Praise all round as former BHA chairman Paul Roy awarded British Empire Medal
Paul Roy was keen to praise the work of others on Saturday after the former chairman of the BHA was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his voluntary services to healthcare.
Roy, 70, is now chairman of Retraining of Racehorses, but it is through his role as vice chairman of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) that he has received his BEM.
He said: “I’m just a very small part in the charity. There are many people who are working day in, day out to look after and care for and rehabilitate people with spinal injuries.
“They really do incredible work. I’m not sure a lot of people in the outside world understand quite how tough it is for people to live fulfilled lives after sustaining a spinal injury.”
A prominent owner and breeder, Roy said his association with SIA was linked to his experiences in racing.
“Sadly we’ve had some incidents of [spinal damage] in horseracing,” he said. “That’s partly the reason I became involved.
“The original person to support it was Sir Tristram Ricketts, the former chief executive of the Levy Board. I’ve tried to carry on his work and support between the two really.”
Roy was among a clutch of racing figures recognised in the New Year’s honours list. Champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson was made a lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order while author Jilly Cooper was made a CBE for services to literature and charity.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, an occasional amateur rider before he became an MP, was knighted, while Galen Weston, who used to own horses with Ian Balding, was made a commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), and Polhampton Stud's Rachel Gwendoline Leocadia Murat an MVO (member).
Paul Taiano was awarded an OBE for services to drama training and horseracing welfare.
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