Stubbing Court Training apprentices: Where are they now?

Stubbing Court Training apprentices: Where are they now?

The proof that Stubbing Court Training Ltd (SCT)’s Apprenticeships are an outstanding way of starting a career in the equine world is in the success of SCT graduates. The Chesterfield-based training provider is very proud of all the young people who have used its equine Apprenticeships as a launch-pad into fulfilling jobs, and here are a few of its recent success stories.


Noah Brook has had an outstanding year in his chosen career of eventing. He became the inaugural winner of the Corinthian Cup at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe this summer on Deo Volente III, and the pair finished the season by competing at the World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in France.

Noah, who started riding at his local riding school, completed his Levels 2 and 3 Apprenticeships at first Andrew Day’s dressage yard and then Judy Bradwell’s eventing yard. He is now self-employed, riding and producing horses for owners and teaching.

“SCT gave me great opportunities to learn from the best people, and gave me support and inspiration – as well as valuable qualifications,” says Noah. “You need passion and dedication to have a successful career with horses.”


Another SCT Apprentice who has experienced great success in 2015 is showman Jordan Cook, who won his second title at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in October. He also won at the Royal International Horse Show this summer with the small hack Fleetwater Xecutive, and at the Hickstead Derby meeting. Jordan started riding at Birchwood Equestrian Centre in Derbyshire, and started working then upon leaving school. He achieved his Level 2 Apprenticeship at Birchwood, and did his Advanced Apprenticeship with Debbie and Kirk Godber, where he learned about showing as well as working with young horses, hunters and show jumpers.

“Determination, hard work and attention to detail are essential to a successful career with horses,” he says. “And the desire to learn from professionals.”


Joe Shaw gained his Advanced Apprenticeship qualification through SCT, and now works for international show jumper Andrew Saywell.


“I left school at 15 and started helping out on the yard near to where I lived, and they offered me an apprenticeship,” says Joe. “I learnt everything, from the day-to-day care of the horses to exercising them. I think to do well in a career with horses you need to enjoy managing them at all levels – it isn’t just about riding.”


Rachel Brightmore has driven the great Michael Whitaker’s horses all over Europe, and has also run her own business importing horses from Ireland with her farrier husband, Henry. She did an SCT Apprenticeship back in 2002 with Debbie Cox.

“An Apprenticeship gives you hand-on experience, you earn while you learn – and it’s real. It’s a qualification that means something because it proves you have experience in a proper, working environment,” she says. “To work with top riders, you’ve got to be so willing to work and so willing to learn – you never stop learning.”


But SCT Apprentices don’t just go on to work in the competition world. Ashlene Bagshaw is a yard manager providing pony and carriage rides for Center Parcs.

“I finished my A levels but decided university wasn’t for me,” she explains. “I searched for a job with horses, and found an SCT Apprenticeship at a livery yard and riding school working for the late Margaret Willet. I spent just over two years gaining priceless experience and knowledge.


“My responsibilities progressed as I worked through the levels from the basics such as mucking out, sweeping, haying and watering to feeding, teaching and helping back home-bred youngsters.


“After qualifying I felt the need to progress in a different direction. A local businessman was looking for a new yard manager to run and develop his existing Center Parcs enterprise. We started out with six horses and ponies and now have 15. The business at Center Parcs providing pony rides and horse-drawn carriage rides for guests is booming.”

She adds: “Starting out in a career with horses is tough,” she says. “Some give up before they have a chance to reap the rewards these animals can give. You need perseverance, compassion and patience.”