Take the reins to be a riding ‘AASE’ with Hartpury’s world class programme – there’s still time to apply


Top riders can get the support they need to be the best of the best with a unique ‘apprenticeship’ at Hartpury.

The Equine AASE apprenticeship in dressage and eventing, which is exclusive to Hartpury, 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.

AASE apprenticeships – which cover 20 sports nationally - have been developed by National Sporting Governing Bodies to meet the needs of elite young athletes and improve their performance. The AASE role of honour includes Olympic diving bronze medallist Tom Daley.

On the Equine AASE apprenticeship, riders are supported to apply what they learn on nine ‘centre’ days at Hartpury and as part of their 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 to support 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.

Laura Milner, 19, fits the AASE Equine programme around being employed as yard manager at South Grand Stud, near York, as well as running her own Equine Rug Washing business called Merlin Equestrian, which serves customers throughout Yorkshire. Her mentor is Hartpury Equine Academy director, Nick Burton - former international event rider and British team member at European Championship level and current leading international dressage and eventing judge. She is also an up and coming top dressage rider, with fourth and fifth place finishes in the advanced classes at Hartpury Festival of Dressage last summer. She was selected for the High Performance Camps run by British Dressage in 2012 and was based with international dressage rider Andrew Gould for six months.

Laura said: “I work seven days a week so the AASE Equine apprenticeship was perfect for me as a long-distance learning programme. I don’t have the time to go to college but this way, I can fit in studying around my work and my riding.

“It’s difficult to balance everything sometimes but I have to be super organised and manage my time well – all skills which are really important for my business and for taking part in high level competition. Plus I get the chance to come to Hartpury and benefit from the facilities there and the fantastic staff. Having access to mentors like Nick Burton and Claire Moir is invaluable.

“As well as attending the centre days at Hartpury, Nick comes to me every nine weeks and works with me and my coach, Becky Moody. We video a lesson and do performance profiling. I’m encouraged to self-evaluate – something which people my age don’t tend to have much experience of – and that’s the only way to keep improving. Goal-setting is the most important element of the programme for me.”

Phil de Glanville, Hartpury’s head of elite sport, said: “The 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.

“These apprenticeships are generally seen as 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 make that step-up.”

The Equine AASE Apprenticeship launched here at Hartpury last summer and the current crop of apprentices will finish their programme in November 2014. Applications for the 20 places available for this year’s programme, which starts in June, will close on April 7th, 2014.

The mentors for the current programme are:

• Nick Burton - former international event rider and British team member at European Championship level and current leading international dressage and eventing judge. Current Equine Academy Director at Hartpury.
• Claire Moir – five times British Dressage winner and top British trainer
• 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

The current AASE apprentices have had the opportunity to attend the Burghley Horse Trials with their mentors and visited Olympic gold medallist dressage rider Carl Hester’s yard.

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