Construction starts on £700,000 arena at Hartpury college and university in Gloucestershire

Hartpury Equine students

Construction is under way on a £700,000 modern arena at Hartpury to expand its range of facilities and increase equine and canine research opportunities.

The Equine and Animal Assisted Arena (EAAA) will consist of a covered indoor arena and covered round pen.

As well as enabling students to gain practical skills and knowledge, the facilities will deliver a modern setting for equine and canine research and development projects, dog agility training, equitation clinics and animal-assisted therapy.

The development has had significant backing from charitable trusts and foundations, keen to join Hartpury in its commitment to improve animal welfare and engagement in human-animal interaction activities to support local people.

Access to the facilities, located behind the Hartpury Arena, will be available to riders competing at Hartpury’s equestrian events, notably the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, the NAF Five Star Showjumping Spectacular and the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.

Originally planned for last year but delayed due to Covid-19, the project is being undertaken by longstanding partners Andrews Bowen Equine Developments, an official surface supplier to Hartpury, and is expected to be completed by the end of August ahead of an official opening.

Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury  College, said: “We’re delighted that construction is now under way on the Equine and Animal Assisted Arena, which will be an important addition to our current range of facilities on campus.

“We’d like to express our deepest thanks to all the supporting trusts involved in helping to fund the project – the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust, the Childwick Trust and the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust – and to the Office for Students for providing a grant.

“We are continuing to seek funding support to complete the entire development to maximise benefits.

“Andrews Bowen have always delivered high standards of excellence since we started working with them in 2006 and we’re delighted to be working with them again on this latest project.”

In line with sustainability, the covered indoor will be built with an Equaflow base in order to attenuate rainfall from the building roofs that can then be released via controlled discharge into the existing site drainage.

Manufactured from recycled material, Equaflow will provide a highly consistent sub base for the surfacing. Both areas will be installed with Andrews Bowen’s ProWax surface to match with the existing surfaces already on site.

David Andrews, Managing Director at Andrews Bowen, said: “We have been working with Hartpury for over 15 years, a relationship that has seen the facilities develop for a multitude of disciplines and riders of all levels, from grassroots through to international.

“We are in no doubt that the new covered arenas, installed with our Equaflow base and ProWax surface will be of great benefit to the equestrian community at Hartpury for the future ahead.”