Students shine as grooming support for stars of showjumping world


Three Hartpury College students have been gaining valuable work experience at a variety of star showjumpers’ yards.

Equine students Hanna Bertorelli, Maisie Hill and Emily Sparkes have been providing grooming support to professional riders, ensuring that the horses are in tip-top condition for upcoming events.

The trio are members of the Grooms Academy at Hartpury and they have all progressed from grooming to horses at the college to gaining experience at professional yards and at competitions.

Hanna has spent time shadowing and working with former Hartpury student and Grooms Academy member, Hana Coleman, at Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash’s new showjumping yard in Surrey, with the 18-year-old BTEC Diploma Horse Management student practising her skills with Brash’s horses. Brash is currently looking to secure an unprecedented showjumping treble in the Rolex Grand Slam after winning the first two events.

Maisie has been helping out at 2008 Olympian Tim Stockdale’s yard while Emily groomed for Herefordshire-based showjumper Emma Slater at the recent Chepstow International.

Emma has been a supporter of the Grooms Academy since it launched in 2010 and has always allowed trainee grooms to assist her. She has also provided contacts for professionals and grooms after students have finished their studies at the college.

The Grooms Academy works by selecting students with a real passion for working in the equine industry. They are then placed on a training and a mentoring scheme to prepare them for the working world, which includes being paired with members of the Equine Academy to give them a taste of the grooming and support that is required for a high level competitor.

Once they are confident, students then get the chance to work with professional riders.

Clare Farmer, Equine lecturer at Hartpury and Grooms Academy Manager, said: “All three students have not only been commended for their hard work and high standards but also for their fantastic attitude and their ability to work within a team.

“They have all worked extremely hard and have shown they can cope with the demands of a professional yard.”

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