a farm horse. We want to give the thousands of families and tourists who visit us each year the opportunity to see Belle at work, to demonstrate this traditional method of agriculture and, of course, hopefully never get stuck in the mud again! It’s something we’re immensely proud to be doing.”

An Idea of Philanthropic Proportions

Bringing Belle to the yard to educate visitors is one of several not-for-profit initiatives taking place at BVEC. The award-winning riding centre also hosts the Cotswold Riding Opportunities Project (CROP), a registered charity project that uses interaction with animals to encourage children to be more active and to grow in confidence. The initiative provides a safe, all-inclusive environment for children to learn horse management and life skills.

The owners enjoy sharing their passion for horses and animals with everyone; the BVEC philosophy is to give everyone and every animal the best opportunity possible. Many of the horses and ponies at the centre are rescue animals and the yard is now looking for sponsors to help support the exciting projects and charity initiatives taking place at BVEC in the year ahead.

“By partnering with businesses, it’s a win-win. We can continue our philanthropic projects, while sponsors can reach the hundreds of families, riding enthusiasts and tourists who visit us every month. The packages start from just £150 for annual sponsorship of a stable. We have kept the costs low as we want to give all Gloucestershire businesses the opportunity to get involved.”

Plans for the Future

Since welcoming Belle, BVEC has taken ownership of a horse-drawn harrow, bought especially for her, and she has even started taking riders out on scenic hacks in neighbouring villages.

“Belle has already made quite the name for herself on the yard, with visitors flocking to see her. She’s even had interest from a big equestrian TV channel who want to make her a star

Please mention THE VINTAGE SCENE when responding to advertisements MARCH/APRIL 2020 9

of the silver screen – watch this space!

“We’re going to be easing her into her new role slowly, starting with levelling out the arena in the centre of the yard. She’s broken to ride, so as well as being harnessed up, she enjoys going out on some of the weekly group rides we organise. If all goes to plan, we may even consider buying another Belgian Draſt to join Belle in the future.”

For further information about Belle and the not-for- profit initiatives taking place at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre, please visit:

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