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Solihull Riding Club

Dec 7, 2023Case Studies

The UK’s largest riding club opted for two different surfaces from Equestrian Direct. Find out how both have improved life at the busy and highly regarded venue.

Established in 1943 and an affiliated centre for all the major disciplines, Solihull Riding Club is one of the country’s leading equestrian venues. 

A busy and popular centre for training and competition, the venue is always in demand with events running seven days a week. Some of the UK’s top riders hold clinics at the club and it is one of a select band of venues regularly used by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) for its Elite Squad training, meaning the right surface has to be durable, versatile and of the highest quality.

With both indoor arenas laid with TurfFloat – and winning plaudits from happy riders – when the country’s longest running riding club was looking for the perfect new surface for its 80m x 54m outdoor arena the team opted for Flexiride.

With a packed schedule of events throughout the year it was imperative that the new surface could stand up to a high volume of usage, providing the cushioning needed for showjumping and arena eventing, as well as the freedom of movement necessary for flatwork.

Club Chairman Ellie Spelman explains: “The outside school is used six or seven days every week for training, showjumping, dressage and arena eventing.”

“This spring, with the weather being so wet, having Flexiride has been brilliant. Being able to offer British Showjumping classes on a surface has been a real bonus and we’ve even been able to modify our one-day event course to run a combined event using some of our grass cross-country course and then the outdoor arena. It shows just how versatile Flexiride is.”

The original surface was laid in 2009 and was last topped up three years ago.

Consultative approach

With such a wide range of client demands to meet, the team at Solihull looks to Equestrian Direct for ongoing support on a regular basis.

I speak to [sales manager] Becky at Equestrian Direct frequently. She’s so helpful and always on hand to offer advice and guidance over the phone. She has even come out to visit us on-site several times.”

“Clients like the BEF have very specific needs for the surfaces they want to use. There are so many innovations in surface technology, so it’s important for us to be able to offer the latest and the best. Equestrian Direct has been brilliant at helping us meet the demands of our clients.”

This is a really consultative approach, designed to support the ongoing needs for the customer, with Equestrian Direct being able to offer advice on a whole range of related issues.

“Alongside this the team is also great at making suggestion for different contractors to work with,” adds Ellie.

‘Money well spent’

A quality surface is an investment, but using the right products at the start of a project avoids costly remedial work further down the line.

“For us at Solihull, Flexiride is very much a case of money well spent,” concludes Ellie.

The product can be laid in one of three ways – on top of equestrian grade silica sand, as an all-in-one or as an all-in-one with sand through the top for a firmer ride. The team at Solihill opted to use the product as an all-in-one.

With a range of options at installation, Flexiride is a surprisingly cost-effective choice for such a high-quality product. The fact it can be used for all disciplines and requires almost zero upkeep means it saves time and money over the long term.