Hickstead is broadening events, boosting participation and extending its season with new all-weather competition and training facilities unveiled earlier this month (Friday 5 September).

New hard-standing for lorry and car parks, an orbital road around the site and flood lighting has been installed.

A fourth ring has also been built with the same Andrew Bowens arena surface used in Greenwich at the Olympic games.

Funding for the new facilities came from a £85,000 Hoof capital award and the Bunn family.

Hoof capital funding grants are awarded by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to projects that deliver increased participation in equestrianism.

“The Hoof Capital Funding award will ensure that many more people will be able to benefit from access to these wonderful facilities and enjoy the enduring legacy left to the sport by my father [Hickstead founder Douglads Bunn],” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn.

Hickstead wants to grow its activities beyond top-level competition to offer training and competitions for the Pony Club and British Riding Clubs. It also plans to run school and university training days.

The Sport England-funded award will also help Hickstead bid more strongly for major championships in dressage, para dressage and showjumping.

“The improvements at Hickstead will provide the BEF with excellent facilities to support the development of athletes leading up to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020,” says the BEF’s Alex Copeland.

The new facility, he added, “will also help the Federation meet its Sport England participation targets by getting more riders taking part in equestrianism at least once a week.”

For more information visit www.hickstead.co.uk