Showjumping champion Nick Skelton said he is “proud” of what he has done for his sport and the country over seven Olympic Games as he was made a CBE.
The 59-year-old, who announced his retirement earlier this month, sported a black eye when he received the honour at Buckingham Palace from fellow horse rider the Princess Royal.
Speaking after the ceremony, he told the Press Association Princess Anne had asked how the injury came about.
“She said ‘I hope that was horse-related’ – but it actually wasn’t, I fell and hit a wall, and then we were talking about just the horses in general and what I’m doing and what I’m going to do now that I’m retired.”
Skelton, who was made an OBE after the London Olympics, said it was “a great honour to be upgraded”.
He said he is “very proud to receive it, and proud of what I’ve done for the sport and for the country”.
The Warwickshire rider won individual gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, having helped Great Britain win team gold at the London Games.
He admitted he is a little bit sad to be retiring, but said while he “won’t be competing” he will “be doing everything else”.
He added: “I’ll miss the competing and the winning and the Olympics and things like that, and all the championships, but at some time it has to come to an end and I’ve thought long and hard about it and I think now is the right time really.”
Skelton retired alongside his gold-medal winning ride Big Star, who is now breeding, but he said he still rides him to “keep him fit”.
He added of his horse: “He’s having a good retirement.”