Devon-based Gemma Barry has been named as The British Horse Society’s (BHS) Young Instructor of the Year.

Twenty-seven-year-old Gemma (BHSII SM), from Exmouth, fought off competition from 11 other young teachers in the finals held at Warwickshire College on 5 September.

“I can’t believe I’ve won,” said Gemma. “I am working towards my BHS Equitation and Teaching qualification so I thought entering the competition would be good experience of performing under pressure.

“I would recommend the experience for anyone training towards BHS exams. I found it extremely useful to be able to watch other people and gain new ideas.”

The finalists were required to teach private lessons lasting 30 minutes in both dressage and show jumping, and deliver a 15-minute presentation on various aspects of stable management.

On the judging panel were BHS Fellows Sue Payne and Richard Davidson and BHS chairman Patrick Print.

Mr Print said: “It was an enjoyable day to take with such an enthusiastic group of young instructors.

“All the candidates showed promising qualities but the winner showed good competences in all three areas.”