The Howden Way Spotlight Award June winner is announced

Scotland-based rider Morag O’Mara has been chosen as June’s The Howden Way Spotlight Award winner for being a great role model and ambassador for the sport. As part of her award, Morag wins a uvex exxential II riding helmet, courtesy of Zebra Products.

UKCC Level 3 British Eventing accredited coach Sarah Houlden put Morag forward for the award on behalf of the Scotland academy. Sarah said: “Morag is one of our older >members and has enthusiastically participated in the academy and given wonderful feedback, support and encouragement, giving up her time to make contact to HQ to say how wonderful it is. Her attitude to learning is so positive and it really encourages riders young and old.”

Laura Collett, who has the pleasure of selecting the winning candidate, said: “Morag is the epitome of what makes our sport so special. Our love of eventing crosses the age divides like very few other sports do and I personally always value this as it’s by this sharing of experiences and knowledge that we can all gain so much from. To hear of the encouragement that Morag gives others within the training environment is inspiring and she is extremely deserving of this month’s award.”

Of her win, Morag commented: “This is amazing timing as I’ve worn uvex helmets for a long time and have been looking to replace my current hat. What a lovely surprise.

“Luna is an 11-year-old grey mare that I have owned since a five-year-old. We’ve had our ups and downs, and being an older rider (63), I wasn’t enjoying being bucked off during the first year I had her, but we persevered and I managed to find a way to help her when she was worried. I feel we’ve turned a corner and I’m really enjoying this season.

“We went along to one of the introductory training sessions and it really motivated me. Certainly, at the end of the winter in Scotland, we’re on our knees, so to have something to go out and do keeps you moving forwards. Although I’m one of the older riders on The Howden Way academies, I believe you can never stop learning which is why I’m keen to be involved with it.

“I’m doing BE90 this year with the aim of jumping up to BE100 at the end of this year or> beginning of next.”

Each month, coaches delivering The Howden Way Regional Academies are invited to nominate a member who has championed the core values of the Academies whether it be welfare, driving for inclusivity, creating camaraderie and supporting others, celebrating development of skills and knowledge over outcomes and developing true ambassadors for the sport. The winner is then selected by Olympic Gold Medallist, Laura Collett, from a shortlist of contenders who have been nominated as deserving. Each month, a Spotlight award will be given to the most outstanding rider. For more information, visit here