British programme aims to help young equestrians succeed in business

The fifth cohort into British Equestrian's Young Professionals Programme attended their first workshop last week.
The fifth cohort into British Equestrian’s Young Professionals Programme attended their first workshop last week. © BEF

A group of 24 young riders has joined British Equestrian’s Young Professionals Programme, which aims to help young people build a wider skill set to support their personal and career development in the equestrian industry.

The 12-month programme, which is delivered in collaboration with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, has been running since 2017 and is open to young people who have recently set up an equestrian business or are planning to do so in the near future. It is built around a series of interactive workshops with specialist speakers, covering a broad range of topics essential to running any business. These include putting together contracts, understanding employment law, conflict management, insurance and finances, and building a personal brand.

The latest cohort’s first workshop was last week in Solihull. Successful London salon owner Ricky Walters shared the journey of growing his business and creating a unique concept in SALON64 – part salon, part cocktail bar, part comfortable place to fix your make-up and charge your phone. Ricky talked about the lessons that he’s learned along the way, including the importance of creating a business model that stands out in a saturated industry and how to create added value for customers in order to increase revenue.

In the afternoon, Jane Holden from the English Institute of Sport led a personal development planning session, where participants were asked to think about what they needed to do in order to achieve their aspirations and to consider their identity as a person, athlete and potential business owner.

David Hamer, Head of Performance Pathways, said the equestrian industry, like many others, had faced severe disruption and uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, we need to deliver initiatives like the Young Professionals Programme to young people who are transitioning into the equestrian workforce, so they get the support and help they need to shape and formulate their career and business aspirations.

“We know that the majority of equestrian athletes need to support their sporting aspirations with a viable business, so this programme offers a bespoke and unique process of support and education to enable these young people to do this alongside training and competition,” Hamer said.

Eventer Saffron Creswell joined the programme this year, having set up her own business several years ago.

“Now it’s time to look at improvements and what I can do to make it better.

“Today has been really, really beneficial. I love what we did this morning – getting an insight into Ricky and how he’s managed to make it work. Obviously, it’s very personal, but getting ideas is always helpful. In terms of the personal development session, working out what’s important to me is going to help me progress my business,” Creswell said.

“I’ve never really looked at my values so specifically – I probably know them deep down and use them every day, but being able to channel them is going to help with decision-making and working with horses, owners and everything else.”

The Young Professionals selected for the 2021/22 programme are:


  • Rebecca Baybutt
  • Francesca Bradley
  • Melissa Dawes
  • Jacob Denham
  • Sarah Fitton
  • Jessica Gale
  • Isobel Goodwin
  • Elizabeth Killick
  • Avery Maude
  • Alicia Prim
  • Olivia Sealy
  • Amy Searle
  • Harriette Williams


    • Callum Banfield
    • Talullah Bartlett
    • Tom Bird
    • Saffron Cresswell
    • Harriet Dickin
    • Jess Falle
    • Harriet Ford
    • Tia Lewis


  • Lauren Edwards
  • Isabelle George
  • Tegan Jones

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