FORMER Bega local Boyd Exell has been awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) for services to equestrian sports.
Mr Exell is an internationally acclaimed four-in-hand carriage driver who this year won his fifth World Cup Driving Championship.
Four-in-hand carriage driving is an event modelled along the lines of a ridden three-day event and includes three competitions - dressage, marathon or cross country, and cone or obstacle driving.
A carriage is drawn by a team of four horses that have their reins rigged in such a way they can be driven by a single driver.
Bega born and bred, Mr Exell left for the UK where he now resides when he was 21 so he could become a professional carriage driving instructor and trainer while also pursuing it competitively on the world stage.
He is the current world-four-in hand driving champion.
Mr Exell has won the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) World Cup Driving title five times (2009-2012, 2014) and the Aachen CHIO (Concours Hippique International Officiel) on six occasions (2003, 2009-2013).
Mr Exell returns regularly to Australia where he teaches high performance clinics for Equestrian Australia.
He is also the current deputy chairman, Technical Committee for Driving at the FEI.
An equestrian since the age of eight, Mr Exell has certainly done local horse riding community in the Bega Valley proud.
Mr Exell was also honoured at the Equestrian Australia awards night on May 7 at Le Montage.
He was named the International Athlete of the year by Australia's governing equestrian body.
His four-in-hand horse group was also named as the International horse of the year.
The group of horses, Carrington Park Ajax, Clinton Star, Bajnok and Spitfire have been key in many of Exell's wins.
Mr Exell was overseas competing during the ceremony, but his awards were able to be collected by very proud sister Lisa.