Sue Martin, who is a BHSII and runs Trent Park Equestrian Centre in London, received the Sir Colin Spedding Award at yesterday’s National Equine Forum (NEF), on Thursday 3rd March 2016. This special commendation was given in recognition of Sue’s unstinting efforts to improve equestrian learning and training. Sue was selected from a shortlist of three nominated candidates, the other two being Hon. Walter Gilbey and Baroness Ann Mallalieu
Under Sue Martin’s lead, Trent Park Equestrian Centre is a British Horse Society Equestrian Centre of Excellence. It has grown into one of the largest and most successful Riding Schools in the country as well as a Training and Examination Centre for students. In addition to her work at the Centre Sue has led and chaired the Equestrian Trailblazer Steering Group for the government’s initiative to reform apprenticeships. This brings together about 50 members from virtually all equestrian disciplines, as varied as British Racing, the Household Cavalry and horse charities. They have together designed the standard for two levels of World-class equestrian grooms, which is now approved by government. It is understood that this is the first time such a wide range of experts from their individual fields have worked together as a team. The Group will continue working on the next phase of the process and then hope to remain together to work on further projects for the benefit of the equestrian world.
Sue Martin said: “I am truly honoured. I feel I am receiving this on behalf of the hardworking team of dedicated professionals from across all equestrian disciplines who have given their precious time and effort to bring the new trailblazer apprenticeship into fruition. I believe the late Sir Colin would have felt we had succeeded in maintaining his ethos of ‘considering and speaking in a coordinated voice on matters of the moment’. I hope to retain this unity of professionals and work together in the future for the good of the industry.”
The Sir Colin Spedding Award was established in 2013. The bronze sculpture of a stag beetle by Belinda Sillars was originally to have been awarded to the late Professor Sir Colin Spedding, in recognition of his services to the equine sector – most especially for his extraordinary commitment in founding the National Equine Forum and then being Chair of the Forum for 19 years. Previous recipients of the award are: Paul Greeves former Executive Director and Keeper of the General Stud Book at Weatherbys (2015), Dr Andrew Waller on behalf of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) Infectious Diseases Group (2014) and Martin Clunes on behalf of UK Equine Welfare Charities (2013).