Changing times at Towerlands

  • Mike Florence has resigned from his position as manager at Unex Towerlands and is to be replaced by equestrian commentator Steven Wilde.

    Florence had been in the job for about six months before racehorse owner Bill Gredley bought the centre last July from event rider Chris Hunnable, whose late father, Tom, founded it 25yr ago.

    Confirming that it was his decision to leave, and that both parties had been agreeable, Florence wished to make no further comment to Horse & Hound.

    Val Turner, spokesman for Towerlands, says: “We’ve appointed Steven Wilde as general manager of Unex Towerlands and he’ll start on 1 March.”

    Wilde works for a sports marketing firm and commentates at various events. Turner confirms he is being brought in specifically for his background in marketing.

    As well as equestrian facilities, the centre has a nine-hole golf course, sports hall and squash courts, three licensed bars and two restaurants. But following the cancellation of an amateur dramatic production, Peter Pan, after two weeks of a four-week run, rumours circulated that the non-equestrian side of the business was struggling.

    But Turner says the production was run by a local amateur dramatics club, and was not associated with Towerlands. She adds: “They didn’t seem to fill it.”

    Towerlands is currently closed for refurbishment and extension of the collecting ring areas, although some shows are still taking place. It is under temporary management by Val Turner and Holly Gredley, Bill Gredley’s stepdaughter.

    “We’ve a two-day show on 26-27 February, which will be running with temporary collecting ring arrangements. Our first big show is on 18-20 March,” says Val.

    Details of spring and summer events at Unex Towerlands are available at www.un
    extowerlands.com or (tel: 01376 326802).

  • This news article was first published in Horse & Hound (10 February, ’05)

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