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Following a blog I wrote on the subject of horse-riding, enthusiasm was renewed for a campaign headed by Lydia Rivlin to try and get land for an equestrian centre in Ally Pally. Below is an extract from the Friends of Alexandra Palace website outlining the campaign.
Equestrian Centre in Alexandra Park?
Gordon Hutchinson and Nick Bryant of the Friends committee met one of the group’s members, Lydia Rivlin, to find out what was being proposed. Lydia explained that the plan is just conceptual at present, as a commercial operator has not yet been identified. However the main elements of the proposal have been thought through.
The idea is to take over the Upper Field, sometimes referred to as the Football Field, which lies between the boating pond and the deer enclosure. In that area stables would be constructed for 30 to 40 horses, together with a barn to store feed, a tack room, toilets, staff facilities and four sand covered arenas where most of the riding would actually take place. There would be a track for riding round the perimeter of the Upper Field, but there would be no riding in the rest of the Park. An indication of how the Upper Field could be utilised by an Equestrian Centre can be seen in the attached document (see Equestrian Centre Map at the end of this web page).
It is envisaged that the centre would provide riding lessons, livery for individuals who wanted to keep a horse at the centre, and opportunities for school children and disabled children and adults to experience riding. Horse boxes and feed delivery vehicles would have to access the field. Horse manure would have to be removed.
Clearly local horse riders would appreciate the opportunity to ride without travelling to the likes of Trent Park, Mill Hill and Arkley. Also riding for the disabled and children has many benefits. However, a development of this nature would destroy an open and peaceful area of the Park, and may not be acceptable within the Metropolitan Open Land and Conservation Area designations of the Park.What do YOU think about this proposal?
Thanks for posting the map Adrian and for your bang on points Sgreeners.
I, too, love the idea of horses in Ally Pally but this scheme won't get approval and won't work.
Now I've seen the map my worst fears are confirmed. Not a square inch of turnout. Lawks-a-mercy as the Victorians might say. It looks like a prison from the era. An equine Pentonville.
Pity the clients too, that riding circuit looks deathly boring ("let's have a nice hack around the buildings") - they'll be reaching for the laudanum to end their misery.
Forget this and do as Sgreeners suggests and Cupcake related in her original blog posting. Seek out a riding school in the outskirts of London/Greenbelt. There are more than you might think just north and east of N8. They've been fighting hard and deserve your support. To get a steer on possibles visit either the British Horse Society's or the Association of British Riding Schools websites. Both inspect their approved schools for horse care and quality of teaching etc.
PS This above isn't an ad or PR I just want to offer a constructive note after all my disapproval. No part of my income derives from anything to do with horses. (Although it used to.)
I do agree with all of this though, horses should not be stabled, that makes me sad inside.
Every summer I say I'm going to find somewhere to go horse riding but I never do because its bloody expensive. SIGH.
This all sounds really wonderful. When Ally Pally had its Race course I came with my father who was a trainer it was a wonderful course so welcoming and all the horses seemed to enjoy running there. They were never the high flyers (Derby prospects etc) but they were bred to race and enjoyed it. It would be great to see horses and ponies in Ally Pally again.
A few years ago I used to ride at a riding school in the Epping area where horses from the inner London stables used to go for a holiday. They were turned out in fields and /or ridden in the forest. Perhaps this could be an option for the Ally Pally horses.
I would love to support this campaign.
Looks like the campaign to bring horse-riding to Ally Pally is hotting up. There have been some enquiries made from sporting people and the campaign will be covered in local press - first in the Ham & High I think.
I'll keep you informed of links etc but in the meantime, if you'd like to be involved or have any queries do contact the campaign leader Lydia Rivlin at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love the idea. We could always adopt a horse and take responsibility for taking it to somewhere regularly, where it can graze a bit and then take it back home?
No, I admit, I know nothing about horses.