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Hampshire based riding instructor announces rider sponsorship winner for 2012

By Nicola Strong

Your news

12 December 2011 18:06

Following the launch of an online campaign in September, 2 months on, Kings Somborne based riding instructor Sharon Kilminster has succeeded in her search for a rider to sponsor in 2012. Sharon was inundated with responses from both clients and non clients, all keen to win the deal and fly the flag for Kilminster Equestrian, with 138 applications in total.

After a tough 2 phase selection process, amateur rider Nicola Strong, 27 from Andover in Hampshire has been chosen as the winner of the sponsorship deal, which is worth over £2,000 in products and services.

Sharon says; ‘As a trainer I’m passionate about seeing my protégées improve and be successful, so I hit upon the sponsorship idea. It was an ideal opportunity to find a rider who was looking to go further in their chosen discipline, and give them a helping hand.

‘The response was incredible, with applicants from lead rein showing to Eventing and everywhere in between. I set questions based on horse care, ambitions and experience to narrow it down, before drafting in the help of a very good friend who had worked for me in the past. As I knew some of the applicants, it was important to have help from someone impartial, who knew me well and what I was looking for – so the final decision came from her, and I was glad to not have to choose as the top 10 were all very worthy. I am really pleased with the final selection; I can’t wait to mentor Nicki and see the Kilminster colours in action next year!’

Nicola, who works full time for Macmillan Cancer Support, has been riding since she was 4, and is pursuing a lifelong ambition to compete regularly. With Sharon’s guidance, she will be looking to make the step up from unaffiliated level to British Eventing and British Showjumping with her 16.2 Sport horse Caherpuca Star (Willo), and will also be looking to start low level competition with her 4 year old mare Ruby, so it promises to be a busy year.

Nicola says; ‘I feel very lucky to have been selected, and am hugely grateful for the opportunity. I have only known Sharon since July this year, and already seen a massive improvement in my riding and our results because of her coaching, so I’m really excited about what we can achieve together in 2012. Hopefully I can repay her faith in me with some rosettes for Team Kilminster!’

For further information, to follow their progress or if you are interested in joining Team Kilminster, please go to www.kilminsterequestrian.co.uk or call Sharon on 07789 512433.