A DEVOTED horsewoman has been recognised for her triumph against the odds, showing determination, courage and sportsmanship.

Jane Dotchin, of Hexham, has been given the British Horse Society (BHS) Exceptional Achievement Award.

At 80 years old and with impaired vision, Jane became an internet sensation after her recent 600-mile round trip to the North of Scotland – a journey she takes each year – with her pony Diamond and disabled dog Dinky travelling in the saddlebag.

Jane has run a small riding school near Hexham for most of her life, imparting her equestrian wisdom and love of horses to thousands of local young people and adults over the years.

She also epitomises sustainable horsemanship, having lived off-grid, working by hand in her fields to care for her horses and relying on her own intuition rather than high-tech riding gear.

With extensive knowledge of horse-riding routes from a lifetime of trekking across Britain, Jane is proof that age and disability are no barriers to enjoying an equestrian challenge.

Jane is among 36 incredible winners of the 2020 British Horse Society’s Annual Awards, rewarding and recognising the outstanding achievements of the BHS’s volunteers, supporters and partners.

Despite a tough year, they have all shown true dedication in their field and made huge contributions to the equestrian community.

BHS chief executive James Hick said: “2020 was like no other year, but we got through it thanks to all our volunteers, affiliated groups and supporters who worked tirelessly with the BHS teams across safety, access, welfare, education and participation, despite all the challenges.

“The BHS Awards are our way of acknowledging and celebrating those who made an extra special contribution in aid of our charitable work over the past 12 months – so congratulations to them, but I also want to pay tribute to the many hundreds of others who make the society what it is.”

All of the 2020 winners will be presented with their awards at the official BHS Awards ceremony in November this year.

As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and equestrian routes and safety for horses and riders.

The society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers are also committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere.

Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now open: https://r1.dotdigital-pages.com/p/51LF-6Y1/bhs-awards-nominations