We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to Island Riding Centre.
During a two hour visit the Princess was able to see a range of the current projects in operation and met with many of the individuals associated with these.
A brief introduction with owners Louise and Paul Buckner and Wighthorse Community Interest Company (CIC) trustee Christina Czarkowski-Crouch was followed by a tour of the main yards meeting grooms Angel, Emily and Katie and a number of the riding school ponies and liveries.
On the yard the full-time level 2 and 3 students from HTP spoke about their course work and later in the visit the level 3 students performed a musical ride under the stewardship of instructor Jo Hogan, and HTP owners Rachael and Malcolm Randall outlined the benefits of the courses on offer through HTP and IRC.
Christina was able to explain the great work that Wighthorse CIC is doing, providing riding opportunities for children and adults with financial, social and physical difficulties and HRH was shown a demonstration of the para-rider hoist that will enable even those with the most severe physical limitations to ride and the Princess later visited the newly opened café where all profits go to the CIC.
A further riding demonstration under the instruction of Kim Watts came from the pupils of St Catherines School for children with special educational needs who ride regularly with IRC.
Part of the tour saw the Princess inspect the recently finished safari ‘glamping’ tents which with the support of the IW Rural Fund will enable larger groups from schools and clubs from both on and off the Island visit and not only take part in equestrian activities but also explore the outdoor opportunities on offer.
The classroom was in use with our weekly ‘messy play’ session run by SCOPE and the Princess made time to meet everyone and saw at first hand the benefits of having the Changing Places WC on site has made, allowing individuals with severe disabilities the rare chance to venture out for a welcome change of scene.
The visit concluded with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the visit before the party departed for the mainland on the royal helicopter.
March 12th saw the very first exhibition in our indoor arena. After a day of laying the wooden floor, Coast and Country Marquees transformed our 1500sqm arena into a useable event space for Medina Foodservice to host their annual catering exhibition.
With over 100 exhibitors showcasing products ranging from ice creams to pies and gin to fresh cakes there was something for everyone and the show was a huge success. Cory Williams operations director at Medina Foodservice said “What a fantastic venue for exhibitions and functions! Such a large expanse of space that can be adapted to suit all kinds of larger scale events. We’re so pleased with the riding centre and how they accommodated our busy set up!”
One exhibitor exclaimed “This is just like the NEC!” Maybe not quite but the venue proved it can be versatile and we are already discussing a number of alternative events that this huge indoor space could host such as weddings, live music and presentation dinners and functions.
If you would like to find out more about hiring the venue please call us on 01983 214000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org