Equestrian centres in the east of England receive welcome boost

  • Competitors in the east of England have been given a welcome boost after recently losing two affiliated show centres.

    Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Hertfordshire, which hosted both British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) events, closed on Tuesday 3 August.

    Norton Heath Equestrian Centre in Essex also recently lost its BD affiliation and now holds unaffiliated showjumping and dressage (news 16 April).

    However, two other show venues hosting affiliated competitions in this region have been busy improving their facilities.

    Wix Equestrian Centre recently replaced the surfaces in its two indoor arenas.

    The Essex venue hosts BD and BS competitions.

    “We have put in 540 tonnes of Andrews Bowen Propell waxed and did the work ourselves in less than two weeks, finishing on 1 July,” Jenny Hall, manager of Wix Equestrian Centre, told H&H.

    The work cost around £60,000 to complete.

    “We have been inspected by BS and BD, who have given us the go-ahead to continue running their shows.”

    The next BD competition will be held 17-18 October and BS competitions will continue in January next year.

    Meanwhile, Keysoe equestrian centre, Bedfords, is extending its indoor school by 30 metres and adding a Martin Collins surface.

    The work will be completed by October.

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    “It will give us much better facilities for winter shows and riders can work in indoors,” Simon Bates, owner of Keysoe equestrian centre, told H&H.

    There are also plans for a new equestrian centre in Essex.

    An indoor and outdoor arena and 44 stables are included in the designs for the Whites Farm site in Basildon.

    A decision on the application to Basildon Council is due by mid-October.

    Essex-based dressage rider Gaby Lucas, who was on the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class development (now known as World Class podium potential) squad from 2012-2014, welcomed the improvements to show centres in the area.

    Local shows are good for qualifying with younger horses,” she told H&H.

    “You usually have to travel quite a long way and it would be much better to go up the road.

    “[The improvements] will be good for riders at all levels.”

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