Writtle University College (WUC) has been delighted to welcome prestigious guests. The Worshipful Company of Saddlers and Ebony Horse Club toured our state-of-the art equestrian facilities, during the Lordships Stud Showcase.
Both organisations have offered ongoing support to third year WUC student Natasha Williams. Natasha, who studies BSc (Hons) Equine Performance and Business Management, first learnt to ride at Ebony Horse Club based in Brixton. Operating as a charity, Ebony gives young people life-changing access to horses in inner city South London.
The Worshipful Company of Saddlers has ongoing links with WUC, having previously sponsored Rosa Verwijs’ MSc. Rosa, an experienced senior lecturer in equine behaviour and nutrition, first came to WUC as a student, later becoming an undergraduate course scheme manager. The organisation continues to offer encouragement and financial assistance to talented young equestrians.
Natasha said: “The Worshipful Company of Saddlers have helped me throughout my four years of studying at uni. Ebony introduced me to riding when I was 12 and have been there for me ever since. I’m so happy to have them both visit me at WUC to meet my lecturers and see the work that I’ve been doing.”
Peter Laurie, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, and his wife Doreen, joined longstanding Ebony volunteer Etta Southard her husband Neil for a tour of WUC’s Equine Training and Development Centre, Lordships Stud and Stallion Collection area.
The group received a behind-the-scenes introduction to our two large indoor riding arenas, floodlit outdoor menage, bespoke therapy barns, stables, water treadmill, solarium, round pen and oval horsewalker. They also met the latest addition to the WUC’s family – Lordships Bare Necessities the foal. However, the highlight of the day came from Natasha, who introduced the guests to Little Joey, her project pony.
Natasha and Joey have been working together as part of her Equitation Psychology and Philosophy module. Natasha used the visit to demonstrate the progress they have made, and to introduce course manager, Jaime Finch, and her dissertation supervisor, Jane Hart.
Guests were also introduced to ‘MJ’. This mechanical horse plays a key role in improving students’ riding techniques and gave the visitors a chance to demonstrate their own equestrian skills!
Etta Southard, volunteer at Ebony Horse Club, commented: “I’m pleased to see Natasha doing really well at WUC. People can blossom in the right environment. I’ve known her for the seven years I’ve been volunteering at Ebony Horse Club and anyone can see she’s a bright spark.”
“I’ve been there when Natasha needed support or a friendly face to talk to. Ebony helps young people to gain confidence and find opportunities.”
Peter Laurie, Past Master of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers, said: “Natasha has been an exemplary student. The Worshipful Company of Saddlers together with the Horlock Trust have been happy to provide some of the support she has needed and to have received her various well written reports on her work which she has presented throughout her time at Writtle.
“When you meet her, she comes over as such an outgoing, confident individual, one just has to wish her success for the future. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here. I’m sure she’ll do well.
“Visiting Writtle University College has been quite an eye opener. As one of the Trustees of the Saddlers Company, I’m impressed with the Lordships Stud and the wide range of equestrian facilities offered to the students involved.”
For more information on The Worshipful Company of Saddlers go to www.saddlersco.co.uk. Visit www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk to learn more about the Ebony Horse Club’s work with young people.