Helen Foulger of Valley Farm Riding and Driving Centre, Wickham Market, Suffolk has been awarded the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) Golden Spur Award for 2005.

The 21-year-old was chosen from the short-listed nominees for having the perfect combination of quality instruction, commercial acumen and endless enthusiasm for her work.

Phoebe, as Foulger is more commonly known, will receive free entry to an ABRS exam of her choice, as well as the prestigious Golden Spur trophy. Sarah Ling, proprietor of Valley Farm, nominated Foulger after employing her for the past five years.

Ling says: “Phoebe learnt to ride here as a child and then joined us as a student on leaving school. She is a high flyer and an extremely hard worker and we are thrilled that she has won this prestigious award. No one deserves this recognition as much as she does.”

Lynn Chantrey, from Southrey Riding Stables in Lincolnshire, was the runner up and received free membership of the ABRS Teachers Association.

Meanwhile, the ABRS has elected Julian Marczak, as its new chairman. He succeeds Duncan Brown, who will continue as an executive member.

Marczak runs Kings Barn Equestrian in Ashurst, West Sussex. He was co-proprietor — with his mother, Suzanne — and chief instructor of Suzanne’s Riding School in Harrow, Middlesex, until the centre closed in March last year after 65 years under the same ownership.

Marczak said: “With the support of the ABRS executive, I will do everything possible to help meet the future needs of our industry.”