England – Legendary “Horse Whisperer” Monty Roberts, 76, was honored privately by the Queen for service to the Royal Family and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for his service to the racing establishment.
The American trainer, whose gentle techniques are based on the silent language of horses, was made an honorary Member of the Royal Victorian Order. The Royal Victorian Order is given by the Queen to people who have served her or the monarchy in a personal way. In 1989, the Queen Mother was reduced to tears after Roberts managed to tame her wildest horse. Roberts has been involved with some aspects of the monarchy’s horses ever since.
Responding to the experience, Roberts said: “The ball is in my court now and it is my obligation to continue to earn the respect that my supporters have given me over this past 22 years since first meeting Her Majesty in 1989.”
In the early 1990's, Roberts toured England at the behest of the Queen to demonstrate his methods. The novel The Horse Whisperer was being written in England during this time. In 1996, nearly simultaneously, Mr. Roberts’ autobiography The Man Who Listens to Horses and the novel The Horse Whisperer were published in England and immediately became bestsellers in non-fiction and fiction categories, respectively. Both books also became bestsellers in the United States the following year. Roberts’ autobiography remained on the bestsellers list for 58 weeks competing with books such as Angela’s Ashes, Tuesdays with Morrie as well as the many books published after Princess Diana’s sudden death.
Other award recipients: IVF pioneer Professor Robert Edwards, 85, was knighted eight months after being awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine for his work that led to the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, in 1978.
Artist Sam Taylor-Wood, 44 – a Turner prize nominee who has won acclaim as a film director – was been given an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). She directed 2009’s hit film Nowhere Boy, which looks at John Lennon’s childhood up until he went to Germany with the Beatles.
Photo: Award for Service to Her Majesty’s Racing Establishment bestowed upon Monty Roberts