Mel Nicholls

Qualification & subject:
Undergraduate BSc (Hons) Equine Science
Athlete and adventurer

Mel studied BSc (Hons) Equine Science at Hartpury. She competed in the wheelchair racing event at the London 2012 Paralympics, just 15 months after taking up the sport. She went on to be part of the GB Athletics team for the next four years, achieving track world records, European and World medal success and becoming a Paralympic finalist at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

In 2018, she smashed the world record for handcycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, completing the 874-mile Handcycle Britain challenge in six days, 22 hours and 17 minutes – beating the previous record by more than three days.

Mel's Hartpury Experience

"I’d heard such great things about Hartpury from a fellow equestrian friend while I was still at school that even back then my sole focus was on gaining a place on the BSc Equine Science course.

I’d always had great interest in veterinary medicine, and later, rehabilitation, with a love of horses in sport.

I particularly enjoyed that side of the course, combined with practical sessions and visits to local equine hospitals and research opportunities. Lecturers were not only experts in their field, but supportive within and outside of studies.

Having my own horse at Hartpury meant I could combine my studies with my love of horses and competing, as well as benefiting from use of Hartpury’s world-class facilities.

The phrase ‘Hartpury Family’ has been coined time and time again – and it’s so true! Friends made at Hartpury have been friends for life."

Developing Industry Connections

"Hartpury has been huge asset to my sports career and I’m so proud to be part of its story and to have its continued support.

Working with its expert team of coaches and sports scientists enables me to train and prepare at my best, whether that’s through physio support or state-of-the-art laboratory testing, and to push new boundaries in elite performance.

I look forward to continuing to share knowledge and experience with students in the classroom and supporting its strong ethos of Dream, Nurture, Achieve."