A YOUNG equine enthusiast is about to embark on the career of her dreams, after her college course led to a full time role with a national dressage rider and trainer.

Eighteen year old Mollie Cartwright has been studying horse management at Askham Bryan College, and as part of her course, was offered a work placement with top Yorkshire rider and dressage expert Melissa Chapman.

Melissa, whose yard is near Richmond, rides up to Grand Prix level and competes nationally across the UK, as well as training, eventing and producing horses for sale. Mollie has now been invited to join Team Chapman Equestrian.

Melissa commented: “Mollie came for a month last summer carrying out yard duties, which is everything from mucking out, to cleaning tack to riding out. She was absolutely brilliant. I could tell straight away that she loved horses and was confident and comfortable working with them, plus she's hard working, helpful and totally reliable. Since then, she's come back every holiday and fits in really well. We're a small, close knit group and when she joins us a working pupil, she will be the fifth full time member of the team and I know she will be a great addition.”

Susanna Frankland, Senior Equine Lecturer at the college's Penrith campus where Mollie studied said: “We run a range of courses and Mollie is in the final year of her Level 3 diploma in horse management. She is an excellent student; she's focussed and determined to succeed. Our courses combine both practical and theory giving a good foundation for students to then decide their career options, whether that's to higher education or in the workplace. Mollie's course includes flatwork and dressage has clearly struck a chord with her and work experience is a key part of the course. We're delighted that her skills and potential have been recognised by such a prestigious yard.”

Like many equine students, Mollie stabled her own horses within the college livery yard. The benefits of additional instruction and experience not only fed her enthusiasm for the sport but enabled her to develop her competition skills. Most recently she has participated to elementary level in the college unaffiliated dressage competitions.

Mollie is not from an equine background but has been riding since she was six years old and her enthusiasm is such that her grandmother now goes riding with her. “I can't wait to start at the yard, it's a wonderful opportunity for me,” she said. “I love dressage and in time would really like to ride professionally or be an international competition groom.”