A group of French riding students recently swapped their saddles for an introduction to rugby as students at Hartpury welcomed them on a visit to the college.
The students, from the French National Riding School of Samaur, traded their own elite training environment to spend a week at the world’s largest equine college where they got to ride, play polo and coach some of Hartpury’s students.
Away from the equine activities, the visitors also enjoyed being given an introduction to rugby as Hartpury’s sports coaching degree students took them through the basics of the sport.
During their stay, the group also got the chance to attend a training clinic hosted by Australian eventer Paul Tapner and spent time in Hartpury’s new unique rider performance centre, where they got to do some functional screening testing and performance analysis using state-of-the-art saddle pressure equipment.
The group will now return the favour as a number of Hartpury university students head cross-channel to be hosted by their French counterparts in February next year.
Hartpury’s Equestrian Sports Coaching degree programme manager, Victoria Lewis, said: “This exchange is an excellent opportunity for both groups to gain an understanding of how various part of the equine world work outside of their own educational environments.
“We were able to give our visitors a slice of what goes on here at Hartpury, even away from the equine area, and we’re looking forward to doing the same at their place next year!”