Last shows held at Manor Farm Equestrian Centre

  • A popular East Anglian show centre is to close – the owners blame the combined effects of the economic downturn and two hard winters.

    Manor Farm Equestrian Centre near Huntingdon, Cambs, hosted a wide range of affiliated and unaffiliated shows, including British Showjumping (BS), showing and TREC. But owner Eddie Maguire confirmed they are “winding down”.

    “Like everyone else, we’re suffering from the downturn,” he told H&H. “Some events stayed buoyant but others have dropped off completely.

    “But the main culprit is the two hard winters,” he added. “We’ve lost six to eight weeks’ business for two years in a row.”

    In January, Mr Maguire was fined £10,500 and admitted hygiene offences after health inspectors discovered a rat infestation at the centre’s caf ©.

    A court hearing heard that his business was losing £1,300 a month.

    Tracy Stafford , whose daughters competed there regularly, said the closure of Manor Farm was “devastating”.

    “We’ve already lost Towerlands – this is terrible for BS in East Anglia,” she added.

    But another local rider, who asked to remain anonymous, told H&H she did not think the centre had been run properly. “Organisation and services were not on a par with other places,” she said.

    Manor Farm has now been sold to a local businessman, Mick George.

    His son Michael told H&H that they are looking for someone to lease the centre and “rejuvenate” it.

    “We want to make it a top-class venue,” he said.

    This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (27 October, 2011)

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