Our Equine Studies Programmes are designed to support students that seek to develop their understanding and knowledge in all areas of equine study. The equine facilities located at The Rural Campus are well equipped to support students learning in areas both vocational and academic. The lecturing team consists of a mixture of industry experts with specialized knowledge ranging from business studies to sports coaching.
Build your career in
The UK can boast a vibrant equine industry with sporting successes at Olympic, World and European level in showjumping, eventing and dressage. There are a wide range of careers or continued studies within Higher Education for which our courses can help prepare learners to engage.
Learners studying at Rural Equine are well prepared to progress towards both employment and/or further study in areas such as ; competition grooms, saddlers, coaches, nutritionists and many other equine related careers. Study programmes start at level 2 allowing students to consolidate their knowledge and skills while Level 3 students will gain the opportunity to develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of subjects including health, rehabilitation & therapy, feeding and behaviour and welfare.
The students on our Equine Studies programmes have access to our facilities including indoor and outdoor all weather riding arenas. We have a wide range of horses stabled at our facility that enable students to actively learn while gaining valuable ‘hands on’ experiences with their day to day care.
Book a Taster Event and come visit us!
Come and visit us on one of our college Taster Events, where you can find out more about our courses, check out our facilities and speak to current learners and staff.
Take a tour of our stunning environments
Tour our Stables
The equine yard is purpose built with 23 stables for student training and education, with facilities including a wash bay, solarium and a variety of feeding and watering systems simulating industry standards.
Tour our Indoor School
At Suffolk Rural we have a 25X40m indoor school with wax-based surface, this has a lighting and viewing area and supports the 40x60m all-weather outdoor arena.
We have a full set of show jumps, dressage boards and horse walker, all for a variety of riding and exercising options throughout the year.
Help & Support
Moving from school to college can be something of a culture shock. But at Suffolk New College we’ve created a supportive, social environment where you can easily get access to the help and advice you need, make new friends and get the most out of your time with us.
Our Industry Mentors support a cohort of students throughout their course by providing a vital close industry link, delivering lectures and supporting assessments, as well as being a source of career information and guidance.
Yard Manager (RDA Group Coach, BHSAI (Level 3 in Complete Horsemanship), UKCC Level 2, Cert. Ed)
After completing my GCSE’s I attended Otley College of Agriculture and Horticulture (now Suffolk Rural), gaining valuable riding and horsemanship experience under the expert tutelage of Rossie Theobald and her team, which included Karen King, and passing my BHS stages 1, 2 and 3. A variety of jobs ensued, some with horses, some without, but always owning my own horse and competing regularly at Riding Club level.
There was unfinished business though, having previously failed my BHS Prelim Teach Test, aged 17, I signed up for a short-course at Writtle College enabling me to gain BHSAI and UKCC Level 2 qualifications. This led to working at a very successful riding school, followed by more study and employment at Easton and Otley College to gain my Certificate in Education.
I came to work for RDA (Woodbridge & District Group) in 2017 when it was preparing to move to its current home in Clopton, also passing the RDA Group Coach qualification. As the group continues to grow and evolve, I am always striving to learn more about how horse-related therapies can benefit us all; increase my horsemanship skills and further develop my people and management skills.
Later this year I have plans to study for the BHS Stage 4 Senior Management qualification, with more BHS qualifications to follow! Learning never stops and being surrounded by horses makes it all the easier!
My lifetime with horses began early, and by the age of 7 I completed a 100 mile charity ride raising over £1000.
Having gained a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science from Aberystwyth University, I initially became Stud Groom for the prestigious stallion Stanhopes Didicoy before returning home to Poplar Park.
Over the last 20 year Poplar Park has grown from 1 livery and 10 school horses to an international competition venue regularly hosting representatives from most eventing Olympic teams, a renowned training venue for British Eventing, Pony Club, Riding Clubs and individuals, many of whom have gone on to compete internationally.
We have a livery yard of 36 horses as well as an equal number of school horses. Poplar Park is a busy and friendly yard, one of the only centres in the country where riders can train from complete novice to CCI 3* level .
There have been a few thrills and spills along the way, but I particularly enjoy retraining, breaking and bringing on horses and ponies of all levels, from international eventers to cheeky ponies and ex racehorses.
British Dressage trainer and youth development trainer and assessor
I have ridden up to Inter 1 level as well as in the inter county, inter regional and home international teams and competed in area festivals, nationals, regionals, premier leagues and the Hickstead masters.
I own and run two businesses. The first is Sandale livery and training yard, which offers holiday livery, schooling livery, rehab and regular livery. The second is TDR Dressage ltd., this is the breeding and young stock side where I have had Futurity Elite yearlings as well as being awarded best yearling in the Futurity dressage yearling section.
I am very much looking forward to helping the Suffolk Rural equine students in the year ahead.