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News From The Farm

Averett University to Partner with Sandy River Equestrian Center

The Equestrian Studies Department at Averett University is entering into a partnership with the Sandy River Equestrian Center (SREC) in Axton, Va., to offer extended eventing training to its students. Equestrian majors at Averett pursing a concentration

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Eventing National Spotlights EMTC Grooms

The EMTC aims to raise the standard of grooms and facility managers by providing a structured curriculum that covers all aspects of farm and stable management and care specific to competition horses. The eight-week program consists of six weeks of classro

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Condensed Program Trains Professional Grooms in Six Weeks, Plus Internship!

Give Us Eight Weeks, Receive Certified Professional Groom Training, Begin Your Paid Career with Horses! Feedback Leads to a Condensed Certificate Program! The rigorously revised Professional Groom Training Certificate program is now a total of ei

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Summer Camps at SREC Provide Fun and Education

AXTON — They weren’t raised in a barn, but given their love of horses, the girls at Sandy River Equestrian Center’s overnight camp might as well have been. From as close as Martinsville and as far away as Florida, nine campers enjoyed interacting with

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Learn About EMTC Programs at Virginia Horse Trials Extravaganza!

Sam Burton Henley will be on hand from October 29 through November 1 to share her knowledge of the grooming world with you. Enter to win a prize bucket of great items from our sponsors including a hat from EMTC, Dover stocked Grooming Tote, Shapley's products, County gift certificate, special item from Professional's Choice, and a certificate for cross country schooling from Southern 8ths.

All weekend long, visit our displays to enter the prize drawing and learn about the Equine Management Training Center program and see demos regarding these topics:

PRO Partners with Equine Management Training Center

The Professional Riders Organization has entered a partnership with the Equine Management Training Center located at Sandy River Equestrian Center. The program features comprehensive training and certification for students who wish to become professional grooms and stable managers. EMTC will be an affiliate of the Professional Riders Organization and PRO will assist with student internship and job placements as well as offer their group accident and disability insurance and other professional member benefits to graduates of the program.

"The Equine Management Training Center's two part program is an essential step in providing comprehensive education, practical training and certification for professional grooms. Their faculty brings a depth of knowledge and experience that is unparalleled on the world stage of equestrian sport," said Samantha Lendl, executive director of PRO.

Suzanne Lacy and Samantha Burton Henley have established the Equine Management Training Center at Sandy River Equestrian Center. The first eight-week session will begin at Sandy River Equestrian Center in Axton, VA in September.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer this comprehensive groom training program which is new to our facility and the United States. The need for professionally trained grooms is evident and we are delighted to have an opportunity to fill that void," stated Suzanne Lacy, Owner of Sandy River Equestrian Center and creator of the groom training program. Samantha Burton Henley, Program Administrator at the Equine Management Training Center, states, "While traveling with horses throughout the area, I have seen a variety of needs. As a professional groom myself, riders and owners frequently approach me for recommendations. The two-section program offered through the Equine Management Training Center, will allow me to confidently recommend and place grooms in a variety of equine related work environments."

The comprehensive curriculum developed by Lacy and Henley, will be shared in two eight-week modules and will cover both classroom instruction and practical experience. A four-week internship is required upon completion of each of the two curriculum modules. In addition to the founding faculty, Max Corcoran (International Groom) Joanie Morris (International Groom and current USEF Eventing High Performance Director); Richard Picken (International Horse Transport Specialist); David Tuggle (Farrier); Mark Wallace and Paul Erwin (veterinarians); Carol Nolan (Equine Therapist); Cathy Wieschhoff (International Eventer and ICP certified Level 4 Instructor); and Sarah Zimmer (Associate Administrator) will be involved as faculty and support staff.

"One of the hardest positions to fill in the equestrian world is that of a top-class groom. The array of equine management skills, horsemanship, and leadership required is extraordinary. It is also remarkably rare because most of it is truly only gained from the experience of working with horses under the watchful eye of someone very educated in that role. As a result, we are an industry of mostly "on-the-job" training, which is both time consuming, wasteful and inefficient, and contributes to the devaluation of the "groom" position as an occupation," said eventer Will Coleman. "What the training center for grooms could do for the professional horse industry, by providing an educated, certified, ready-to-hire equine management practitioner, cannot be understated. It would allow countless people who dream of a job working with horses to learn and acquire the skills necessary to do so, all the while providing horse business owners or hobbyists with a steady supply of reliable candidates for grooming positions in their barns. It would satisfy an enormous need in our growing industry."

Two $500 scholarships are being offered for the first session. They will be offered to the first two students who have registered and request tuition assistance for the first session. Enrollment for the first session of the training program in September is now open and applications may be downloaded from the website. As space is limited early registration is encouraged.

Equine Management Training Center Now Accepting Students for Session One!

The Equine Management Training Center program has received widespread support including the backing of PRO (Professional Riders Organization). The curriculum has been developed with the oversight of many professionals including Olympic riders, veterinarians, farriers, professional grooms, and more. The inaugural session will be held in September and October of 2015. Following completion of the session, all students will be placed in a one month internship at a participating barn. Upon completion of internship, all students will be placed in jobs as a Basic Groom, or have the opportunity to continue with the second session to become an Elite Groom. It is scheduled to begin in January of 2016.

Spaces for this certificate program are limited! Reserve your place today by completing the Application and sending it in with your tuition payment. Two $500 scholarships are being offered for the first program session. On-site housing is available for all students of the program.

Our Mission Statement

The Equine Management Training Center offers a comprehensive certification program sharing the knowledge and skills necessary to become a professional groom and manage all aspects of equestrian life.




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Sandy River Equestrian Center
PO Box 37
Axton, VA 24054
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