Bracknell's finest rewarded in New Year's HonoursBy Jennie Slevin
January 04, 2013
The borough’s finest have been named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
A Paralympic triple gold medallist, an associate director at Broadmoor Hospital, and a magistrate were among those to be honoured. JENNIE SLEVIN and BECKY BARNES report.
Five-times Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Christiansen has been given an OBE for services to equestrianism.
The 25-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, won three gold medals in equestrian dressage in Greenwich Park at London’s 2012 Games.
The former Charters School pupil said: “I got a letter about a month or so ago.
“It sounds a bit big-headed but I got my MBE four years ago after Beijing so I was sort of expecting it.
“Four years ago I was only 21 and it was delivered to my university address.
“I remember I was so surprised I let out a little scream.
“My flatmates came running in to see if I was OK, but I couldn’t tell them what it was.
“This time I was a bit more discreet.”
Despite her subdued reaction, Sophie, who grew up in Sunningdale, said it feels amazing to be recognised for her achievements.
She said: “I’ve been training every week, it’s a bit of a selfish thing to do.
“I prayed every day for my gold medals but I never prayed for this, it’s an honour.
“I wanted to win the gold medal for myself, but with this, I’ve realised how much it affects other people.”
Since the Paralympics, Sophie has been working alongside the Government to help others with disabilities.
She said: “When you’re looking for support and information it’s hard, but it’s made easier when you can talk to someone who’s been through the same thing.”
Sophie added she’s working towards the European Championships later this year.
She added: “If I find the right horse then I’ll go to Rio, but it will be a difficult challenge living up to the hype of this year.”
A man who worked at Broadmoor Hospital has received a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list.
Anthony Hopkins, from Sandhurst, was rewarded for services to nursing for working as associate director of day care services at the hospital in Kentigern Drive, Crowthorne.
A West London Mental Health Trust spokesman said Mr Hopkins has retired from his Broadmoor role.
Former Bracknell resident Jennifer Farmer, right, was also named in the New Year’s Honour’s list.
Mrs Farmer, nee Wright, who was educated at Wick Hill (now Garth Hill College) School, was made an MBE.
Mrs Farmer is the youngest daughter of the late Ted and Eva Wright who lived in Honey Hill Road, Priestwood.
Eva Wright later became Mrs Warden, who for many years was a member of St Paul’s Church in Harmans Water.
Mrs Farmer now lives near Kendal in the Lake District and is chairman of the South Lakeland magistrates.
It was services to the Cumbria Magistracy and also to her local community that earned her the MBE. She is also the younger sister of former Wokingham and Bracknell Times sports editor David Wright, now sports editor at large of its sister paper, the Reading Post.