There have been a lot of changes at Island Riding Centre, probably the largest being a new management team, which is led by Kirsty Snodgrass.

Kirsty will be known to many on the Island as the District Commissioner of the Isle of Wight Pony Club and brings a wealth of experience having previously managed the riding school at Brickfields Horse and Country and been part of such iconic equestrian institutions as Norris Castle and Lightbowns liveries.

Kirsty is ably assisted by our two existing BHS instructors Kate Cockle and Sophie Benjamin who have recently joined on a permanent basis, as well as Yard Administrator Gayle Jackson.

Kirsty Snodgrass

Kirsty Snodgrass

“I’ve been riding since the age of 2 when I apparently started shouting ‘pony’ repeatedly at my parents! None of my family were horsey but they duly palmed me off on a riding school and as I grew up I spent any spare time I could at the riding school learning to ride and care for ponies.

I am the very proud DC of the Isle of Wight Pony Club Branch and am now looking forward to the new challenge of an equestrian centre.”

Learn more about Kirsty here.

Kate Cockle

“I started riding at quite a late age of 12 when I joined my after school club for horse riding lessons with my older sister. Then I just couldn’t stay away! None of my family were ‘horsey’ so it came as quite a shock, but my mum and dad supported it completely as it got my sister and myself out in the fresh air and working hard!

I volunteered all my spare time at my local riding stables , learning to care for and ride the ponies and horses”.

Learn more about Kate here.

Childrens Riding Lessons

Sophie Benjamin

Sophie spent much of her youth at Norris Castle which was a stud farm on the Island breeding New Forest Ponies where she was competing and training both their ponies and her own.

She enjoyed her time with the Isle of Wight Pony Club and began to teach informally as she got older.

Learn more about Sophie here.

Gayle Jackson

“I started riding age 10 by backing a Shetland pony and survived to tell the tale, so I’ve been riding for 17 years now!

Over the years I’ve gained experience in breaking in and retraining problem horses, Retraining a couple of ex racehorses and have worked on yards here in the UK and a yard in Sydney.”

Learn more about Gayle here.

Gayle Jackson

We have exciting plans for the equestrian centre over the coming months, as well as the arena and restaurant there will be an onsite hacking track and further stabling that will increase our overall capacity above 50 horses and create further livery opportunities.

Keep following for more announcements!