Equine Director of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Phillip Cheetham, shares how an electric rolling door system has enabled students to use a new multi-use riding arena in all weathers.
Hartpury University and Hartpury College is a specialist education provider in Gloucester specialising in agriculture, animal, equine, sport and veterinary nursing.
Phillip explains that they required an open-sided arena that was suitable for competitions and daily use without compromising on an ‘outdoor feel’. Hartpury University and Hartpury College’s arenas are used when they host equestrian events, ranging from international competitions to local Pony Club meets. The clean, modern facilities attract some of the equestrian world’s leading stars each year including local dressage riders Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, as well as a host of other World, Olympic, Paralympic and European champions. Each year, the venue hosts the international NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage as well as the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.
Choice of weather-proofing product
As the arena is used for multiple purposes, many factors had to be considered when deciding which weather protection system to use.
The arena needed to protect students against adverse conditions to allow them to continue their education in all weathers, while delivering the optimal conditions for riders competing at national and international events. As well as providing a warm-up arena for outdoor competitions, the arena is used by students studying a range of equine, human-animal interaction and canine diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
“We wanted an arena with a roof that you could use in any weather but allows you to feel like you’re riding outside.”
A desire for an alfresco experience meant that a more traditional construction, for example, wooden walls with Yorkshire boarding at the top, was not an option. This led Hartpury University and Hartpury College to install Multibay on two sides of the arena.
Impact of Multibay at Hartpury
The placement of the screens on one long and one short side of the riding arena stops a prevailing wind from causing disruption to students and animals, while the rigid fabric and sturdy fastenings do not make any noise.
Phillip says that a key feature of the Multibays has been their privacy. “Those inside the arena can see out clearly giving them unrivalled views whilst those outside can’t see in,” he says.
“Everyone who’s been in the arena loves it. It’s become our student’s favourite!”