Are now closed
Group Lessons from beginner to canter level are no longer available
We are closed for lessons
SHOPLAND HALL RIDING SCHOOL CLOSURE ANNOUNCEMENT
It is with great sadness that we are having to announce the closure of Shopland Hall Riding School, however we will continue as a livery yard.
The unfortunate combination of health and safety regulations, licensing requirements and the mountains of paperwork, spiralling business rates, recruitment issues and lack of affordable horses, the increase costs in feed, bedding, shoes, electricity, wages and vet’s bills all create a tsunami of reasons why it’s not viable to run a riding school anymore.
We’ve been open since November 1991 and still have a waiting list of clients, but our years of experience did not prepare us for the trials of Covid nor the new rules set by DEFRA for the licensing of Riding Schools.
Much has been written by far more knowledgeable people than me about DEFRA’s guidelines, and the way they are interpreted by local Council Licensing Officers who are without any previous equestrian experience.
As a BHS Approved Centre, we have strived to maintain a level of care for our horses, clients and staff. We are proud that the BHS has commended us for our Customer Care and Legislative Compliance but unfortunately all of that means nothing to DEFRA and the Licensing Officers.
As schools continue to close around the country, we ask where will the next generation of riders come from, who will ride for us in the Olympics and compete in the many equestrian related sports? What about the businesses that depend on the Riding Schools. Where will the colleges send their students and trainee vets to for work experience?
More importantly what of the riders, both adults and children, who benefit both physically and mentally from their weekly interaction with horses?
Whilst we want the welfare of horses to be foremost in the licensing requirements, this has now increased the paperwork to an unmanageable level, and it is with a very heavy heart that we see no other possible route but to finally close the riding school for the last time on 18th June 2023.