Level two and three equine students from Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus visited Newcastle Racecourse recently to learn about the racing industry and present the ‘best turned out’ award of the day.
The group of learners, aged between 16 to 18 years-old, got an insight into the racing and enjoyed a full race-day experience, which included a complimentary box and guided tour of the racecourse.
One of the highlights of the visit was when the learners were able to enter the parade ring to pick the 'best turned out' horse award and then present the winning stable with their prize.
To do this, students were required to look at aspects of the horse including the grooming, plaiting and tail tack, which is all part of what the learners are currently studying as part of their competition module at college.
Course Team Leader for Level 2 Equine, Emma John, said: "We had a fabulous day and the racecourse really looked after us while we were there.
"Students had to select the 'best turned out' award and presented the prize to the winning trainer and horse.
"Careers in equine include jobs in riding schools, livery yards, competition yards, trekking centres, breeders, trainers, welfare charities and freelance services so all of these visits and partnerships are invaluable for our student's futures, opening up their eyes to careers they may not have considered before.
"The racing sector both such a big part of the equine industry and I often find students overlook it, so this was a real eye opener for students."
Sarah Thompson, Head of Racing Sales at Newcastle Racecourse said: "Newcastle Racecourse were delighted to be approached by Northumberland College and be given the opportunity to support the equine students.
"Despite the weather, moods weren't dampened and we were able to show the students around the course, whilst explaining the background to racing and how the day itself comes together. We look forward to continuing a relationship with the College team and future students."
The group of learners have also recently attended an anti-bullying event held in conjunction with Northumbria Police at Alnwick Ford, where the students had demonstrations of police dog handling, and were also involved in training the police horses with crowd control practice.
Level 3 Equine Tutor, Karen Bell said: "Northumbria Police invited the Equine department to Alnwick Ford as part of the 'not on my yard' campaign, which is aimed at supporting anti-bullying and inclusion legislation.
"We had information on how bullying can escalate to a criminal offence, demonstrations of a police officer schooling her young dressage horse, demo of the police dog handling and finally a demo of how the police horses manage crowds, including some interaction."
17-year-old, Level 3 Equine Management student, Megan Carter, from South Shields who plans on joining the police force, said: "This trip was fantastic experience and so worthwhile. We got to see real-life demonstrations from the mounted sector and dog handling."
Equestrian students at the College study a range of modules, including Horse Tack and Equipment, Biological Systems of Horses, Managing Events, Riding Horses over Flat and Fence, Feeding and Nutrition.
Level three students also study biological systems of horses, which includes health dissections, looking at the respiratory and digestive systems of horses.
The College's Equestrian Centre, based at Kirkley Hall campus is currently undergoing a total £1.2M refurbishment, to create a new indoor arena with pro wax surfacing, American Barn style stables and new classroom facilities.
Over £4 billion is spent on equestrianism every year and according to Lantra, the leading awarding body for land-based and environmental training courses, there are more than 19,000 horse businesses and 41,200people are employed within the sector.
Northumberland College offer a range of courses, diplomas, foundation degrees and Apprenticeships in equine. To find out more please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk.
degrees and Apprenticeships in equine. To find out more please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk.