Writtle University College (WUC) is celebrating a transformation. Following £1.5 million investment in equine facilities, WUC has taken the next step and refreshed its yard management team.
The University College’s new equine resource manager is the internationally well-regarded Dan Cook.
During his twenty year career within the sector, Dan headed highly-respected professional yards in his home country of Australia, overseeing 100+ horses and 30 to 40 staff.
After arriving in the UK, Dan ran his own international bloodstock company, buying and selling horses all over the world from the UK, Europe, the USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.
He then worked at a senior managerial level for two children’s charities. These inner-city organisations transform the lives of young people living in disadvantaged communities in the UK, by providing them with the opportunity to access, ride and be around horses.
Dan is now working for WUC, the only University College in the UK to offer a fully operational stud in addition to equestrian facilities. He said: “I enjoy operating as part of a wider team that shares a common goal in providing students with the best learning experience possible. Being able to play a part in our students’ journey is personally rewarding.”
Dan Cook is joined by an updated team with strong equestrian backgrounds. Assistant stud groom, Emily Southwick, holds a master degree in veterinary physiotherapy. Assistant yard co-ordinator, Hannah Bentley was the yard manager at Maple Pollard, before working with Oldencraig Equestrian Centre and the Hallingbury Hall team.
The most recent addition to the staff, yard manager, Clare Jacobs took up her post in spring 2019.
Clare has been riding since the age of five and holds a BSc in equine science, a stage 3 in complete horsemanship (BHSAI) and recently completed her stage 4 senior coaching exam.
She said: “I am very excited to be part of a new team that is not only so highly experienced across the equestrian industry but also dedicated to creating the very highest standards of horse welfare and training.”
Her professional background includes running her own small yard, backing and breaking young horses. She has worked at the prestigious Gleneagles Equestrian Centre in Scotland and managed the busy Runningwell Equestrian Centre.
She continued: “With all the recent investment into the equestrian facilities we are in the best possible position to promote excellence across the industry and become one of the best educational centres in the country.”
WUC offers a wide range of equine courses, for further and higher education. The state-of-the-art facilities offer a supportive learning environment for BHS qualifications, technical certificates, diplomas, BScs and integrated masters.