A £1.5 million state-of-the-art equestrian centre is set to open at Whitehouse Farm in Houghton- le- Spring, Tyne and Wear, in September.

The 30-acres site hopes to attract 1,800 visitors a month. Its facilties will include an indoor riding arena with viewing gallery, a hydrotherapy pool and equine spa, a stud laboratory, veterinary inspection area and a lecture room for 65 people.

The centre will be run by Beverly Brown and her daughter, international dressage rider, Samantha.

“We are not elitist,” said Beverley. “We just enjoy spending time with people who have passion for horses like we do.

“One of our aims is to provide international-quality facilities, whether the people using it want to be a ‘happy hacker’ or an Olympic competitor.”

Beverly bought the site in 2001 but due to numerous setbacks the builders are only now putting the finishing touches to the centre which will have its official opening in September.

Beverley said: “We have overcome and endured so much in this past five years.

“A lot of sacrifices have had to be made, but we are moving forward. It’s a very exciting time for us.”