THE British Horse Society has been welcoming applications for its 2013 BHS Instructor of the Year competition as it once again begins the search to find the nation’s next top horse riding instructor.

The BHS Instructor of the Year competition aims not only to inspire and encourage instructors to continue to coach, but also to provide further education and training in order to maintain and improve standards in equestrianism.

The society is committed to increasing opportunities and providing assistance to professionals to help them to further their development within the equine industry.

To reach the prestigious national final, instructors will need to earn their place at one of nine regional qualifying days.

These will be staged throughout the UK between now and September.

While these days will decide who progresses to contest the final, they will give all successful applicants the chance to spend a day with a fellow of The British Horse Society.

Each qualifier will be limited to a maximum of eight instructors to ensure that everyone has plenty of opportunity to question and discuss anything related to coaching with the Fellow.

The regional champions will then progress to the national final at Warwickshire College on October 9 where they will have the honour of being judged by some of Britain’s most inspiring professionals.

Carl Hester, professional dressage rider and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, will assess the instructors as they give a flatwork lesson.

A jumping session will be examined by Di Lampard, the current selector for senior British teams and previous national and international showjumping professional.

Finally, the instructors will be required to give a presentation on stable management which will be judged by esteemed coach and recently appointed fellow of The British Horse Society, Darrell Scaife.

The competition therefore provides a rare chance for instructors to receive feedback from not one but three credible experts.

The BHS is accepting entries for all regional qualifiers now. To enter this exciting competition, each candidate must hold a minimum of the BHS preliminary teaching test and be a BHS member of any level. There is no age limit but there is a maximum teaching qualification of BHSII.

Riding students or employers who believe they know of an instructor who would benefit should request an application pack on their behalf. Visit training-events for details.