The Queen’s New Year’s Honours list extended to Thame this year as Patrick Print received an OBE for his services to Equestrianism.
And the former British Horse Society (BHS) chairman admitted it was a great honour to receive the award.
“I’m pretty chuffed, really,” he said. “It is a bit of a surprise but it makes you feel very honoured.
“I think the most difficult thing is not to tell anybody as you obviously want to tell the whole world. It is such a great relief now because I can finally tell all my family and friends.”
The most excited of these was his partner, who will accompany Mr Print to Buckingham Palace when he picks up the award.
Mr Print said: “My partner was just as gobsmacked as me and obviously very pleased.”
The newly appointed OBE recipient had been chairman of the society for six years, during which time he raised the number of members from 58,000 to just under 72,000.
But he was quick to point out that those he worked alongside were a major factor.
He said: “At the end of the day it is great to receive a reward for something that you really enjoyed doing. It has been great fun. I was just lucky enough to be the team leader, it isn’t just down to me. They have all been right behind me.”
His efforts have not go unnoticed by people with whom he worked. Chief executive officer of the society Graham Cory said: “The OBE is well deserved and I know that his colleagues at the BHS cheered when they heard the news.
“Prior to Patrick, the BHS always thought they knew what was best for people rather than asking people what they wanted. He made it the sort of organisation that people want to join.”
Mr Print also spent time passing his skills on to others and became one of the world’s top coaches.
He achieved the fellowship of the BHS, which is the highest coaching qualification possible and only about 100 people have it in the world.
Chief constable of Thames Valley Police Sara Thornton was also recognised with a CBE.