Joanna Tindall, 62, from Mayfield received a British Empire Medal for services to the Pony Club.

She said: “I felt amazed. I’m afraid I rather feel I don’t I deserve it – I’m sure a lot of other people have done as much if not more.

“And I had the most amazing committees which helped enormously, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my long-suffering family.”

Mrs Tindall has been involved in the Eridge Hunt branch of the Pony Club for 30 years, most recently as district commissioner.

She said: “The Pony Club is a training ground for children to learn to ride and to learn to look after the ponies.

“I’m proud of the way it promotes sportsmanship, and good manners, and for me I was always very keen about turnout – everyone looking tidy and smart and being polite.

“For some children, it is a structure that keeps them from doing other things which aren’t quite so savoury and they make lifelong friends.

“It was like one big family.”

Her branch also set up an race day at Lingfield so children could compete on a racecourse using professional facilities.