Reaseheath’s equine department hosted a free public event last week at its Equestrian Centre as part of National Anti-Bullying Week. The event was aimed at raising awareness about the #NotOnMyYard campaign – an equine-specific anti-bullying initiative launched earlier this year by Tudor Rose Equines.

International event rider Michael Owen, British Dressage judge and trainer Val Smyth and Olympic show jumper Geoff Billington donated their time to support the evening and gave demonstrations at ‘grass roots’ level. Other attractions included a ‘selfie booth’ and the chance to try out ‘Flicka’, Reaseheath’s mechanical horse.  A raffle was held to raise funds for the #NotOnMyYard initiative with prizes donated by local businesses.

Val Smyth commented: “Bullying is an important issue that needs to be addressed in any walk of life but especially in the horse world. Although ours is a competitive sport, we all deserve to enjoy being with our horses and that’s why I support this campaign wholeheartedly.”

Representatives from the British Horse Society (BHS) and the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Mounted Unit also attended, and Reaseheath’s Senior Wellbeing Co-ordinator Nicola McCleave was on hand to explain the services offered by her team.

Said Nicola: “We take a holistic approach to student well-being and cover a wide range of issues. The #NotOnMyYard message is one very close to our hearts as Reaseheath has a zero-tolerance policy to bullying.”

The event was co-ordinated by Level 1 Equine Course Manager Sam Brentnall, who said: “We are proud to be involved with a cause which we are passionate about, and we hope that we have helped to spread the word to a wider audience. I am very grateful to the coaches, the riders and to all the visitors who helped make this event such a success.”

Samantha Thurlow from Tudor Rose Equines confirmed that the next phase of the campaign will be to work in partnership with key agencies such as the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), the BHS and participating colleges to draw up a Code of Conduct for yards, schools and centres.

Samantha explained: “Reaseheath is leading the way in this campaign and, since our launch, we have been approached by other colleges and equestrian venues who want to get involved. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.”

Reaseheath equine students also took part in the official #NotOnMyYard  launch photoshoot at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre and visited the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Mounted Unit’s base for the official launch of the campaign.