HE undergraduates Natalie Gillison Lou Doyle Hannah Hardy & Jamie-Lee Bowness meeting Scott Brash

Bolesworth International Horse Show 2016 – My top 3 moments

By Hannah Hardy

For competitors, horse owners and enthusiasts alike, Bolesworth International is not an event to be missed. For Reaseheath it is no different and many students volunteered both as the arena party and behind the scenes to support the running of this world-class show.

As a Reaseheath undergraduate myself,  I was given the amazing opportunity to gain experience by assisting the Bolesworth team; here are my top 3 moments!

  1. Meeting the Riders

Over the weekend we got the chance to work in Bolesworth’s Equine Learning Zone, interacting with some of the best in the industry.

A personal highlight was the meet and greet session with London 2012 Olympic riders Ben Maher and Scott Brash. People of all ages descended upon the Learning Zone as the riders talked about their horses, past experiences and future plans. Crowds of fans gathered outside of the tent for a signing and picture session with Scott Brash, and obviously, we didn’t want to miss out!

HE undergraduates Natalie Gillison Lou Doyle Hannah Hardy & Jamie-Lee Bowness meeting Scott Brash

HE undergraduates Natalie Gillison Lou Doyle Hannah Hardy & Jamie-Lee Bowness meeting Scott Brash

  1. Meeting the Public

In our mission to promote the events taking part in the Learning Zone, we were able to meet many of the public who were busy enjoying the show.

Despite the unfortunate weather conditions, spirits were high amongst everyone which encouraged the already elated atmosphere. Regardless of their equestrian background, this show seems to bring together horse enthusiasts from all over the world and, having had the opportunity to speak to a number of spectators, it was proving to be a highlight of their year.

Hannah Hardy and Natalie Gillison at the press conference 1MB

Hannah Hardy and Natalie Gillison at the press conference 1MB

  1. The Competition

From novelty classes to the Grand Prix CSI4*, the wide-range of classes at Bolesworth never failed to attract the crowd.

Regardless of who you are rooting for, everyone gets involved in cheering on the riders and congratulating the winners. Behind the scenes, winning riders are interviewed during a press conference with the media team.

We had the chance to shadow Press Officer Andrew Baldock during his interview with the winners of the Ashford Farm sponsored Grand Prix CSI2*. The winner, Theo Simpson (GBR), was thrilled with his victory with the 12-year-old chestnut mare, Touch of Chilli . It was great to see that the riders love competing at this show as much as we enjoy watching them.

heo Simpson winner of the Ashford Farm Grand Prix CSI2 (Image - Natalie Gillison Photography)

Theo Simpson winner of the Ashford Farm Grand Prix CSI2 (Image – Natalie Gillison Photography)

Overall, Bolesworth 2016 was an amazing experience. If you have the opportunity to get involved, don’t miss it!

Louise Doyle, Richard Davison, Laura Tomlinson, Carl Hester Charlotte Dujardin and Jamie-Lee Bowness

A wealth of opportunity for Reaseheath undergraduates at Bolesworth CSI**** International

A group of Equine undergraduates were given the unique opportunity to gain ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience at this year’s Bolesworth International Horse Show.  

Louise Doyle, Richard Davison, Laura Tomlinson, Carl Hester Charlotte Dujardin and Jamie-Lee Bowness

Louise Doyle, Richard Davison, Laura Tomlinson, Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Jamie-Lee Bowness

Students with a particular interest in equestrian sports journalism, media or marketing, were invited to make up a dedicated team of volunteers to assist in the running of Bolesworth’s Equine Learning Zone. This was a new initiative for 2016, and Learning Zone Coordinator Debra Hargrave had scheduled a varied programme of educational events that featured presentations from industry experts, along with guest appearances from the likes of Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin, Ben Maher and Scott Brash.

Debra, who runs a successful Equestrian PR business, said:  “Bolesworth International were delighted that Reaseheath students were able to assist at this year’s event. Their input was invaluable and they showed a high level of maturity at all times. The students I met were hard working, friendly and professional, indeed nothing was too much trouble. They were always eager to please and always had a smile on their face – even when the weather was less than sunny!”


I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of the team at Bolesworth International. I was given the opportunity to see just how a large scale show is run and to meet and talk to members of the public with a shared interest. I had the chance to meet Olympic riders and to listen to top quality educational talks. Generally, I had a fantastic few days surrounded by a sport I love.” Lou Doyle, BSc (Hons) Equine Science Undergraduate


Final year students Lou Doyle and Jamie-Lee Bowness, have just completed a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science. With job applications and interviews looming, their visit to Bolesworth was especially pertinent as it was an opportunity for them to gain valuable work experience and to forge links within the industry that they are about to enter.

Jamie-Lee explained: “I found that volunteering was a fantastic experience, I feel more confident about speaking to new people, which is a valuable skill now that I’m applying for jobs and considering a Master’s degree. I had been very focused on pursuing a career in veterinary physiotherapy but this experience has encouraged me to look into job opportunities in the media side of the equestrian industry.”

 Beyond their role in the Equine Learning Zone, Reaseheath volunteers were asked to assist the show’s nominated charity – The British Horse Society – with their fund-raising efforts, whilst they were invited to spend time in Bolesworth’s busy Media Centre with Press Officer Andrew Baldock.

Said Andrew, “My role as press officer is a wide and varied one, catering for the needs of national, local and equestrian written and photographic media. I was very impressed with the maturity, enthusiasm and helpful nature of the students I spent time with and I hope very much that we can work together in the future.”

Students shadowed Andrew during his press conferences and interviews with winning riders and there was the chance to produce content for those undergraduates with a particular flair for journalism or photography.

Hannah Hardy is a BSc (Hons) Equine Science undergraduate in her second year of study who, in previous years, has volunteered at Bolesworth as part of the arena party. Hannah hopes to pursue a career writing for the equestrian press upon graduating.

“As a budding equestrian sports journalist, spending time in the Media Centre with Andrew was the most phenomenal experience and one which I will not forget. I was able to gain much advice and I was encouraged to document my visit in a blog instalment,” said Hannah.

Read Hannah’s blog about her Bolesworth experience here.

FdSc Equine Science, Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship student Natalie Gillison, is an amateur photographer who has a keen interest in film and social media marketing. Natalie utilised her skills whilst at Bolesworth by photographing top riders and contributing some images for Reaseheath’s social media feeds.

Natalie, who studied Media at GCSE level and was a member of her college photography society, commented: “Working at Bolesworth was amazing, I learned so much and being given the chance to observe how the media team works was really educational. I have learned many new skills and I’m sure that these will be transferred to my future career.”

A selection of Natalie’s images from Bolesworth are now available to be viewed via: http://ngillisonphotography.deviantart.com/

“I can speak on behalf of myself in the Equine Learning Zone and for Andrew Baldock in the Media Centre that we would not hesitate to have Reaseheath undergraduates back on board for future events.”Debra Hargrave, Learning Zone Coordinator & Equestrian PR.