Eventing is set to benefit from a new generation of professional course designers, following the launch of The International Academy of Cross Country Design and Build.
This pioneering initiative is a joint venture between British Eventing and Hartpury College and is destined to take eventing to new heights by raising the standards of cross-country design and construction.
“This new academy is exciting news for the sport and can only serve to benefit eventing world wide,” says former BE Chairman and internationally renowned course designer Mike Tucker. “As the world leaders in cross-country build and design, Britain has recognised that it is necessary to further develop the potential of our established professionals and even more vitally, bring new talent up through the ranks to maintain our status.”
Olympic course designer Mike Etherington-Smith and Janet Plant, whose design portfolio includes courses at Weston Park and Sansaw, are chairing a steering group to outline the aims and objectives of the academy. Courses will be open to worldwide participants at all levels (intro to championship) as early as next spring.
A bursary established on the death of Bill Thompson, the world’s first professional course builder, will be used to support the academy and BE hopes to secure additional financial backing. The Willis brothers-built course at Badminton will be used for clinics and study days, giving students the chance to observe the design and contruction produres behind new cross-country obstacles.