MBE 'icing on cake' for Mary
EAST Devon Olympic horse rider Mary King has described being awarded an MBE as "the icing on the cake after an amazing year" and has expressed her hopes that it will inspire others.
The 51-year-old silver medallist who lives near Sidmouth, was awarded the accolade in the New Year Honours List for representing Team GB at the Olympic Games for the sixth time.
This summer at London 2012, King helped Team GB scoop the silver in the Eventing, which includes dressage, cross country and show jumping.
She said: "It's such an exciting honour to receive. I've been competing for such a long time now, for years I'd been hoping that some day I may get the award and opening the letter saying I'd been awarded it this year was such a thrill.
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"It is the icing on the cake to what has been such an amazing year of my life."
Mary achieved a personal best for the dressage at the Games.
Back in the stables, days after completing her last event in the summer, she explained that it was the best result she had ever had at an Olympics and how grateful she was for the support from the community.
In August, thousands of people lined the streets to watch the champion ride past on her horse Imperial Cavalier, or Archie as he's known at home, before being made an Honorary Freeman of Sidmouth.
It is the highest honour the town council can bestow on an individual.
After the event, Mary said she was "thrilled" to be able to repay the community for their support following her success in the London Games.
The mother-of-two has made a remarkable recovery after suffering a broken neck in a fall in 2001, and was one of only three competitors in the 540-strong team representing the nation to be competing at a sixth Games at which she won her third medal.
"It's such a nice feeling to be recognised for what you do," she continued.
"Hopefully it will inspire others, no matter what age, to keep striving to do well at what they love." Elsewhere in the honours, Ann Barwood, from Exminster, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM), for her voluntary services to Exeter Cathedral.
Ann has served the cathedral for the past six years as a chapter canon with specific responsibility for the library and archives, and for the last two years as head of visitor services.
Her professional career was spent in social care and health.
Installed as lay canon and canon librarian in March 2009, Ann has specific responsibility for supporting chapter in securing the future and development of the 1,000-year-old library and archives through the Third Millennium Campaign.
Professor Brian Golding from Sidmouth has been appointed OBE for his work in predicting hazardous weather.
Jean Bradford, from Teignmouth, founder of the South Devon Seabird Trust, has been appointed MBE for services to animal welfare.
A knighthood went to Kenneth Grange, of Okehampton, one of the UK's leading industrial designers, responsible for Britain's first parking meter, the Intercity 125 high speed train, the Kodak Instamatic camera, the rural post box and the London taxi.
Nick Lewis, from Crediton, was formerly deputy chief executive of the South West Regional Development Agency and he received an MBE.
Nationally, the list of more than 1,200 recipients contains an assortment of medal-winning sporting heroes. Among them is Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France in the race's 109-year history and who then went on to win an Olympic gold medal, who is knighted.
Also becoming a Sir is Cornwall's four-times gold medal winning sailor Ben Ainslie.