JUMP: Kirsty Hunton puts her horse, Romeo, through its paces on the Foxberry Chasers course
JUMP: Kirsty Hunton puts her horse, Romeo, through its paces on the Foxberry Chasers course

THE lifting of Covid-19 restrictions to allow up to six people to gather has been welcomed by equine enthusiasts because it means training centres and arenas can reopen.

Among those to reopen this month was Foxberry Chasers, near Caldwell.

Owner Sara Metcalfe said she had enjoyed a great deal of interest from riders about the re-opening.

In the weeks leading up to June 1 she had help from students to paint, strim and prepare the centre’s outdoor arena and extensive enclosed cross-country field.

Unfortunately, however, at least three major competitions that were due to take place at Foxberry Chasers have been cancelled, including an international tetrathlon event that attracts an Irish team.

Mrs Metcalfe said: “I got it for the first time last year. It is a great thing with loads of kids.

“I was chuffed to bits to get the event. But I do have a date in my diary for it in 2021.”

Tetrathlon events test competitors’ running, swimming, shooting and horse-riding skills.

Mrs Metcalfe, who is still recovering from a fall in April last year and is unable to ride her own horses, said: “Even if one person comes [to use the facility] you still have to maintain the standard, so it is nice to have competitions because it gives you a deadline to work to.”

Lifting of restrictions also means that horse-riding instructors can again book the centre for clinics.

Foxberry’s cross-country field has a wide variety of challenges including fences and water jumps.

Mrs Metcalfe said: “I can cater for 45cm jumps right up to 1.5m jumps and more technical fences.”

Covid-19 measures put in place include a guide for users, a sanitising area and contactless payment facilities.

Anyone wanting to book time at Foxberry Chasers can email Sara Metcalfe at sara@foxberry.co.uk or call 07793 444247.