The final event of the 2014 season, The London International Horse Show at Olympia, saw the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) pay tribute to the outstanding achievement and contribution of five individuals to the international equestrian world .
The medals, awarded by BEF Chairman Keith Taylor, were presented to: Equestrian Team GBR showjumping veterinarian Robrecht Cnockaert, lunger and vaulting coach John Eccles, Chef d’Equipe and Chairman of the British Eventing Pony Team Ginnie Keen MBE and owner, show organiser and dressage scorer Sara Green, for their exceptional achievements in their sport. World Class Director of Equine Sports Science and Science Medicine and FEI Vice President John McEwen MBE, was also presented with a Medal of Honour for his service to the sport and the British Equestrian Federation.
As World Class Performance showjumping team vet, Robrecht has provided pivotal support to GBR athletes at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games and four European Championships – as well as in excess of seventy top level Nations Cup teams. Specialising in the needs of the performance horse through his equine consultancy practice, he has travelled the globe with the teams to ensure the best level of support is delivered.
Lunging at the highest level for many years, John Eccles has facilitated the acquisition of 15 championship medals at junior and senior level for Equestrian Team GBR, adding to his medal tally at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where he took gold and silver with his daughters Joanne and Hannah. A member of the FEI Vaulting Committee and a FEI 3* International judge; John also actively encourages and develops vaulting in Great Britain through his clubs, Wee County Vaulters and the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting Team.
Employed at Ernst & Young, Sara Green has been involved with dressage since the 1980s, as a rider, owner and show organiser. Rules and Fixtures Director for British Dressage (2006-2012), her work behind the scenes has ensured high standards have been maintained within the sport in Great Britain. She continues to influence through her work with the FEI. Running and supporting numerous international shows, Sara was also part of the scoring team at the dressage events of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
John McEwen has been at the very heart of international equestrian sport in Great Britain since the 1990’s and the World Class Programme since its inception. An outstanding ambassador for the sport at home and on the world stage, his work as team veterinarian with GB showjumping and dressage squads and as World Class Director of Equine Sports Science and Science Medicine, has contributed greatly to the preparation of Britain’s elite horses.
One of eventing’s most successful Chef d’Equipe and Chairman of Selectors in the last 15 years, Ginnie Keen led the British Pony team to 18 European Championship medals – five of them gold, since 1999. Her outstanding leadership and exceptional contribution to the sport – as a fence judge, District Commissioner of the Beaufort Hunt Pony Club, her work with Youth Action Wiltshire and Riding for the Disabled Association – has greatly benefitted the eventing community.