Olympian aims to build top equestrian centre on farm

Ian Stark
Ian Stark

The world’s leading horsemen and women could soon be adding Selkirk to their list of competition venues if Ian Stark gets his way.

Mr Stark is seeking planning permission to create international-standard indoor and outdoor arenas at his farm just outside the town, which would enable top-level competitions to take place 

The Olympian plans to relocate his riding centre business from Dryden to Greenhill Farm as the lease on the current premises expires in June.

In addition to the arenas, the plans propose stabling for 35 horses and a cafe and shop.

The purpose-built centre would also provide better facilities for riding for the disabled groups.

The application to Scottish Borders Council states: “Given Ian Stark’s major profile in the equestrian world, it is considered to be highly feasible that major competitions and competitors would be attracted to use the new centre in association with a strong marketing and advertising strategy.

“There is a lack of facilities in the Scottish Borders able to offer suitable accommodation for national and international competition events, particularly in terms of qualifying arena size and associated facilities.”

A network of bridle paths and walkways would also be created around the applicant’s 483-acre farm if the plans are given the go-ahead.

In addition to the equestrian centre, Mr Stark has submitted an application for planning permission in principle for a house at Lower Greenhill.

It is proposed that the sale of the plot of land with the permission would contribute towards the funds needed to create the centre.

The council has a decision target of May 31 for the house and June 4 for the equestrian centre.