Photos taken by Julian Portch Photography

Reaseheath College’s student arena party has again earned praise from industry professionals for its support of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) – the world’s most famous horse show.

Our team of 38 students and Course Managers Lucy Bexon and Danielle Haughton worked alongside the show jumping course designers and builders in the international arena and also helped with the Future Elite Dressage Championship, the Pony Club mounted games and the harness scurry throughout the full five days of the show.

Their efforts helped to provide a seamless spectacle for thousands of visitors and were much appreciated by the organisers, who praised the team’s enthusiasm, high standards and work ethic. Always a favourite event in our equine calendar, this was the 11th year we have provided HOYS with this service.

In addition to gaining high profile industry experience and meeting elite riders and trainers, the students, from main campus and from outreach centres Croft End Equestrian Centre, Oldham, and Burrows Lane, Knowsley, received unique event management training including health and safety and emergency drills alongside vets and paramedics – a superb addition to their CVs. In particular they gained a unique perspective on the backstage elements of a major show, which will stand them in good stead if they enter the event management industry.

Event Director Jane Warmington, who works for Grandstand Media, organiser of HOYS, said: “We have no hesitation in inviting Reaseheath to provide the arena party and to carry out additional duties. As always the team has provided a professional and flexible service which has contributed to making the show the great success that it is.”

Lead Course Designer Kelvin Bywater commented: “Reaseheath has provided the arena party for this major show for the past 11 years and the students and staff are always hard working, committed and enthusiastic. They work well with the professional course designers and course builders and play a major part in the smooth running of the show.”

Equine Curriculum Area Manager James Rayner said: “Thanks to our long-established partnership with HOYS, we are able to offer our students real, industry focussed, work experience. They get the unique opportunity to see the action from the front, build great teamworking skills and have an amazing week which they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”

First year Level 3 Diploma in Equine Management student Millie Ryan enthused: “I’m amazed at the opportunities I’ve been given already by Reaseheath – and we haven’t even reached the first half term. I’ve already helped to support the British Dressage National Championships and I’m now on duty at HOYS! I want to be an international competition groom and these experiences have been really helpful. I’ve been able to chat to some grooms here and gained a real insight into their world.”

Reaseheath equine students also regularly provide the arena parties for other prestigious show locations including Bolesworth International (British Showjumping) Kelsall Hill (British Eventing) and Somerford Park (British Dressage and British Eventing).

For further details about Reaseheath’s equine diplomas and degrees visit