The History of Cropthorne and Evesham Vale Riding Club

The Cropthorne Riding Club was founded in 1976 by Mrs Betty Knowles. The original committee included Miss Nicky Price, now Mrs Nicky Perks, who only retired from the committee in 2005.

The club soon began holding shows, cross country events and training at various venues in and around the Cropthorne area. In 1982 eight members, Junior and Senior, produced a musical ride under the direction of Mrs Knowles and performed it at the Pershore Carnival and other local events.

A large field at Canada Bank soon developed into a permanent home for the shows as well as providing storage for the growing quantity of jumps and equipment the Club was acquiring.

In 1984 Mrs Knowles moved away, following the death of her husband, and it was left to others to continue the good work she had started. The committee in 1984 included Nicky Price (Perks), Paul Worrall,

Helen Stock and Anne Martin; of the latter two, Helen is still on the committee and Anne retired after 25 years of tireless commitment to the club.

In the 1980s Alan Lee bought land in Blacksmiths Lane, Cropthorne and, in conjunction with the Club, built a cross-country course which was used for many years. Unfortunately, both the land at Canada Bank and Alan Lee’s were eventually sold and the Club lost the use of both. For a few years the club became transient. This was not an easy time, as all jumps and equipment had to moved to various locations, on unroadworthy trailers, and usually had to be packed up and towed away on the same day. We also struggled to find winter storage.

Finally in 1996 the decision was taken to move the Club to Cleeve Prior, where the Stock family had offered us a permanent site, as well as the prospect of our own cross-country course. At the same time the club name was changed to Cropthorne and Evesham Vale to reflect our widening membership base.

We are currently still at Cleeve Prior where we have established cross country courses at various heights and where we have access to our show jumps and dressage arenas for practice and training.

The Club usually holds various shows including a hunter trial, arena eventing and a clear round cross-country day. Regular training sessions are organised for both flatwork and showjumping and informal ‘pay and play’ evenings are held during July and August in the Club show field.

We have at present in access of 100 members both Junior and Senior and the club regularly fields teams at both Mercian and Area level and, over the years, has also been well represented at National Championships. In the past few years the Junior section has grown considerably and they too have represented the Club at National level.