The Ella Popely Award Foundation


2024 Mentorship programme
2024 Mentorship programme

You can now submit an application by completing the following online form:

‘in the pursuit of sporting excellence’

To give an up and coming British Showjumping rider aged between 18 - 25 years old an opportunity to be mentored by one of the best riders in the world.

The award will be for a talented individual who is competing at 1.40 level who has also shown exceptional resilience and dedication in the pursuit of sporting excellence.

They will have shown themselves to:
- be a true sportsperson who represents the sport well at all levels
- be a team player who encourages others
- is focused on their riding without it being at the detriment to others

One person will be identified by the end of each year, from a panel of selectors, and be matched with a mentor who feels they can assist the individual to develop further in the sport.

From an initial one to two day mentoring, the mentor will commit to aligning with the rider from an advice and guidance perspective for the twelve month period.

2023 – Faye Sutton (mentor: Michael Whitaker)
2022 - Robert Murphy (mentor: Peter Charles MBE)
2020 - Millie Allen (mentor: Anthony Condon)
2019 - William Fletcher (mentor: Laura Kraut)
2018 - Jake Saywell (mentor: Lauren Hough)

The selection panel is comprised of:
Lea Popely
Clare Whitaker

SELECTION & ANNOUNCEMENT for 2024 Applicants
• The selected rider will be informed the first week in December 2023.
• Presentation to be at London International Horse Show December 2023.

Eligible riders who are currently members of British Showjumping are invited to apply for the 2024 mentorship by submitting an application form by 5pm on Thursday 30th November 2023.

Mentorship – Key Benefits in 2024

- 12 month mentorship
The mentorship will be specifically tailored to the Award Winner following an initial discussion
between the award winner and the mentor to ascertain the year’s objectives.

- 12 month British Showjumping membership for the winner and 1 horse registration
A free British Showjumping membership renewal for both the winner and one of their horses.

- Hickstead show credit package
One free stable at each of the three Hickstead shows over the season plus one annual riding
membership. If only one or two shows are contested, then the unused free stable can be
transferred across

*Additional support over and above the mentorship may be available

To make a donation

To make a donation
By receiving your kind donations, The Ella Popely Award Foundation will be able to support more young riders 18 - 25 to achieve their goals by providing training, resources, mentorship and support to becoming professional riders and establishing themselves within the industry. You can make a donation through the following link: Awards will be for talented individuals who have also shown exceptional resilience and dedication in the pursuit of sporting excellence. We will support Great Britain's brightest equestrian sporting prospects.


2 - Robert Murphy 2021/22 Award Winner

Robert Murphy from Preston, Lancashire has been awarded the Ella Popely Mentorship Award for 2022 at the London International Horse Show this afternoon. The mentorship, which was set up in honour of young rider Ella Popely who sadly lost her life in 2016, is offered to an up-and-coming rider aged 18 – 25 years old giving them the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best riders in the world. Robert, who has won medals at Pony, Junior and Young Rider level for Great Britain, will be mentored by London 2012 Team Gold medallist Peter Charles MBE who is based in Alton, Hampshire. On being selected for the mentorship Robert said “This is a massive step in the right direction towards my end career goals which are ultimately to be where I can manage to build a sustainable business in the sport whilst also competing at the highest level. What Peter has managed to achieve is exactly what I would personally want to and he really is one of the best in the world across all levels. To have Peter as a mentor that I can learn and draw knowledge from is unbelievable and I just feel so fortunate to have this opportunity.” Lea Popely, who founded the mentorship in her daughters memory, said “I’m delighted that a rider as talented as Robert applied and has subsequently been awarded the mentorship. I very much look forward to following his showjumping career over the next twelve months working alongside Peter who I’m extremely thankful to for offering his time voluntarily as a mentor.” Peter Charles MBE said about the mentorship and Robert “It’s lovely to be involved in the mentorship as we knew Ella from day one and she had the most beautiful personality and really was a special girl on all levels. With regards to Robert, I hold him in high regard and I’ve known him nearly all his life as he has competed with my own children across the Board. He is a hard working and talented rider who has already ridden some of my horses for me. There’s a lot more ground to explore over the next twelve months and beyond and I hope that we do the mentorship justice in terms of developing his skills, talent and knowledge further”.