Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Hertfordshire is to close this summer.
The centre, which hosts both British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) events, will run shows until 3 August, after which the centre will be officially shut.
“It is a very sad decision that we are having to close Patchetts Equestrian Centre,” read a statement from the centre today (Wednesday 24 June).
“The centre has not been economically viable for some considerable time and has been supported independently by the McTaggart family for several years, now as a loss making venture purely for the love of the sport. However the continued personal support in the present economic situation can no longer be sustained.
“This is a very sad time for all of us at Patchetts and for you as our clients whether as liveries, competitors or clients that used our facilities we can only thank you for the loyalty you have shown to us and we hope you will have had many happy experiences and memories over the years that you have been here.
“On behalf of Patchetts and the McTaggart family we realise that this will be disappointing news for you all but for us after 32 years it has been a very hard decision to make.”
Patchetts hosts regional championships and is an Area Festival venue in dressage. In showjumping it hosts Horse of the Year Show qualifiers and in showing both affiliated and unaffiliated events.
H&H dressage editor Alice Collins said the news was “devastating”.
“I’ve been a frequent competitor there for years, both for smaller shows, but also for regional championships. Coupled with the loss of Norton Heath [which had its BD affiliation removed in April], the Eastern region is significantly depleted of large, quality venues and Patchetts’ loss will be keenly felt.
“It’s always had such a friendly approachable atmosphere, coupled with professional and efficient organisation, plus the major added benefit of two indoor arenas (and two huge outdoor arenas).
“And the food in the clubhouse — particularly the towering tuna salads and cheesy chips — is always fantastic, meaning that even disinterested boyfriends and parents would come along.
“A friend of mine is offering to lie in the arena for weeks, if that’s what it takes to keep the place open. I might just lie down next to him.”
Riders on Facebook also mourned the loss of the centre.
“I am so sorry to hear this news, Patchetts EC is a brilliant venue, lovely people, fantastic cafe and a dangerous tack shop! Thank you for the good times here,” said Nicola Chalkley.
Dee Smith added: “Sad loss of another venue.”
Samantha Kellett added: “That’s so sad, it a bit of a trek for me from Badminton but worth the effort for such a lovely venue.”