Sparsholt College Equine Centre is delighted to reopen its doors and arenas, hosting the first event on site since the country went into Lockdown in March 2020.
A hub of activity, Sparsholt College Equine Centre is a BHS approved centre and hosts Affiliated and Unaffiliated dressage and jumping shows. However, due to government restrictions, the Equine Centre at Sparsholt College has been closed since March, and all shows and events since then have been cancelled or postponed.
The dedicated Equine Centre staff have continued to work at the centre throughout lockdown, caring for over 65 horses which live onsite. A task eagerly assisted by the Sparsholt staff living on the countryside campus, including members of the Senior Leadership Team.
As restrictions have been lifted, the Equine Centre has been gearing up to begin running shows and events again, with the first show in over three months hosted on July 11. The Unaffiliated Dressage ran from 8.45am to 7.30pm and saw 155 tests ridden by a range of amateurs and professionals at all levels – from Intro to Inter II.
Following guidelines issued by British Dressage, social distancing and extra precautions were implemented throughout the day to ensure the safety of the competitors and staff remained a priority. This included the judges judging without a writer, longer test times, no spectators, and only six horses at any one time in the warmup.
Emma Mansfield, Sparsholt College Equine Centre Event’s Organiser, says she has received “fantastic” feedback from those who took part. One competitor wrote “Just to say thank you for today. Restarting the dressage under the current conditions must have been challenging, but from a competitor perspective you and your team did extremely well not only to organise the day, but to get the results and sheets out so quickly was beyond impressive!”
Emma said, “It was fantastic to be back running shows again and lovely to see some of our regular friendly competitors and meet lots of new faces – all whilst maintaining social distancing of course! We look forward to welcoming everyone back again!”
The Equine Centre is now running a full calendar of events for the rest of the year, with the next British Dressage show being held on July 19. Guidelines will still be in place for upcoming shows, and therefore no spectators will be invited or allowed on the day.
To find out more about Sparsholt College Equine Centre’s upcoming events, head to the My Riding Life website now! https://www.myridinglife.com/myridinglife/onlineentries.aspx
Sparsholt College Equine Centre is also an essential teaching facility for Equine students studying at Sparsholt College and University Centre Sparsholt and applications are still open for September 2020!
Find out more about our Equine courses are Sparsholt College here.
Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate Equine degrees at UCS here.