Charlotte Dujardin Heads Equestrians Awarded British Queen’s New Year Honors

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Charlotte Dujardin becomes Officer of the Order of the British Empire in Britain's New Year's Honors List. © © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LONDON, Dec. 28–Olympic dressage double gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin heads the list of equestrians awarded honors in Great Britain’s New Year’s list that also honored fellow team riders Laura Bechtolsheimer and Carl Hester.

Charlotte who rode Valegro to first place in both team and individual Olympic competitions in London in August becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), the same honor awarded to tennis gold medalist Andy Murray.

Laura, who won individual bronze as well as team gold on Mistral Hojris, and Carl who was the third member of the gold medal team with Uthopia, each become Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Great Britain's dressage team of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin that led the nation to an historic medal winning success at the Olympics. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com,

The medals won at Greenwich Park in London were the first medals of any color Great Britain has won in dressage in 100 years of Olympic equestrian sport.

For the 27-year-old Charlotte, it was her first Oympics while Laura and Carl have competed in previous Olympics. Charlotte and Valegro in 2012 also captured world record scores for the Grand Prix (84.447%) and Grand Prix Special (88.022 per cent). The stallion Totilas ridden by Edward Gal of the Netherlands holds the record for the musical freestyle (92.300%).

Great Britain’s gold medal jumping team members Scott Brash, Peter Charles and Ben Maher also become Members of the Order of the British Empire, as was eventing team silver medalist Mary King and Will Connell, performance director of the British Equestrian Federation.

Nick Skelton, also on the British jumping team, was honored with the award of Officer of the Order of the British Empire–the same as that of Charlotte Dujardin–in the Queen’s Birthday List in June, 2012.

The 127 sports awards out of a total of 1,223 honored in the list issued twice a year was the largest number in the 122-year history of the awards.