The War Horse Memorial Ambassadors

Our team have been carefully assembled to bring the right level of expertise and experience to the project to achieve success.

Adam Afriyie MP
Adam grew up in South London and attended Addey and Stanhope school in New Cross before gaining a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Imperial College (Wye).

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He was first elected as Conservative MP for Windsor in 2005. He was Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation from 2007 to 2010 and now chairs the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) and the Financial Technology APPG. Prior to entering Parliament, Adam was a successful entrepreneur in the information services and technology sector and has strong international businesses interest. He is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to both Ghana and Guinea.

adamafriyie.org

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Sophie Christiansen CBE
Sophie Christiansen is 29 and comes from Ascot. She was born two months prematurely with cerebral palsy and survived despite suffering jaundice, blood poisoning, a heart attack and a collapsed lung.

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She began riding aged six on a school trip as a form of physiotherapy, loved the freedom horses gave her, and took up dressage when she was 13. Three years later, she was the youngest member of the Great Britain squad to compete at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. She has won 10 medals at the last three Games, including triple gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. Christiansen has a first-class masters degree in mathematics and took unpaid leave from her role as analyst for an investment bank to compete in Rio.

Sophie says of her appointment as the Memorial’s first Celebrity Ambassador: “ I am both delighted and honoured to be associated with such an important project that recognises the contribution horses have made to us humans in the past and continue to make through their strength, kindness and intuition”.

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Nigel Allsopp – Commonwealth Ambassador (Australia and New Zealand)
Nigel Allsopp is the Australian ANZAC of the year 2017, a veteran of military overseas deployments and a decorated police officer.

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He served in the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces for over 25 years, and has spent a lifetime working with animals, initially as a Military Working Dog handler.

Nigel is the Founder and President of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organization (AWAMO) and the driving force behind the establishment of memorials honouring the deeds and sacrifices of animals in wars. He is a published author of nine books on Police and Military animals and is a recognised subject matter expert.

Nigel has established over 30 war animal memorials all over the world. In June 2017 he opened the WWI War Animal memorial in Pozieres, France. The memorial honours all animals from all nations.

Today, Nigel remains in uniform where he is an operational explosive detection dog handler for the Queensland Police Service. He is a qualified Mounted Police Officer having undertaken basic and advanced Police riding courses in California, USA and is a member of the Australian Light Horse Ceremonial troop.

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Yves Potard
Professor of history / geography at the Lamarck High School in Albert (Somme)

Knight of the Order of Palmes Académiques, retired since 2010.

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President of the Franco-Australian Digger-cote 160 Association created in 2001 in Pozières after having been president of the ANCCRE Association, for the creation of an international meeting centre for young people, in the heart of the historic sites of the Battle of the Somme. The numerous activities of the Association within our territory and in particular during the centenary commemorations of the First World War caught the attention of the State which has just awarded Yves the Silver Medal of Tourism having been recommended for the Award by the Prefect of the Somme.

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Rick Wagner (US Ambassador)
Rick currently resides in Bryan, Texas USA after retiring from the Garden Grove Police Department, California, USA after 33 year’s service.

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During this career he has worked as a Patrol Officer, K-9 Officer, Field Training Officer, Corporal, Narcotics Investigator, Homicide Investigator, Investigator on a FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Mounted Corporal, Patrol Sergeant and Mounted Sergeant. He totalled 13 years assigned to the Mounted Enforcement Unit before leaving the department.

Rick has served as a Board Member of the California Mounted Officers Association for six years and currently serves the board in an advisory role and Parliamentarian. As for CMOA competition at the Annual Trail Trials & Sensory Training he has been placed in the top three individual rankings six times, and has been on the first place team for four years.

Rick is a founding member of the Norco Animal Rescue Team, which is operated under the direction of the Norco Fire Department. His years of experience and training have enabled him to be entrusted as a Team Leader in Rescue operations in wildfires and rescues throughout Southern California. Rick organised and instructed training in technical animal rescue and animal evacuation in compliance with the City of Norco/Riverside County Fire Department policies. Rick was a member of the team that created these policies.

Rick has served with the California State Horsemen’s Association for 12 years and has served on the Board of Directors in State and Region offices and committees.

In 2008 Rick was the State Champion at the CSHA Trail Trials State Championship Event and in 2012 he was inducted into the Norco Horse Town USA Hall of Fame for that State Championship title.

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David Clendining
David Clendining has dedicated his life thus far to perusing and mastering a wide variety of artistic disciplines. David has been a part time teacher for at least twenty years in colleges, schools and universities throughout Canada.

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He has taught at Confederation College Thunder Bay On., North Island High School BC, Algonquin College Ottawa ON. University of Ottawa and is presently at the Ottawa School of Art.

In the mid 1970’s David attended Ontario College of Art where he studied commercial art, illustration and bronze sculpture and casting. Then, in the early 1980’s, David was approached to do some court room illustrations for a particularly high profile murder trial. He then became the court room illustrator for many trials across Canada, which led to a job as Art Director for the CTV network at CJOH TV Ottawa.

David remained at CJOH as Art director / Production Designer for the next ten years where he was responsible for set design, illustration, special FX, animation and court room illustrations. In the latter years of employment with CTV, David started his own small company called Summit Studios.

Today, David Clendining-Summit Studios specialises in design and fabricate museum displays, murals, sculptures, models, sets and FX. Summit also designs and builds movie sets and FX for productions such as, Chasing Rainbows, Interview with the Vampire, Grey Owl, H20, 13th warrior and Decoys to mention just a few.

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John Bickley (NZ Ambassador)

Born 1960 and growing up at the end of the road in rural Takaka in the Nelson region of South Island New Zealand.

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From a family of farmers, tradesmen and soldiers. Growing up next door to my Grandfather Jack Bickley who served in WW1 in Palestine for 4 years, I gained an interest a in matters military and learned to ride and shoot. I joined the New Zealand Army at 16 via a cadet group and served with 1 & 2/1 Battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

Today I honour all troops and animals from all wars by riding in remembrance. I especially remember the Mounted Riflemen and their Steads from Australia and New Zealand and Britain including my Grandfather and his Brother at this time 100 years ago capturing Beesheeba and successfully turning the tide of war and ending German control of the region and indeed the long ruling Ottoman Empire.

I display my Grandfathers Hat Badge and Medals proudly…

John Michael Bickley

10 Nelson Squadron of Canterbury Mounted Rifles

New Zealand Mounted Rifles.

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