Olympic class arena

SHOW jumpers envious of the facilities at the Olympics’ Greenwich Park equestrian arena will be delighted to know the same designers have built something much closer to home.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 28th August 2012, 9:32 am

Andrews Bowen constructed the new Speetley Equestrian Centre at Barlborough just before heading down to London on their Olympics’ contract.

SEC owners Lisa and David Renshaw have invested heavily in providing top class arena eventing facilities.

And the success of the Olympic equestrian team has led to a jump in interest from people keen to try them out.

Lisa, 46, said: “The arena surface is Olympic-standard and cost over £100,000 so it’s been a massive investment, but we wanted to do it properly.”

“The surface is fibre sand mixed with shredded carpet which has been heated to very high temperatures and mixed with wax.”

“This keeps it solid but also makes it springy so that the horses’ hooves don’t dig into it, as they would if they were landing on ordinary sand.”

The portable aluminium jumps come from Belgium and can be moved around the larged (65m by 40m) arena for different events, and there are also solid fences and a water jump to add variety.

There are steps which can be jumped to get out of the arena into the surrounding fields for show cross events.

Lisa said: “It’s a multi-discipline facility which can be used for dressage, show jumping, cross country and western-style riding.”

“We’re open seven days a week from 6am so that people can come and train before work if they want to. We charge an hourly rate per horse.”

“We also organise training clinics and have Friday nights for novices. We want to cater for all levels.”

SEC is not a riding school and Lisa, although a horse woman herself, does not teach. Riders bring their own horses to use the facilities.

The equestrian centre is on land at Lisa and David’s Rotherham Road farm, and was a way for them to diversify and they are grateful for the help they received from Yorkshire Bank in supporting their business idea.

The Renshaws have two children Henry, six, and Martha, five, both of whom can ride and the family own several horses of their own and run a livery business.

The centre opened in June and Lisa is pleased with how busy it’s been, particularly since the Olympics.

“I do eventing and I used to have to travel to places like Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lincoln to find facilities. There isn’t really anything else like this in this area so we’ve had a lot of interest,” she said.

Lisa said August had been their first month of staging timed and cross-country events.

“I’ve never organised events before so it’s been a learning curve but an enjoyable one. We’ve had prizes and rosettes, it’s been good,” she said.

Next Tuesday 28th August there will be British Show Jumping Association training with Leanne Smith followed by a show jumping competition on 2nd September.

For more information call Lisa on 07714 278097 or go to www.speetleyec.co.uk.