Crawley man honoured with MBE for his service to horse racing

A Crawley man has received his MBE for services to horse racing.

Ron Atkins from Ifield, Crawley received the award from Prince William at Windsor Castle (January 12th).

Mr Atkins accepted the MBE for services to horse racing. He became the first ever Jockey's safety officer and campaigned to ensure all concrete posts were removed from racecourses.

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Ron Atkins and his MBE

In addition to this, Mr Atkins was the instigator of The Jockeys Pension Fund, on whose board he still sits.

He also helped race courses to be more safety conscious, as well as testing helmets, body protectors etc. This was done for the safety of his fellow jockeys.

As a jump jockey, Mr Atkins never rode in the Derby but he participated in The Grand National twice finishing 13th first time, fell at 1st fence second time on the joint favourite! He rode over 400 winners in his career and enjoyed every minute of it.

Old news clipping of Ron Atkins MBE

Mr Atkins said: "I am very proud, after initial surprise!, and so thankful to the people who proposed me for this MBE.

“It made me realise that all the years when I fought for the safety of racehorses and fellow jockeys was worthwhile."

Grand National winning trainer Jenny Pitman said: “Well deserved.”

Ron Atkins at Windsor Castle

Son Dean and Daughter Claire said: “Very proud of you Dad”

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