Charlotte McPherson has been chosen as December’s The Howden Way Spotlight Award winner for celebrating development of skills and knowledge over outcome, ensuring welfare of all is the heart of the Regional Academy and showing camaraderie and mutual support. As part of her award, Charlotte wins a uvex exxential II riding helmet, courtesy of Zebra Products.
Charlotte rides 13-year-old, 14.2hh dun Connemara gelding Murphy (aka Chestnut Hill Moet). He is Charlotte’s second pony.
Coach Victoria Baker nominated Charlotte for the December Spotlight Award on behalf of the Northern Area Academy. She said: “Charlotte was the youngest of the group and really stepped up with the older and more experienced members of the group. She considers her pony at all times and shows diligence and empathy towards him at all times.”
Laura Collett, who has the pleasure of selecting the winning candidate, said: “It’s great to see such enthusiastic young talent coming through the ranks, especially one who puts their horse’s welfare before their own ambitions. Charlotte’s pony hasn’t been easy, but instead of giving up, she has focussed on how she and her pony can improve and is keen to learn the best ways to move forwards. This education will put her in good stead later on in her riding career and hopefully result in a successful partnership.”
Charlotte commented: “It’s my second year riding him. He’s good at dressage, has a powerful jump and has a good pace show jumping, but this season he’s been a bit sticky on the cross country. Following a Pony Club Area One Day Event this summer, I found out about The Howden Way training. I went on my first training day in September with Victoria Baker. It was lovely to meet new faces from the area and everyone was really friendly. The instruction was great and I learnt a lot. I returned for the Halloween weekend camp with Victoria which was a really fun weekend and then had another great day with Tracy Garside in November at the Yorkshire Equestrian Centre and met other riders of all ages. It’s been nice to see other riders and some of the lovely horses.
“Most recently we were at the British Eventing (BE) Show-Cross at Port Royal in November which is local to me. Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify this time but neither were we eliminated! We’re working on his confidence over certain cross-country jumps. We’re trying to keep his training going inside as it’s very wet in Yorkshire at the moment! I’m looking forward to BE in 2024 and all the support from The Howden Way. It’s a real surprise to win the Spotlight Award as it’s my first year – I’m really pleased.”
Each month, coaches delivering The Howden Way Regional Academies are invited to nominate a member who has championed the core values of the Academies whether it be welfare, driving for inclusivity, creating camaraderie and supporting others, celebrating development of skills and knowledge over outcomes and developing true ambassadors for the sport. The winner is then selected by Olympic Gold Medallist, Laura Collett, from a shortlist of contenders who have been nominated as deserving.
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A Spotlight award is given every month to the most outstanding rider. Non-members can attend up to two of any of The Howden Way training academies. For more information on The Howden Way training, visit here. For those wishing to join, there is a 40% discount for new Pony Club and Riding Club members. For information on how to join, visit here