New look for BD’s Young Professional Programme

New look for BD’s Young Professional Programme

British Dressage (BD) is proud to unveil a new look for the ground breaking Young Professional Programme, incorporating what was previously known as the Young Professionals Award (YPA).

In collaboration with the British Equestrian Federation and fellow Olympic Disciplines, British Eventing and British Show Jumping, the revised programme will support athletes moving out of the youth development pathway and provide them with a transition plan designed to help retain them within the wider equestrian sport network.

BD’s original scheme was introduced in 2009 by Islay Auty to assist talented youth on their path to working in the equine industry, with training, advice and cash bursaries to help in their development.  Many of these successful elements and core objectives will remain in place, but a new format will now be at the heart of the programme.

The Sport England funded cross-discipline Young Professional Programme has been designed to help support an individual’s personal development, career planning and enhancement, so at the end of the 12-month programme they have a wider and well-adapted skill-set that builds their confidence for continued work to thrive and earn a living in the equine industry.

The structure of the programme will hold up to eight core sessions delivered cross-discipline, with topics covered ranging from business management and business operations to media awareness, personal development and career enhancement.

Head of Pathways at the BEF, David Hamer, says; “We want to help transform what can be an uncertain period into a positive experience for these young people in a way that builds confidence, helps individuals to focus on what direction would work for them and helps build a future career plan.  This programme will build on the great work that has already been done into this area by the Olympic Disciplines”.

Open to individuals aged 19-26, British Dressage and the BEF are looking to recruit high calibre and ambitious applicants onto the Programme.  Applications for the 2017 inaugural intake open Tuesday 1 August 2017 and close on Thursday 31 August 2017.  For further details on the Programme, please visit the BEF website.  

A short list of potential candidates will then be invited to attend a training day in October with a top professional on one of the following dates:

10 October – Eilbergs, Pink Green Farm, Worcestershire
24 October – Sarah Millis, Millstones, West Sussex
25 October – Emile Faurie, Heath Farm, Oxfordshire.

Candidates can take their own horses where they’ll immerse themselves in the yard for the day and take on board how a professional facility is run.  They’ll also have a one-to-one interview to assess commitment, business acumen, personality, attitude, development potential and communication skills.  Following the three days, the first intake of the Young Professional Programme will be announced.

Dressage rider Hayley Watson-Greaves said; “To learn how to run a business and manage the media at such a young age is fantastic – and these are key parts of what fund our riding at the end of the day. It is important to find out as much information as you can about these things, as it is not easy.”

Like the YPA, the Young Professionals Programme will once again be supported by Core Context Consulting Ltd.  They’ve generously extended their sponsorship to enable British Dressage to continue supporting those just starting out in the sport by investing in their future development.  The overall aim will be to give a helping hand and financial assistance to those embarking on their dressage careers, while enabling talented young professionals to fulfil their true potential.

Jason Brautigam, BD Chief Executive, commented; “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with the BEF and other disciplines on this initiative.  Our Young Professionals Award has been extremely popular and has helped a number of individuals successfully develop their careers in dressage, but this collaboration will take it to a new level.  It’s a competitive world out there – and initiatives like this are invaluable for those with the vision and talent to be selected.  We all need a good mentor in life and the programme can provide practical guidance and advice to our professionals of the future, as well as a unique training and education opportunity.”