The British Equestrian Trade Association has awarded its highest honour – the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award – to Chris Gordon, a leading light in the field of equine nutrition.
Highly respected and immensely popular, the Dodson & Horrell technical director received his accolade during the trade association’s annual Gala Dinner and BETA Business Awards ceremony, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on 22 January.
“Chris has played a key role in shaping the equestrian industry of today and the Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates his hard work over many years,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “Under his chairmanship, the BETA feed committee has been one of our most active sub-committees of the past 16 years and we have become a respected source of feed-related expertise and a real force in lobbying with government agencies.”
Chris has a lifetime passion for horses and all things equestrian. He evented until only very recently and has been a keen supporter on and off the hunting field. He chaired the Pytchley Hunt Supporters Association and presided over the fundraising committee for 12 years until 2014, during which time it raised more than £250,000.
He has a PhD in applied science and worked in research and pharmaceutical sales before taking a position at Dodson & Horrell in 1988, working his way up the company to become technical director.
He has served as Dodson & Horrell’s representative on BETA committees since 1999 and was chairman of BETA from 2006 to 2008. He became chair of the feed committee in 2002 and still holds that position today.
Chris led the working group that developed the successful BETA NOPS Code, increasing BETA membership from the feed sector and assisting companies in facing the increasing risk of contamination from naturally occurring prohibited substances, as well as providing them with the tools to reduce the risk of significant financial damage in the case of positive tests occurring.
He also chaired the working group that set up BETA’s latest feed assurance scheme, for products suitable for equines prone to EGUS – equine gastric ulcer syndrome. Chris has worked tirelessly on behalf of both the feed industry and wider equestrian trade, and is held in high regard by members of the equestrian industry, as well as leading figures in equine welfare and the racing world. He is considered a leading expert in equine nutrition, as well as a ‘thoroughly nice man and real gent”.
One nominator, Dr Catherine Dunnett, of Independent Equine Nutrition, said: “He has also lent his expertise and professionalism to the wider equine community, in the feed industry and in other areas, for the greater good of our sport. He is always a pleasure to deal with and the consummate professional.”
Sam Horrell, CEO of Dodson & Horrell, added: “We are thrilled that he has been honoured with this award and know just how much it will mean to him. I and many others are privileged to work alongside Chris, and his passion and enthusiasm for the industry are clear, whether on behalf of Dodson & Horrell or BETA. He is a great ambassador for the industry. I cannot think of a more deserving winner. “
Chris is married to Annie and the couple have two grown-up children – Katie, 25, and Charlie, 22 – as well as many horses, dogs and cats. They have recently moved to Cornwall, where he is now working the South West region for Dodson & Horrell’s racing and breeding interests.
His own interests include riding, skiing, cycling, sailing, canoeing, camping, horseback safari, walking and Pilates, and he is just about to embark on a new pursuit – Dartmoor Nordic walking!
The BETA Lifetime Achievement Award is one of a number of honours presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association as part of its annual BETA Business Awards. Nominations were invited from the trade for a deserving winner.