Monday, 13 February 2012

The Rockley Scholarship

Its time to go public with an idea I have been knocking around for a while - the Rockley Scholarship!
Rockley has become steadily busier and busier over the last few years. We are now at the stage where we are full and have a waiting list pretty much year round; as one horse goes home, another is usually on a lorry on the way here ready to take that place.

Its wonderful to be so busy and to have so many horses and owners coming to us, but I am aware that there are owners who aren't able to send their horses here, however much they or their vets might want to. This post is for them and is also my way of trying to say thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years.
Basically, the scholarship is a way of giving one owner the chance to send their horse here for rehab for a nominal charge. The aim, of course, is to give an opportunity to someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

The scholarship would involve the horse coming here for 12 weeks, with livery and rehabilitation provided at no charge to the owner. There will be a weekly charge of £10 to cover feed and forage but your horse's stay here and all rehabilitation exercise will be free.
I thought the fairest way to choose would give you all a few weeks to send in applications; we will then try and select the horse and owner who best fit the criteria. There is more detail in the bullet points below, so please read them before you apply - we've kept it as straightforward as possible!

There is no "form" for applying - just send in an email BUT you need to include all the information and cover all the details in the bullet points - the better the application, the more likely you are to get the place :-)
If you are interested in applying for the scholarship yourself, then please read to the end of this post and send in your application by email to before 16th April 2012.  Don't forget, you need to include in your application all the information in the bullet points below.

If you know of someone else who might be interested, you can invite them to read this post by sending them this link: or sharing this post on Facebook.
Scholarship conditions
  • The 3 impartial judges (ie: Andy, Edward and I!) will go through all the applications after 16th April 2012 and choose one owner and horse to be the scholarship winner.  
  • We will notify the owner by 5th May 2012 and you will need to be able to transport your horse to Rockley by 3rd June 2012.
  • The scholarship for your horse will be for 12 weeks and you will need to sign our usual rehabilitation livery agreement (please email us if you want a copy).  You will be charged a nominal amount of £10 per week for feed and forage but there will be no other livery or rehabilitation charges.  You need to arrange your own transport to and from Rockley.
  • Your application needs to be supported by 2 references (you need to send these in with your application).  One needs to come from your vet - who must provide details of the horse's lameness history and consent to the horse coming to Rockley.  The other reference should be given by a professional in the equine field who knows you well and who has read and can support your application.  This could be an instructor, yard owner, farrier or other equine professional.  Please include contact phone numbers for both referees so we can get in touch with them.  
  • The scholarship is intended for someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to send their horse here, so please give details of why you might be eligible in your application - for instance if your insurers have refused to pay for rehabilitation. 
  • Your application is more likely to succeed if you show you understand the essentials for hoof health.  As keeping a horse barefoot is a long-term responsibility, you need to explain how you plan to continue your horse's rehab and hoofcare after he comes home and what your aims are for the future.  You don't need special facilities but do need to show that you have time and commitment.  
  • Your horse's age is not particularly important - horses from 5-20yrs old have all been through rehab but this type of rehabilitation is not suitable for horses who would be retired, so the more information you can provide about your horse's potential and your ambitions the better. 
  • Please include your name, address, email address and a contact phone number so we can get back to you!


dreams579 said...

I said this yesterday, but will say it again here, i think this is an absolutely lovely idea! i'm sure you will be inundated with worthy candidates. There's going to be one more lucky horse come the summer :)

Dare Gothic Clothing said...

What an amazing offer! I have shared the link, you are going to make one horse and owner very happy :)

Solar said...

Brilliant idea and a what a fantastic opportunity for a very lucky horse & owner :)

Di said...

What a kind gesture and a fantastic opportunity for someone to help their horse!

Nic Barker said...

Glad you like the idea, guys, and thanks Emma especially for your help in putting it together yesterday :-)

jenj said...

What an amazing opportunity you are providing! Some horse and owner are going to be very, very lucky!

juliette said...

Wow - How great for a lucky horse!

I was so excited to see your post title today. For the first few seconds I thought "The Rockley Scholarship" was for one fortunate person to come to Rockley Farm as a working student!!! I was certain I would apply! lol!

I recently discovered your fantastic blog and straightaway ordered Feet First. My three OTTBs are barefoot and sound, but I am constantly trying to perfect my horsekeeping and nutrition knowledge to make sure they continue to thrive. 2011's rains have left my pastures bare and I worry about the changes in my boys' whole health - coats, feet, and mental well being too.

Your book has helped to fill in the gaps, but living in the US leaves me with many questions about the best suppliers for the supplements and feeds you recommend.

I am so happy for the horse you choose, but hopeful that someday you do open "Rockley University" to us knowledge hungry humans too! I will be your first applicant!

Neets Human said...

How wonderful of you :D

tor said...

wow what an amazing opportunity. this would help Molly so much. such a brilliant place!

Val said...

For the right horse and owner, this could be a fairy tale of a scholarship!

Nic Barker said...

I'm hoping for a very happy ending, for sure, Val :-)

Juliette, thank you, and so pleased you enjoy the blog! Off to answer your email now, and if you ever find your self in the UK, come and say hello :-)

Emily said...

Such a fabulous idea, and so generous of you Nic.

Juliette, I'm in California, where in America are you based? I second your idea for a human university version from Nic.

Oh, and Nic I'm gonna ask again - please write another book on rehab!! Please!!!!!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I would come with Juliette!!! :)

M's mum said...

I'm new on here but following the goings-on at Rockley Farm avidly (obsessively, even!) This is a fabulous idea. So exciting!