Royal presentation for Sir Colin Spedding Award winner

Claire Williams, winner of this year’s National Equine Forum (NEF) Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 was formally presented with the Award by HRH The Princess Royal, who is President of the NEF, at Gatcombe Park on 29th April 2021.

Claire, who is the Executive Director of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), was nominated for this special edition Award in recognition of her tireless work to advise, support and maintain morale across the equestrian sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given the exceptional circumstances of 2020 and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the NEF Organising Committee changed the emphasis of the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 to celebrate those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ during a very difficult year.

Claire’s efforts included analysis of Government guidelines and the development of protocols to allow feed merchants and tack shops selling feed and horse care products to trade legally and continue with essential safety services such as hat fitting.

Claire said: “I feel deeply honoured, not only to have won the award but also for it to have been presented to me by HRH The Princess Royal. The past 12 months have been a challenge for the industry and I was pleased to have been able to play my part in providing support to BETA members and members of the wider equestrian community through this difficult time. This award actually belongs not just to me but to my colleagues at BETA, whose support has been invaluable.”

The Sir Colin Spedding Award was introduced in 2013 in Sir Colin’s memory and is presented annually to an exceptional unsung hero or heroine of the equestrian world. It was adapted to the Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award as a one-off for 2021 and will return to its normal format in 2022.

Nominations are now being invited for the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2022. If you know an exceptional individual or organisation, as yet without accolade, within the equine sector the NEF organising committee is keen to hear from you.

To submit a nomination please read the checklist 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. 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 for the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2022 can be made here. The closing date is 12 noon (BST) on Saturday 31st July 2021.

Picture courtesy of Bob Langrish