Outstanding BE Volunteers recognised at Badminton

To recognise the incredible service from British Eventing (BE) volunteers, five prestigious awards, kindly supported by the Event Horse Owners Association (EHOA) were presented during the lunchtime dressage break at Badminton Horse Trials on Thursday 9 May 2024.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by British Eventing Officials and British Eventing Organisers, and the winners were selected by a panel headed up by BE President Jane Holderness-Roddam and including Liz Lyall, Roger Trivett, Jane Dalgliesh and David Merrett.

We are delighted to announce this year’s winners are as follows:

Volunteer of Year: Carolyn Akeister

Carolyn volunteers most weekends and is always cheerful, organised and encouraging. Everyone loves seeing her and she is also an excellent girth checker.

Year in year out, come wind, rain, heatwave, gale, or whatever the weather can throw at her, Carolyn is always smiling, helpful, knowledgeable and a calming, supportive influence. You would be hard to find a BE event within a 75-mile radius of Rugby, Warwickshire, that didn’t have Carolyn in the cross-country start box. She dedicates so much time to the sport. She always has a word of encouragement for the nervous rider.

She is professional and personable and knows the sport inside out. She is an asset to the BE volunteer crew.

Outstanding Contribution: Peter Doddington

Nominated by Tori Upton – Owner/Rider
As cross-country start box manager and cross-country warm up chief, Peter is wonderful at making sure everything runs to plan. He always makes sure you walk over to the start box with a smile on your face and genuinely wants everyone to have a good run. His Hawaiian shirts are next level and we always love going to any event we know ‘Dodders’ will be at!

Fence Judges of Year: Steve & Kay Neale

Nominated by Melanie Watson- volunteer coordinator at Gatcombe and Blenheim
Steve and Kay organise fence judges for several events including Cirencester and Barbury. They are very organised and give clear instructions, so we all know when and where we need to be. And most importantly they do it all with a big smile on their faces. When I recently took over organising fence judges myself for a couple of events (Gatcombe and Blenheim) they were very generous with their advice and support which made my life so much easier. They are great ambassadors for the sport and really deserve this award.

Young Volunteer: Alfie Birkett

Nominated by Littleton Manor
In a sport where the average age of volunteers does seem to be creeping up Alfee, who is studying at university in London, has been ever present in supporting Littleton Manor Horse Trials as a fence judge.

British Eventing’s Rosie Williams OBE, said: “Congratulations to all our very worthy winners. Our sport simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for our dedicated band of volunteers who give up their time to support the sport they love. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their hard work and loyalty.”

To find out more about volunteering, please click here

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