The only publicly run riding school in Scotland is to close at the end of next month.

Linn Equestrian Centre in Glasgow, which is owned and run by Glasgow City Council, has been forced to close due to funding cutbacks.

Based in the 200-acre Linn Park, the centre offered council-subsidised lessons to Glasgow residents for under £10.

But at a budget meeting on Thursday (12 February), the council decided the centre will shut on Tuesday, 31 March.

A council spokesman said: “The number of people using the facility is falling short of budgeted income targets.

“It is facing a projected loss of £125,000 this year, and in these uncertain economic times, it is hard to justify subsidising our customers.”

Efforts have been made over the past three years to find a buyer, but none came forward.

The centre’s 10 horses and six ponies will now be sold.

Kathy Steven, whose 13-year-old daughter Emma rides at Linn Park, said:“Emma’s devastated. She’s made new friends and loves it there.

“Because it was subsidised, other schools are almost double the price and we’re now not going to be able to afford it.”

Muriel Colquhon, from the Scottish Equestrian Association, said: “We’re bitterly disappointed. It will be a sore loss to Glasgow residents.

“With more forward-thinking and progressive management, it could well have been a
viable business.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (19 February, ’09)