Olympic riding dream meets opposition from neighbours

National dressage competitor Jody Haswell with his horse Wolansky
National dressage competitor Jody Haswell with his horse Wolansky

A budding Olympic horse rider has had his hopes dashed as he was advised by councillors to amend plans for stables and a sand school at his Rudgwick home.

Jody Haswell, 32, who has been riding for more than 20 years, hoped he would receive permission to build eight stables and a 60 by 20 metre sand school where he could train horses at Upper Swaynes Barn, Guildford Road.

He is hoping his top horse Wolansky will get him to the World Equestrian Championships next year, but he is currently driving 100 miles a day to train. He says building the school at his home would enable him to improve and compete to Olympic standard.

However at last week’s Horsham District Council development management north committee meeting, neighbours who have experience keeping horses said eight was too many and suggested Mr Haswell build them nearer his house.

In response he told the committee: “The reason for this location is from a safety perspective. Having the yard, sand school and fields in close proximity [to each other] will allow me to maintain oversight wherever I am and especially when I am at the yard on my own.”

Local councillor John Bailey (Con, Rudgwick) said the A281 was the wrong location for it, but Ian Howard (Con, Southwater) said the main reason the council could not support it was because it would not be near the house and he would be ‘happy’ with the plans if it were.

Mr Haswell said he is appealing the decision and will look at submitting alternative plans