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Helen Cole has been named BHS Young Instructor of the Year 2006, following a rigorous selection procedure. Eight talented coaches representing different regions made it through to the final at Warwickshire College last Thursday (26 October), but in the end it was Wiltshire-based Cole who took home the £500 winner’s prize.

Cole currently holds the BHS Intermediate Instructors’ qualification and is a BHS Registered Instructor. “I was extremely proud to have been awarded such an accolade from the BHS,” she said afterwards, adding that she intends to continue teaching freelance and will put her £500 training voucher prize towards completing the BHS Instructors’ Certificate qualification.

Having been selected from hundreds of entries, the eight finalists all displayed a multitude of strengths but Cole’s natural flair and rapport with the students left a marked impression on the judges. “Helen had a strong lesson plan and within the 30 minute period had clearly improved both the horse and rider,” explained Judy Harvey FBHS, who assessed the flatwork throughout the day. Jane Goldsmith FBHS who assessed the jumping lessons added: “Helen clearly thought about what she was teaching and quickly identified the area she wanted to improve.”

Both judges agreed the overall standard of instruction was extremely high and are keen to encourage other promising instructors keen to develop and refine their coaching skills to enter next year’s competition. “We are extremely pleased to have organised this event to encourage a greater number of instructors to come forward and progress their teaching career,” said Robert Pickles, Chairman of the BHS Training and Education Advisory Group.

Entries for next year’s competition will be taken early in 2007. Details will be available in February.

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