RGU: SPORT scholar to ride out as part of Team GB

Eilidh MiddletonA champion horsewoman from Finzean, Aberdeenshire, has been selected to represent Britain in the SRNC World Cup Finals in Dundalk, Ireland next week.

Eilidh Middleton (19), who is currently studying Management at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, will join another two riders to make up the British team at the prestigious international event.

Eilidh, who benefits from the support of the RGU: SPORT Scholarship Programme, said, “I am so excited to have been selected, and feel honoured to be riding for my country in the World Finals, the biggest competition I have competed in yet.

“I did very well in my previous international in France in July, which will stand me in good stead for the Finals, although I just hope I can fulfil everyone’s expectations of me!”

The RGU: SPORT Scholarship Programme provides Eilidh with a range of tailor-made programmes designed to suit her individual needs, including strength and conditioning sessions, financial assistance and lifestyle management. Eilidh believes this has contributed greatly towards raising the standard at which she is competing. "The support I receive from the RGU sport scholarship programme is invaluable. I have noticed a vast improvement in my performance as a result of the strength training I receive as part of the Scholarship Programme. The weekly strength and conditioning sessions have helped me achieve my peak physical fitness, as well as the mental capacity for winning.”

Having lived on a farm all her life, Eilidh has always been involved with horses. As well as managing her own training schedule and looking after her own horse, she continues to train young horses through the levels for private owners and is always looking for promising new stars to take on.

Eilidh receives training from Maggie Inglis, who is also the owner of one of her novice horses, and Calum McDonald from Loanhead Equestrian Centre, who is the man behind a lot of Eilidh’s show jumping training. "I have had a brilliant year, and I am really grateful to all of those who have, and who continue to support me," she said.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Eilidh is already shaping up her plans and ambitions for the new year. She is hoping to retain her National University Show-jumping title in June, and aiming to be selected for the University World Championships in South Korea next November.

Further information on the RGU: SPORT Scholarship Programme, including how to apply, is available from RGU: SPORT Scholarship.

The AIEC-SRNC World Cup Finals take place in Dundalk, Ireland from 30 December 2009 – 2 January 2010. For further information on the competition, please visit the website of the International University Equestrian Federation.