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Apprentice Masterclass

Ian Stark OBE, Great Britain's Olympic Three Day Eventing Champion put 13 of Derbyshire's Equestrian Modern Apprentices through their paces at the Masterclass 2003, organised by Stubbing Court Combined Training Group.

The lucky students were nominated by their employers and assessors for the Masterclass 2003 and Stubbing Court CTG's 'Trainee of the Year' competition, a reward for excellence at work and commitment to the qualification during the year.

Georgie Barnes, who runs an eventing yard at Horsley Woodhouse, Derby, has employed Modern Apprentices through Stubbing Court CTG for a number of years. Georgie nominated her Foundation Modern Apprentice, Gemma Sweeting for the award. She is full of praise for Gemma who has come on in leaps and bounds since she left college to become a Modern Apprentice. "Working in the industry has really benefited Gemma, as she has learnt more by working with the horses on a daily basis" says Georgie. "The work-based learning route makes young people more mature and responsible." It has certainly worked for Gemma, as she is now a competent and valued member of the team at Georgies yard and has been employed there for the past six months.

The apprentices had to ride, jump and lunge horses that they had never seen before, a task made much more difficult under the expert eye of Ian Stark. Ian, who is four times Olympic Silver Medallist, European Champion and three times winner of Badminton Horse Trials gave the riders professional coaching in the disciplines. During the afternoon Ian went on to lead an invaluable discussion with the apprentices and their trainers in the schooling and care of event horses up to Olympic standard.
When asked by Derbyshire Learning and Skills Council why he had chosen to get involved with the Modern Apprenticeship programme, Ian replied, "I knew very little about Modern Apprenticeships until Stubbing Court CTG rang and asked me to get involved, I know how hard it is to get young people into the industry and by Championing Modern Apprenticeships I can give something back to equestrianism while helping young people into a career with horses."

Cheryl Goodison

At the end of the Masterclass, Ian had the very difficult task of carrying out the final judging of the Trainee of the Year in two categories - Foundation Modern Apprentice (NVQ Level 2) and Advanced Modern Apprentice (NVQ Level 3). The deserving winners were FMA, Emma Randle and AMA, Cheryl Goodison. As their reward, they win a coveted weeks work experience at the yard of either Ian Stark or top British Dressage rider Richard Davidson and £150.

Both apprentices were really shell-shocked at being chosen, Cheryl, who immediately asked Ian if she could do her work experience at his yard, said "The Masterclass is a good idea, I have known about it for the last eight months and it really motivates you." Emma agreed, "I'm surprised to win, today's been dead good - I have learnt a lot."

The other competitors who had worked hard to be chosen for the Masterclass were, Kate Lamb, Beckie Kruszewski, Charlotte Hobster, Louise Adams, Lisa Powdrill, Kim Dyer, Gemma Sweeting, Emma Morris, Ben McClumpha, Aysha Fichna and Becky Neale.



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