If your horse is rearing up it’s normally a sign your schooling is not quite going to plan but at the new Xtreme Equestrian Sports Centre in Staffordshire horses rearing, falling and jumping fire are all just part of a day’s work.
The centre on the A518 in Haughton, just four miles off the M6, is officially opening this weekend and will be playing host to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse Stunt Team (pictured) who performed the headline display at HOYS this year.
Emma Lloyd, who runs the centre with Justin Pearson, says: “The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are a massive stunt team who are currently based in Pwlheli, but they wanted to move to somewhere more central.
“The first stunt course is in October and it’s amazing what you can get done in two days. Less experienced riders can sit on a rearing and falling horse, while the more experienced can have a go at jousting and jumping through fire.
“On a tailored stunt weekend the team can also offer participants the chance to have a go at non-equestrian stunts, such as sword fighting.
“The weekends are very popular with hen and stag parties, as well as for corporate entertainment for people from city banks.
“People normally arrive on Friday, settle in and meet the team and then go out for dinner before staying at a local hotel. On Saturday they have breakfast at the yard and run through safety procedures before six hours of riding. Then it’s back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and a big night out.
“On Sunday they ride in the morning again and have a mimic jousting tournament and photo session, which people always seem to want. In the afternoon it’s up to them; quite often people just want to go for a hack by that point.
“All the courses are tailor-made to what your particular group wants.”
The main stuntmen involved are Ian Van Temperley and Justin Pearson who have both been in Star Wars and Dave Judge who is in charge of the fire work.
There are four stunt horses at the centre and about 22 horses in total, as well as stabling for people to bring their own mounts. Experienced teachers for polo, polocrosse, horseball and mounted games are also on hand.
“Generally polo or polocrosse players come as a team, bringing their own ponies,” says Emma. “The stunt horses are pretty good if people just want to have a go, as they all neck rein.
“I teach at three Cheshire Pony Clubs and we arrange events for them too where they can learn vaulting and ranch riding.
“We’ve got eight miles of off-road hacking and quite a lot of people want to come with friends from work for a few days.
“We’ll be holding monthly unaffiliated show jumping evenings and we didn’t realize how much call there is for cross-country schooling either. I’ve heard there is nowhere within 30 miles open for daily schooling.”
The courses are all tailor-made for a particular group’s needs and priced accordingly.
For more information contact Emma Lloyd (tel: 07976 769097).