Writtle News

Equine Showcase to launch £2million investment

February 2018

Image for press release

Writtle University College will be unveiling its fantastic new equine facilities and resources at a free Equine Showcase packed with inspiring workshops!

Following a £2million investment, all of Writtle's equine facilities have been brought onto one site at its Cow Watering Campus, which is now a central hub for equine teaching and research, boasting the latest in scientific technologies.

A Stud facility, extended outdoor menage, a second therapy barn, oval horsewalker, DIY stables and an indoor school have been added to the facilities already on the campus, which include an equine water treadmill, solarium and indoor riding arenas.

The investment enhances the student experience by enabling all practical sessions to be carried out in one extended space, whether it is using breeding horses or youngstock, the therapy units or the riding facilities.

The Equine Showcase on Wednesday 14 March is designed to give visitors a taster of the wealth of exciting equine work at Writtle, and the dynamic equine community on campus.

Caroline Flanagan, who heads up the Higher Education Equine courses at Writtle, said: “The Showcase will be an ideal event for riders and coaches, who will be able to participate in interactive workshops across a broad spectrum of our equine disciplines and watch live demos from staff, students and industry representatives.

“Visitors will be able to gain first-hand experience of our equine courses and the cutting-edge, professional and dynamic equine work that happens here, from equine breeding to enhancing the rider's performance, horse anatomy to massage therapy, equine behaviour to the use of the very latest technology and research.”

As part of the event, Ken Rehill, owner of The Stallion Company - who has been a huge support to the University College's breeding efforts over many years with free and subsidised stallion nominations - will cut the ribbon for the new Stud area.

Writtle has a fantastic track record in equine breeding. The Stud won a British Eventing Breeders' Medal this year for the leading British-bred horse in the Eventing Five Year Old Championships. The Stud also produced the Reserve Champion showjumper at the British Equestrian Federation's Futurity Championships 2017. The champion Riding Horse at the Horse of the Year Show in 2016 and 2017 was also born at Writtle.

The workshops at the Showcase will be enjoyable for visitors with an interest in improving their own human-equine partnership, and inspiring for those thinking of studying an equine course at Writtle.

Visitors can enjoy a demonstration of dressage riding, observe future stars working through showjumping exercises, find out about the sport polocrosse, and learn more about training for event riding.

There will be a demonstration of training principles, feeding hints and insights into equine behaviour using World Horse Welfare horses. An equine vet will give an overview of evidence-based therapies such as complementary and alternative therapies. There will even be stallion collection - should the stallion be willing! - and analysis of semen under a microscope.

Vets from House & Jackson, together with Writtle staff, will be using the latest technology to evaluate lameness and analyse gait. Those interested in anatomy and biomechanics (who are not faint-hearted) may enjoy a lower limb dissection, while others may prefer to see students and staff paint skeletal and muscular anatomy onto horses. A ridden horse, with its skeleton painted onto it, will help visitors understand how the skeleton adapts to jumping.

Veterinary Physiotherapy students will demonstrate massage and electrotherapy, while those studying equine breeding will be painting foals onto the mares on the maternity ward. There will also be demonstrations of stretches used in athletic programmes and musculo-skeletal rehabilitation, as well as the opportunity to find out how kinesiotaping - as used in athletics and football - is being used on horses.

Writtle's equestrian team will be putting the horses through their paces and can talk more about the national competitions students could become involved in. There will also be rider MOTs available so visitors can find out how to improve their performance as a rider.

There will also be an Equine Village with exhibitors including Baileys Horse Feeds, Dengie Feeds, Champion Hat and Body Protector Manufacturer, Ingatestone Saddlery (saddler) and Martin Grady (remedial farrier).


WHAT: Equine Showcase

WHEN: Wednesday 14 March 2pm to 6pm with further ridden demonstrations 6pm-8pm

WHERE: Writtle University College, Cow Watering Campus, Cow Watering Lane, Writtle,


BOOKING: wucequineshowcase2018.eventbrite.com

MORE INFO INLCUDING A TIMETABLE OF WORKSHOPS: www.writtle.ac.uk/equineshowcase