The Hartpury equine experience gets Government seal of approval


A Government Minister is the latest VIP visitor to be wowed by Hartpury’s exceptional equine facilities.

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

Their tour included a visit to Hartpury’s renowned Equine Therapy Centre, which Olympic gold medal winning horse and world record holder, Valegro, visits regularly. It is also used by many Hartpury students to complete valuable work placements and gain hands on therapy experience.

As well as watching a horse canteringon the high speed equine treadmill, the pair had a chance to visit the canine hydrotherapy centre on site and talk to Hartpury students on work placements supporting the dogs as they were rehabilitated in the pool.

They were particularly impressed with Hartpury’s impressive new Margaret Giffen Rider Performance Centre, which opened in September 2015. Hartpury University Centre students were completing fitness programmes in the state-of-the-art gym and demonstrating the mechanical horse and some of the equipment used to support research in equestrian performance. Mark Harper MP even got the chance to try out the horse himself!

They also saw students carrying out duties in the yard and extensive stables and observed a riding lesson for college students in an indoor arena, as well as a horse anatomy practical.

They finished up with a Q and A session and afternoon tea before watching the affiliated dressage in Hartpury’s international indoor arena and student lessons in the international outdoor arena.

Hartpury Vice Principal, Higher Education, Rosie Scott-Ward, said: “It was fantastic to have the chance to show off our fantastic equine facilities to a Government Minister and our local MP. They could clearly see the pride we take in the student experience we provide here at Hartpury.

“They were hugely impressed with how much we use our commercial facilities support student learning and to provide them with industry experience that will help them to find work in their chosen industry when they graduate.

“They were particularly interested in our Rider Performance Centre and the growing recognition of riders as elite athletes. We were able to show them how this new facility is supporting closer link-ups between equine and sport and helping riders inside and outside Hartpury to be the best they can be.”

“Their feedback was really positive and they felt they gained an important insight into the work we do, both as a commercial equestrian business and as the world’s largest equine education facility.”

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