Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Personal Progression
“Balancing family and study demands were tricky at times but my lecturers were incredibly encouraging and I could turn to them at any time for support.”
Rachael was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Personal Progression at our 2022 graduation ceremony.
Rachael Cardus was chosen for her award for the resilience, motivation and sheer determination she showed to complete her studies to the highest standard.
A mother of six, Rachael had gained previous equine experience but her initial written work did not reflect her level of knowledge and understanding. However, extra support from UCR’s inclusive learning team which included reading software allowed her to truly reflect her abilities.
Two weeks after finishing her Level 4 exams she gave birth to a son, followed by a year at Level 5 which was dominated by Covid-19, but by her final year she had really blossomed and her Level 6 dissertation project, in which she explored the links between noseband pressure and the contact of the rider using Synchronicity rein tension metering software, was exceptional.
During her last year of study Rachael also launched two holistic equine businesses – a riding school and the Top Line Equine Academy in Meols, Wirral. Both are aimed at improving the all round welfare of horses through riding tuition along with horsemanship and horse care, using the knowledge she gained during her degree studies. Rachael also used her newly acquired expertise to successfully achieve the local council licensing requirements for her riding school.
She also takes in former race horses from the British and Irish Thoroughbred Agency for rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming, and finds the physiology, nutrition and injury rehabilitation modules from her degree particularly useful.
Rachael said: “I had a lot of equine experience when I began my degree but didn’t know how to present my research and findings. The extra support I received from UCR’s inclusive learning team was invaluable.
“I used the knowledge I gained to launch two holistic equine businesses – a riding school and the Top Line Equine Academy. Both aim to improve the all round welfare of horses through riding tuition along with horsemanship and horse care.
“What I enjoyed most about being an undergraduate was studying and learning from experts with personal experience of the equine industry. I’m a mother of six, so balancing family and study demands were tricky at times, but my lecturers were incredibly encouraging and I could always turn to them for support.”