The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) celebrated equestrian talent again this year when they presented Medals of Honour on Thursday 15 December in front of a festive crowd at The London International Horse Show, Olympia. Seven individuals who have shown outstanding achievement and contribution to the international equestrian world had their accomplishments recognised at the presentation.
Show jumper Robert Smith, dressage riders Emile Faurie and Charlotte Dujardin and para-equestrian dressage riders Emma Sheardown and Natasha Baker were all awarded medals for their exceptional achievements in their respective disciplines. Farrier Haydn Price and Chairman of the Senior Selectors for British Eventing, Mandy Stibbe, also received medals for their outstanding roles in equestrian sport.
The medals were presented by BEF Chairman, Keith Taylor.
Information about those awarded medals:
Natasha Baker (Middlesex)
2011 saw Natasha’s debut for Great Britain at the para-equestrian dressage European Championships, where she won gold in the Grade II individual and freestyle tests. She also won both the team and individual tests at Hickstead Premier League and came first in the team, individual and freestyle classes at Deauville.
Charlotte Dujardin (Gloucestershire)
Charlotte took part in her first Grand Prix competition in January of this year and won with a record debut score of 74%. She was part of the team that took an historic gold medal at the Dressage European Championships with her ride Valegro and beat her personal best, that she had recorded at the Europeans, on Tuesday (13 December) night when she won the World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix at Olympia with a score of 81.043%.
Emile Faurie (Oxfordshire)
Emile has represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games and three European Championships. He was part of the British Dressage team at the 2011 Dressage European Championships held in Rotterdam when the team made history by becoming the first British dressage riders ever to win a gold medal. With Elmegardens Marquis he has secured multiple premier league grand prix wins.
Haydn Price (Wales)
Haydn has been a farrier for over thirty years and is team farrier for the British World Class dressage and jumping squads. His interest in equine locomotion and performance horses led him to develop, in partnership with Bristol University, the Equine Gait Analysis system which is widely used in equestrian sport.
Emma Sheardown (Lincolnshire)
In 2011 Emma won team gold and individual and freestyle silver at the European Championships. She also won individual freestyle gold at the World Equestrian Games and an individual bronze in the para-equestrian dressage grade Ia competition in 2010. In 2009 she was selected to be part of the para-equestrian squad at the European Championships where she won gold in the individual freestyle and bronze in the individual test for her grade (Ia).
Robert Smith (Warwickshire)
During 2011 Robert has represented Great Britain on four occasions in the Nation’s Cup and was a member of the redoubtable winning team at the CSIO 5* in Dublin with Talan. He has represented Great Britain in 86 Nation Cups in all, 18 of them winning ones, also winning the King George V Cup three times. In 2010 Robert was the highest placed British rider at the World Equestrian Games.
Mandy Stibbe (Cambridgeshire)
Mandy has been a successful event rider and is now chairman of the senior selectors for the British Eventing Team. As chairman of the selectors Mandy has an important job monitoring potential talent and deciding which horses and riders would be at their prime for competitions. With Mandy at the helm, team medals have been won consistently at European, World and Olympic level.