held during a spectacular four course meal after guests were greeted with a champagne reception.
Mike Barnes, who is Commercial and Marketing Director at British Eventing presented British Senior squad member William Fox-Pitt with the Tony Collins Memorial Trophy and also the 2011 British Young Rider team gold medalist Tom McEwen with the Edy Goldman trophy. This is the second year in succession that Dorset-based Fox-Pitt has taken home the award for the highest ranking British rider, having amassed 2,103 BE points in 2011. McEwen, from Wiltshire received his award for being the highest ranking British rider under twenty one years old in 2011, again taking the award for the second year running.
The ERA Chairman, Francis Whittington also presented two British Eventing awards. The BE Fence Judges of the Year award, which is awarded in association with the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, went to Tony Chadbone and Jean Kennedy from Buckinghamshire. The skilled couple have over twenty years of experience under their belts and are looking forward to a very memorable year ahead which will include fence judging at both Badminton and the London Olympics.
Francis then presented The Young Volunteer of the Year to Lizzie Dyer who was nominated because of her tireless dedication as a volunteer at Barbury, Blenheim Palace, Wilton plus events far from her native North Somerset, such as North Yorkshire. The award is for anyone under the age of 26 who has been remarkable in their help for the sport.
William Fox-Pitt presented 2011’s Leading BE100 rider award to Kent-based owner and rider Sue Eggleton who also received the award for owning the Leading Foundation Points Horse. The horse, Nachtigall, has earned a massive 138 Foundation Points last season which was his first season Eventing.
The British Eventing Leading Foundation Points Rider Award went to Anthony Clark from Northampton who truly put in the miles on seven younger horses at the introductory level of the sport in 2011, earning him a total of 448 Foundation Points. This award is specifically for the rider who accumulates the most Foundation Points in a season, riding one or more horses at Grassroots level (BE90 and BE100).