Olympian Kitty King recently cut the ribbon at the formal opening of Stonar School’s Equestrian Centre, following a comprehensive rebuilding and renovation project.

Extensive investment in the rebuild has seen the construction of new stables, new barns, a farrier box and tack rooms. The visitor and reception facilities have also had a comprehensive overhaul, with new changing and shower rooms, a new lecture room and a smart new viewing gallery overlooking the indoor school, offering a comfortable space for visitors to relax and spectate.

At a ceremony attended by pupils, parents, and friends of the Atworth-based school, Kitty King gave a warm and inspiring speech about what a powerful place horses can play in education, teaching the life skills of reliability, patience and perseverance.

Following the ceremony, Stonar’s riders celebrated the opening with a show-jumping competition and gymkhana games for our younger riders.

Darrell Scaife, Director of Riding, said, “We are delighted to have completed this comprehensive rebuilding and refurbishment programme which underpins the learning experience we offer here with excellent facilities. Our philosophy is to enable our students to get where they want to be but without always telling them how to do it. Instead we offer a pathway of practical training techniques, unique rider development programmes and diverse equestrian experiences, allowing the pupils to take ownership of their own learning.”

Compliments have flooded in for the facilities following the upgrade, including from the British Horse Society. Judith Murphy, a BHS Chief Assessor who attended the opening, commented, “The facilities are exceptional and will provide a superb learning environment to all of the Stonar students.”

Kitty King is a British Olympic eventing rider. She competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro finishing 5th in the team competition. King also participated at two European Eventing Championships, taking team silver at and fourth place the 2015 Europeans held at Blair Castle.