Phillips Equine is excited to launch a new Riding Academy! The Riding Academy is for the intermediate to advanced rider who is passionate about advancing their riding skills and equine knowledge. The Academy is a riding and education curriculum put together by Head Coach Ellé Phillips and our team of experienced instructors, for the serious minded rider. Our vision is to produce strong, capable riders who align with our values to represent New Zealand in the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and Nations Cup team events.

You name it, we dream it and create it! Ellé’s aim is to create a pathway into the show jumping scene, bringing Europe’s training and discipline to New Zealand along with a strong team atmosphere to support and encourage our riders. Providing a safe space to grow, build confidence and learn from the best sourced trainers to cover a wide range of aspects in the equine industry.


For ambitious riders who want to achieve their potential. The Phillips Equine Riders Academy offers ambitious riders the chance to reach their riding potential. Through developing good all-round horsemen, we shape strong foundations for success.

The Riders Academy values Team. We know this is not an individual sport, it is a Team of horse and rider, always. Our talent and passion is combined with knowledge and experience from our Team of proven trainers.

Our academy riders thrive, we believe because it is built on these principles; the spirit of fun, friendship and learning from each other. It is important to us that everyone in the academy reach their potential.


We focus on teamwork, character, and teaching respect, discipline, kindness, inclusion, resilience, perseverance, and the love of horses.

At the Riders Academy we take our sport seriously. We want to achieve potential, and yes, we want to win too. While we train, learn and compete, we never lose sight of what’s most important. With this at the heart of all we do, we can be truly successful.

Horse First We never put our own needs ahead of the horse's

Friendship We may be competitors in the ring, but we are team mates first

Care We deeply care about ourselves, other riders and our horses

Determination Work hard, give 100% at all times. Rain or shine

Fair Understand the rules and play by them

Courage Expose ourselves to new situations and embrace the uncomfortable

While we may have highly experienced trainers and coaches at the Riding Academy we never forget a truly great rider respects that their horse is their greatest teacher.


Outstanding riding skills are just one aspect of achieving potential. In order to be successful in the saddle we take it very seriously that a rider must know their horse from the ground up. We focus on building and developing all-round good horsemen. Apart from plenty of hours in the saddle, we offer education, mentoring and practical support.

What do our riders get out of the academy?

Apart from plenty of hours in the saddle, we offer education, mentoring and practical support.

  • Group lessons once a week in small groups
  • Private lesson once a month with Ellé Phillips or other advanced coaches and guest trainers.
  • Private session to go over goals/weekly plan. Weekly programmes for horse and rider
  • Theory / horsemanship sessions once a month
  • Show Preparation and guidance during competitions, warm ups at competitions.

We provide education on key topics to shape solid foundations for being a professional horseman as well as an athlete. Monthly workshops include (not limited to):

  • Horseman related: equine nutrition, bandaging a horse for stabling and exercise, first aid, fitting saddlery, horse’s feet and shoeing, equine dentist, horse behaviour, lunging, visiting equine vet.
  • Athlete related: our own nutrition, physical fitness, sport psychology, fit to ride sessions, mindfulness.
  • Workshops are facilitated by both Phillips Equine professionals and specifically invited experts.
  • Initial goal setting and planning
  • Self reflection
  • Monthly evaluations
  • Competition preparation and evaluation (eg video analysis)
  • Reset goals
  • Transport to and from events (as required and agreed)
  • Event support (such as warm up)
  • Consultation and advice leasing/buying a horse
  • General advice and support
  • For events, not everyone may be able to attend. It may be on a first in first serve basis for those at the required level.



Ellé is following in the footsteps of her grandfather. Being third generation she has been completely immersed in the horse industry from a young age.

Ellé started her Show Jumping career on ponies at the age of 14. Progressing through to Pony Grand Prix, finishing second in Pony of the Year in her last year on a young self produced pony. Moving onto hacks all her horses have been self produced from thoroughbreds off the track to working with her father, Dean Phillips to break in young purpose bred warmbloods.

Working her way up through Junior Rider, Young Riders, Grand Prix and Lady Rider, Ellé has sold some top horses. Elysium GNZ competing in Canada with Katie Laurie and Cirrius GNZ competing to 1.45m in New Zealand. Ellé has spent time working, riding and learning from the best in the world. At 17 she worked for Helen and Duncan McFarlane in America and Canada. Also spending time working with Guy and Gemma Creighton in Australia before coming home, riding and training with Jeff McVean and Katie Laurie while competing her own team on the New Zealand show jumping circuit.

Ellé was then based in England working and riding for Michael Whitaker and a stint working with Sir Mark Todd, travelling with him to a 4* event with a team of horses in France.

Now based back in New Zealand with a small team of horses, Ellé now rides gallopers at Cambridge track for some of New Zealand’s best trainers before working a team of show jumpers, training with Toni and Colin McIntosh.


There is a skill requirement, but attitude can be more important.

Riders must:

• be riding a minimum of two times a week.

• have a good level of understanding of horse management. For example, equivalent to NZ Pony club C+.

• Jumping riders: capable of jumping a course of at least 80cm

• Preferably passed or working towards a qualification, for example but not limited to NZ Pony club, ESNZ, NZQA.

• must be happy to ride different horses, if they do not own their own horse/pony. Horses are agreed on through consultation. Riding times are booked and paid in advance.

• when enjoying extra riding days on PE horses that is, not in lessons, you must read and agreed to our practice riding policy.

• efficiently manage their time

• be able to be independent as well as work within the team

• show empathy for everyone and every horse

We are confident The Riders Academy can take riders to their full potential with fun, focus and dedication, it has so much to offer the right riders, please get in touch if you would like to find out if we are the best option for where you are at, or to plan how to get you ready. Limited spaces are available.



You pay for the lessons, clinics, competitions at the time.


*the horse needs to be fit for purpose. For example, working up to and during the competition season

the horse needs to be worked 4-6 times a week.

Extra’s: We can help with warmup at shows. travel and competition entry fees excluded.


If you are interested in joining the Riders Academy, please submit a written expression of interest in the form below. Include your answers to the following questions.