Caroline Pratt Memorial Bursary awarded for final time

November 25, 2008

Gemma Hoare and her horse Spring Valentine.

West Yorkshire rider Gemma Hoare is this year's recipient of the Caroline Pratt Memorial Bursary, awarded in memory of the British eventer who was killed during the Burghley Horse Trials in 2004.

Hoare, 30, received a £2000 training grant, and is delighted with the recognition. "I admired Caroline's riding career for many years, and winning the bursary that is dedicated to her is a real honour. This bursary will help to improve my best horse, Spring Valentine, with whom I am hoping to reach Advanced. I'd like to thank my family and team on the yard for all their support."

A recent convert to eventing, having previously had considerable success showjumping, Hoare runs a livery and teaching business with her sister and is currently developing a team of young horses. She recently passed her BHSI examination and receives training from Gaye Bartle and Ruth Edge.

The 15 riders who had applied for the bursary attended a selection day and were assessed and interviewed by a panel of top riders and trainers, led by Lucinda Green.

The bursary was set up to help and encourage an up-and-coming young rider who could demonstrate that they possessed some of the talent, drive and strength of character that was so evident in Caroline. Previous recipients, Hannah Bate, Emily Gilruth and Fiona Jonason have all benefited from the extra training bursary.

This year is the final time that the bursary is awarded, but as the standard of applicants this year was exceptionally high, four reserve bursaries were also awarded. These were given to riders who it was felt came extremely close to fulfilling all of the required criteria and who would all benefit from the extra help. These riders all received a bursary of £500 each. The four riders who benefited are Charlotte Cundall from Driffield, Yorkshire; Amy Lennon from Crewe, Cheshire; Carrie Byrom from Parbold, Lancashire and Martyn Johnson from Belford, Northumberland.