Riders from Sweden at Chelwood Gate

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A STATE OF THE ART equestrian centre at Chelwood Gate which was specifically designed to cater to international competitive riders hosted all five members of the Swedish Olympic eventing team last week.

Malin Petersen, Ludvig Svennerstal, Sara Algotsson Ostholt, Linda Algotsson and Niklas Lindbak brought their competition horses Sofarsogood, Shamwari, Wega, La Fair and Mister Pooh to the Chelwood Equestrian Training Centre off Chelwood Gate Road prior to leaving for the London 2012 games at Greenwich. Sweden has qualified one team and five quota places in the individual event after finishing in fourth place at the 2011 European Eventing Championships. The Olympic three-day event comprising dressage, cross country and show jumping, runs from July 28 to 31

The new Centre has an Olympic sized outdoor arena with show jumps, a covered horsewalker, indoor school and 20-jump event course. It also has self catering cottages and hosts regular training sessions with internationally-known eventing, show-jumping and dressage coaches.

Owner Rassshied Din said: “This centre was at least four or five years in the making. I had a house in Nutley and then this former dairy farm came onto the market. We thought it had the land and potential to make a first-class equestrian centre. My speciality is design and we checked with Olympic equestrian organisers to find out what they needed from a training centre suitable for riders and horses competing at the highest level.

“We put forward proposals to Wealden and we are delighted they were accepted. They received formal planning permission and now the scheme is finished we think Wealden is pretty proud of it - it was one of the biggest and most comprehensive to go through their system.”

Rasshied’s firm was involved in the interior design of Heathrow’s Terminal Five and the museum to Princess Diana at Althorp. He laughed: “This was a semi-retirement project but it seems to have been going very well. We are happy with the outcome and were delighted to have the team here.”

The Centre takes liveries for competitive riders but also hosts the local Pony Club.

Rasshied said the aim was to appeal to all levels of horse and rider.