Teens take the reins at Parkside Stables

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Young riders at Parkside Stables in Alfreton are the latest to launch a Young Equestrians group which allows teens to connect with equestrian sport through a fun social hub.

The group of 13 equine enthusiasts kicked off the launch with fun ice-breaker games where they got to know each other, before discussing ideas for the future and what they would like to achieve through the scheme.

Suggestions included ideas such as roller blading and ice-skating as well as trying new riding experiences and going on trips to equestrian events. They plan to fund their activities using money raised through bake sales, car washes and shows which will give other riders the chance to take part in competitions and win a rosette.

Young equestrian Hollie Irwin, 18, said: “I am looking forward to learning all about the different aspects of the horsey world.”

Gemma O’Hagan, 16, added: “Young Equestrians brings us all together.

“Some of us have known each other a long time, but others are new to the group. We already spend time together at the stables but this gives us the perfect environment to socialise and enjoy ourselves.”

Simon and Amanda Stalker, owners of Parkside Stables, said: “We are really pleased with the enthusiasm for Young Equestrians and the excitement has grown over the past few weeks as we’ve been putting the finishing touches to the clubhouse.

“It was clear they all loved the session tonight from all the chatting and giggles – they even tidied up for us at the end of the session.

“They have some fabulous ideas already, we are looking forward to seeing their plans come to life.”

Originally developed by Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme, the Young Equestrians scheme is being delivered through The Pony Club and will target riding schools across England. Thanks to Sport England funding, Young Equestrians will provide participants with more choice and freedom in how they take part in equestrianism, as well as providing a focus on skill development.

For more information on how to get involved in the programme visit: www.youngequestrians.club.