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Riding Centre Closure - more information
A message from the proprieter, Viv Lines
We should start at the beginning: 40 years ago we spotted an advert and went for the opportunity to move down from the rural North East of Scotland to start a new riding centre in Liverpool. Prior to this I had completed my instructors training in Sussex and had spent time also in Switzerland learning from the best!
We met with a selection board (at that time this was Merseyside County Council) and all agreed that the aim was for affordable lessons and worthwhile training for all, providing sport and healthy exercise outdoors, fitting in with the ethos and heritage of the newly opened Country Park and using the outer park trails. We also ran show-jumping competitions in the Events Field with support from the park which were always well attended.
In these first years I also met Chris, then a Park Ranger, got married and in the 1990’s our family grew with the arrival of our daughters Alex and Heather. Luckily both girls were pretty pony mad - helpful when growing up around the yard! Our girls grew up being members of the Pony Club (as I had myself) and learned so much, had so much fun, as well as making lifelong friends.
When approached by the Pony Club to become one of their new centres, where children without ponies could join the Club we jumped at the opportunity. There are now thousands of Centre members across the country. We have run Pony Club Camps, rallies and competitions each year since. We have loved giving our members the opportunity to venture out to Pony Club competitions, creating lots of memories along the way. Our CPRC members have competed and had great success in: The PC National Quiz, PC Horse & Pony Care finals, PC Mounted Games, PC Area Eventing, PC Area and finals of Show-jumping and Dressage, PC Pony Racing days and of course the Centre Equitation at the Championships.
More recently we have been part of a great Pony Racing Authority (PRA) scheme to get more children into racing. Our CPRC riders have been very fortunate to be trained by top jockey Carrie Ford, including training at Aintree Racecourse and taking part in races at several courses. The PRA funding has meant our budding jockeys received free training and racing – what an experience!
We have always been passionate about keeping the standard of our horse welfare, training and coaching super high. So, we decided fairly early on we wanted to be a BHS Approved Riding Centre & have been ever since. We have trained many members of staff to achieve their BHS Stages over the years which remain the most esteemed qualifications within our industry. We also enjoyed our trips down to Warwickshire to compete in their riding centres competition and are very proud of our riders who represented us so well. The BHS has been a saviour to many riding centres during the pandemic and we are truly grateful for all of their help.
CPRC has always run with a fantastic team of staff, most of whom we had known for years and had regarded as part of the family, and our dedicated volunteers over the years have been second to none. We always love when our old helpers come to visit, some now with their own children riding! We’ve always thought of ourselves as a community riding centre, with many of you riding here for years (and hopefully many of you have gained friends along the way too!).
From 1st November, after much agonising and regrets, we are suspending all our activities. This is for three reasons which, combined together, have caused us to reach this decision:
1. The Covid Effect
2. Staffing crisis in our industry
3. Ongoing lack of lease with the Council
The pandemic didn’t really help anybody did it!? Our gates may have been shut but our horses still needed the same standard of care they are used to all during lockdown. This meant our staff weren’t furloughed and our bills (feed, bedding, vets and farrier bills, wages, rent, utilities, etc) remained the same, or higher. It was indeed a very tough time and ran down our resources but we are very grateful that we all have so far kept healthy and that when we re-opened our client base remained. Our thoughts go out to all those that have been less fortunate.
Secondly, there is a massive staffing crisis within the equestrian industry at present at all levels. Although caring for horses may be seen to be a simple (and mucky) job it is actually very skilled as in all industries there are huge difference in standards. There is a national shortage of qualified staff at present. Although a lot of people would like to work with horses there are few qualified coaches especially in our area.
Every business needs some security in terms of planning for the future – but we’ve not been able to as our lease with the council expired seven years ago which has left us in limbo. Unfortunately, this made it impossible to make plans and secure funding for different projects which we had in mind. Businesses can only limp along on an annual basis like this for a finite time. During this time the council has been trying to decide about the overall future for the Park management, at one stage including leasing it to a private operator. Some decisions were made with other lessees but not for us.
Many of you are close friends now and we know Croxteth has been a sanctuary to many over the years, and as well as all of the laughs I’m sure we have all had a reassuring cuddle from our favourite horses when needed. We will all miss you. One thing I will ask is please do not enquire about buying our horses or ponies, we are making arrangements for them all to go to new homes etc and it is a difficult time as it is. You will still see them in the fields for a while I’m sure!
This leads us into the end of this post which I’m afraid got a bit wordy and nostalgic!
Overall, we’re happy that we’ve kept to the vision and upheld the standards we set out to do over forty years ago. So two big “thank you”s, firstly, to you, the people of the Liverpool region, for welcoming us all and keeping us so busy! Second, thank you to all of our horses and ponies over the years for being so kind and teaching so many people new skills and helping them fall in love with horses.
COVID-19 has obvioudly been a major disruption to our lessons and activities in 2020 and 2021. Below are some highlights from previous years:
Pony Club Championships, 18th August 2018
In August we were at Cholmondeley Castle for The Pony Club Championships. Daisy qualified earlier this summer to compete against members from all over the UK. Today she was competing against over 70 others who all qualified in their regions. She rode incredibly well to jump two clear rounds and get into the jump off, eventually finishing 10th! To be 10th best in the country when you don’t own your own horse is an incredible achievement and we are all very proud of Daisy and Casper and how well they represented us. how well they represented us today
Pony Club Area Eventing - 1st July 2018
Our The Pony Club team of Daisy & Casper, Evie & Chip and Jess & Betty were competing at Somerford Park. It was their first ever time Eventing and they did a fabulous job!
All three did a good dressage test, then jumped clear showjumping and then Daisy and Evie also jumped lovely clears cross country with Jess also doing really well with just one blip at the end due to tiring (after all it had been a long day!).
Our team (the only Centre competing) finished 9th in a super competitive class and we couldn't be more pleased with them. No rosettes today but one of the nicest days we've had and in our eyes one of the most successful. Well done girls!
Thanks also to our old Pony Club members Laura and Gemma for coming along to help and support; to all of the volunteers working there today including our own Lucy and finally to East Cheshire Branch of The Pony Club for putting on such a great day.
Pony Club Horse & Pony Care - 18th June 2018
Well done to Ada, Michael and Phoebe who represented CPRC up at Osbaldeston on Sunday 18th. They finished a very credible 8th out of 17 teams! We were very proud of all of their horse knowledge!
Pony Racing at Haydock Park - 7th May 2018
A huge well done to Phoebe and Ella who took part in their first ever race at Haydock Park Racecourse on Sunday 7th May. They were both in the same (very competitive) race of seven starters across 4 furlongs. Phoebe and Sparky raced home to finish 2nd and Ella and Kiki were not far behind at all finishing 4th! This is an amazing achievement for both of them and we would like to thank Carrie and the continued support of the Pony Racing Authority for taking our members on their great scheme.
BHS National Riding Schools Championships 2017
We set off to Warwickshire College to the British Horse Society National Riding Schools Championships with 8 riders from CPRC who qualified at our competition earlier in the year. They were judged on their dressage test, style over a course of jumps and an equestrian quiz.
We had a pretty hectic start- with transport issues so we had to borrow one horse from Moreton Morrell College (a lovely horse called Magic), we also had planned to take Sugar but she was injured so we swapped her for Betty, and finally the massive traffic queue on the morning meaning that we left Croxteth at 5.15 and arrived there at 11!
Thanks to the organisers for understanding our situation and pushing our dressage times back to allow all to compete!
Our 8 riders were:
In the 12 & Unders- Maria Freeman, Phoebe Smedley and Ruby Allen
13-17 Years- Daisy and Evie Scott
18 & Overs - Lucy Cushion, Heather Oxley and Lisa Rogers
All of our riders did a really great job and had some great results to reflect this...
Phoebe riding Betty finished 3rd in her section, Evie and Chip were also 3rd in theirs and in the 18 & Overs Lisa and Pip won with Lucy in 4th and Heather in 7th both on Magic!
This meant that our team from CPRC WON the National Riding Schools Championships!!!
Thanks to all of our riders and their families yesterday for their hard work and support. We are very proud. A big well done also to Viv, Christina and Melissa for coaching so well!
A big well done to Ruby A, Ruby W, Poppy & Michael (pictured below) who all received their certificates from the PRA. We are also excited and very happy to announce that we have another 4 starting the scheme. So, good luck to Ella, Jess, Phoebe and Charlotte! Thanks once again to the PRA for all of their help and giving our members this opportunity.
BHS riding Schools competition - Qualifier
A big well done to all of our clients who took part. You all rode great dressage tests and lovely rounds of jumping. Full results are as follows:
1st - Ruby Allan
2nd - Maria Freeman
3rd - Phoebe Smedley
4th - Ella Baines
5th - Charlotte Hogan
6th - Michael Mulhall
1st - Evie Scott
2nd - Daisy Scott
3rd - Chelsey-leigh Brown
4th - Abby Storey-Bates
5th - Jess Foulkes
6th - Charlotte Jones
1st - Lisa Rogers
2nd - Lucy cushion
3rd - Heather Oxley
4th - Katrine Watkins
5th - Helen Redmond
6th - Isobel Lyon
Well done all!
The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Show 2016/17
This year Melissa and Christina represented us on the Ride Into Liverpool on Cassie and Dippy who thoroughly enjoyed their hack into the city centre. Dippy even got a special haircut for the occasion with a Liver Bird clipped into his coat.
On the run up to the show Casper was at the Echo arena racing the shetland ponies in their Grand National with Wocket Woy & The Pwoducer (a must-see Youtube channel if you like horses and comedy!), and he behaved impeccably.
And finally, congratulations to Ella Baines who won our competition for four gold tickets to the show!
We were really happy to find out that Christina has been awarded a training scholarship from the BHS to fund further training and exams, congratulations!
We were very fortunate to be picked out by the Pony Racing Authority for their great new scheme of getting more people into racing. Poppy Mackin, Ruby Wood, Ruby Allan and Michael Mulhall all completed the scheme and raced this year at Wolverhampton and Beverley racecourses as well as learning a lot along the way under the coaching of Carrie Ford. We are hoping to run this again with another 4 children so watch this space for future jockeys!
Summer 2016 - Pony Club
We have had another great summer with our Pony Club members. We have had teams at the Area Quiz, then qualifying for the final, Area Horse & Pony Care teams, Area and Grassroots dressage and showjumping teams and our Centre Equitation at the Championships teams. Notable highlights include Lydia qualifying for the championships at the area jumping, being the only centre member to do so in the whole of the UK and our fabulous Centre teams for their numerous placings and finishing team 2nd.
We hosted two fun summer camps which were action packed and are looking forward to seeing more and more Pony Club members in our Centre!
BHS Riding Schools Competition - Final, Warwickshire
A 4am start on Wednesday 30th March to head down to Warwickshire for the final of the BHS Riding Schools Competition 2016. We took Vogue, Pip, Macduff and Sugar down to compete. Helen, Jess S, Lisa, Abbie, Evie, Charlotte and Jess F had to complete a dressage test, a course of jumps in front of a big crowd and a quiz to give a final score. All of our riders did a great job and we are very proud of all of them. Lisa finished 2nd individually in the over 18 category and Helen finished 7th in the same class. Evie finished 2nd individually in the 13-17 age category. To carry on the theme our team of Jess Shore, Lisa Rodgers, Helen Redmond and Evie Scott finished 2nd! A very long but worthwhile day - well done to all! Thanks to Jo at the British Horse Society for organising! Photos on our 'Gallery' page
BHS Riding & Road Safety
Well done to Abby Storey-Bates for passing her Riding and Road Safety test. If you would like to do yours then please let us know.
Please see the BHS new Dead Slow Road Safety Campaign : https://youtu.be/x_0FO7eECQo
BHS RIDING SCHOOLS COMPETITION Results
You can pick up your dressage and jumping score sheets at the office from Tuesday onwards.
1st Jess Foulkes
2nd Charlotte Hogan
3rd= Ruby Wood
3rd= Maria Freeman
5th Pheobe Smith
6th Freya Rimmer
1st Abbie Marshall
2nd Evie Scott
3rd Daisy Scott
4th Lydia Neve
5th Phebey Maher
6th Ella Foster
1st Jess Shore
2nd= Lisa Rodgers
2nd= Helen Redmond
4th Natalie Cummins
5th Kayleigh Vinciguerra
6th Vicki Lutas
Well done to all who took part! We hope you all enjoyed yourselves
Work is well under way with the school, all the fences taken down, sand away and new drainage going in! See below re opening times or call our office. We're very excited to have our new arena up and to see you all soon. We've popped a couple of photos below (click to zoom in) of the work and will continue to keep you updated.
Remember we are open this weekend and then will let you know when we will be starting up again for lessons in the new arena on FB and our website. Any queries please call our office on 01512209177 between 9am - 5.30pm
Work on arena
Work on our new arena is going to start on 22/2/16 therefore, there will be no lessons (day and evening) Monday 22nd-Friday 26th. There will be hacks on the weekend of 27th-28th and we hope to be back in the arena the following week (not sure which day yet) but will keep you all posted. The new surface will be fully waxed which means hopefully it will not flood or freeze over! If there are any queries please call the office on 01512209177 between 9am-5.30pm.
BHS Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate
We are currently running stable management evenings which are leading up to the BHS EHKC. This is ideal for our adults who would like to extend their knowledge, meet new people and perfect for those who are hoping to one day have their own horse! We will be running this course again in Spring, please see Viv for more details.
BHS RIDING & ROAD SAFETY COURSE & TEST
The BHS Merseyside are running another Riding & Road Safety Course and test. There is training on 27th, 28th November and 4th December with the test on 5th December. It is all based at Formby. If you are a Pony Club member and wish to take your C Test or above in the upcoming months or if you wish to take your BHS exams at any point this is essential. Please see Viv for more details if you are interested.
Congratulations to Evie & Lydia who passed the last time the course was run.
SUMMER OF SUCCESS 2015
Our Pony Club Centre has been very active this summer with two busy Pony Club camps (see 'Gallery') and teams out competing for Croxteth Park Centre. We have sent teams to Combined Training at Warren Farm, the Area Horse and Pony Care (practical stable management competition), Area Show-jumping- where our team finished 6th and Area Dressage with our team finishing 4th! Rebecca then qualified at the dressage for the Championships where she was the only centre member (person without their own horse) competing and finished 9th nationally. We sent two teams to the Centre Equitation at the Championships and they finished 1st and 10th with many individual successes! To finish off our summer we took three teams to an inter-centre competition at Carrington where everybody rode brilliantly and had some fabulous individual placings.
It is always a pleasure to take our Pony Club members out to competitions and we thank everyone at CPRC for helping them be able to go out and compete by supporting their fund raising days! More information can be found on our Pony Club page.
So pleased that Cathy from our Saturday 5pm lesson is now an Ambassador for #thisgirlcan! Find out more about the campaign locally at @thisgirlcanliv on Twitter or on their Facebook page. Please 'like' the video on Facebook and Youtube!
#thisgirlcan filming at CPRC
Our Saturday 5pm lesson (Cathy, Jane, Michelle, Jennifer, Lowrie, Joelly and Helen) were all film stars this Saturday (18th April) being filmed for the #thisgirlcan campaign. They all looked great having a jump out in the field and we hope to see them on screen soon!
BHS NATIONAL RIDING SCHOOLS COMPETITION 2015 AT WARWICKSHIRE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
A huge congratulations to our six riders who went to the final of the National Riding Schools Competition run by the BHS. It was an early start to Moreton Morrell for the dressage, show jumping and quiz with the combined results giving a placing. Lucy Cushion (pictured below) and Helen Redmond were both riding Vogue in the 'Over 18' section. Patrick Auth on Betty and Abbie Marshall on Pip were in the '13-17 years old' section and Ella Foster on Pip and Lydia Neve on Betty represented the '13 and Unders'. Everybody did extremely well with Lucy finishing 2nd individually, Helen 7th, Abbie 4th, Ella 4th and Lydia and Patrick just out of the placings. Our team finished a great 4th and we were very proud of how everybody rode on the day.