Jemima Griffiths awarded inaugural The Howden Way Spotlight Award

Jemima Griffiths from Gloucestershire has been awarded the very first Spotlight award, supported by uvex, which recognises a member who has stood out as embodying the culture and values of The Howden Way. Nominated by Level 3 Coach Katie William, in respect of the Wales & West Midlands Academy, Jemima wins a uvex riding helmet courtesy of Zebra Products as well as having a spot acknowledging her achievement within The Howden Way pages on the British Eventing website.

“Jemima was entered for our very first Regional Academy day camp in December, but sadly her horse went lame days before,” said nominating coach Katie Williams. “She nevertheless asked if she could attend on foot to watch the sessions and help with fences. She also took loads of videos and photos of the other riders which she then sent me so I could send them on for people to enjoy and learn from. She stayed all day and was cheerful and upbeat despite the circumstances. I feel that her attitude that day epitomised the culture and values we are trying to establish within The Howden Way Regional Academies - supporting others and actively assisting their learning and enjoyment.

“Since then, Jemima has attended two more The Howden Way training days mounted and is using them to develop her young horse Rosie ready for her first event. Jemima has previously competed up to Novice level but her last horse (who she also produced from scratch) has been forced to retire through injury, so she has had to go back to the drawing board over the last year or so. Jemima has shown quiet determination to get back to eventing - but also patience, allowing her green horse to develop at her own pace. I believe Jemima thoroughly deserves the first The Howden Way Spotlight Award in recognition of her enthusiastic participation in the programme and the support she has offered to other riders.”

Jemima was selected by Laura Collett who said of the winner: “I really felt that Jemima stood out for me. Horses always have a way of keeping us grounded and Jemima would have been reminded of this only too well when she had been looking forward to attending her first Academy to then find she couldn’t go. Jemima’s attitude and approach to dealing with the disappointment can only be commended and I applaud her still having the commitment to attend and then put other’s needs ahead of her own by helping out in any way that she could when she was there. The Howden Way Academy encourages a community feel to training and Jemima epitomises this in every way.”

Of her win, Jemima said: “I’ve really enjoyed attending The Howden Way Training Academy. It’s been great to be able to get my young horse out in such a friendly and supportive atmosphere whilst getting top class coaching. With horse welfare and inclusivity at the heart of every session, it’s a brilliant way to make friends and expand your knowledge beyond just riding. Huge thank you to uvex for the amazing prize and for supporting a fantastic academy.”

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.