Hoplands Equestrian Centre to close to the public from 30 June

  • The facilities at Hoplands Equestrian Centre, Hants, will no longer be available for hire from 30 June.

    “We have been thinking about it for several months and wondering what to do,” explained Frances Wain, who owns the venue with her husband Simon.

    “We haven’t been able to make any money out of the equestrian side — without my husband’s other businesses there’s no way we could have invested in the facilities or kept going.”

    A statement on Hopland’s website said: “Due to opposition from local residents and subsequent enforcement action by the local planning authority, our business activities have been limited since 2009 as we have been unable to hold any competitions or shows.

    “Despite our best efforts, the various costs associated with hiring out our facilities now exceed the income we receive from such activity, as we no longer benefit from the economies of scale which result from offering a full range of equestrian services.”

    Frances added that having liveries and people using the facilities is “intrusive”, as the Wains’ family home is centrally located at Hoplands, and continuing for no profit doesn’t make sense.

    “There’s no point going on running something if it’s costing you money to do so,” she said.

    The Wains plan to keep the facilities in good order for private use and will still hire out the whole site for activities such as team training.

    Caroline Moore, who has used Hoplands for British Eventing’s coaching development team training and Coaching the Coaches, said: “It’s an incredible shame these facilities won’t be open to the public. The facilities are second to none, the people are really friendly, and the whole place is user-friendly.”

    The facilities at Hoplands include a 60x20m outdoor dressage arena, a 70x25m indoor school, a 65x65m outdoor jumping arena, a one mile all-weather gallop and a cross-country schooling course with over 60 fences. Recent Chatsworth World Cup winner Sam Griffiths used to be based there.

    Frances and Simon Wain have lived at Hoplands, which is in the village of Kings Somborne, near Stockbridge, since May 2007. They have a five-year-old son, Hamish.

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