Unhappy equestrians (Helen Thomson)

With reference to the article in The Shetland Times, 22nd November, “Seafield hockey pitch could turn new group into happy campers” – what about unhappy equestrians?

A hockey pitch! When was Seafield last used to play hockey on – maybe about 15 years ago! Since the astro turf pitch was formed at Brae hockey players have understandably foresaken Seafield.

It has, however, being used as an equestrian show area for the past few years. There is a drainage problem and the field is on a slope and it is not ideal but it is the ill-best the “horsey” people can get. Even so they can’t have both sides of the pavilion made available for their use for a pony show.

Why does equestrian sport come so far down our vouncil’s sports priority list? Are the councillors hoping that someone else will maybe pay out the “… up to £100 000 …” the SIC minuted which might be made available for another site for equestrian use. This was when there was the suggestion of building, on Seafield, an extension to the Eric Gray Centre. Be careful caravaners, have you been told about this?

For over 30 years the equestrian fraternity has been trying, without success, to get a suitable permanent central equestrian area. Not only does the council mean to destroy a perfectly good, centrally positioned, caravan site, but it is also thinking of handing over the only venue available for equestrian sport to someone else.

What’s wrong with the area outside the wall at Seafield for an extension to the Eric Gray Centre or a caravan park? Or maybe the Seafield football pitch could be made available for the horses or the caravaners! After all, there are about 14 football pitches in Shetland – and five of them are in Lerwick itself.

Helen Thomson

11 Sandblister Place





Add Your Comment
  • Sandy McMillan

    • November 26th, 2013 21:07

    As was stated in my last unpublished letter, Seafield was gifted to the people of Lerwick and Shetland to be left as part of the greenbelt out the sea road, this is slowly being encroached by the SIC, The area gifted was the playing areas, by George Kieth this is common knowledge by the SIC ,especially the older ones, if the SIC cant keep what was a gift to be left as it is only to be used by the public as a recreation area not to be built on in a permenante way I say give it to the Pony Club as they are part of the Sports and Recreation, The SIC want to have a good look into this matter before it is to late, or is it going to be another one of the SIC policys we can do what we like when we like.


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