Parbold Equestrian Centre is at the foot of Parbold Hill in Lancashire. Set in 18 acres of farm land, it is a place of natural beauty, nestled between the River Douglas and the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Nicola Bennett, BHSII(SM) bought the centre (then Douglas Farm – a small riding school for the disabled), fulfilling her dream to own her own riding school. In October 2001 the centre opened with just 6 horses and even less tack! There are now 31 residents – 17 riding school horses, 8 livery, 2 competition horses, 3 retirees, 1 foal (all now with their own tack!!), two dogs, two cats and three chickens.
PEC is predominantly a riding school with three full time and three part time staff members. Working alongside PEC is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation called ‘Stable Lives’ that works with Military Veterans and Blue Light workers suffering with PTSD. It also supports Children in Crisis through a partner charity, ‘Safe Families‘.
Lessons take place in either our 40mx20m all weather outdoor arena or our indoor arena. Both arenas are floodlit for evening lessons, and both are used for flat and jumping lessons.
During the summer the fields are used as alternative lesson areas, a show jumping area and for competitions. The land is also suitable for short led hacks for our younger riders.
The Centre has its own car park, toilet, office/lecture room (heated!), drinks machine, hats and boots for hire and covered area for pony parties and practical lectures.
The fields, woods and streams of the farm are used with school groups working on a variety of national curriculum led activities.
Nicola has owned PEC for 19 years. She started riding at 5 years old at a local riding school and never looked back! She owned her own pony at 12, and started work with horses at 16, in racing, eventing, point to point, hunting, children’s adventure holidays and as a Riding School Manager. Nicola has her BHS Stage 5 Stable Management. Having competed in dressage, eventing and show jumping, Nicola has trained and coached riders up to advanced eventing and advanced medium dressage. She has coached the GB Para-dressage team at the World Championships in Denmark and now coaches aspiring event riders.
Married to Nic, Steve liaise with schools on the ‘Changing Lives Through Horses programme. He is always at the beck and call of staff to fix things the pesky horses break.
Nic’s daughter, Carrie started riding before she could walk, was eventing at the age of 8 and in the British Pony Event Team at 12 and competed up to CCI*** Eventing. Carrie trained in an event yard as a groom then went on to Myerscough College to complete an honours degree BSc Equine Science and Management completing her BHS Stage 5 Performance Coach in Complete Horsemanship Qualification in 2016. Carrie is the Yard Manager, a BHS Assessor and also coaches people on their own horses in both Eventing & Dressage.
Elie joined us on a young apprentice scheme after riding with us from 6 years of age. She is now a full time member of staff and works closely with Carrie as the competition groom. As well as that, Elie is a popular instructor with younger children and runs the Pony Club. Ellie has her BHS Stage 3 Complete Horsemanship and Stage 3 Teach Qualification and is working towards her Stage 4 qualification.
Bonnie joined the team from a background in Insurance, Banking & Customer Service. She runs the office, does all the bookings and tries keeps us all in tow.
Deb joined the Team in 2017 after a long and successful career at Myerscough College as a Senior Trainer and Lecturer. Deb is now an integral part of our Staff and invaluable in Teaching and Training Students and Candidates for Assessments & Qualifications. Deb is a BHS Stage 4 Coach in Complete Horsemanship and more than a ‘dab hand’ at carriage driving.
Charlie worked through his Apprenticeship with us and is now a full time member of staff. Charlie has his BHS Stage 2 in Complete Horsemanship. Young and enthusiastic, Charlie is a popular Instructor, particularly with the younger age groups. Charlie is keen to event and completes with his horse Echo.
Sara joined our team in 2018 as an Apprentice. Sara has her BHS Stage 2 Qualification. In her spare time she enjoys riding and competing her own horse.
Megan has been riding with is since she was 6 years old . Megan joined the team part time having recently completed the City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma and Extended Diploma in Equine Management at Myerscough College. Megan also has her BHS Stage 2 Qualification, and in her spare time, she competes her horse Ted.