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Seventy-five years after it was founded by a small group of public servants, the Civil Service Riding Club (CSRC) is opening its doors to members from other professions.

The club offers affordable riding in London and the south-east, with a heavy emphasis on horsemanship.

Spokesman Nancy Lyndhurst said : “The Civil Service Sports Council has changed its rules and public sector workers can now invite four friends or family,” she said.

“In London you can pay £50 for a lesson but, because we subsidise the riding, members have really good instruction at an affordable price.”

Until 2003, the club had its own horses, stabled at the Royal Mews, but since then has operated as a saddle club.

It has a long association with Hyde Park and helped fund the outdoor arena used by the Household Cavalry.

Members ride regularly in Hyde Park and at riding schools in London and Windsor.

“Everything we do is to get people riding well,” said Ms Lyndhurst. “But it’s very social, too — it’s a club, so when you ride, you get to know people; it’s laid-back and great fun.”

A recent Western and dressage day in Chobham, Surrey, cost £70 rather than the £110 a non-member would pay.

To join the CSRC (£15) you must be a member of the Civil Service Sports Council. Contact civilserviceridingclub @hotmail.co.uk

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (28 December 2012)