Rebecca has been an integral part of the Canadian High Performance Eventing Program for well over a decade. In spring 2012 she made the move from the USA to the UK, basing herself with Tim and Jonelle Price at Mere Farm in Wiltshire. The 2016 Olympics and a growing business led her to a move, joining forces with fellow Canadian, Kelly McCarthy-Maine. Together, Rebecca and Kelly operate as Canadian Colours Equestrian.
Raised in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada, Rebecca grew up during a booming era for BC eventing. Some of the country’s best coaches, riders and course designers were based within a stone’s throw of her home. Along with a very active local Pony Club, she found herself surrounded by knowledgeable, experienced and hardworking former national team riders, who laid down her foundation and passion for excellence. Nick Holmes-Smith, Joni Lynn Peters and Robin Hahn all were key players in her early development as a rider.
In 2001, Rebecca moved from BC to the eastern United States looking to further her career as a rider, with David and Karen O’Connor becoming her primary trainers and mentors.
From 2007-2012 she was Equestrian Director/Rider at The Fork Stables in North Carolina. At the time home to one of the country’s key 3*, The Fork provided a world-class facility in which to train and learn – both as a rider and as a business administrator. Rebecca built up a cadre of loyal, accomplished students, including a five-year stint coaching British Columbia’s Young Rider squad at the North American Young Rider Championships.
During this chapter, Rebecca was also one of the Canadian Elite Riders Association’s rider representatives and a Rider Advisory Board member for the Professional Riders Organization.
Rebecca has been representing Canada in international competition since 2005 and in team competition since 2010. Highlights include:
2016 Rio Olympics – 10th individually. Highest-placed female rider
2013 Canada’s Equestrian of the Year
2013 Burghley CCI5*-L (12th)
2013 Badminton CCI5*-L (12th)
2012 Blenheim CCI4*-L (11th)
2012 London Olympic Games
2011 Pan American Games (Team Silver, 6th individually)
2011 Rolex CCI5*-L (10th)
2010 World Equestrian Games (23rd individually)
Well-established in equestrian life in the United Kingdom, Rebecca has paired up with fellow Canadian, rider/owner Kelly McCarthy-Maine, working in partnership as Canadian Colours. Like-minded in their vegetarianism, penchant for farm shops and coffee, they run a busy competition yard while sourcing, training and selling quality horses.
Rebecca Howard: In brief
Eldest of three children – two awesome sisters, Sarah and Megan, thanks to parents Bob and Mary. Now aunty to Jade, Abigail and Grayson.
Small-town girl with a rural childhood spent traipsing in British Columbia’s mountains and pristine lake country in the snow or in the sun – otherwise could be found in the gym with a basketball.
Pictures exist of a teenage Rebecca with a half-shaved head and mismatched earrings… clear evidence of her ‘thrift-shop chic’ leanings.
Known to collect rocks, a few of the prize lightweight ones have been retained, adorning shelves in Wiltshire (sorry, Air Canada). The larger boulders have been in safe keeping with the parents since 2001.
Rarely the loudest in the room, Rebecca is more of an observer, worker bee, and quietly fierce competitor (you can check with the sisters on that one).
Large birds = creepy. Unless you are an owl, then very cool.
Not the biggest reader, maybe someday, but does love a good map.
No to meat, but yes to salmon.
Coffee lover… well, addict, really.
Enjoys fitness, pushing herself and feeling like an athlete. Has taken a shine to CrossFit and now working on adding ‘double-unders’ and ‘handstand punch-ups’ to her repertoire.
Not her proudest moments, but has indulged in the odd ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ marathon.
Surrounding herself with quality people has always been her modus operandi and guided decision-making and paths chosen.