Pikeur Professional Rider of the Year 2022

Welcome to the Horse & Hound Awards 2022, which are back for the seventh year to celebrate the stars of equestrianism, in partnership with NAF

  • Honouring the greatest rider of our age, who is a hero and an inspiration to the rest, and whose ability is a blessing for both their horses and our sport.

    The 2022 winner

    Laura Collett: Badminton winner

    The 33-year-old topped a “whirlwind 18 months” when she won Badminton in May on London 52, adding a second five-star title to her win at Pau in 2020, plus Olympic team gold last year.

    “I remember watching Pippa Funnell winning on Supreme Rock. She’s always been my idol and I wanted to be her, winning Badminton… I can’t believe I’m now me, winning Badminton,” said Laura after her win.

    Laura was an uber-successful youth rider, winning nine under-21 medals, but things have not always gone her way since – two of her three senior championship bids before Tokyo had ended in elimination and she lost the sight in one eye in a serious fall eventing in 2013. But she fought back to reach the absolute pinnacle of the sport at Badminton.

    Also shortlisted were:

    Shane Breen: Hickstead Derby and Queen Elizabeth II Cup victor

    The Irishman has enjoyed a stellar year, winning the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the same venue five weeks later. Shane began the year with victory in the CSIO5* grand prix in Abu Dhabi and picked up some five-star wins in the latter stages of the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit. He topped off his season winning Leading Showjumper at Horse of the Year Show.

    Having been placed in the Derby several times, Shane jumped the sole clear this summer with Team Z7’s 16-year-old stallion Can Ya Makan to lift Hickstead’s Boomerang trophy “after nearly 20 years of trying!” Shane also finished equal second with four faults on Golden Hawk.

    “When I jumped the last with Can Ya Makan, something inside me went,” he says. “I got a bit emotional. It was my day.”

    Lottie Fry: double individual world gold medallist

    With dressage in her blood, enormous talent and an incredible work ethic, Britain’s Lottie Fry was always destined for stardom. Utterly unfazed by the vast Herning arena and its electric atmosphere, Lottie conjured up three magical performances with the powerful black stallion Glamourdale. She led Britain to team silver and went on to be crowned world champion in both the grand prix special and the freestyle at the age of 26.

    In the freestyle, she received a score of more than 90%, commenting: “I didn’t dare to dream about scoring 90%, to be honest. It is something that all my idols do. I didn’t expect that it would happen to me.”

    In fact, Lottie made it a hat-trick of world titles in 2022. Just a month after her gold medals in Herning, she returned
    to the World Breeding Championships with the Van Olsts’ young stallion Kjento, winning the seven-year-old title – her third victory at this esteemed event, and her third championship win of 2022.

    Yasmin Ingham: eventing world champion

    If ever a rise could be described as meteoric, Yasmin Ingham’s progression over the past four years has to fit the bill. In 2018, she was riding at the young rider Europeans, in 2019 she tackled her first four-star long and just three years later, she stood on top of the individual podium at the World Championships on her senior championship debut.

    It is 17 years since an event rider of any nationality won individual gold on their senior championship debut.

    Yasmin sealed selection for the event in Pratoni del Vivaro with second at the US five-star at Kentucky in April on
    Banzai Du Loir. In Italy, the pair moved up from third after dressage to take the individual gold, with confident performances in every phase.

    Previous winners of this award include:

    • 2021: Tom McEwen, winner of Tokyo Olympic eventing team gold and individual silver medallist
    • 2020: Charlotte Dujardin, who was selected as professional rider of the decade (2011-2020) in last year’s special ceremony
    • 2019: Piggy French, who won Badminton for the first time among a record 14 internationals, including Blenheim CCI4*-L, was second at Burghley on Vanir Kamira and took European team silver with Quarrycrest Echo
    • 2018: Ros Canter, who became eventing individual world champion at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon
    • 2017: Nicola Wilson, who took team gold and individual bronze at the European Eventing Championships
    • 2016: Charlotte Dujardin, who added a second individual Olympic gold at Rio 2016 and helped the Brits to team silver

    About the Horse & Hound Awards 2022

    The Horse & Hound Awards returned for the seventh year in a row, running again in partnership with NAF. Some 300 people, including Olympic and Paralympic superstars, gathered to enjoy a glamorous evening of champagne, winner reveals and dancing at Cheltenham Racecourse. As in previous years, the H&H Award winners were nominated and voted for by you, the readers. We seek to recognise both the big names who have made 2022 special and the unsung heroes who make it possible for all of us to enjoy equestrian sport and our horses, at whatever level.

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