Friday, November 17, 2006

Horse centre gallops ahead

CONSTRUCTION work on the new Scottish National Equestrian Centre at Oatridge by Ecclesmachan is expected to be completed by December 15.
And early in the new year, on a date still to be confirmed, a free open day will be held to allow clubs, groups and individual riders to try the best facilities in Scotland for themselves.
SNEC director Carson Jones said: "We've had tremendous support from equestrians all over Scotland since the inception of the project so, in part, the open day will be our way of saying thanks to them.
"It will also give us an early opportunity to test our booking system and our organisation, but most importantly, it will allow riders to come in and see for themselves just how good ? and how big ? the centre actually is."
Carson and his team have drawn up a programme of international events for the £3.5 million facility. However, they are just as keen to finalise the regular, day-to-day use of the centre, including the new pro wax surface, installed by Andrew Bowen and endorsed by some of the UK's top riders.
Mondays have been earmarked for open schooling sessions, for as little as £10 a head; Tuesdays will be for dog training; Wednesdays for unaffiliated showjumping; Thursdays for Pony Clubs and members; and Fridays possibly for unaffilated dressage.
Events already lined up for 2007 include a major Scottish Equestrian Association event in January; a visit by former Pat Parelli trainer Bruce Logan from Texas in February; British Vaulting's international team selection in March; the Pony Club annual conference and Scottish Spring Show in April; Welsh Pony Society Show in May; Oatridge Horse Trials in June; western riding show in July; British Show Pony Society event in August; and an FEI Endurance 2 Star event in September.
Carson added: "These events are just a taste of what's to come. The calendar is filling up rapidly with equestrian and non-equestrian events.
"We're also lining up a lot of club competitions and as more SEA members realise that they can hire the facilities for as little as £510 for the day, we expect many more. As if that isn't enough, we're also planning a gala opening event. You could say the Scottish National Equestrian Centre is off and running!"
To register for a trial schooling session, call centre events manager Richard Negus on 01506 864800.
17 November 2006
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