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Laurel Cooke

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"It has been great to meet so many people from all over the world, all with the same love for horses"

Laurel Cooke
Level 3 and FdSc in Equine Management

Horses and riding have always been my passion and the only career I could ever see myself doing.  I loved the idea of studying at Hadlow College because I could live there too!  I loved all the practical aspects of the course.  There were some classroom-based lectures, but having a lecture room, which you could bring a horse into was amazing!  Alongside being hands on and being on the yard, putting skills into practice.  

I really loved the social aspect of living at the College and being so close to the yard. Whilst studying towards my degree, I also became a part time yard assistant at College, which really kick started my career.

After completing the FdSc and also achieving my stage 2 at Hadlow College, I went straight into work as a Groom at the Equestrian Sports department at Millfield School, Somerset.  During my 7 years at Millfield, I went from a groom, to a trainee instructor and then to an instructors position, leaving with my Intermediate teaching test and my stage 4 care.

I worked briefly as a family event groom, before my current job, as a Senior Coach at Clearwater Bay Equestrian Centre (CEEC), Hong Kong.  Since being at CEEC I have achieved my stage 4 riding and will shortly be taking my BHS Stable Managers exam.  

The course and time spent at Hadlow College was of great benefit, particularly in getting me started with my BHS exams.  All of the theory and practical knowledge that I gained at Hadlow, has helped me in many aspects of my career to date.

One of my highlights would definitely be completing my BHS Stage 4 Senior Coach, I never believed I would have achieved it, and to now to be working towards Stage 5 is very exciting!  The main highlight of my career would definitely be moving to Hong Kong, to work at Clearwater Bay Equestrian Centre.  It has been great to meet so many people from all over the world, all with the same love for horses, and to have learnt and grown from their experiences.  It is also a huge bonus to have such a great team to work with, including many added benefits such as competing and training, as well as a fantastic place to live and explore! 

My advice to others seeking a similar role, would definitely be to make the jump and look at working abroad.  Particularly when young, there is so much to gain and learn from working in different places.  Also, to work though the BHS pathways, as these are so beneficial in many aspects of having a career with horses.