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North Highland College Equestrian Centre Set For Royal Seal Of Approval

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Princess Royal will officially open North Highland College UHI’s new equestrian centre.

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne will officially open the purpose-built facility in Caithness on 3 July.

Staff and students began using the equestrian centre, situated approximately six miles from the main campus in Thurso, in September 2012.

There are currently a total of 45 full time students enrolled on equestrian programmes ranging from National Certificate to BA degree. 

However, the Princess Royal’s visit will mark the completion of works at the site - which now boasts international-sized outdoor and indoor arenas, a tack room, 20 purpose-built loose boxes as well as two high specification classrooms and modern office suites.

North Highland College UHI principal Dr Gordon Jenkins welcomed the news, which comes after months of careful behind-the-scenes planning.

Dr Jenkins said: “The staff, students and Board of North Highland College UHI are very much looking forward to welcoming the Princess Royal to the college.  We are delighted that she has agreed to perform the official opening of our new land-based education campus at Dale Farm in her official capacity as Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

“The Princess Royal has maintained a keen interest in our equestrian curriculum over the years.  We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase our new facility and associated curriculum developments, including the introduction of our new BA degree in Equine Business Management.”

A full range of courses are now being offered at the equestrian centre, including the National Certificate Horse Care and Higher National Certificate Equine Studies, Higher National Diploma Equine Studies and Bachelor of Arts Equine Business Management.

In addition, college staff have established strong links with stables across the country to run the Equestrian Skills Flexible Study programme throughout the Highlands & Islands and beyond, including: Aberdeen, Angus, Argyll, Badenoch, Caithness, East Lothian, Easter Ross, Fife, Fort William, Inverness, Moray, Nairn, Orkney, Strathspey, Wester Ross, Shetland, Sutherland, Skye and Western Isles.

The college is aiming to make the centre the number one destination to study equine courses in the UK, and students who have qualified there have already gone on to work at top stables including the likes of Skibo Castle and The Lewitz Stud run by Paul Schockemöhle in Germany.