The Pikeur Amateur Rider of the Year award acknowledges the rider who does not make their living from riding, training or competing horses, yet dedicates themselves to their passion.
“Pikeur/Eskadron is delighted to sponsor the Amateur Rider of The Year Award because amateur riders are the backbone of the equestrian industry and probably work harder than anyone else,” said a spokesman.
Previous winners of this award include:
- 2018: amateur event rider Katie Preston
- 2017: amateur event rider Alice Goring
- 2016: amateur dressage rider Claire Abel
The H&H judging panel, which included at least one independent judge, chose the following shortlist of contenders from all the nominees received. The public vote has now closed and the winner will be announced at the gala awards dinner at Cheltenham on Wednesday 4 December.
Pikeur Amateur Rider of the Year 2019 shortlist
Katie Corteen, 25, solicitor
2019 highlight: “Coming sixth in the intermediate championship at the Festival of British Eventing on Forgeland Tiger Tot. It felt good that even though I haven’t got as much time as the pros, my horses are as fit and prepared as theirs.”
Top tip for juggling work and competing: “Apart from getting used to not having much sleep, it’s about management and planning. It’s busy working full time and having two horses, but I know exactly where I need to be and when.
“I had to learn not to try to do too much. You don’t have to ride for long, if it’s beneficial. You have to know when to switch off.”
Aim for 2020: “I’m aiming to step Forgeland Tiger Tot up to four-star and hopefully do Bramham or Blair, and then aim to do a five-star the year after.”
Adam Harvey, 25, property management
2019 highlight: “Winning team silver at the three-star European Championships on Picasso V, finishing fourth individually, and we came second in the CCI3*-S at Belton and Barbury, which was quite special. He’s an amazing horse to ride and it’s a good feeling to know I’ve done it without all the training and riding 10 horses a day.”
Top tip: “Don’t listen to people who say you can’t event at the top level and have a job. You’ve just got to be dedicated, with good planning and time management, and sacrifice your social life a bit. Dream big and you can achieve it.”
Aim for 2020: “I’d really like to do a CCI4*-L, Blenheim or maybe Bramham, and a few more European events. It’s all about enjoying it, too, and because I have to take time off work to event I’ll make a holiday of it.”
Emily Proud, 24, NHS physiotherapist
2019 highlight: “There have been so many good moments, but going supreme at Wiltshire in March on Randalstown Top Notch was really amazing. I have an event horse, too, whom I did the Badminton grassroots championship on, plus a couple of babies.”
Top tip: “I’m very lucky to have my mum and dad who do a lot of the hard work, but I’m the only one who rides and I ride all three. You have to be hard-working and dedicated to make it work. I’m very competitive, so I know I have to put the work in, and have learned not to spread myself too thin.”
Aim for 2020: “I’d like to bring out my exciting young riding horse to do some showing, and hope to do Burghley young event horse classes with my three-year-old. I’m aiming to qualify for Badminton again, then move up to novice.”
Jo Bollen, 50, Royal Navy logistics officer
2019 highlight: “Delivering the UK Armed Forces (UKAF) Equestrian Championships in April. We had some 250 riders on a mix of privately owned and military working horses. I used to event but my horse was injured — now I’m UKAF Equestrian Association event director, and run events and the navy equestrian teams.
Top tip: “Having great friends who can help out with my horse — and an understanding work environment, which allows me time off to deliver what I do. I take a lot from giving back to the sport and providing opportunities for our riders, at all levels.”
Aim for 2020: “Delivering the annual championship show again, and taking it to the next level with the help of lots of brilliant volunteers, and supporting the creation of a UKAF dressage team.”