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The Bishop Burton Equine Academy provides continued support and development of proven high calibre riders or those with future potential to succeed at a high level of competitive sport.

The Academy is open to both Further and Higher education students enrolled on a course at Bishop Burton College. Academy riders receive a highly supportive and structured training programme whilst studying for an academic qualification.

The academy aims to: Offer high quality Further Education / Higher Education academic provision for continued education and career development Provide top class sport specific coaching and personnel support for a variety of equestrian disciplines Develop individual preparation, training & competition strategies in order to maximise performance.

Advanced Squad

Each year there are four Advanced Squad members. These are competitive riders who are actively taking part in an equestrian discipline, and are driven to the best in their sport.

In order to be on this squad you must be competing at the following level or above:

  • British Dressage Elementary
  • British Eventing Novice
  • British Showjumping Newcomers

Advanced Squad riders receive the following benefits:

  • Regular training sessions with the Academy Coach
  • Training sessions with guest coaches
  • Assistance with planning competition schedules
  • Guidance on managing their academic studies with competitions
  • Discounted DIY stabling on the Bishop Burton College yard and use of extensive facilities
  • Options for discounted therapy sessions using the Equine Therapy Centre facilities
  • Clothing package
  • Discounted membership to Bishop Burton's gym
  • Specialist support from the equine team and industry experts covering aspects such as:
    • Rider biomechanics
    • Sports psychology
    • Strength and conditioning
    • Equine therapy techniques
    • Advice on equine nutrition, dentistry and saddlery.

Development Squad

The Development Squad is aimed at aspiring riders who show the potential, enthusiasm and dedication to excel in their chosen equestrian discipline.

These riders would benefit from the training and coaching of the academy staff for a period before they are at the level of competition required for the Advanced Squad.

In order to be on this squad you must be competing at or showing the potential to compete at the following level:

  • British Dressage Prelim or unaffiliated prelim
  • British Eventing 90 or unaffiliated 90-100
  • British Showjumping British Novice or unaffiliated 90cm
  • If you do not have a horse, you must demonstrate you are at a BHS Stage 3 level.

Development Squad riders receive the following benefits:

  • Weekly training sessions with the training Academy Coach
  • Group sessions with guest coaches
  • Opportunity to ride and compete a college horse is possible for the right candidates
  • Discounted Therapy sessions are available for horses in the Equine Therapy Centre
  • Guidance on managing their academic studies with competitions
  • Assistance with planning competition schedules
  • Discounted membership to Bishop Burton's gym.

How to Apply

Application to join the Equine Academy for the 2019 / 20 academic year are now closed and trials are in progress. We look forward to announcing the Equine Academy Squads at the start of the academic year.

Applications for 2020 / 21 will open on 1 September 2019.

To apply, please complete the following and email this to

  • Application form
  • Up-to-date competitive CV including competition record.
  • DVD / video link of you competing in a recent (within last six months) affiliated competition (Advanced Squad application) or general recent riding (Development Squad application)
  • Reference from your current trainer / coach.

Riders on the Equine Academy or Equine Development Squad must be studying a course at Bishop Burton College. Whether that's an equine course, sport course or any other subject.