PLANS: Sarah Tubbs and apprentice Chloe Weller with the plans for the new indoor arena
PLANS: Sarah Tubbs and apprentice Chloe Weller with the plans for the new indoor arena

THE opening of the dale’s first commercial indoor show-jumping arena this summer is to bring an economic boost to the area.

The dream of creating the arena at Marwood Equestrian, near Barnard Castle, is to become a reality for owner Sarah Tubbs after she secured cash from the EU.

The “substantial” grant will cover about a third of the cost of the building. Previous bids to various funders had been unsuccessful.

Mrs Tubbs, a level three British Showjumping coach, said: “We have been trying for four years to get funding. I’m really excited because it has been an awful lot of work. It is going to be a good training venue.”

The 50m by 31m arena will be larger than the current outdoor facility and will allow for coaching and training even in the worst of winter weather.

This year the coach had to call off training for four months from January to April because of snow.

In addition to coaching and presenting level two training courses, Mrs Tubbs plans to host camps which she says will bring more riders to the area.

She said the knock on effect will be a rural cash injection as riders make use of local accommodation and visit shops and restaurants.

Two jobs will be created to help with the schooling of horses and managing the liveries.

Mrs Tubbs paid tribute to her family who gave extensive

support through the bidding attempts. The successful Rural Payments Agency bid was started more than a year ago.

She said: “My masters degree in coaching has taken a back seat during the process.”

Mrs Tubbs hopes to soon qualify as a level four coach, the top tier in British Showjumping.

Her work in presenting academies in County Durham earned her the British Showjumping Coach of the Year award in 2015.