A new state-of-the-art equestrian centre has been built at Aintree Racecourse
in Merseyside.

The £4.6m centre will offer subsidised riding to local children and give youngsters the opportunity to learn to care for horses.

Andrew Tulloch of Aintree Racecourse Developments Ltd told H&H: “The aim of the project is to provide a fantastic new facility for Merseyside to encourage local youngsters and the local equestrian community. It is also intended to host international, national and local shows.”

The project has been funded by Aintree Racecourse Developments, the North West Regional Development Agency, and the European Development Fund.

The 56,000 sq ft indoor arena was completed in time for the Grand National meeting in April this year. Finishing touches are now being made in readiness for the official opening in late July or early August.

Features of the centre include a 70x30m main arena, a 55x20m collecting ring, offices, lecture rooms, refreshment areas, cloakrooms, tack and storage rooms.

Mr Tulloch said the project was inspired by the “overwhelming” interest shown by children at a racecourse open day several years ago. He said the centre was finalising the level of subsidy for the riding lessons.

The centre hopes to be able to take in several ponies from Wheathill Riding Centre, which is set to close later this month (news, 17 May).

Farther north, the Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC) was officially opened by its patron, the Duchess of Cornwall, on 5 June. It was thought to be the first time ever in Scotland that representatives from all disciplines and breed societies had been in one place.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (14 June, ’07)

Sport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and Oatridge College co-funded the £3.5million first-phase build of the centre.