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Pewsey school gets saddled up
Besides the huge choice of subjects already available to pupils at Pewsey Vale School and Art College, they now have a new subject they can add – competitive horse riding.
Few schools other than public and select private schools offer equestrian subjects on their curriculum. A typical example is Stonar School for girls, near Melksham, where boarders pay £25,000 a year and which provides stables for students with horses.
But in the state school sector, even in rural areas like the Pewsey Vale where a number of students have their own ponies and horses, few offer equestrian lessons.
Thanks to governor Tracy Richards, whose horse riding son Myles, 14, is a PVS student, the school now has its own riding group which uses the facilities of Pewsey Vale Riding Centre at Stanton St Bernard.
Any of the school’s 400 students, whether they have their own horses or not, can join the riding club because they can hire horses at the riding centre.
A few, like Year 8 pupil Myles, have their own horses but other members of the riding group – so far it has eight members – use hired mounts.
PVS recently joined the National Schools’ Equestrian Association and the new riding group plans to enter team events, said Mrs Richards, who as a governor has special responsibility for PE and to encourage its members in individual events.
“The aim of the team is to train together, have fun and enter competitions,” Mrs Richards said.
“The training has been hosted by Pewsey Vale Riding Centre, which has also provided an instructor.”
In recent weeks students have been training for the summer competition season and have entered various competitions in the forthcoming months.
“So far members of the group have been taking part in individual events and in the next few weeks we will be entering our first team events,” said Mrs Richards.
She stressed that the riding group was not all about having fun and was part of the curriculum because the members can have their riding ability assessed as a module for their PE O-level exams.
Ted Carter, from Pewsey Vale Riding Centre, said: “We look forward to helping Pewsey Vale School in the forthcoming competition season and wish them luck."