The Riding Club meets every Monday and Wednesday and travels to the nearby Helmsley Riding School for a 1½ hour ride out in the Duncombe Park Estate. All students will be matched to a suitable horse for their ability – many of the horses become old favourites, but from time to time there are new ones to try out. Beginners will be taken as a separate group until they are confident enough with walk, trot and canter to join the main ride. Staff and the Captain of Riding will be pleased to give advice and tuition.
The stables have been run by the Barker family for over two hundred years, as tenants on the Duncombe Park estate, home to the Feversham family since 1695. There are around 1,700 acres of woodland and nearly 3,000 of parkland on the estate, providing an endless variety of routes for riders and the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife, including deer. Students will have views of Duncombe Park House, the Ionic and Doric temples in the grounds, and the beautiful ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Confident riders may jump suitable obstacles, and on hot days we often take the horses into the River Rye to paddle or swim.
The club holds an annual dinner in May, to which all the stable staff are invited. At the dinner the new Captain of Riding is announced. The Barker family also present the Barker Trophy to a rider who is not the Captain of Riding, but who has nevertheless made a significant contribution to the club.
Students should wear a riding helmet, gloves (to prevent blistering), hard-wearing trousers and a boot or shoe with a low heel (no trainers). Helmets and riding boots are available to borrow from the club.
The cost of each ride is £27.50. This covers the hire of horses, hire of equipment when necessary, tuition, supervision and transport. Students may ride on a regular or occasional basis.