Visit our shop Join BD View forums

Your shopping basket
is currently empty.


Apprenticeship scheme

British Dressage has developed partnerships with two Training providers to give BD members access to some dressage specific qualifications.

Haddon Training offers work based apprenticeships at level 2 and 3, which aim to give a good grounding in the practical skills and knowledge needed to work in the equine industry.

Hartpury College offers a dressage apprenticeship aimed at aspiring international dressage riders, which can be paired with some other qualifications (i.e. A levels).
Diploma in Sporting Excellence (formerly AASE) 2018-20

In partnership with British Dressage and British Eventing, Hartpury College provides riders with opportunities to improve performance via a blended learning programme consisting of central ‘camps’ at Hartpury College and ‘home visits’ from the rider’s assigned mentor/assessor. The Equine AASE programme has become the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DISE) in line with the changing nature of government apprenticeship standards and funding.
The programme offers a high quality training environment, access to modern, well-equipped facilities and the benefits of conditioning experts, physiotherapists, nutritionists and mentors. Our talented coaches – who have a vast amount of competitive experience at the highest level – will encourage, nurture and support you through your elite development through the perfect scheme for aspiring riders.
Diploma in Sporting Excellence Programme Information
The programme consists of four central camps at Hartpury which must be attended:
October 2018 (23rd -24th)
February 2019 (11th & 12th)
April 2019 (1st & 2nd)
October 2019 (24th & 25th)
To supplement this time mentors will make regular visits to see students at home in their own training environment, and visits to high-profile yards with access to industry-leading professionals are included.
"Hartpury provides the ideal training environment for people to start their career in the industry. I’m proud to be part of the College and working with the next generation of riders.” Carl Hester | Hartpury Elite Dressage Coach | Olympic Gold Medallist
The programme reflects the broad range of skills, knowledge and performance required by elite level sports people. It measures the rider’s ability to plan, apply and evaluate their development in the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of their sport. It also addresses wider issues such as nutrition, lifestyle, career development, communication, and health and safety.
Additionally, riders will consider four equine-specific units: horse training programmes, horse nutrition, horse health and wellbeing, and competition performance.
What is the Diploma in Sporting Excellence?
A Level 3 qualification designed for riders who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence and are seeking to perform at the highest level. It covers all aspects of training and sports performance support to enable riders to push themselves to the next level.
The award is notionally a 2-year programme for riders aged 16-18 on the 1st September 2018 who are also studying other academic qualifications at a school or college. As a Level 3 qualification, the Diploma attracts 40 UCAS Tariff points upon successful completion, this the equivalent of a ‘B’ grade at A Level. (Please note at the time of publication this is still provisional and will be confirmed to applicants at the earliest opportunity).

Course Prerequisites
Riders must have 5 GCSE grades at C or above, and be continuing in education at school or college. This is a minimum requirement to be considered for selection. You must also be resident in England and meet the sporting requirements below:
• Riders should be competing consistently at Medium level and above and achieving 65% or more.
• (Applicants should have a minimum of four results at the level required in the 12 months prior to application).
• Riders will also be considered on younger horses (up to 7 years of age) who demonstrate the potential to compete successfully at International level and are already competing consistently at Elementary or above and achieving 70% or more.
• Please note freestyle scores do not count towards minimum criteria.
Para-Equestrian Dressage
• Riders must have a current classification and should be consistently and currently scoring 62% in their relevant grade at BD
Para Dressage Competitions.
• Please note freestyle scores cannot be counted.
Please note we will welcome applications that do not meet the sporting criteria if evidence can be provided to justify this.
How do I apply?
Please contac Thomas Staten (DISE Manager at Hartpury College) and request an application form. 
To support the application form, the applicant will need to provide a 3-5 minute video
presentation which outlines their reasons for wishing to be considered for the programme and
demonstrating their riding skills.
Video Guidelines:
o Keep the video short, between 3-5 minutes
o State your name and discipline at the beginning of the video
o Have a clear beginning that introduces yourself
o Script and practise what you are going to say; this is an opportunity to impress the
interview panel
o Maintain eye contact with the camera and speak slowly and clearly
o Choose a ‘clean’ background with good lighting and do a sound check first

Video Content Guidelines:
o An overview of your experience to date in the equestrian industry
o What you consider to have been your highest personal achievement to date
o short clip of you riding a dressage test showing walk, trot, and canter.
o What you hope to gain from the Programme

The closing date for applications is
Friday 29th June.

Work Based Apprenticeships

British Dressage has also formed a partnership with Haddon Training which will make it possible to offer formal work-based Apprenticeships in the dressage industry.
The scheme aims to support employers in building a tailored workforce with the appropriate skills and knowledge. It is also designed to help young people acquire a nationally recognised qualification whilst gaining the practical experience necessary to succeed in dressage today.
Haddon Training, in partnership with BD, will offer formal, government funded Apprenticeships at Level 2 and Advanced Apprenticeships at Level 3 for 16-24 year olds. In addition, there is the opportunity to improve skills for life including essential numeracy and literacy, if required.
“We feel that these vocational qualifications are a very valuable option for young dressage riders and grooms who want to focus on building their practical skills while they work for some of the outstanding riders and trainers within the dressage industry. We are also very keen to support employers as they develop the skills they need within their workforce for the success of their own businesses,” said Paul Hayler, Director of Training at BD.
“Haddon Training has a very strong record within the training and vocational qualification sector and we are looking forward to working with them to support the next generation of dressage professionals.”
Haddon Training is a leading training provider specialising in the equine industry and they already work with many prestigious establishments in the dressage community as well as in other disciplines. The company has been helping young people with Apprenticeships and training for many years and in 2011 they achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted on the basis of quality provision, great support and success rates.
Chris Hewlett, Managing Director of Haddon Training commented; ‘Being born out of the equine industry means we fully understand the specific need to deliver a portfolio of relevant qualifications in the work place. We are excited to be working alongside British Dressage and will be keen to work closely with employers in our mission to support the next generation and offer British Dressage members the opportunity to develop recognised skills. We are a friendly, professional team, passionate about quality and outstanding expertise to develop learners to be the best they can be.’
For further information on Haddon Training please visit Haddon Training
Updated 23/07/2018 JS