Deben Riding Club has been running for over 50 long years, and it wouldn't still be going without your support! We would like to thank all our members past and present for this wonderful achievement!
The Deben Riding Club is based in the heart of Suffolk on the South-East Coast of England. We aim to encourage riding as a sport and for recreation, promoting fellowship amongst our members and working to improve the standard of our horsemanship. We organise training clinics, lectures, socials and competitive events at levels to include those just starting out right up to the very experienced, and we are affiliated to the British Horse Society through British Riding Clubs.
A little bit of history....
Deben Riding Club was set up in 1961 to support local riders from Felixstowe, Trimley and Levington by three local women – Shirley Green, Rosemary Durrant and Shirley Smith. The name ‘Deben’ was chosen as the river flows through this area and represents the locality of our members; it also put the club near the top of the alphabetical list!!
The Club has survived for over 50 years through periods of prosperity and hardship largely because of the amazing support and commitment of the people willing to volunteer their time to help run the club and the members who keep turning out to support our events.
Since then the club has developed and spread across the Deben area of East Anglia and has, over the years, hosted a full range of equestrian events – hunter trials, training rallies, long distance rides etc. We have also catered for the non-riding members, friends and families through social events and fund raisers, including race nights, bbq’s and theatre trips. Our members range from 6 years old to well into retirement and we aim to cater for and involve everyone.
The Club is a fully affiliated member of the British Riding Clubs and actively contributes to Area 14 events, both by submitting teams and by hosting Area events, with the Summer Dressage qualifier being a regular fixture. This year’s event, held at Stratford Hills, received great feedback and was very successful, hosting close to 100 competitors. Both our junior and senior teams have enjoyed regular success at BRC national championships, a record we are proud of.
The last few years have been tough for the equestrian industry and whilst costs are going up, memberships and attendance are going down which makes running local Riding Clubs increasingly challenging. With this in mind, last year a new Committee took on the challenge and was lucky enough to secure Heather Stennett as club President. Not only are we proud to boast a president who is in the top 100 s/j in the UK, but Heather has given an injection of energy and focus to the committee and has encouraged a committee who think more creatively and commercially.
The Committee has put a lot of effort into focusing efforts to finding ways to reduce costs, whilst increasing membership and sponsorship and making the most of the skills of the members, supporters and helpers – and so far we’re not only surviving but succeeding. We believe that we have some of the most dedicated helpers of any club in the area, many of whom regularly turn out not only for our events but for others such as Poplar Park Horse Trials.
This year we’ve been focusing on running events that are affordable and accessible for our members and also those which will encourage the new generation of riders. Junior members are the future of the club and we feel that they should be supported as much as possible. To encourage them we run specific junior rallies as well as making juniors part of the show jumping, cross country and dressage clinics. We also love to have them help us when we are setting up shows and at all the social events.