Skip to main content

‘Empowering Coaches to Build Partnerships’

Host - Paul Tapner (Professional International Event Rider)

The Pony Club recently hosted its second online Coaching Conference - 'Empowering Coaches to Build Partnerships'. Over 700 people joined us from all corners of the globe for the live event which featured fantastic presentations from our speakers Will Parker, Eira Parry, Manuela McLean, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen, and was expertly presented by Paul Tapner.

If you missed the live event, we're pleased to announce that the conference is now available to purchase on-demand. In addition, anyone who bought a ticket to the live event will have access to a FREE replay!

For more details of how to book, see below:

If you bought a ticket to the live event

All attendees have been sent an email with a link to the free replay, along with their personal access token. If you haven't received your email, please contact

If you haven't yet bought a ticket

Tickets for the on-demand version cost just £20, and will count as CPD for both The Pony Club and the BHS (2 CPD points for BHS). To buy your ticket just click below:

Meet the Speakers

Laura Collett (International Event Rider)

Laura started competing in showing, winning the Supreme Pony Championship in 2003. Since then her discipline has been eventing representing Team GB at Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Senior levels, winning medals at all levels, including back to back Gold at the Junior Europeans in 2006 and 2007. Laura has enjoyed success at the top level of the sport level with multiple rides with top 10 finishes at Luhmuhlen, Badminton and Pau. Laura was part of the Gold medal winning team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, with her Pau 5* 2020 winner London 52.

Laura began her career in The Pony Club as a member of the Heythrop Hunt.

(Photo Credit: William Carey)

Tom McEwen (International Event Rider)

Tom has represented Team GB at Pony, Junior, Young Rider and Senior Level with medal winning performances across the board including Team Gold Medal at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in 2018, Winner of Les 5 etoiles de Pau 2019, and 2nd at Luhmühlen 5* 2019. Tom was part of the Olympic Gold medal winning Eventing team at Tokyo 2021, at the same Games he claimed individual silver.

Tom started his evening career as a member of the VWH Pony Club.

(Photo Credit: Libby Law)

Will Parker (Director of Sport & Physical Activity, Cheltenham Ladies’ College)

Will has worked in sport for over 20 years having begun his career in coaching and school sport with a sport and exercise science background. Regarded as a leading expert in the fields of sport and young people, Will’s career has led to him working for and with various National Governing Bodies of Sport and other youth charities, in roles such as: Chief Officer, Board Director and consultant. More recently, Will spent five years at Sport England as Head of Children & Young People responsible for £25m PA of public investment and leading on policy nationally. Will also has a strong research background having completed post-graduate research and formed a successful sport insight business. Will is currently the Director of Sport & Physical Activity at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

Eira Parry (Founder of High Performance Parenting)

Eira Parry is the founder of the organisation High Performance Parenting, a support service for parents of young sports people. Originally from a teaching background, Eira took up a post at British Rowing in 2004. She was successful in this role for 8 years, achieving countless national and international successes with both crews and individuals. Notable members of Eira's squad were Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who won Britain's first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics in the Women's Pairs event and defended their title at the Rio Olympics.

Eira is also step-mum to rower, Jack Beaumont. Having worked his way through school and age group national rowing, Jack and his crew went on to win an historic silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. So, as well as a background in high performance coaching, Eira has experienced the turbulent journey that parenting a young athlete can present.

Eira works with parents and athletes across many different sports and at every level. She believes passionately that sport can be a force for good, teaching young people valuable life lessons, but that it should also be fun, for athletes, coaches and parents alike.

Manuela McLean (Founder of Equitation Science International)

Manuela McLean is the wife of world-renowned Equitation Scientist, Dr Andrew McLean. She and Andrew co-authored "Horse Training the McLean Way" and more recently "Academic Horse Training".

With Andrew's focus on training and Manuela's focus on getting the message across to riders, they have developed a rider- and horse-centred systematic approach of training horses on the ground and under-saddle according to the principles of learning theory. The signals or aids used are shaped progressively, and the horse's responsiveness to them are the benchmark for progression. Calmness, relaxation and safety are the base for all training with the rider having a clear understanding of the signals he/she needs to use to ride and train their horse.

As well as her deep understanding of equine behaviour and training, Manuela's own expertise comes from years as a competitor and educator. Her ability to communicate training and riding concepts in a clear and systematic format enable her to improve the performance and confidence of her pupils. Manuela trained Paralympian Joanne Formosa's stallion to respond to Joann’s unique aids, helping them achieve Gold at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Manuela has been teaching children of all ages the foundation of learning theory and the skills to ride in self-carriage for 40 years. She has a wonderful ability to bring fun and games to her coaching, helping children grasp the concepts quickly, improving the performance and welfare of their horses.

Manuela and Andrew are well known for founding the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre and more recently Equitation Science International. ESI now delivers an online course on horse training and coaching.