Olympic star unveils £50,000 outdoor equestrian arena
TRIPLE Olympic medallist Mary King was on hand to open a newly refurbished all-weather outdoor equestrian arena in the dale last week.
The £50,000 facility complements the spacious indoor arena that Auckland Equestrian opened late last year.
What started out as a hobby has turned into a thriving business for the Grey family at Low Garth Farm, near Ramshaw.
Kelly and Richard Grey initially built the indoor arena for their 14-year-old daughter Mia who is competitive showjumper on a national level.
The indoor arena facilitated her weekly training with top local coach Robert Shields after school hours in the thick of winter.
Mrs Grey said: “We needed an indoor arena this size because you need to train around a full course – one or two jumps isn’t enough.
“When everyone heard we had an indoor arena with Robert’s training sessions there was a lot of local interest.
“The demand happened naturally and in this area the demand is huge. With the refurbishment of our grass arena, the new outdoor arena will give us all year-round facilities and meet our business demand.”
The all-weather surface in the new arena means that it can be used all year round, with the ground never becoming too wet or too hard for horses.
Along with an impressive 15-acre cross-country course, Auckland Equestrian can cater for a wide range of disciplines including show-jumping, eventing and dressage among others.
Mrs Grey said: “People want to come to one place to school their horses and train at affordable prices.”
While Covid-19 has severely affected the family’s main business, 4 Paws Farm boarding kennels and cattery, it has given them the time to focus their energy on developing the equine side.
To this end they have drawn on the extensive knowledge they have gained from attending events across the country and have taken the best that those facilities have to offer and incorporated them into Auckland Equestrian.
This has enabled them to attract some of the country’s top riders and trainers to present clinics locally. Among others these include Geoff Billington, Ian Brown, Helen Townsend, James Whitaker and Karen Dixon.
And along with officially opening the new facility, eventing expert Mary King also held a clinic which was sold out within two hours of being announced.
For more information or to book for a clinic or the facility, visit Auckland Equestrian on Facebook, or call 07854 209524.