Mark Todd Bridging the Gap Scholarship success for up-and-coming event rider
Alicia Hawker from Chippenham in Wiltshire has been named as the winner of the 2017/18 Mark Todd Bridging the Gap Scholarship.
The 23 year old, full time event rider – who took the runner up spot for the scholarship last year – showed the expert judging panel of Gill Watson, Lizzel Winter and Sir Mark Todd, alongside representatives from sponsors Keyflow Feed and The Mark Todd Collection, her improvements through the BE Mark Todd Bridging the Gap training programme in order to secure the prestigious scholarship this year.
Along with winning the scholarship, other 2017 highlights for Alicia, a graduate of the British Eventing Pony and Junior Programme, have included a top three placing at the Equi-Trek Bramham International CCI3* under 25 and third place in the CCI2* at Hartpury International Horse Trials. Her prize package includes three individual training sessions plus mentoring from the legendary Sir Mark Todd, a year’s worth of Keyflow Feed for one horse to the value of £1500 along with nutritional advice and clothing, tack and horse-wear from the Mark Todd Collection to the value of £1500.
The runner up spot went to Finland’s Pauliina Swindells with third place going to 2017 British CIC2* European Championship team silver medallist Nicky Hill, who receive £200 and £100 of British Eventing training vouchers respectively for use on the Bridging the Gap programme. All finalists, who also included Sarah Pickard and Amy Drummond, receive a rug, saddlepad and jacket, kindly donated by The Mark Todd Collection.
Mark Todd commented on the day; “Choosing our Scholar always involves a great deal of debate and selecting this year’s winner was especially difficult. Ultimately however, it was a unanimous decision and we hope that all of our finalists enjoyed the day and took something positive away from the experience – we certainly look forward to following them as they progress through the ranks.”
Alicia becomes the fifth winner of the Mark Todd Bridging the Gap Scholarship with fellow scholars including the CIC2* European gold medallist Franky Reid-Warrilow, Zoe Wilkinson, who was on the same European CIC2* silver medal winning team as Franky in 2015, 2016 Osberton International CCI2* winner Tim Cheffings and 2016 Smith and Williamson Intermediate Champion Alexander Whewall.