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New Hartpury arena unveiled, providing a boost for equine and canine training and research

19 Jan 2022 | Dressage | Showjumping | Eventing | European Championships |

A brand-new Equine and Animal Assisted Activity Area designed to further enhance the student learning experience and facilitate equine and canine research opportunities has officially opened for use.

Located within Hartpury Equine, the £730,000 activity area consists of a covered 60m x 30m arena finished with an Andrews Bowen Pro Wax Surface. A 22m-diameter round pen completes a contemporary learning environment for Hartpury University and Hartpury College students enrolled on equine, human-animal interaction and canine diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The arena will also provide additional capacity for competitors at this summer’s major equine events including the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular, NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials and the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors.

In line with Hartpury’s commitment to sustainability, the covered indoor arena has been built with an Equaflow base in order to attenuate rainfall from the roof that can later be released via controlled discharge into the existing site drainage. Manufactured from recycled material, Equaflow provides a sound sub-base for the Andrew Bowen’s ProWax surface that is consistent with the existing surfaces used on site.

Several organisations, charitable trusts and foundations backed the development.

Phillip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury, said: “We’re thrilled to see the EAAAA come to fruition and are incredibly grateful to the supporting trusts involved who helped to fund the project – the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Childwick Trust and Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, as well as the Office for Students who provided a grant.

“Andrews Bowen are renowned for their incredibly high standards, and they have once again delivered an arena that I know will be well received by our international equestrian competitors later in the year, as well as providing another outstanding location for our equine students to enhance their learning and carry out research.”

Aleksandra Lipinska, Animal Collection Manager at Hartpury, said: “The EAAAA will provide an invaluable space to work with our dogs, not just for agility and training purposes, but also for the many canine research projects carried out by staff and students alike. The arena and round-pen are beautifully constructed and we’re all immensely grateful to everyone who came together to create such a dynamic and multi-purpose facility.”

The area will prove particularly useful for Hartpury University students enrolled on a variety of animal training, behaviour and human-animal interaction programmes. These include BSc (Hons) Canine Training and Performance, BSc (Hons) Animal Training and Performance, BSc (Hons) Human Animal Interaction, and BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

Hartpury University students studying equine sports coaching or equestrian sports science programmes will benefit from an additional arena for coaching practice, and those enrolled on courses such as the BSc (Hons) Equine Performance and Rehabilitation will be able to use the space for horse assessment and therapy support.    

Postgraduate students will also benefit from the facility. Learn more about Hartpury University’s new postgraduate degrees for 2022.

Hartpury University made a strong debut in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, ranking highly in areas including Teaching Quality and Student Experience. Hartpury, which was granted university status just three years ago, also achieved excellent graduate employability figures in the 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey released by HESA, with 96% of 2019 Hartpury graduates progressing into employment or other purposeful activity.