Inclusive Equestrian Centre Expands on Isle of Wight

Paul and Louise Buckner are creating an inclusive centre on the Isle of Wight for all riding enthusiasts. The Island Riding Centre at Aisthorpe Farm, Staplers Road, Newport, has a new outdoor arena, opened by Paralympian and TV journalist Ade Adepitan in July.


The all-weather 60 metre by 40 metre outdoor arena will soon be joined by an indoor arena with a restaurant, café, classroom and shops, and a barn for riding school ponies. Shufflebottom has both of these under construction.


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 The new indoor arena under construction at the Island Riding Centre.


The centre already offers eight self-catering properties, sleeping between six and ten guests each. All have wheelchair access, one is all on ground level, two more have downstairs bedrooms and wet rooms, and another has a downstairs double bedroom, wet room, and wheelchair-friendly kitchen with adjustable sink and hob. The accommodation is resource-efficient, with solar photovoltaic and thermal panels for energy and hot water, also rainwater harvesting and a water treatment plant.


The existing stables house 18 horses and ponies at livery for their owners, who can train in the outdoor school and will also be able to use the indoor arena.


Catering for Everyone

Riding activities cater for everyone, from complete novices to the highly proficient, taking in former riders who may have been out of the saddle for many years, wheelchair users, and mature folk aged 70+.


The latest buildings, both with galvanised steel frames, will add an indoor riding space of 60 metres by 25 metres, as well as shop space and waiting areas along the sides, and a raised café area at one end. Side cladding of treated timber Castle boarding will harmonise with the original stables, and the insulated Kingspan Leathergrain plastic-coated box-profile roof cladding has 86 roof lights for maximum daylight.


The barn, almost 18.3 metres by 12.3 metres, will have treated timber Castle boarding side cladding and fibre cement roof cladding.


Ferry Deals from the Mainland

The major new additions mean that Island Riding Centre is set to become an even bigger draw for horse enthusiasts, attracting riders travelling by ferry from the English mainland. "We do have ferry deals and plans in mind to attract schools and riding groups from the mainland," said Paul.


Louise and Paul decided to create this top-notch equestrian centre when they learned in 2013 that a premier riding venue on the island, Brickfields Horse Country, was closing. They acquired Aisthorpe Farm in 2015, and recruited local riders Tian Hughes as general manager and Amy Hose as a key instructor, and set about making riding accessible to everyone.