It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I have to announce that The Hand Equestrian Centre has closed.
As you all know we bought the Hand around 8 years ago as a run down old shed and as a family we have invested a small fortune and all of our time into the facility to develop it into an Olympic approved venue for all to enjoy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of staff for their commitment and hard work over the years and would like to wish them all the very best for the future. They and they alone were the proud winners of the BSJA’s coveted 'Centre of the Year award’ as voted by you the members, for that I thank you all.
As an equine facility HEC is renowned throughout the UK for its high calibre facilities and shows - The June Delight, The November Dazzler and the Ding Dong will all be remembered as Hand's own brand of show jumping extravaganza. I would like to take this opportunity also to thank all the sponsors that helped towards supporting these shows. There have been many of course over the years but some of the longest and most dedicated are Toby Baker, Bakers of Nailsea, Guy Salmon Landrover, Gill May, Ross Giles and George Baker. Along with all of the class sponsors that helped us to fund some of our prize money over the years.
I would also like to specifically acknowledge some the staff that have worked tirelessly to make these shows a success; Joanne Davies (Aunty Jo), Jody Port, Poppy Elliott, Cathryn Tinnion, Mark Burge, Chris Denham, Chris and Lisa Rafferty, Brad Gibson, Toni Tipping, Jules Bratchie-Hill, Jenny Brockway, Val, Mary Hill, Helen Barber, Anne Newbery and all other judges/officials. Petter Gillespie, Mark McGowen, POB, Raf Suarez, Ian Clarke, Kevin Howdle, Leo Gorringe, Sam Pepperall, Bob Smith - thank you all.
Well, you will all be aware that for years HEC has not been able to make enough money to pay its way through equestrian activities alone but we have always managed to make up the shortfall. It has been our challenge over the years to try and diversify the business and find new sources of income that compliment HEC horse activities to ensure its continued future. It is no secret that I have met with fierce resistance to any and all of these proposals. Even now, HEC is under enforcement action from North Somerset Council to stop holding its car boot sales on a Saturday and events like the Zero to Hero white collar boxing, all of which helped in some small way to keep the centre going. Unfortunately the time is now upon us when we have to do something different.
We have agonised over this decision but are faced now with no alternative but to close the centre and put the property up for sale. Again thank you all for your support over the years. We very much appreciated it and we are sorry that we could not keep it up. I’m sure you will all understand.
Kind regards to everyone,