Lavant stables defy business odds

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THE recession might be a bumpy ride for some businesses, but Lavant House Stables has defied the double-dip economy and reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of adults learning to ride there in the past 12 months.

As a result, its recently-released activity programme for May to December is also 50 per cent bigger, packed full of events for all ages and experiences including own a pony days, bring a friend days, family riding days, dressage, cross country and show jumping training, summer riding camps and a new full programme for adults.

“Our children’s Pony Club has been recognised as one of the largest and most active in the UK for many years,” explained owner Lucy Thomson.

“This year we didn’t want the children to have all the fun to themselves so we re-launched our riding club for adults and a full year of events, training and learning opportunities around that.”

An increase in male riders has come as something of an unexpected but welcome surprise for the equestrian centre.

“We have more than 35 stunning horses here already, many with superb Spanish breeding, but they are not quite right for male riders so we have returned to Ireland to source more substantial horses specifically to cater for our male riders,” said Lucy.

The new activity programme also features a full diary for those with their own horses at livery at the stables, which have trebled in numbers during the past year, and frequent professional training sessions for Lavant House Stables staff with legendary equestrian experts such as Robert Pickles.

“It’s important that we stay continually at the forefront of our profession, offering a safe, fun and structured place for people of all ages to ride on superb horses and ponies,” Lucy explained.

“Our success and activity programme is testament to how well we deliver just the right balance of everything.”

With the summer sun now making a full-time appearance, Lavant House has seen an influx of people booking to hack out into the South Downs National Park on its doorstep.

“The hacks are a fabulous opportunity for our staff to get out with customers and see some truly glorious countryside together on horseback. There’s no better way to see it,” said Lucy.

To find out more about the stables, the 200-plus events and activities taking place this year, visit { |} or call 01243 530460.