Visit our shop Join BD View forums

Your shopping basket
is currently empty.


Cracking '17 YPA Finale

last updated on March 07, 2017 15:16

Cracking '17 YPA Finale

The cream of Britain’s budding dressage talent converged on the Talland School of Equitation yesterday for the final of the Young Professionals Award. With generous support from Penny Pollard on behalf of Core Context Consulting Ltd and the BEF Excel Talent Programme, a lottery funded Sport England initiative, the Young Professionals Award is a quest to find that young rider who’s the full package with all the attributes to make it in the ever-increasingly competitive dressage world. The six finallists had been hand selected from an extensive group by Becky & Hannah Moody, Richard Davison and Dan Sherriff for one last challenge under judges Judy Harvey and Peter Storr.

Meet the finalists:

Francesca Bradley, 21 from Mold in North Wales
Immogen Chant, 20 from Bishops Waltham, Hampshire
Jasmine Harding-Heitzman (18) from Windsor, Berkshire
David Harvey (22) from Ampney Knowle, Gloucestershire
Jake Taylor (24) from Anglesea, North Wales
Emily Watts (23) from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

The candidates all rode in the morning over two sessions, one with young and problem horses and a second riding more advanced horses, all kindly provided by Talland with the exception of David who had rides brought in as he’s based with Pammy Hutton. Each also had an individual interview with Islay Auty and Jason Brautigam to outline their aspirations, plans and future ambitions.

After a home cooked lunch by none other than our host Pammy, it was then the coaching sessions. Candidates have a choice of ‘major’ between coaching or stable management but all six chose the instruction strand. Each was paired with a judge who oversaw a one-on-one lesson with a variety of pupils and horses with feedback given to the judge by both the candidate (instructor) and the pupil.

While the judges then retired to deliberate, the group were treated to a display by Pammy and Finnish rider Kikka Suomio, who has two horses based at Talland. They worked the Quarterback mare Quellita on fine tuning movements required from making the transition from small tour to big tour.

It was then the moment of truth… Francesca, Immogen and Jasmine were announced as the three runners up and each received £100 – and were very much encouraged by the judges to reapply later in year to try for the 2018 final. Third was Jake Taylor and second went to Emily Watts which made David Harvey our champion. David, originally from the Orkney Islands, has been based at Talland for over three years and holds his BHSII. Afterwards he said; “It’s been a great experience; really good fun. The group have been good and really friendly. It was enjoyable riding new horses and I really enjoyed my teaching session and couldn’t have hoped for the day to go better.”

As well as a £4000 grant, David was presented with a beautifully handcrafted leather double bridle from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

Judge Judy Harvey brought the day to a close in saying; “Today has been a great pleasure. Peter (Storr) and I were once young…and not so professional…but we both started with nothing and had to make our own way. It was a struggle but the recognition you get when you make it is worth it. You’ve all demonstrated great skills and today, none was perfect. There were nerves but I hope you’ve learnt a lot and look back on where you can improve. Good luck in the future, there will be highs, there will be lows but always love what you do.”