An equine coach who trains riders across Yorkshire, has taken a national award for her innovative coaching programme created for the horseracing industry.
Sue Ringrose, who completed an MSC in Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University, is the British Eventing Northern Region coach educator and a BHS Level Five Performance Coach (formerly BHSI).
She was awarded the Coach Developer of the Year Award at the UK Coaching Awards, beating off competition from 342 nominations across all sporting disciplines.
Put forward by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for her work in creating two new coaching pathways leading to new careers and better staff retention, Sue was one of three finalists in her category and invited down to the Tower Hotel, London for the ceremony.
“I was shocked and delighted to win it,” Sue said.
“It’s been a great journey to develop coaching within racing over the years and to have that work recognised is hugely rewarding.”
Although based in Lincolnshire, Sue spends a lot of time in Yorkshire coaching at racing yards and colleges as well as eventing clinics at Bishop Burton College where was a formerly a lecturer and Richmond Equestrian Centre. “I spend a lot of my life in Yorkshire,” she said.
It was through eventing, she met Gill Greeves, BHA vocational training manager.
“I was coaching Gill’s daughter in eventing and Gill approached me about training for the horseracing industry. This was in 2014. The horseracing industry has been quite late to the table in terms of a coaching structure, prior to 2012 there was no formal training at all.”
Sue has been instrumental in introducing two new coaching pathways for the industry, the Jockey Coaching Programme and the newly introduced Rider Coaching Programme.
The first is designed to give jockeys a career path after retirement and a way to pass on their invaluable skills.
Under the pathway Sue has developed the coaching skills of former jockeys including 2014 Grand National winner Leighton Aspell and Michael Hills, rider of more than 2,000 winners on the flat.
The Rider Coaching Programme which was developed last year is aimed at helping the industry retain its staff.
“Racing is a very labour intensive industry and the workforce starts young, tending to come either straight from school or from racing colleges. They go to work on yards after a 12-week induction and are faced with riding big, fresh horses which just want to gallop, some have barely sat on a horse before and it can be terrifying.”
The programme develops the coaching skills of senior work riders, so they in turn can teach and mentor the younger riders.