Scots showjumper Scott Brash honoured by Queen

Scott Brash was made an OBE for services to equestrianism during a ceremony in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Scott Brash was made an OBE for services to equestrianism during a ceremony in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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AN Olympic gold medal winner has topped a “phenomenal” year by being formally honoured by the Queen.

Showjumper Scott Brash, from Peebles in the Borders, was made an OBE for services to equestrianism during a ceremony at Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

He was honoured along with more than 70 people from all walks of life, including an RAF sergeant decorated for services in Afghanistan and a palace cleaner whose family served the royal household for almost a century.

Mr Brash, 27, was the youngest member of the British gold medal winning showjumping team at the London Games last summer.

“It means a lot. To be recognised in what you love doing is a fantastic thing. It’s great,” he said following his meeting with the Queen.

“She asked where I was going next and how the horses are, saying it was a great achievement.

Being made an OBE has capped a remarkable year, he said.

“The whole experience has been phenomenal. I was just so lucky to be a part of it all.”

RAF Sergeant Roy Geddes, 43, was awarded the Military Cross. He was decorated for his role defending Camp Bastion against an attack by armed insurgents on September 14 last year.

Sgt Geddes, originally from Surrey and based at RAF Lossiemouth, was commanding a quick reaction force when his vehicle was hit by a rocket. Despite being unable to move because of a wounded knee, he kept control, prevented the position being over-run and ensured his injured crew were taken to safety.

After being decorated at the palace, he said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I can’t really put into words how I feel right now. It’s such an honour.

“I was told in March this year out in the middle of a training area supervising someone else’s exercise. I was quite surprised and stunned when I found out.”

He will be sent back to Camp Bastion in October.

For Doreen Fraser, the award of a Royal Victorian Medal marked almost 100 years of unbroken family service to the royals.

Mrs Fraser, 64, from Edinburgh, retired as cleaner, or Daily Lady, in February after 25 years. Her grandfather Jack Mars entered service at the same palace in 1922, followed by her father Alex Paton in the 1950s.

“I put this medal down to almost 100 years of service from my family,” she said.

“It means such a lot to me.”

A staunch royalist, Mrs Fraser said the Queen was a great employer and who remarked on the family’s link during the ceremony.

“I think she’s lovely. The first thing she said to me was she could remember my father,” Mrs Fraser said.

Other people named in the most recent New Year Honours List include National Galleries of Scotland director general John Leighton who received a knighthood.

Journalist Magnus Linklater, a former editor of The Times in Scotland, was made a CBE while Northern Constabulary Chief Superintendent David O’Connor collected the Queen’s Police Medal for his contribution to police service reform as president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents.

The formal investitures are part of Royal Week, the time set aside each year for the Queen to carry out engagements in Scotland.

The Queen earlier met First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick.

Around 8,000 people from across Scotland were invited to the annual garden party in the palace grounds.

The Queen began the week inspecting a guard of honour of soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan. She inspected the troops, from The Royal Scots Borderers, as part of the Ceremony of the Keys at Holyroodhouse.

She is not being accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh this year. Philip is recovering from recent exploratory abdominal surgery.