These riders have made waves at the top of their respective discipline this year — and inspired their many fans.
Bryony Frost, 23, Jockey
THE talented conditional jockey impressed during her first season as a professional. Having previously ridden as an amateur, winning Cheltenham’s St James’s Place Foxhunter in 2017 aboard Pacha Du Polder, Bryony turned professional in July 2017 and has scooped several big wins since.
She kicked off her brilliant debut season with victory in the Listed Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Present Man, before becoming only the second female jockey to win a British Grade One when partnering Black Corton to victory in the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park.
Bryony’s other high-profile wins included the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle on Old Guard and the Grade Two Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase aboard Black Corton — both for her boss, Paul Nicholls.
Heralded as a natural in the saddle, Bryony has recently made a comeback having been sidelined with a serious injury since July.
Ros Canter, 32, Eventer
ROS became Britain’s first eventing world champion since Zara Phillips claimed the title in 2006 when she rose from third after dressage to win at the World Equestrian Games (WEG).
Having been part of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at last year’s European Championships, Ros and Allstar B — who is owned by his rider and Caroline Moore — took their performances to a new level this season, helped by British team coach Chris Bartle. They finished third at Badminton and then put in a faultless performance in Tryon to lead the British team to gold and claim the individual honours.
The keys to Ros’ success are her own level-headed temperament, which shone through in Tryon when the competition schedule was disrupted by Hurricane Florence, and her incredible relationship with “Alby”. The 17hh horse and his 5ft 2in rider may not be a dream partnership at first glance, but they proved they are world-beaters this year.
Amanda Derbyshire, 30, Showjumper
SHE has been described as “the find of the year” and “a real rider for the future” by her compatriots, and 2018 has certainly been a year of immense milestones for Amanda Derbyshire.
In her championship debut at WEG last month she finished best of the British showjumpers, in 17th position individually, with her 10-year-old mare Luibanta BH. In Tryon, this gutsy and determined rider also proved herself to be a key player for the British team — an attribute that has also come to the fore in her Nations Cup appearances, including helping to clinch victory in Florida at the start of the year and the runner-up spot at Hickstead in July.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl,” said Amanda, who hails from Lancashire but who has been based in the United States for the past nine years. She trains with Nick Skelton and Laura Kraut.
Sophie Wells, 28, Para rider
IT’S been quite a year for Sophie Wells, who capped an unbeaten 2018 when she was crowned double world champion in Tryon. Grade V para dressage rider Sophie not only led the British team to silver with a fantastic personal best aboard Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction, but also picked up two individual gold medals at the Games.
Born with amniotic band syndrome, Sophie is missing several fingers and has no feeling in her feet and ankles, which almost had to be amputated when she was a baby. She has never let this stop her, however, and has now clocked up an incredible 29 championship medals for Britain, with several exciting younger horses coming through the ranks.
Lincolnshire-based Sophie also competes up to grand prix in able-bodied dressage, and is highly regarded as a trainer of both para and able-bodied riders — two of her pupils, Izzy Palmer and Georgia Wilson, were selected as reserves for WEG this year.
Voting is now closed
The Award winners will be revealed at the H&H Awards dinner on 8 November at Cheltenham Racecourse, to which all those shortlisted will be invited with a guest.