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3:59pm Friday 17th September 2010 in June
FIFTY years of helping young riders in the saddle has been celebrated at Newton Hall Equestrian Centre.
Well known in equestrian circles throughout the eastern region and especially her home county of Suffolk, Rossie Theobald celebrated the 50th anniversary of Newton Hall Equestrian Centre in Swilland, near Ipswich with more than 300 guests at the nearby Hotel Elizabeth, Copdock.
A qualified British Horse Society instructor, Rossie’s love of horses and riding began at an early age.
As a young girl, Rossie was encouraged by her father to ride in order to build up her appetite, and by the time she was 15, she was already giving some riding instruction on her parents’ 110-acre Newton Hall farm. Her father died in 1959 when Rossie was just 16, the same year she joined the noted Silver Hound Riding Club in Surrey to train as a riding instructor. She returned to Newton Hall to build up the fledgling riding school in 1960.
Rossie, who had been ably assisted by her mother Eloise and younger sister Elaine, grew the business steadily. Gradually, farm buildings were converted to more stables, tack and feed rooms and in 1962, an indoor school was built. She became a BHSI in 1968, and to accommodate the increasing number of students, a new hostel and office were built. While Rossie has ensured that equitation skills remain at the core of the business, Newton Hall has grown considerably since those early years and is now one of the leading riding centres in the region.
It is an approved British Horse Society Training and Exam Centre and Livery Yard, and has several BHS qualified instructors both full and part-time. Set within 70 acres of grassland, Newton Hall Equitation Centre has the indoor Newton Hall arena, two all-weather outdoor arenas, an indoor school, cross country fences, a number of fenced paddocks and a 54ft diameter horse walker.
The arena has a judges’ box at first floor level for good visibility, and a livery yard with 26 indoor loose boxes. Livery owners are able to appreciate the facilities and schooling at Newton Hall, and there are over 70 horses and ponies on site.
Newton Hall Equitation Centre is very much a family affair. Rossie’s husband, Peter, is the business manager and their two daughters, Kirsten and Petrina, are actively involved in the running of the business. A major new extension to the arena will be completed later this year, including a 200-seater spectators; gallery, cafeteria, show office, lecture theatre, classrooms, showers and changing rooms.“I may even learn how to access our Facebook page!” adds Rossie