Equestrianism: Faurie breaks new ground

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The Independent Online
EMILE FAURIE became the first dressage rider to receive an Animal Health Trust award yesterday at its annual presentation and luncheon, writes Genevieve Murphy.

He was voted the Horse and Hound equestrian personality of the year after contributing to Britain's first European championship medal for dressage - a team silver - and winning the individual bronze at Lipica this year.

The South African-born Faurie had totally discounted his chances of winning an award and he only attended the lunch after being persuaded to do so by his head groom. 'This is wonderful for dressage, which is a great sport,' he said after receiving his award from the Princess Royal.

Virginia Elliot (nee Leng), winner this year of the Badminton three-day event for the third time, received the Duvaxyn Sporting Award. She married Mike Elliot, a joint- master of the Heythrop Hunt last month, and is hunting regularly as well as overseeing the building of their new home in Oxfordshire.

Elliot has made no secret of her desire to start a family, so an attempt at a fourth Badminton victory next May is by no means certain. The horses that she might ride at Badminton - this year's winner, Welton Houdini and the mare Welton Romance - will remain at her mother's home in Avon until next summer.

The Duphar Top Horse Award went to Jodami, winner of this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup. Sir Harry Llewellyn, winner of a team gold medal for show jumping at the 1952 Olympic Games, received the Animal Health Trust Special Award 'in recognition of a lifetime's dedication to the horse'.