Pammy and Brian Hutton (pictured) last week gained planning permission to build, from scratch, the “new” Talland School of Equitation on a 120-acre site at The Old Dairy, Barnsley, Glos.
The facility, unanimously endorsed by North Wilts and Cotswold District Councils, represents one of the largest new-build equestrian developments to obtain consent since planning controls were introduced in 1948.
The centre will have 70 stables, staff and student accommodation for 30, a 45x70m covered school, an outdoor school and a family home. The feat is even more remarkable because the site is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where planning controls are tough.
“This has been achieved through close rapport with the local council, which really understood that Talland is one of the jewels in the British Horse Society’s crown, the importance of the work we do in the local community and for Riding for the Disabled, and that we are not developers,” says Brian Hutton.
“We still have to formalise the land purchase, but we hope to start construction during late summer.”
Talland School of Equitation was started 40 years ago by Pammy’s parents, Mollie Sivewright and the late Col Charles Sivewright, at Church Farm, Siddington, leased from the Bathurst estate.
Mollie and Pammy are both Fellows of the BHS and over the years, Talland has become a household name. Graduates cover the whole gamut of equestrianism, ranging from top riders such as Rodney Powell, Emile Faurie and John Francome to dressage trainers Adam Kemp and Ian Woodhead and no fewer than six grooms to the 2000 Sydney Olympic team.
Pammy, one of Horse & Hound’s dressage columnists, has been a forthright critic of financial advantages afforded to colleges to the detriment of family-run riding schools, which are self-funded and crippled by soaring insurance premiums and business rates.
However, the move to reinvent Talland goes back some six years.
The Huttons started looking at alternative properties within 30 miles. After numerous disappointments, an estate just three miles away came on to the market. Of its five lots, The Old Dairy seemed ideal, although the Huttons lost heart because there were many other bidders. Then the celebrity Elizabeth Hurley purchased the estate, minus The Old Dairy, letting the Huttons back in.