Students from the Hartpury College Equine Academy are flying out to the United States on Friday (24 June, ’05) to compete in an international university competition.

Last year, the Gloucestershire college, which is part of the University of the West of England (UWE), invited universities from America and China to send their most talented students to Britain to compete in a university competition comprising dressage and show jumping. On that occasion the home team triumphed.

This year, nine students from the UWE are heading across the Atlantic to Delaware Valley College in Philadelphia with the aim of making it a double. The squad is Anna Billard (captain), Jemma Julian (vice captain), Melissa Seear, Becky Campling, Fiona Davidson, Rosie McAuley, Nicola Smith, Simon Burton and Faye Webb. On this occasion they will be riding horses borrowed from their hosts over fences and on the flat.

The squad has been selected from students invited to take part in the Hartpury College Equine Academy, which was set up last year to offer the most talented riders among the foundation degree and degree students extra opportunities and support to help them develop their skills.

Hartpury’s Matthew Williams explains: “All students interested in becoming part of the equine academy have to undergo a trial at the beginning of the year. Riders who are selected [for the elite squad] enjoy a number of benefits including training sessions with Carl Hester (dressage riders) and Leslie Law (event riders).”

The academy is open to full-time students who have won points at BE novice or BD elementary, or won money at BSJA newcomers level. To be considered for the elite squad riders must have completed a CCI**/CIC**, been successful at BD medium level, or competed in BSJA Foxhunter classes.

For more information on the Hartpury College Equine Acadamy visit: www.hartpury.ac.uk/haos

Go online for distance learning

Equus Caballus, the learning provider specialising in equine care and management courses that do not test riding ability, has extended its repertoire to offer distance learning.

The courses are certified by the Institute of Animal Care Education and have been taught successfully in the classroom environment for several years. They are available from foundation level for beginners, to the advanced series, which takes a scientific approach to equine matters. The extensive syllabus covers all aspects of care and management.

“These courses have been devised for the horse owner who wants to improve their equine knowledge without having the pressure to perform over fences or ride dressage movements,” explains course tutor Kate Gregory.

“They are equally suited to people that have had horses for a long time and want to enhance their knowledge with the latest ideas and philosophies, as for new horse owners who want to gain confidence in their management skills.”

For more information, and to purchase the courses online, visit: www.equuscaballus.org.uk