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The Showing Council

Withybridge Farm
Withy Road
West Huntspill
United Kingdom

telephone: 01278 784291
email: info@theshowingcouncil.co.uk



Recognising and representing UK Showing

The Open College of Equine Studies

Founded in 1988, The Open College of Equine Studies (TOCES) is a not-for-profits independent college delivering equine distance and blended learning courses.  As the leading equine online college, TOCES offers CPD (continuing professional development) evidenced equine courses, with graded tutor feedback, along with vocational qualifications.
Whilst many TOCES courses are studied entirely from the student’s home, fitting in with their other commitments, our purpose- built centre near Newmarket delivers the practical elements of courses such as our Equine Veterinary Nursing and Equine Physiotherapy Programmes.

TOCES is approved by:

  • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
  • The Register for Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP)
  • The British Horse Society (BHS)
  • City & Guilds
  • Pearson (Edexcel – BTEC)
  • The Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Nursing Education (ACOVENE)

TOCES also works with BEF Member Body, The British Grooms Association (BGA)

Complementing The Showing Council’s commitment to equine health and welfare, TOCES offers courses in horse care and management including a Level 3 Certificate in Equine First Aid, a subject everyone involved with horses, both amateur and professional, needs to understand.  

Please click on the link below for more information about the Level 3 Equine First Aid course:


To view all of the courses available please click on www.equinestudies.co.uk


Examples of CPD short courses for the Member Bodies of The Showing Council:



Anatomy and Physiology

1 / 2

Understanding what the shapes, textures and angles are under the horse’s skin will help to inform the management and muscular development to optimise the potential of a horse.

This fascinating and straightforward level 2 course explores the horse’s muscles and skeleton, introducing the workings of the various body systems.

Health and Nutrition

1 / 2


Understand and recognise signs of a healthy well- fed horse.  Know when you should call the vet and how the right forages keep the horse healthy on the inside and glowing on the outside.

Care and Management of Horses



Knowledge provides the understanding of best care and management for your horses, helps prevent accidents and therefore unnecessary disappointment, heart ache and costs.

First Aid



This level 3 course starts with the discussion of horse health and accident prevention but, no matter how safe we make the environment, horses are prone to many types of injury.  Know how to manage wounds to encourage healing, what to do and how to do it in a dreaded equine emergency.

Exercise Physiology, Fitness and Training



Types and levels of fitness vary according to the discipline.  Find out the best way to get a horse appropriately fit to do his job without compromising his health or welfare. This level 4 course covers the principles of training, how to monitor responses to training and training for different disciplines. The all-important preparation for competition is also covered.

Lameness and Rehabilitation



Compare the movement of sound horses with that of unsound horses.  What should a sound horse look like? Understand how to effectively examine a horse to locate the seat of lameness and consider the diagnostic techniques used by the vet.  This level 4 course discusses the range of conditions that cause lameness and the important process of treatment, minimizing long term effect and rehabilitation during recovery.

Reproductive Physiology



This level 5 course is ideal for breeders and their team to develop detailed understanding of reproductive physiology, genetics and their impact on inherited traits. The practical aspects of natural covering and artificial insemination are discussed, followed by pregnancy diagnosis, stages of pregnancy and care of the in-foal mare to maximize the chances of a healthy foal.


Haddon Training - The Apprenticeship Specialists

Haddon Training Ltd is a high quality, dynamic work-based training organisation with an outstanding reputation throughout the equine industry.  Established more than 20 years ago by the owner and Managing Director, Chris Hewlett, it has retained its unique identity as a specialist land-based training provider. 

Their expertise in providing excellent training is recognised by Ofsted and they are judged as being an "Outstanding" provider.

They are currently the approved and preferred apprenticeship provider for all three disciplines of the British Equestrian Federation and deliver the renowned Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE).


Equine Apprenticeships Explained

Haddon Training deliver work-based equine apprenticeships across England and Wales. Apprenticeships have changed in recent years and have become more and more focused on achieving proven skills, knowledge and behaviours.  Haddon Training are front-runners in delivering these new apprenticeship standards and the first provider in the UK to see learners successfully pass their end point assessment for Equine Groom L2 and Senior Equine Groom Level 3.

Equine apprenticeships concentrate on practical experience gained whilst employed at a yard, alongside valuable ‘off-the-job’ knowledge training.  Functional Skills in maths and English are also included for learners who have not met the minimum requirements for English and maths through school.  At the end of the apprenticeship learners complete an independent end point assessment to demonstrate their competency in their occupation and what they have learnt.

There are two levels of apprenticeship, depending on how much experience the learner already has:

  1. Equine Groom Level 2 is suited for people with limited experience working with horses on a yard. 
  2. Senior Equine Groom Level 3 is suited for people in a more senior position with some experience working with horses. 

Both apprenticeships can be tailored around the specific yard and the apprentice and can focus on non-riding duties, riding, racing or breeding.

Designed for the apprentice:

Each apprentice will gain expert training on the job from their employer and their Trainer-Coach and work towards achieving an industry recognised and valued qualification.  

Apprentices will gain essential skills that will develop their confidence, competence and commercial speed, the essential mix that all employers are looking for.

There is no cost to an apprentice for the qualification and they will earn an apprentice wage whilst they are employed and working.

Designed for the employer:

The new equine apprenticeship standards have been created by employers, for employers. They’re designed for the specific job roles of Groom and Senior Groom and employers created the new standards to outline exactly what they want their staff to be knowledgeable, skilful and competent in. Haddon Training have the expertise and experience to not only deliver the qualifications, but to excel these standards.

Highly qualified and vocationally expert Trainer-Coaches will be on hand to support and guide the apprentice and their employer in all aspects of the training.  

Full government funding is available for small businesses recruiting 16-18 year olds and 95% government funding is available for those over 18.  Government incentives in the form of £1000 are available for any employer who recruits a 16-18 year old too.


Why work with Haddon Training?

Haddon are committed to helping their apprentices succeed.  Along with multiple further education accolades, Haddon Training is the preferred training provider for British Showjumping, British Dressage, British Eventing and The Showing Council. Through this accreditation, we deliver apprenticeships in some of the top competition yards in the country.

Haddon Training offer as standard:

  • Free recruitment service for Employers
  • Expert Trainer-Coaches and experienced support staff
  • Safeguarding helpline
  • Free online courses for both apprentices and employers in areas of interest/need such as Health and Safety
  • Learners receive a complimentary 1 years membership to the British Grooms Association

Haddon Training can also offer traineeships for learners and DEFRA approved equine transport qualifications.

To find out more about ow we can help you please contact our Business Development Team today on 01672 519977 or email enquiries@haddontraining.co.uk  



  Member Bodies

  Quick Links

  The Showing Council

Withybridge Farm
Withy Road
West Huntspill

tel: 01278 784291
hrs: 9:00 - 17:00

eml: info@theshowingcouncil.co.uk

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