Riding school’s long tradition

A LONG-established family riding school, on the edge of the Sussex Downs at Shoreham, is continuing its excellent work 47 years after it was founded by proprietor Esther Turrell.

Esther continues to run this friendly yard today, where the riding school attracts all age ranges. Happy Valley Riding Centre originated when Esther first started her riding school back in 1968.

She recalled: “Things were very different from how they are in the current day. You could just jump on a horse and off you went- no riding hat was necessary.  These days things are very different, and health and safety is paramount for us.  We take that very seriously at our riding school.”

Working with horses definitely runs in the family, Esther and her husband Bill, sons Henry and Billy and niece Carla Pay are all part of the family business.  Esther and Bill’s son, Henry Turrell, is an international show jumper competing all around the world.  Henry also offers first class livery, as well as jumping lessons at Happy Valley Riding School when he is not competing.

Lilly Millford riding her own pony Bertie

Lilly Millford riding her own pony, Bertie, in a recent competition day at Happy Valley Riding School

The centre recently held a competition which attracted all age ranges and abilities of riders and the emphasis was on enjoyment, as well as the all important safety. There was a huge turnout in different classes throughout the day, with the range of classes ensuring there was something for everyone.

Carla Pay (riding instructor and events organiser) teaches riding and jumping lessons.  Carla said “We have horses and ponies to suit all ages and abilities.  The riding school is based on the foot of the Sussex Downs – we offer something for everyone.”

Not only that, but this unique centre is based in superb surroundings, which are enjoyed by everyone riding there.

Sue Priddle with her own pony Winnie

Another successful competitor, Sue Priddle with her own pony, Winnie

Happy Valley Riding Centre holds regular fun days and competitions, which are always well-subscribed. They give riders of all ages the chance to compete in a range of classes, including fun events, putting the skills they have been taught into good use.

The next event coming up is October half-term fun. There will be stable days for younger riders on Monday October 26 and Thursday October 29 for younger riders.

They will be grooming the ponies and having a riding lesson ( or two if they are staying for the whole day), clean tack,  muck out some stables and have plenty of fun. Morning sessions are from 9am-1pm. with all day 9am-4pm .
For more information, contact Carla on 01273 464537.

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