Posted on 18th July 2019

Former BEF Chief Medical Officer awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Dr Peter Whitehead, one of the most authoritative voices in sports medicine, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to equestrian sport science and medicine.

After working as an event doctor at national horse trials in the mid-1990s, Peter went on to become British Eventing’s Chief Medical Officer from 1998–2015 and the BEF’s Chief Medical Officer from 2002–2018. He was BEF Team Doctor at a number of World, Olympic and Paralympic Games, including Athens, Beijing and World Equestrian Games in. In addition, he officiated as the FEI Chief Medical Officer for the Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio.

Peter was appointed to the FEI Medical Committee in 2009, becoming its chair in 2012 until his retirement in 2019.

A career highlight for Peter was being the Venue Medical Manager at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where he was responsible for the set-up of medical services and administration of a large site and many medical staff responsible for the care of up to 70,000 spectators. 

In recent years, he has been leading much of the FEI’s work into concussion in eventing competitions, which will have a significant positive effect on the future of equestrian sport.

Peter was recommended for the award by the British Equestrian Federation’s Chief Executive, Nick Fellows. Commenting on his experience of working with Peter, Nick said:

“Peter is incredibly professional and supportive of the work of the FEI, BEF and its members, always willing to help and provide advice, and going the extra mile in all that he does. He is a highly respected team player who has the ability to put all athletes at ease, and give them the confidence and support they need in order to return to sport as quickly as possible after an injury. His support and guidance to athletes and fellow medical practitioners within equestrian sport will be greatly missed in his retirement.”