Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has been awarded the Longines Ladies Award, celebrating her lifelong achievements at the very highest level of equine sport.
The Princess Royal was presented with the prestigious Longines Ladies Award at a special ceremony at The Natural History Museum, London, on Monday 13th June 2016. Taking place for the fourth consecutive year, the Longines Ladies Awards celebrate women who have consistently performed at the highest level and made a significant contribution to the equestrian industry through their work.
Her Royal Highness was joined by global equestrian industry leaders as they gathered in London on the eve of Royal Ascot to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of great horsewomen. At the event, tributes from across the sporting world were paid to The Princess Royal for her lifelong dedication to equestrianism.
Multiple Olympic Eventing medallist William-Fox Pitt said The Princess Royal has been “huge for the sport of Eventing” throughout his career. He said: “I think that she was a top rider, a legend in her own right and then she’s taken our sport on and helped the sport develop. She’s got the interests of the sport and horses in general at her heart.”
Lord Coe, who worked closely with The Princess Royal during her role in the organization of the London 2012 Olympic Games, said the award capped “a herculean career, both competitively and administratively”. He added: “I think The Princess Royal’s contribution to sport has been enormous. She is somebody that is passionate about sport and enjoys sport for all the right reasons. We need more of those people.”
The Princess Royal is an outstanding rider and competed for several years with the British Eventing team. In 1971, she became European Champion and in the same year was nominated for Sportswoman of the Year by the Sports Writer’s Association, the Daily Express and World Sport. A few weeks later, she was voted BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year by the British public.
She went on to win three more European Championship medals, team bronze in 1973 and in 1975 she took the individual and team silver medals. The following year, The Princess Royal was selected to compete for Great Britain in the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.
The Princess Royal’s great accomplishments in the saddle led to her appointment as President of the International Equestrian Federation for two terms between 1986 and 1994. She became President of the British Olympic Association in 1983 and is a Member of the International Olympic Committee. In more recent years, Her Royal Highness was instrumental in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and was a member of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.
Mr. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines said: “We are delighted to be honour Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as the recipient of this year’s Longines Ladies Award. She is a formidably talented horsewoman and deserves huge praise for her achievements and contributions in the equestrian world as both a competitor and administrator. Longines is thrilled to present her with this special award.”
The Longines Ladies Awards recognize the success and achievements of women at the very highest level of the global equine sports industry. This year’s award has been judged and decided by three leaders in world equestrianism: Mr. Ingmar de Vos, President of the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale); Mr. Louis Romanet, Chairman of the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities); and Mrs. Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the FEGENTRI (International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders).
Longines has been long associated with equestrian sport, dating back to 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and horse. Used to time performances on racecourses since 1881, Longines is popular amongst many professional riders and jockeys and is continually used to time performances at some of most famous racecourses and equestrian events in the world. Longines is proud to be an official partner of the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) and FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale).