Princess Anne was at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square to present the Animal Health Trust UK Equestrian Awards. One of the winners who received an award from the Princess Royal was fourteen-year-old Oliver Fletcher from Faringdon in West Oxfordshire who won the British Showjumping award.
Oliver is one of the rising stars of showjumping and this year won the Children’s International Grand Prix in Wierden and was a member of the British team in the Children’s European Championships. At the championships, he won team gold and individual bronze, despite his young age Oliver is leading under the twenty-one-year-old rider in his class in the British Showjumping leagues. He is the son of former Olympian showjumper, Graham Fletcher and his wife Tina, who herself was a reserve rider at the London Olympics in 2012.
The Animal Health Trust was formed seventy-five years ago in 1942 and is based near Newmarket in Suffolk; it received a Royal Charter on its twenty-first birthday in 1963, six years later the Princess opened a Small Animals Centre at the site. She is now President and no doubt very happy to give one of the awards out to the child of a showjumper who is following in their parent’s footsteps. She was a highly successful horsewoman herself and her daughter, Zara has also excelled in the saddle.
The Animal Health Trust exists to fight disease and injury in animals. Thanks to their pioneering work improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention, horses, dogs and cats are living healthier, happier lives – in the UK and across the world. Events like the awards ceremony publicise the Trust and the work it does all through charitable donations. The Trust was formed by the British Veterinary Association, and it has had close links with the horseracing industry, both from generous donations and also the work it has done with racehorses.