Clunes was presented with the Belinda Sillars’s bronze sculpture by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the National Equine Forum (NEF), on behalf of the six charities at the Royal Society in London on Tuesday 5 March, 2013.
Clunes told VSM: “I am proud to receive this wonderful commendation on behalf of the charities that are working so hard to prevent the suffering of the horses and ponies caught in this current welfare crisis. I have become known for my passion for horses and dogs but now hope to extend this affection to encompass the many attributes of the stag beetle!”
The bronze was originally to have been awarded to the late Professor Sir Colin Spedding, in recognition of his services to the equine sector – most especially for his extraordinary commitment in founding the National Equine Forum and then being such an effective and amusing Chair of the Forum for 19 years.
Miles Williamson Noble, convener of the NEF explains: “Sir Colin sadly passed away in December last year. I know that he would have liked to have presented this commendation himself. Those who knew him will remember that, as well as Chinese proverbs, he loved Stag Beetles, and like horses, stag beetles are of course very formidable and useful creatures.”