Olympia, The London International Horse Show, together with its 2019 Official Charity, The Tim Stockdale Foundation, debuted the ‘Olympia Riding Academy’ on 10 September, aiming to introduce economically disadvantaged children to the range of career prospects within the equestrian industry. Working closely with The Urban Equestrian Academy, the initiative provides an opportunity for children to meet professionals who work in the sector and receive advice and inspiration on their future careers.
Eight children from The Urban Equestrian Academy aged from 8-19 attended the day, the highlight being a riding lesson from rising show jumping star Joseph Stockdale, son of Olympic rider Tim Stockdale who passed away last year. Students were given the opportunity to spend time with a nutritionist from feed company Spillers and farrier Nigel Turner, as well as the staff who run the Stockdale’s yard of 23 international horses. During the day, attendees were able to ask questions about career paths and gain a further understanding of what each job entails. Also present were employees of HPower Group, the event management company that manages Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and rEvolution, an international sports PR and Marketing agency.
Olympia, The London International Horse Show, together with 2019 Official Charity, The Tim Stockdale Foundation, hopes the ‘Olympia Riding Academy’ will create a platform which will provide opportunities to all children and young people interested in equestrianism. In December, the ‘Olympia Riding Academy’ attendees’ pupils will attend the Show, where representatives will have the opportunity to help with the Show’s Live Zone and learn more about how the event is run.
Olympia Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Our goal is to widen equestrian accessibility and participation, bringing it to individuals and communities who have least access to it. By creating a platform where these children can learn about careers within the industry, we hope to create opportunities and open doors that haven’t been available in the past.
“Working alongside The Tim Stockdale Foundation and The Urban Equestrian Academy – who both share the same vision of making equestrian accessible to everyone – has been incredibly inspiring.”
The Tim Stockdale Foundation, which was founded by his family after his death from cancer last year, works to continue the legacy of the show jumping star’s life and career. Olympia was a highlight of the calendar for Tim and the Show is proud to have the Foundation as their official charity for 2019.
Tim’s wife, Laura, said: “We are honored to work with Olympia and The Urban Equestrian Academy to host such a special day for aspiring young riders struggling with accessibility. Tim felt very strongly about making equestrianism, alongside other sports, available to everyone. The work of the Foundation will continue to provide opportunities to those in real need of them.”
The Urban Equestrian Academy’s mandate focuses on widening participation of those with the least experience in the equestrian world and the individuals and communities with the least access to it. Their programs and services are helping to change social and racial diversity in equestrian sports by creating a representative, accessible, and inclusive equestrian environment for all, regardless of race, colour, or background.
According to Azeezah Zampaladus, a UEA student, “I had such a great day at the Olympia Riding Academy. It was really inspiring watching Joe ride, and I really enjoyed meeting the farrier and nutritionists – they were so interesting. I can’t wait to go to Olympia this Christmas!”
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