FAYE Sutton has been awarded the Ella Popely Mentorship Award for 2023.

The Whitchurch horse rider was presented with the award at the London International Horse Show on Monday by Lea Popely.

The mentorship, which has been running since 2017, was set up in honour of young rider Ella Popely who died in 2016.

Ella rode for Great Britain at Children's and Junior levels and was among showjumping's rising young stars. Her impact on so many people inside and outside the arena will never be forgotten.

The award is offered to an up-and-coming rider, giving them the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best riders in the world who is able to help them progress towards their goals in the sport.

Faye has represented Great Britain on Young Riders teams at Nations Cup events, including Fontainebleau this year, qualified for the 2022 Redpost Equestrian Foxhunter Final at the Horse of the Year Show, as well as qualifying for the 2022 Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at The London International Horse Show.


On being selected for the mentorship, Faye said: “It means a lot to me as I’ve worked hard from ponies to horses all my own, with support from my parents, and I really feel this award will help me on the next path of my career.

“I have just moved to Michael Whitaker’s yard. He is going to mentor me for the next year and, hopefully, help me work towards being selected for a 3* Nations Cup Team and the Young Rider European Team in 2023”.

Lea Popely, who founded the mentorship in her daughter’s memory, said “I’m delighted for Faye. We have watched her come up through the ranks. She has a great positive and determined attitude, and I look forward to watching her year ahead”.

Michael Whitaker, said about his mentorship of Faye: “I have been friends with the Sutton family for many years, and I believe Faye is a naturally talented young rider. It is a pleasure to be her mentor and I know Faye will appreciate and take full advantage of all the opportunities the Ella Popley Award will provide her”.

When talking about selecting Michael Whitaker as her mentor, Faye added: “Michael has always helped me when he has been at a show where I am competing. Even when I was competing on ponies, I knew I could always ask him for advice”