Top riders can get the support they need to be the best of the best with a unique ‘apprenticeship’ at Hartpury.
The Equine Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) is provided by British Dressage and British Evening and run exclusively at Hartpury. The apprenticeship in dressage and eventing is putting talented young riders based all over the country on the right path to succeed at the very highest level with the support of mentors who have played a starring role in the equestrian world – as competitors and coaches.
The programme has had great success since it launched at Hartpury in summer 2013. Current AASE apprentices, eventing prospects Sam Ecroyd and Yasmin Ingham, have recently been selected for the Great Britain World Class Development Programme.
Sam, 17, has already won European junior bronze, silver and gold medals and starred in the 12-strong Great Britain Junior Eventing squad that finished in fourth place overall at the European Junior Eventing Championships in August 2014. Fellow apprentice Harry Harding was also selected in that GB squad.
Yasmin, also 17, won individual and team gold for Great Britain at the Pony European Eventing Championships in Italy, making her the British and European Champion in 2013.
AASE apprenticeships – which cover 20 sports nationally – were developed by National Sporting Governing Bodies to improve the performance of elite young athletes.
Riders are supported to apply what they learn on 11 ‘centre’ days at Hartpury and as part of a virtual learning programme to improve and evaluate both their own performance and that of their horse. Modules are focused on improving riding, horse management, tactical skills and fitness and nutrition as well as helping riders to manage their lifestyle and their career so that they are physically and mentally prepared to meet the challenges of top level competition.
The programme is extremely flexible and is designed to fit in around students’ existing academic commitments or jobs. Many of the current AASE riders are studying for A-levels in their home town or working full-time as well as taking part in top level competitions.
Phil de Glanville, Hartpury’s head of elite sport, said: “The four AASE mentors concentrate on riding and tactical elements when they come to visit students in their own yards or when they are training with their coaches, working with those home coaches to ensure that the riders get the most out of their training.
“We’re very proud of the success of our young riding stars on the unique AASE programme. As we’ve seen, these apprenticeships can be a stepping stone to prepare the best young riders for the world class performance programmes, teaching them the theory they need to succeed and accelerating their progress so they are ready to meet the challenges of competing at an elite level.”
The mentors for the programme are:
· Nick Burton – former international event rider and British team member. Current leading international and Olympic level judge and coach. Current Equine Academy Director at Hartpury.
· Claire Moir – winner of five British Dressage national titles and top coach
· Jonquil Hemming – current British Pony Eventing Team coach and represented Great Britain as a rider three times.
· Christie Wright – British Equestrian Federation Excel Talent Programme Disciple Coach, founder of the Coaching Development Team and former 4* competitor