‘Teething problems’ at Stoneleigh to be addressed

  • Organisers of the new show at Stoneleigh Park have told H&H they will be addressing any “teething problems” ahead of next year.

    The show — which combined the British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show — was held at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre for the first time this year (11-16 August).

    However, competitors were dissatisfied with several aspects of the show, with many taking to social media to vent their frustration.

    Complaints ranged from poor organisation to problems with schedules and online entries.

    Lack of atmosphere, not enough seating and expense were also cited.

    “If I could have got my money back I would have gone home,” one rider told H&H.

    Both the showing and showjumping communities waded in on the debate.

    In showing, the location of some of the rings was changed at short notice. The layout of the venue was also criticised.

    “It was completely unpractical,” said one competitor.

    “You had to unload the lorry too far from the stables, the main ring was a potentially hazardous long walk on concrete and there was no lighting in the stables.

    “People are disappointed — they’re not slamming the show. It has the potential to be amazing, but the whole site needs compressing and areas need to be worked on.”

    But many people were in support of the show, including Hickstead’s Edward Bunn.

    “As a large show organiser, it saddens me to keep reading all the negativity,” he said on the UKSJ forum.

    “Grandstand Media should be applauded for taking on Stoneleigh and for creating this new show. Of course there are going to be teething problems.”

    And others on the forum were in agreement.

    Tabatha Drake said the show was “awesome”, while Janette Walker Well added: “There is too much negativity. This is an amazing venue, spacious, extremely clean and quiet at night.”

    A spokesman from Grandstand Media told H&H they had received “varied feedback”.

    “The majority of thoughts were positive, along with constructive feedback on improvements that can be made,” they added.

    “Now that the show is through its first year we are able to take on board the information and make changes based on feedback and comments from all of our customers.”

    For full report from the show don’t miss this week’s issue H&H out today (Thursday, 20 August).

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