British Eventing is delighted to welcome Mendip Plains Ston Easton, a family run equestrian centre in the heart of the Somerset countryside, into the calendar for 2022.
The event will run on 14th and 15th May 2022 (week 11 of the season). Offering classes from BE80 to BE100 and providing superb facilities, such as a 90m x 50m all-weather outdoor arena and plenty of hard standing lorry and trailer parking, it promises to become a popular target for grassroots riders in the Southwest region.
The equestrian centre is run by the Green family, who have been farming on the Waldegrave Estate in Chewton Mendip and Ston Easton for more than 80 years. Ston Easton already has a rich history with British Eventing – many members will remember the event run just a stone’s throw away on neighbouring farmland in the ‘80s and ‘90s. One of the landowners and a joint organiser of that event was John Doman, Great Uncle to the Centre Manager at Mendip Plains Ston Easton, Hannah Smith (née Green).
“We are delighted to be bringing affiliated eventing back to Ston Easton,” said Hannah. “Since opening our gates in August 2014 we have developed into a much-established venue in the Southwest, offering schooling, unaffiliated and affiliated dressage, show jumping competitions, hunter trials and unaffiliated ODE’s. Our ultimate goal has been to run our very own BE fixture and we are thrilled to now have this opportunity.
“We owe the Waldegrave family a huge vote of thanks for allowing us the opportunity to diversify into the equestrian sector. Our aim has always been to provide a facility for all ages and abilities, with a warm welcome and a friendly face. Whether eventing is your hobby, or you are out to produce the next Badminton winner, we hope we can be part of your eventing journey. We look forward to bringing you a well organised, fun and welcoming weekend of eventing in the Southwest”
“We are delighted to welcome Mendip Plains Ston Easton into the BE calendar,” said BE Chief Executive, Helen West. “Many of our members will have fond memories of the days of the previous Ston Easton Horse Trials and it will be wonderful to have affiliated eventing back in this beautiful corner of Somerset. We look forward to working with the Green family and their team and hope many riders in the Southwest will be putting the date in their diaries.”
Getting to know the team at Mendip Plains Ston Easton:
“At Mendip Plains Ston Easton we pride ourselves on being a family run business and we hope this shows through in the running of our events,” says Hannah. “We are incredibly lucky to have built up a fabulous team of judges and volunteers over the years, many whom have become friends and part of the family. We owe them a huge thanks and are sure that they will be just as excited as us about making it on to the BE fixtures list.
“My Dad, Duncan Green, runs the farm which consists of dairy, arable and a little beef. Look out for our very popular home reared burgers from the farm in our onsite café, the Jockeys Rest! He is also involved with the management and maintenance of the centre. In his down time Duncan enjoys a day out with his horse Tiny and the Mendip Farmers Hunt. Mum, Jane Green, is always on hand to support the equestrian centre, either helping in the scorer’s office, judges’ box or, most importantly, keeping everyone well fed and watered. Word on the street is the fence judges come for her homemade quiche and friendly smile at afternoon teatime!
“Before taking on the role of Centre Manager, I worked in hospitality and on the family farm for several years, which has given me good knowledge of working with the public and driving heavy machinery – both useful assets to have when running an equestrian centre! I am also lucky to have the support of my husband, Lewis, who is always on hand to assist when extra help is needed.
“In this role work must come first but I still make time to ride and compete at grassroots level – I am very much looking forward to competing at the Voltaire Design Badminton Grassroots Championships this May. I hope that being a competitor as well as an organiser, seeing things from both sides of the page, puts me in great stead for putting on a well organised friendly event.”
Reviving a piece of history
Hannah’s Great Uncle, John Doman, was one of the team behind the event that ran at Ston Easton from 1987-2001. Hannah recently enjoyed a get together with her Great Uncle to gain some insight into that original event.
“He told me that the main founder of the horse trials was a gentleman called Denis Clothier,” said Hannah. “Denis owned an event horse who was competed by a profession rider at the time. He decided to put on the horse trials at Ston Easton but couldn’t do it without the help of some neighbouring landowners – David Watts, Mr and Mrs Smedley (owners of Ston Easton Park at the time) and my Great Uncle. These individuals also made up the small committee, along with Janet Clothier (entries secretary), who brought the horse trials to life.
“The horse trials ran at Novice, Intermediate and Advanced level and it was known as the pre-Badminton run as it ran in the last weekend of March and then moved to Easter weekend. My Great Uncle was greatly involved in the building of the cross country course and during the event he was in charge of looking after all of the fence judges – very much the same roles that my Dad (his nephew) performs at Mendip Plains Ston Easton these days!”
To find out about our newest BE venue, visit mendipplainsec.co.uk
You can also follow the team on social media:
Face Book – Mendip Plains Equestrian Centre
Instagram – mendipplans_at_ston_easton