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Local equestrians in the Hall of Fame

Two top Wairarapa equestrians – Catriona Williams and the late Peter Morris – have been inducted into the Equestrian Sports New Zealand [ESNZ] Hall of Fame.

At the event held recently in Christchurch, Williams and Morris were both recognised for their contribution and outstanding service to the development of the sport, locally and internationally.

The three other equestrians inducted alongside Williams and Morris were Merran Hain, John Cottle and Alan Hampton.

“Williams and Morris are leading examples and have given a lot to the sport in different ways,” ESNZ chief executive Julian Bowden told the Times-Age.

“People came from all over the country too; sport touches all parts of New Zealand.”

At the awards, Williams was described as an “outstanding woman who has never ceased to push boundaries, both within equestrian sports and in her dedication to the research into helping spinal cord injury sufferers to walk again”.

“Catriona’s work has been recognised with some of New Zealand’s greatest honours: the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award, the NZ Women of Influence Award, and she was a finalist in the KiwiBank New Zealander of the Year.”

Williams expressed immense gratitude and felt “very fortunate” to be among the recipients.

“It’s a thrill to be included in the Hall of Fame and in the sport that New Zealand is known to be best at.

“It was an enjoyable night, we all enjoyed ourselves, and I think it’s a great example of getting among people who are determined and resilient.”

Meanwhile, Morris’s daughter Bridget Parker was in attendance to accept the award on behalf of his family.

Morris was remembered as a “truly remarkable man in every meaning of the word and one of our most respected technical officials across all equestrian disciplines in New Zealand, officiating at the highest level for over 40 years”.

“Sadly, as you know, Peter Morris left us just over three years ago,” the tribute continued.

“However, we congratulate him posthumously and welcome him as the first of our inductees to the ESNZ Hall of Fame.”

Parker told the Times-Age, “Dad would have been incredibly honoured to be inducted into the ESNZ hall of fame and to be alongside so many truly wonderful and talented people, many of whom he has known forever.

“It was gorgeous to be there with his grandchildren Samantha and Ben, watching on with pride.

“I actually think a lifetime of dedication to equestrian was an easy one for Pete; he loved every aspect of the sport and adored the people in its community, many of whom are his closest friends.”

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