“Horse whisperer” Monty Roberts was honoured by the Queen today for his service to the Royal Family.
The American trainer, who uses gentle techniques based on understanding the silent language of horses, was made an honorary Member of the Royal Victoria Order (MVO).
Roberts is believed to have been one of the inspirations for the novel The Horse Whisperer which became a hit Hollywood movie starring Robert Redford.
The Royal Victorian Order is given by the Queen to people who have served her or the monarchy in a personal way. It is bestowed independently of 10 Downing Street.
Known for her love of horses and racing, the Queen is a fan of the champion trainer’s “Join-Up” methods. The Queen Mother was also once reportedly reduced to tears after Roberts managed to tame her wildest horse.
Roberts’ autobiography The Man Who Listens to Horses became a best-seller and he credits the Queen, whom he has met several times, with encouraging him to put pen to paper after she watched him at work.
“She kept saying: Write a book, write a book!” he has recalled.
Roberts, who has demonstrated his technique at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, began tracking wild mustangs in Nevada as a child and noticed a non-verbal communication between the horses which he calls “Equus”.
The Queen also bestowed a knighthood on her top aide. Her private secretary Christopher Geidt, now Sir Christopher, was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).
The Queen’s master of the household Air Vice-Marshal Sir David Walker was also given a KCVO, while the deputy comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office Jonathan Spencer has become a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).
Sir David helped arrange the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding reception at Buckingham Palace
Hairdresser Hugh Green, who tends to the Duchess of Cornwall’s locks, is to receive a Royal Victorian Medal (Silver).