” Some emotional speeches, some entertaining ones.- a high degree of passion and drive in all of the winners. See a problem, make a differencecongrats to you all!! ” was how one of our guests described the Awards ceremony.
The Welfare and Performance Person award, sponsored by Ridercise was won internationally renowned coach and author Mary Wanless and you can watch her acceptance speech here
Also shortlisted were John McEwan FEI vet, and Hayley Moore.
Sue Dyson, who was voted winner of the Welfare and Performance Practitioner award, sponsored by Harper Adams University,
The Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences Department, gave a heartfelt speech, thanking everyone who voted for her, and was clearly moved by the public support and awareness of her work.
Shortlisted for this category along with Sue, were Thilo Pfau and Sonya Nightingale.
21stCenturyRider sponsored the App Award, won by Equla Vert and accepted on their behalf by Professor Hilary Clayton.
The Saddlery Equipment Award was sponsored by Novel GMBH and the winner was the Micklem Bridle, designed by William Micklem. Shortlisted were the Equiband and the Saddle Aid saddle.
William, who was later presented with the Saddle Research Trust Global Ambassador Award, said:
“A huge thank you to the Saddle Research Trust and all those who feel so strongly that we have achieved something special and different with the Micklem bridle and voted for it in such huge numbers….and special thanks to Horseware Ireland and their CEO Tom MacGuinness who saw the value of the bridle, when for fifteen years I had failed to convince other manufacturers.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the Micklem bridle has changed the way we think about bridles and nosebands, and because of this, we are immensely proud. It is designed from the inside out, from the shape of the skull itself and the position of the nerves … for this special thanks are due to my late Father, Dick Micklem, who started me on this journey, not just because of his deep interest in equine anatomy and physiology, but also because of his love of horses and his deep appreciation of their integral role both in two world wars and in our life-enhancing equestrian sports.
My Father would be so pleased with this recognition for the Micklem bridle, but even more pleased about the proactive and positive contribution to horse welfare by the Saddle Research Trust “
Introducing the award, fellow vet Sue Dyson noted “Stewart was of the old school of veterinary surgeons with a background steeped in horses and a real passion for the horse. He was an observer, a questioner, a reader, and a thinker. He was ahead of his time, recognising the importance of correct foot balance and appropriate shoeing, realising that saddle-fit for the horse was imperative for optimal function and embracing appropriately trained paraprofessionals as part of the team required to promote equine health and welfare. He recognised that learning never ended and his thirst for new knowledge continued unabated throughout his life. Stewart was a gentleman, with high professional ethics. Woe betide anyone who transgressed these principles when he was in practice. He had an amazing memory and, combined with his wit and sense of humour, had plenty of tales to tell from throughout his extensive career.
Stewart was intimately associated with many facets of the equine world, most particularly hunting, working hunter showing, eventing, and racing. He supported eventing as a lifetime member of British Eventing. He was Veterinary Advisor to the Society of Master Saddlers and was recognised as an Honorary Fellow of the organisation. He delivered the inaugural lecture on the History of the Saddle to the Worshipful Company of Saddlers in 1983. Stewart was passionate about the education of the horse-owning public and was intimately involved with the British Horse Society. He wrote two editions of The British Horse Society Veterinary Manual and received an Award of Merit for Welfare and Training from the British Horse Society. His contributions to the equine industry were recognised by the award of the British Equestrian Trade Association’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2013.
Stewart also played an active role in veterinary politics serving as Secretary to the British Veterinary Association in the 1960s and acting as both Honorary Secretary and Honorary Information Officer for the British Equine Veterinary Association in the 1970s. Stewart was a passionate believer in continued professional development and was an avid supporter of BEVA meetings until very recently.
The Saddle Research Trust presented a Welfare and Performance Ambassador Award to William Micklem, who gave an inspiring response.
The challenge of achieving the one central and vital balance in the sport horse world, between on the one hand caring for and training the humans we help, and on the other hand caring for and training our horses. If we are to work efficiently it is simply not possible or sensible to separate the needs of our participants from the needs of our horses, therefore horse welfare and how to ensure happy equine athletes must stay at the top of our agenda.
The Saddle Research Trust would like to extend huge thanks to Master of Ceremony, Simon Grieve, eventer, who expertly made sure everything ran smoothly on the night.