Government minister gets set for all things equine with packed Hartpury programme


Hartpury will showcase its exceptional equine facilities as the college welcomes another Government Minister this weekend.

Rory Stewart MP, who is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will visit the college along with Forest of Dean MP, Mark Harper, who is also the Government’s Chief Whip in the House of Commons, on Saturday, March 19th.

They will start their visit at Hartpury’s commercial yard, watching students carrying out duties in the yard and extensive stables and then observe a riding lesson for college students in an indoor arena, as well as a horse anatomy practical.

Their tour will then take in the Equine Therapy Centre, where Olympic gold medal winning horse and world record holder, Valegro, enjoys a weekly workout. As well as seeing horses receiving therapy on the water treadmill and high speed equine treadmill, the pair will also head to the canine hydrotherapy centre to see students on work placements supporting the dogs as they are rehabilitated in the pool.

The tour will finish up in Hartpury’s impressive Margaret Giffen Rider Performance Centre, which opened in September 2015. Hartpury University Centre students will be undergoing practical fitness testing in the gym before the MPs get a chance to see a demonstration of the mechanical horse and some of the equipment used to support research in equestrian performance.

They will finish up with a Q and A session and afternoon tea before having the opportunity to watch the affiliated dressage in Hartpury’s international indoor arena and student lessons in the international outdoor arena.

Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, said: “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Rory and Mark to Hartpury and showing off our fantastic equine facilities, including the new Rider Performance Centre.

“We’ll be opening their eyes to the countless opportunities our students have to get hands on and to gain real world work experience on our stunning specialist campus. I’m sure they will gain a fascinating insight into the work we do, both as a commercial equestrian business and as the world’s largest equine education facility.”

The visit of Rory Stewart MP comes only eight days after David Evennett MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, was at Hartpury to deliver a keynote address about the Government’s tourism priorities at a major Tourism Forum.

And in November 2015, Farming Minister, George Eustice, came to Hartpury to see the effective biosecurity measures that Hartpury has already put in place as he launched a new biosecurity five point plan and bovine TB information hub.

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