Having received a CBE in the Honours List, Sam Sheppard was quick to give credit to the efforts of his colleagues, without whom he says it would not have happened.
Mr Sheppard, 73, of Withersfield Road, Great Thurlow, was awarded the CBE for services to the horse breeding industry and to the rural economy.
Retired since 2012, Mr Sheppard has been involved in the thoroughbred breeding industry for more than 40 years, firstly as chief executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, a role he took up in 1973.
In 1982 he was one of the founders of the European Breeders Fund (EBF), which has now raised in the region of 100 million Euros.
He did the two jobs from 1982 until 1989, at which point he relinquished his role with the EBF.
Mr Sheppard, who had offices in Newmarket and in the US at Lexington, Kentucky has also been chief executive of the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation.
His work has seen him travel the world, largely in the US but also in South America, Japan and South Africa.
Having received the honour, Mr Sheppard said: “I was surprised and shocked and obviously thrilled because I think it’s the first time anybody that’s been involved in the thoroughbred breeding industry has been recognised.
“I think a lot of the credit goes to the wonderful people I have worked with over the 40 years.
“Those people that have worked with me over the 40 years have been very loyal to me.”
Having retired two years ago, Mr Sheppard added: “It was a hobby and it was a passion and I still love it all.”