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15 Reasons To Love Clare Balding

All hail the national treasure who won't be called a national treasure.

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I believe that horses bring out the best in us. They judge us not by how we look, what we're wearing or how powerful or rich we are, they judge us in terms of sensitivity, consistency and patience. They demand standards of behaviour and levels of kindness that we, as humans, then strive to maintain.

6. She's a proud and positive LGBT role model without ever setting herself up as a campaigner.

REX USA / Piers Allardyce / Rex

She has been in a civil partnership with former Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold since 2006.

I have learned not to take too much notice of those who disapprove of my lifestyle choices, because I know I was not designed to be part of the crowd. If I am different, I make no apology, and I hope others will have the courage to be themselves and stand up for what they believe in, fight for those who need protection, love who they want to love, and be proud of it.

8. But she won't stand for any nonsense either.

Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

In 2010, she made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission after AA Gill called her a "dyke on a bike" in The Sunday Times, and the editor refused to apologise, saying "a person's sexuality should not give them protected status". The PCC found in her favour, saying Gill had "referred to the complainant's sexuality in a demeaning and gratuitous way." She wrote an inspiring defence of her position for The Independent.

"I do get recognised in Sainsburys, but that's about as far as it goes. I was doing a book signing and Waterstones gave me two lovely heavies to look after me - I really don't know why - and I had to politely say to them, 'I'm going to M&S to buy a salad and it would be ridiculous for you to come along. I'm not Justin Bieber'."

11. When The Independent On Sunday Pink List was published, she was pretty much the only person on it not to spend all day tweeting about it.

Long flight to China ahead with a promise to post pictures of baby pandas if I can get wifi. Operation Wild filming underway #OpWild

Clare Balding


Long flight to China ahead with a promise to post pictures of baby pandas if I can get wifi. Operation Wild filming underway #OpWild

/ Via
"I was delighted when I heard they'd asked. It made me roar with laughter. I went for it because the best way of countering prejudice is by allowing your sensible voice to be heard. I thought, 'this is a real moment, I'd be a fool to let it pass'."