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What Makes a First Class Horse Arena Surface for Competitions?
20/05/2015 15:24:20

Equestrian competition centres rely on rider entries for a large part of their income and top riders will be wanting to compete on the safest and most consistent horse arena surfaces they can.

Martin Collins Enterprises, who set the winning standard in equestrian multi-purpose and competition surfaces and riding arena construction both in the UK and internationally, take a look at what makes a first class competition arena.

The most popular arena disciplines:

Show jumping surfaces

We understand that, when show jumping, the rider must balance the need for the horse to go as fast as possible and turn tightly, while still leaving the poles in their cups.  Martin Collins' horse arena surfaces for show jumping are therefore designed to:

  • Be more "open" (than a dressage surface) to allow greater penetration of the hoof 
  • Provide sufficient support to facilitate take off
  • Provide controlled shear on landing to prevent jar

Dressage surfaces

We understand that, for Dressage, you need to be confident that the horse arena surface will provide:

  • A secure footing, allowing your horses to perform more confidently
  • Exactly the right balance of stability and energy return (spring) to encourage your horses to be expressive in their paces and develop top line, while performing to the best of their ability

A case in point:  Addington Manor:

In 2012, Equestrian Team GBR chose Addington Manor , where the riding arena surfaces have been supplied and installed by Martin Collins  as one of their training venues for the final build up to the London Olympic Games.

Explains Addington Manor’s proprietor, Tim Price:

"The decision to use Martin Collins surfaces at Addington was relatively easy.  They provide a high quality product that is suitable for Addington as a busy equestrian centre which needs to meet the requirements of multiple equestrian disciplines.

"The riders appreciate Addington because all the surfaces are provided by Martin Collins, so there is consistency throughout. The firmness and softness is very easy to produce across all disciplines.

"The smallest indoor school at Addington is used for dressage and as a collecting ring for other events, and so is the most used arena in the country, and the surface rides fantastic. 

"The Martin Collins horse arena surfaces speak for themselves, particularly in the light of the amount of competitions that they are used for. There are very high dressage scores on the competitions held at Addington.   Maintenance of the surfaces is very easy and the longevity allows us to spread the cost over a longer period,”  ends Price.

Contact the Experts

Martin Collins Enterprises understands the needs of different horses at all levels and the different demands placed on riding arenas which are multi-purpose whether for competitions, clinics or for riding instruction. 

They are the supplier of choice for the horse arena surface at many of the world's most prestigious competitions and events, including Royal Windsor Horse Show, World Cup Final Leipzig, Hamburg Derby, the Youth Olympics, Singapore and the Dual European Dressage and Show Jumping Championships.

Contact us now for advice and information on riding arena construction for competition centres.

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