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The first British Equestrian Tourism Examinations in the South of England were held in February, at Burley-Villa in the New Forest. Seven candidates from across the UK took part in a Refresher Course and Exam for the Assistant and Ride Leader qualifications. Grainne Sugars, from Callaighstown in Ireland, flew in from examining BET candidates in Spain, to instruct the group for the three days prior to the exam. The course, which, whilst covering the whole syllabus, had an emphasis on client and horse care and thoroughly covered Health and Safety aspects, was highly praised by all candidates. John Patrick who, along with Wendy McCartney, had travelled from the Argyll Trail Centre in Scotland for the qualification commented that 'whilst tomorrow's exam is important, the course itself has taught me a great deal, and I am really looking forward to returning home and putting it all into practice'

Burley-Villa's Centre Manager, Phil Cremer, was equally impressed with the candidates. ' They all came through the course marvellously, and developed a real team spirit. When it came to the exam, all seven were well in control of all the situations they were placed in, and with such an air of authority, I would have been happy to employ any single one of them'.

BET examiners Francis Hay-Smith from Lakeland in Cumbria, and BHS Inspector Bob Weatherall had no hesitation in passing all seven, congratulating them on the confidence and competence they had shown.

Ride Leader qualifications went to John and Wendy, along with Christine Thomas from Lancashire, Angela Heath from Devon, local rider Cathy McColl and Becky Peart from Burley Villa whilst Deborah Franklin took the Assistant Ride Leader Certificate back home with her to the USA.

Burley-Villa plans another course in November and anyone wanting details of this or other BET exams or courses should contact Phil Cremer on01425.610278 or Chris Doran at the BET office on 01926.707794.

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