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Hartpury College Students Help British Show Jumping Athletes Jump to Greater Heights

Sports Therapy students from Hartpury College recently provided an injury and massage clinic to British Show Jumping on their ‘Step Up to Gold’ programme. Nine horse riders from across the UK were selected to take part in the programme and three Hartpury College students assisted in the clinic.

The ‘Step Up to Gold’ programme aims to bring riders who had been jumping at a height of 1.25m to a Gold League Level jump height of 1.40m. It also provides training days for the riders to gain specialist coaching, sports science, strength and conditioning and medical support.

Hartpury’s Sports Therapy students were on hand to deliver, in some cases, much needed support for all nine riders. Rachael Connor, a rider taking part in the programme, found the clinic very useful, saying: ‘I often have tightness in my shoulders and occasional lower back pain, but I find it hard to seek treatment due to time restraints and being so busy with my horses. Being about to get some treatment at these training days is really useful and I now feel a lot looser and it relieved my pain.’

First Year student Grace Jeffrey and Second Year students Aniel Joaniquet-Tukianien and Sophie Kalpin, who all volunteered their help, have equestrian backgrounds so understand the needs of the riders. Grace said: ‘I really enjoyed the day, gaining experience outside the classroom and interacting with high level equestrian athletes. It was interesting to find out what daily demands the riders have; one of the riders said she was riding eight horses a day. It then became clear to me why these athletes are complaining of tightness and they have no time to see anyone to help them.’

The day was a great success and feedback from both riders and students was very positive. Senior Lecturer Hollie Bailey thought that it was ‘good to see that the rider is being acknowledged as an athlete and it’s not all about the horse.’

Hartpury College is launching a new MSci Sports Therapy (Equestrian) in September 2017, and will be the first of its kind in the UK. It will allow students to cover injury management and rehabilitation of mainstream sports as well as the individual specific requirements of an equestrian athlete.

Follow the link below to read more about the programme

http://www.society-of-sports-therapists.org/index.php/public/degree_courses_MSc

Picture 1: Hollie Bailey, Grace Jeffrey, Nicki Bates, Guy Elson, Sophie Kalpin, Aniel Joaniquet-Tukianien.

Picture 2: Sophie Kalpin.

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