THEY’RE already a common sight in the US and Canada — and now Cover-All arenas are becoming popular in the UK. We find out why

What are they?

BASICALLY, an indoor arena made from a translucent fabric cover (called Duraweave) over a steel frame — think giant permanent Polytunnel instead of traditional steel building and you’re getting close.

Cover-All arenas are designed to be cooler, brighter, quieter, airier and quicker to install than their steel counterparts.

Who has one?

TOP Scottish event rider Sarra Mayberry has had a Cover-All arena for 18 months.

“We also have an outdoor manege, but it was often out of action from November to February due to the weather,” says Brian Mayberry, Sarra’s father, who applied for standard planning permission to build the Cover-All arena.

“We chose a Cover-All primarily on cost and speed of installation. From breaking the ground to riding in it took only four weeks,” he says.

Why are they popular?

“IT can be really wet and windy here, and the Cover-All has made it much easier to prepare for spring events,” says Sarra. “Now I can plan the work I want to do each week, instead of relying on the weather.

“I thought it might feel enclosed, but it feels bigger than other indoor schools.”

The arena is around 18m tall, so there’s plenty of headroom for jumping. It also saves on electricity — the translucent material lets in daylight, so lights aren’t needed during the day.

Ann Hunt from Easterton Farm, Perthshire, is also having a Cover-All arena built.

“It has a wonderful ambience — light and cheerful with masses of headroom,” says Ann.

Any negatives?

“THE structure is designed to move slightly when it’s very windy, and sometimes horses can find that a little unsettling,” says Brian Mayberry. “However, we’ve had 90mph winds here and the building withstood those. When it rains, I think it’s less noisy than a tin roof, and because of the shape of the roof, snow tends to fall off.”

What do they cost?

PRICES vary depending on requirements, but the Mayberry’s arena cost £75,000-£100,000, from local Cover-All dealer Fortnum and Woolley.

“We went for a top-of-the-range waxed surface that meant we didn’t need an irrigation system; that cost £20,000 alone,” says Brian.

Information

For more information, contact Tel: 0800 173910 www.coverall.net

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (15 February, ’07)