Budding course-designers awarded scholarship

  • Three budding course-designers have been given the opportunity to hone their skills in 2015 after being awarded a scholarship from British Eventing (BE).

    Helen West, Lloyd Hunt and Beanie Sturgis (pictured) will all benefit from award — which has been supported by the Bill Thompson Bursary — that was created to help potential course-designers by providing mentoring and training.

    A shortlist of applicants attended a final selection day at Aston Farm in Gloucestershire, where Mark Phillips was one of the selectors.

    Last year’s winners were both four-star eventers, Lucy Wiegersma and Angus Smales, but this year only Beanie competes to that level. She has also been involved with running Dauntsey since 2007 and designed an intermediate track for the first time this year.

    “I’m really looking forward to starting to design at other venues, and seeing courses at the concept stages while being able to ask questions as to why an experienced designer is doing what they are doing,” she said

    “I won’t be competing forever, and course-design is a natural progression.”

    Helen has been involved with designing the lower level courses at Bicton for the past two seasons and also regularly competes at two-star.

    Designing at Bicton has been really enjoyable. Next year I hope to be able to design at some other venues, maybe have a go at Bicton’s intermediate track and perhaps try my hand at a CIC2*, with suitable mentoring,” Helen said.

    Being an active competitor helps me as a designer, without doubt. You have a feel for how something will ride, and what is a fair question for an ‘average’ horse – not everyone is sat on a superstar!”

    Lloyd is the least experienced of the three. A BE registered course builder, he was one of the fence repairers at London 2012. He also runs unaffiliated events at Offchurch Bury and is hoping to get the venue included in the BE calendar in the next couple of years.

    “I have not stopped smiling since I heard the news, I honestly thought I had no chance and simply to make it through to the selection day was an achievement,” said Lloyd.

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