We caught up with Roger McCrea, Manager of The Billy Stud in Surrey, to find out his thoughts on apprenticeships and how they credit their success to the foundation of a great team.
Roger says, “The Billy Stud is a joint venture created by top class showjumper, William Funnel, event rider, Pippa Funnell and Donal Barnwell, with the aspiration of rivalling the larger European studs. By breeding and producing the highest calibre horses in the UK, British buyers would no longer need to purchase from abroad.
We are fortunate to have a great team who support each other and have the same goal of providing the best care possible for the horses. There are many different roles within The Billy Stud to service each part of the horse’s day, and each one is as important as the next. The glory comes in the ring, but the victory begins at home with all of our staff.
Every stage of what we do with the horses takes time, effort and lots of hard work. The same applies to our riders and grooms who have aspirations of climbing the ladder to higher levels. Patience is something you must be able to exercise.
We have watched with interest the apprenticeship sector and have always been so impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the students from these programmes. We feel that the way our stud has developed and the way it is run would suit so many students from this sector who show such willing to learn in the correct way.
We don’t place a lack of importance on the theory side of equestrianism but it can never make up for practical hands-on experience. We learn as much and sometimes more from making a mistake and doing something wrong. What works with one horse may not work with another and that is why it’s so important to spend your time learning with the horses and gaining experience every day.
Haddon Training pride themselves on being able to open the door to anybody with a passion for horses. They offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to students who may not have otherwise taken the opportunity to get involved. Haddon Training is an asset to the future of the industry.”
The Billy Stud are now offering opportunities for three passionate and dedicated learners to join their world class team and complete their equine apprenticeships (Level 2 or Level 3).