NEF introduces Special Sir Colin Spedding Covid-19 Award and extends nomination deadline

Given the exceptional circumstances of 2020 and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the National Equine Forum Organising Committee has changed the emphasis of the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 to celebrate those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ during a very difficult year. The deadline for nominations has been extended to 16 October 2020.

“We have already received many nominations for individuals and organisations, as yet without accolade, who have made exceptional efforts beyond their usual job or remit, during this troublesome year,” said NEF Chair Tim Brigstocke. “The pandemic continues to present challenges for the equestrian sector on an unprecedented scale and we believe we should acknowledge the trials, tribulations and extraordinary efforts undertaken to overcome the challenges we have all been living through over the past seven months.”

The 2021 Award will be renamed the Sir Colin Spedding Covid-19 Award. Any individual or organisation, from any equestrian field, is eligible, specifically for their exceptional efforts during the pandemic, as long as their outstanding qualities have not been formally acknowledged elsewhere. Non pandemic related nominations that have already been received will be carried over to 2022.

The Sir Colin Spedding Award was introduced in 2013 and has become one of the most respected annual awards within UK equestrianism. Sir Colin Spedding was the founding chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for 20 years until his death in 2012. He ensured that representatives of all areas of the equine sphere were made welcome to the Forum, and that topics of general interest and concern could be discussed openly and amicably.

Previous winners of the Sir Colin Spedding Award include tireless Suffolk Punch champion Nigel Oakley (2020 joint winner); welfare-driven equestrian journalist Eleanor Jones (2020 joint winner); equine sector stalwart Gordon Wesley (2019); exceptional farrier Dr Simon Curtis (2018); fire and rescue pioneer Jim Green (2017). Details of all the past winners can be found here.

To submit a nomination please read the checklist here and write, in no more than 100 words, why you believe your chosen candidate (an individual or an organisation) should be considered for the award. Your nomination must reflect why your chosen candidate has been exceptional during the pandemic. The NEF Spedding Award Committee will produce a shortlist of nominations, from which the winner will be selected by the Organising Committee. Multiple nominations for the same person will not carry additional merit and the decision will be final. The winner will be invited to attend the National Equine Forum, where the Award will be formally presented.

Nominations should be received by midday on Friday 16th October 2020.

All the sessions from NEF 2020 can be viewed on NEF’s YouTube channel, here.