Equine welfare advocates don't often see the spotlight, and can toil for decades without any recognition at all. If someone is looking for recognition, a career in equine welfare wouldn't be recommended.
They do it with a completely different agenda.
And yet someone has been watching the changes in the past decade in World Horse Welfare, the British-based charity with a global agenda to improve the lot of horses in all levels of work and sport around the world.
Who was watching? The Queen of England.
Recently-retired World Horse Welfare Chairman, Christopher Hall, was recognized in what is known in Great Britain as "the New Year's Honours List". The list announces recipients of honors by the Queen.
Christopher has been awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) by The Queen, in recogniton of his services to equine welfare.
Christopher Hall commented, "I have been very privileged in my time working with horses as I have visited so many interesting countries and met such a diverse range of people while doing what I love. I feel very grateful indeed for the opportunities that I have been given."
Christopher, a practicing lawyer, retired from his World Horse Welfare post last month. During Christopher's time with the charity he was instrumental in bringing about significant improvements to horse welfare both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Some of the highlights during Christopher's time at World Horse Welfare include:
- The charity became the only welfare organization to be appointed as an Associate Member of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
- He was the driving force behind the charity's name change from International League for the Protection of Horses to World Horse Welfare.
- He encouraged the decision to substantially increase the charity's overseas training projects in countries where there is a desperate need for better treatment of working horses. Over the past three years, nearly 400 saddlers and farriers have been trained in eight countries worldwide.
- He was responsible for appointing a new Chief Executive, Roly Owers, in 2008; together they moved the charity forward. The charity's purchase of Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset and major capital expansion at Belwade Farm in Scotland followed.
The Queen also recognized trainer Peter Tyndall Walwyn of Hungerford, Berkshire for services to horseracing.