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A Jubilant Thank You
22 June 2012, 18h01 EDT (GMT-4)

Canada's National State Honours System
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Click image for the investiture ceremony

This is an unusual and special blog post for me, because it is the one way I can offer a public thanks to my former colleagues at Equine Canada and the Canadian Equestrian Team, for doing me a very public kindness.

Serving as CEO of Canada’s national equestrian federation was one of the most surprising joys of my life. I was profoundly honoured to have been entrusted with the opportunity to serve both my country and the cause of equestrianism, and to have been given a rare gift: the chance, in a modern context, to answer the same call of chivalry that my ancestors had heard centuries ago.

The role enabled me to support our athletes and coaches, as they brought back Canada’s greatest equestrian medal results of all time; to work with our staff and volunteers, as they built the federation’s membership and resources to their highest levels in history; and to speak on behalf of our country, as Canada took a position of leadership in the community of equestrian nations.

The work was never easy, but for all its difficulties, I felt that the work was its own reward, because it allowed me to be part of a true golden age of Canadian equestrianism.

I was, therefore, more touched than I can express when I received the letter from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Hon David Onley, informing me that I was to be decorated with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for advancing Canadian and international equestrian sport. The medal is Canada’s newest national state honour.

I am very thankful to David Onley himself, and I am deeply conscious that he would only have nominated me for the medal at the urging of my former colleagues at Equine Canada and the Canadian Equestrian Team.

The medal means a great deal to me, not only because it is an honour from my country, but still more because it is a symbol of affection and regard from the professionals, athletes, coaches, volunteers, and members of Canada’s equestrian community, people whom I am terribly proud to call my peers and friends. I am more grateful to them, and more humbled by their kindness, than I could possibly express. All I can say is thank you.

Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, spouse of the Governor General, presented me with the medal, at an investiture ceremony hosted by David Onley at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall this past Monday.

My final task for the federation will be to serve as the team’s most passionate fan, as they ride unto the field of honour for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Though I will be cheering for them from this side of the Atlantic, my heart will most certainly be with them in London.


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