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The Duchess of Cornwall hosts a reception to celebrate the success of the British Equestrian teams at Rio 2016

Published 24 January 2017
The Duchess of Cornwall with BEF athletes

The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception at Clarence House tonight to celebrate the success of the British Equestrian teams at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Her Royal Highness, Patron of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), met equestrian athletes, as well as owners and members of the support teams, including performance managers, coaches, vets and physiotherapists.

During the evening, The Duchess spoke to athletes including Paralympic triple Rio gold medallist Sophie Christiansen, who was recently awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours list.

The GB equestrian teams brought back nine gold medals and five silver medals from Rio last year.

At the Paralympic Games, the para-dressage team secured another team gold, alongside 10 individual medals.

Eventer William Fox-Pitt and Paralympic triple Rio gold medallist Natasha Baker MBE were also present for the Royal reception.

The Duchess at the BEF reception

The BEF is the national governing body for horse sports in the UK, representing the interests of 4.2 million riders, vaulters and carriage drivers in Great Britain. The Duchess of Cornwall has been their Patron since 2006.

The Duchess told guests: "I just wanted to congratulate all of you, the riders, owners, grooms and trainers, and of course the horses – I wish that we could have got them here tonight.

"Let's all keep our fingers crossed for Tokyo, and I hope we'll be seeing you all in four years' time with a lot of medals around your neck. Congratulations again."