What I do
I freelance for the UK’s top equestrian magazines including Horse Magazine, Horse and Hound, Eventing Magazine and Horse and Rider. About 80% of my work is commissioned - so editors email me a brief which includes a topic, a fee, a word count and a deadline. The other 20% involves me sitting down and thinking of ideas to pitch to editors. I particularly enjoy writing about veterinary subjects as I’ve always found that area very interesting. There’s always lots of variety such as writing features for Horse Magazine and event reporting for Horse and Hound.
Why I chose Hartpury University
I’ve always been into horses and that’s what attracted me to Hartpury University as the facilities were outstanding. Being able to take my horse with me was definitely a bonus! I did a BTEC in science at college and applied for Hartpury University. The equine science degree covers a broad base of topics so there were quite a few options: stud management, nutrition and a few of my friends went into massage.
Getting into the industry
One of my lecturers put me in contact with the British Grooms Association who invited me to write for their membership magazine and it all progressed from there. The marketing manager at Hartpury then invited me to write stories on the equestrian events at Hartpury as a two-day-a-week work experience placement and I helped report on the FEI World Para Dressage Championships in 2007 and the Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular in 2008. My lecturers also gave me contacts for magazine editors and I did two weeks at Horse Magazine and two weeks at Horse and Hound. About a year after graduating, I got a full-time job with Horse Magazine where I worked for nearly two years as editorial assistant before joining Horse and Rider as assistant editor for a year. Now, I’m freelancing.
Using my degree at work
When I did work experience for Horse and Hound they were very impressed with my knowledge of the industry and really rated Hartpury as a high-end equine institution. You’re exposed to so many people in the industry at Hartpury such as top coaches Corinne Bracken and Carl Hester, and the training uses the most up-to-date methods and world-class facilities. People in the equine world are impressed by what you are exposed to at Hartpury.
Advice for people wanting to work in the equine industry
You have to knuckle down and do the work; nobody is going to do it for you. It’s important not to go to Hartpury University and expect to know what you want to do right away. Be open-minded about what is out there. You’ll have access to all the different equine areas so talk to other people in the industry. Hartpury will give you great opportunities to meet people and make contacts. Employers want that ‘real world’ experience; you now need industry experience as well as a degree. Consider going out and getting a job in your summer holidays in an area that interests you, and make sure that you use your time wisely.