The prestigious title of Fellow of The British Horse Society has been awarded to Judith Murphy from Gloucestershire, following two gruelling days of assessment at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell on 28 and 29 October.
Under the scrutiny of senior British Horse Society assessors, all Fellows in their own right, Judith managed to keep her nerve as she was assessed in a variety of tasks.
These included a discussion on her training philosophy, her riding and assessment of horses and, of course, coaching a range of horse/rider combinations across the range of disciplines.
Judith had her first riding lesson when she was six years old.
“I ran down the yard and jumped onto the first pony I saw,” she said.
“I developed my love of horses in the Beaufort Pony Club and decided at 16 to leave school and make horses into a career. That was the best decision I ever made.
"I've had a few different jobs during my 30 years in the industry, but mostly I’ve been teaching all aspects of equitation. I still love to teach grass roots riders and see them develop.
"I spent 21 years as yard manager at Huntley School of Equitation and now I’m a self-employed equestrian coach.
“I've always competed for pleasure. I get my competitive streak from my father, who was a very enthusiastic parent at gymkhanas.
"I used to event but this has been overtaken by a passion for dressage. I’m bringing my current horse up through the levels; I watched him being born and now I’m competing him at BD Medium."
Judith joined the BHS in 1985 and gained her BHSAI in 1986, but says that at that stage she didn't even know the Fellowship existed!
“I have no idea how many BHS students I've trained over the years, but it still gives me a thrill when one passes another exam. I’ve been a BHS assessor for more than 10 years, which is another great way to help develop the next generation of horse lovers.”
Linda Haworth, Team Leader (BHS Education), said: “The Fellowship is the highest recognition of professional standing within the equestrian industry.
"It is particularly encouraging when someone such as Judith gains this prestigious award. It tells others that if they have a real work ethos and desire to keep learning and improving, as Judith does, the Fellowship is achievable.”
Jo Winfield FBHS, Director of Education at The British Horse Society, said: “It is always such a pleasure to hold a BHS Fellowship exam when the calibre of candidates is so high.
"I am delighted that we are able to award the Fellowship to Judith and welcome her on board as a BHS Fellow.”