Our Level 3 Extended Diploma in Equine Management  students have been getting first-hand experience of organising equine events as part of their events management module. 

The last of these student-led events was a family fun day held at our Equestrian Centre during the Easter holidays. Visitors enjoyed a freestyle dressage to music demonstration with dressage rider Kerry Gibbons, a fancy dress dressage class, a dog show and children’s entertainments. 

Megan Harrison, who organised the event along with Emily Higgins, Tessa Hollinshead and Philippa Bailey said: “We wanted to organise a fun day out for all the family to coincide with the school holidays. The day was a great success and we would like to thank everyone for their support.”  

Students raised over £600, with all proceeds going to The  British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre  (BTRC), a charity close to the students’ hearts as we have several BTRC horses on loan. 

One of the many highlights enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience was the lecture demonstration given by Kerry Gibbons, an experienced dressage rider, coach and trainee British Dressage judge. Assisted by dressage to music newcomers Laura Crosby and her 19-year-old, coloured cob Toby, Kerry introduced her step-by-step approach to creating a dramatic freestyle dressage performance. 

Kerry explained the importance of analysing tempo in each gait and used a metronome to decide the average BPM of Toby’s walk, trot and canter. She then offered sound advice about sourcing appropriate music to compliment the floorplan. The demonstration culminated with Laura and Toby performing a faultless freestyle test to by music inspired by Disney’s ‘Moana’.    

Kerry, who is based on the Wirral, commented: “I was thrilled to be invited to host a masterclass to raise funds for such a worthy charity. Dressage to music is a discipline that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages and abilities, and I wanted to produce a step-by-step guide to encourage people to get involved. Congratulations to all the students for organising such a well-run and informative event.”