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Riding in Haringey - a campaign for an equestrian centre at Ally Pally

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?

July 2011

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?

Tags: Haringey, horse-riding

Views: 617

Replies to This Discussion

So refreshing to hear the views of Interested. From what I have read, this proposal could work for small ponies who only require limited grazing and somewhere to mooch about when they are not working but there simply is not enough space to provide meaningful turnout for larger horses. And I wouldn't be comfortable supporting a plan which aspired to the flyover/Victorian system of horse husbandry. Anyone who is interested should visit the Lea Valley Riding School. It's only 15 minutes away and the horses spend a lot of their 'downtime' in one of their huge fields, often in a mixed herd. The result is happy, healthy horses who don't have the institutionalised air which goes with being cooped up 20-plus hours a day. I'd love to see and ride horses at Ally Pally but I'm not sure how this can work on such a small site. Perhaps horses from another more suitably situated school could be brought in temporarily.

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.

Thank you Sgreeners - bringing in horses temporarily is definitely an option worth exploring and something that was discussed with a view to further thought. Again, I will pass this on to the campaigners and let you know their thoughts.
If there was horse riding available in Ally pally it would literally answer all of my life problems, I miss riding more than you could ever know, I want my pony back, why do I live in London WHY.
I have fed your comments back to the group and the key point they've come back with is that the plan is purely for the riding school. There is another area designated for consideration for pasture which hasn't been fully walked through yet but there are parties involved with in depth experience of horses involved whose primary concerns will be for the welfare of the horses first and foremost. If you'd like more information or to be involved in the walkround, please do let me know so I can put you in touch.  As the initial post by the Friends of Alexandra Park states, this is a purely a concept at the moment and all avenues are being explored. Anyone with passion, knowledge and interest in horses and the idea, will be warmly welcomed.
I'm going to keep track of this, its definitely something I'd like to be involved in if I can. Totally don't have time to get terribly involved in right now but I secretly love mucking out and grooming.

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. 

I don't think anyone wants to see horses stabled 24/7 and that is not the proposal.  I will keep you all posted and thank you so much for your enthusiasm for the initial concept. I'll give details of how to support the campaign and how you can get involved.  When I said that the plan is just for the riding school, I meant the actual paper plan that Adrian attached. The whole concept covers a much bigger area and would be suitable pasture for the horses to roam.

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 rideinharingey@btinternet.com

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.


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