Addington Manor Equestrian Centre could host international indoor show jumping as well as dressage if it gets the go-ahead for major rebuilding plans. The Buckinghamshire venue is requesting planning permission to extend one of its indoor arenas, provide more than 500 extra grandstand seats and revamp some of its stabling.
Only a handful of indoor venues in the UK are large enough to stage international shows. Addington director Tim Price proposes knocking down the older and larger of its two indoor schools, which measures just over 60x20m, and rebuilding it a little larger than 70x30m. Around 1,000 seats would surround the new arena.
“We’ve had encouraging informal discussions with local planners,” says Price, who took on a long lease on the venue two years ago. “Pending a successful application [to Aylesbury Vale district council], we’ll hopefully start the work in April 2006.
“We would then put up a temporary tented structure while building is going on, to cater for indoor fixtures during summer 2006. The whole thing would be finished in time for the winter. We’d then apply to the FEI as fast as possible to hold an international show jumping show.”
The centre’s four outdoor arenas will not change, although plans to apply for a grant for the construction of a larger manège in place of one of the arenas are in their early stages.
The centre was started in the early 1980s by dressage enthusiast Lady Inchcape. Set in 100 acres, it underwent substantial refurbishment before reopening in 2001. As well as being a major competition centre, running affiliated and unaffiliated dressage and show jumping, Addington also holds clinics and demonstrations.
Its next major show jumping event, The Addington Classic, takes place this weekend (28-30 January) when two additional British riders will qualify for April’s British Open Championships in Sheffield.