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Frequently Asked Questions

The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy FAQs

Click on a question below to view the answer to our most frequently asked questions about FCRT.

  • How is Martin Clunes OBE connected with the FCRT?

    Martin Clunes OBE became the third FCRT Patron in 2013, officially taking over the role in February 2014 from retiring Patron Gillian, Lady Howard de Walden. The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire was the first FCRT Patron.

  • What are the term times at The FCRT?

    There are three terms in The FCRT's FETH Course academic year – Autumn, Spring and Summer. The Autumn term normally runs from September to December, the Spring term from January to March, and the Summer term from April to July.

  • What is the procedure for applying for a place on the three- year residential Further Education Through Horsemastership Course at The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy?

    Enquiries should be made in writing, addressed to: Admissions, The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy, Avon Tyrrell, Bransgore, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 8EE, giving information about any prospective student. The Administrator will then follow up your enquiry and arrange an appointment for a visit, if appropriate, which is known as the 'initial visit'. From there, a decision is made whether or not to proceed to the next stage of assessment – the one-day assessment. Prior to one-day assessment, two forms will be required to be completed: a general application form and a medical consent form to ride. Following the one-day assessment a 7-day residential assessment will be offered, subject to consultation with The FCRT as to whether or not this would be of benefit to the individual. Further information would be required at this stage and includes the involvement of the Careers Service, Social Services and any other key people working with the young person, in addition to their parents/guardians. At the end of a 7-day residential assessment, a meeting is held to provide feedback on the week and for The FCRT to gain further information in the light of their increasing knowledge of the applicant. The assessment period is as much for the individual and his/her family and supporters, as it is for The FCRT, to consider the possibility of a placement. If it is appropriate for a placement offer to be made, this is done after consultation by the staff at a full staff meeting, following the residential assessment period.

  • Where can I get funding from for the FETH Course?

    Funding is normally available from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and/or your Social Services Department. Initial advice on obtaining funding can be sought from The FCRT's Admissions Officer.

  • Can The FCRT accept applications from other countries in the European Union?

    Yes. However, it is essential that all applicants are fluent in the English language.

  • Can a place at The FCRT be funded privately?


  • Do you accept referrals from Doctors?

    Yes. Very often a prospective student's GP may be involved in their application from the beginning. Alternatively a psychiatrist or other medical specialist may make a referral.

  • Do you accept referrals from Social Services?

    Yes. Many referrals are received from Social Workers/Care.

  • How do I go about getting a referral?

    Talk to your careers tutor at school, or Social Worker/Care Manager They may not have heard of the FETH Course. We can always send them information and answer any questions they may have.

  • Is the FCRT related to the Riding for the Disabled Association?

    No. However, the two charities are well acquainted with one another's work. Some FETH Course students are initially referred to FCRT by the RDA. The FCRT and the RDA are each full members of The Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI).

  • How can I support The FCRT?

    As a voluntary helper with the weekly Riding Therapy sessions or occasionally with FETH Course students. With various events run in aid of The FCRT, or by capital fundraising. For more information please go to how to donate.

  • How can I raise funds for The FCRT?

    Funds can be raised through events such as a sponsored ride, walk, swim, aerobic/fitness class, etc., fete, coffee morning, nearly new/car boot sale, horse show, dressage/show jumping competition, barn dance, barbecue, race-night, etc. Anyone who would like to organise a fundraising event on behalf of The FCRT should contact The Fundraising Secretary in writing at The FCRT's Avon Tyrrell address or by telephone on  01425 673297  or Email fundraising@fortunecentre.org. Annual events in aid of The FCRT often require additional helpers. Suggestions of Charitable Trusts that The FCRT might approach for funding are always welcome.

  • How do I volunteer as a helper?

    Please write to The Director, giving full information about your interests, skills/qualifications and experience. An arrangement can then be made for you to visit FCRT to discuss how your skills can be used in the most appropriate way.

  • What sort of things do volunteers do?

    This depends on The FCRT's area of need, and the skills and experience of the volunteer. Help is always needed -  particularly with the Weekly Riding Therapy sessions at The FCRT's Wootton Hall Farm location, which cater for local children between 2 and 12 years of age with a variety of special needs. As appropriate, volunteers can also help with various aspects of the FETH Course, with building, maintenance or gardening, administration or fundraising events.

  • What is a FETH Course student?

    A FETH Course student is a young person, aged between 16 and 25, with LDD, who attends the three-year residential Further Education Through Horsemastership Course. FETH Course students must be completely motivated by horses and physically able to work in a horse-based environment.

    Related Links

    Read more about the FETH course
  • What is a weekly rider?

    A weekly rider is a child between 2 and 12 years of age, with special needs, who lives in The FCRT area and attends Riding Therapy sessions once a week at The FCRT's Wootton Hall Farm location. Children are brought either by their parents from home (Saturday morning sessions) or attend with other pupils from their local school, transported in school hours by mini-bus.

    Related Links

    Read more about Weekly Riding Therapy
  • What do the FETH Course students do in a typical day/week/year?

    FETH Course students usually begin in the Autumn Term and live at The FCRT's Wootton Hall Farm location, moving on for their third and final year to one of the two senior houses. During the day learning takes place at the Avon Tyrrell location and students travel between the two in FCRT mini-buses. At Avon Tyrrell students work together in groups of a maximum of eight people, with their group teacher. The group, named after the stable yard on which they are based for learning, is responsible for the care of a number of horses. The daily timetable also includes mounted work, vaulting, Literacy, Numeracy and Communication (LNC)  Independent Living Skills (ILS) - an ability to travel independently on public transport, and to use local shops and facilities eg. Sports Centre, trips to the theatre and equestrian events. All learning is approached through horse-based situations and comparisons.

    Related Links

    Read more about the FETH Curriculum Outline
  • Do the FETH Course students work towards any qualifications? If so, what are they and how long do they take to complete?


    Related Links

    Read more about the FETH course
  • How many horses does The FCRT own?

    At any one time the FCRT owns some 20 horses/ponies. Additionally, an average of a further 8 are on loan to The FCRT from private homes.

  • Do you provide an 'Adopt a Horse' scheme?

    Yes. This is popular with some donors. Both private and corporate friends, may undertake to fund a horse on an annual basis at a current total cost of £2000.00. This covers feed, shoeing, veterinary care and stabling. In exchange the "owner" can receive various credits in the form of both graphic and other recognition.

    Related Links

    Sponsor a Horse
  • How long do you keep your horses?

    Horses continue working at The FCRT as long as they are healthy, sound and happy in their work.

  • Is it possible for me to just come and visit The FCRT?

    Visitors are always welcome, and it is best to write or telephone the FCRT's office at its Avon Tyrrell location (tel. 01425-673297) to arrange a mutually convenient day and time, so that we can make sure a member of staff is available to show you around and answer any questions.

  • What do ex-students go on to do?

    The FCRT uses its network of contacts and its willingness to inform and support employers to provide opportunities for FETH Course leavers. Aims and objectives related to the needs of each student determine The FCRT's recommendation for the next step on from the FETH Course. Some leavers move on into occupation, both horse-based and non-horse based, and some progress to further training and other Further Education in a variety of situations.

  • How do I apply for a job at FCRT and are there currently any staff vacancies?

    Although most staff vacancies  arise at the beginning of an academic year in September, posts do sometimes fall vacant at other times, and advertisements are placed in appropriate journals. Those interested in possible staff vacancies should write to The Director, enclosing a copy of their Curriculum Vitae. If there is no staff vacancy at the time, these details are kept on file so that the applicant can be informed if a suitable vacancy should occur. Interested applicants are recommended to look at vacancies on this site.

  • Are there any events/ceremonies that I can attend?

    The FCRT holds its annual Open Day usually in May or June. The FCRT's annual Christmas celebration, "The Fortune of Christmas", takes place at the FCRT's Avon Tyrrell location in December. Several fundraising events are also held throughout the year.

    Related Links

    View News & Events
  • How are Lanfranco Dettori and William Fox-Pitt involved with the FCRT?

    Lanfranco 'Frankie' Dettori and William Fox-Pitt are FCRT 'Honorary Promoters'. In 1996, Frankie chose the FCRT as his "Charity of the Year". Since then he has continued to support the work of the FCRT and, as 'Honorary Promoter', allows his name to be used in connection with FCRT fundraising events, PR material, etc. He has a particular interest in young people who succeed through horses. William supports the work of the FCRT by telling others in the Equestrian world about the work and appreciates the way in which a connection and work with horses is used to help people to develop self awareness and life skills.

    Related Links

    Read more about Frankie Dettori sponsoring FCRT

Contact Us

If your questions aren't answered on this page then please email enquiries@fcrt.ac.uk or call us on 01425 673297.

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