The Howden Way November Spotlight Award winner is announced

Lucy Devine has been chosen as November’s The Howden Way Spotlight Award winner for ensuring welfare of all is the heart of the Regional Academy, and for celebrating development of skills and knowledge over outcome. As part of her award, Lucy wins a uvex exxential II riding helmet, courtesy of Zebra Products.

Lucy rides nine-year-old Irish gelding Frazer (Last Of The Dotes) who she has only owned since February.

Coach Tracy Garside nominated Lucy Devine for the November Spotlight Award on behalf of the Northern Area Academy. She said: “I first met Lucy in February when she attended a previous Howden Way Regional Academy North clinic. She’d only had her new horse for several days and it’s fair to say it was a challenging day for them on many levels. He is such a contrast to her previous pony in size, ability and rideability. Plus, he had an unfortunate accident on the way to the camp which meant he couldn’t be ridden in the afternoon session. Despite this disappointment, Lucy was polite and grateful for the opportunity and put her horse’s welfare before her own achievements. Their progress has been amazing and testament to the time and effort that Lucy has put into her horse this season, and her lovely mum Nikki, who takes them everywhere and is a constant support. Lucy has a great attitude and is very trainable. Her priority is improvement and despite their setbacks, Lucy has stayed positive and focused.”

Laura Collett, who has the pleasure of selecting the winning candidate, said: “Life with horses never runs smoothly, and it can test a rider’s character when things don’t go to plan. Lucy has proved that despite the challenges she has faced with getting to grips with a new horse and overcoming injuries, she always puts her horse’s welfare first, and has made the most of opportunities regardless. The progress she has made despite everything that has been thrown at her, proves that she values learning and progress over results.”

Of her award, Lucy commented: “I bought Frazer in February this year, just in time for the start of the season. He was a jump up from my previous horse, so we cracked straight on with lots of schooling and training, which seemed to be going well. However, our first event was interesting to say the least, starting the day off with a stud mishap and ending with an elimination in the cross country.

“We spent lots of time training at home and at clinics to try and cement our partnership. By mid-season we were confident and ready to get back out there, only for Frazer to injure himself in the field. Luckily it was not a serious injury and after a few weeks of box rest and rehab, Frazer was back and ready to have some fun. However, this is when we realised the ‘honeymoon’ period was officially over, as he became quite challenging, especially for the cross country. With lots of help from coaches Tracy Garside and Sophie Minikin, as well as the end of season BE youth training camp and Howden Way training, we are really starting to come together, and are looking forward to having a successful season in 2024.

“I am absolutely over the moon that I have won this award as I have put so much work into my partnership with Frazer. I’m happy to know it’s paying off and this has given me great confidence for next season!”

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.

For more information, visit here

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

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