The EquaFlow gallop was the first of its kind to be permanently installed, using pioneering new technology developed by Andrews Bowen Ltd for the stunning equestrian facilities at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
It provides a completely consistent surface across the whole width of the gallop, whatever the weather, and ensures the optimum conditions for the horses to reach their peak fitness.
The gallop is laid out with a 2-furlong loop at the bottom, and has a three-horse width along the straights to accommodate schooling fences. From the loop extends a curving uphill gallop, which is five furlong from bottom to top and has a rise of 45m over the length of the gallop; the overall length of the gallop including the loop is seven furlongs. Situated at the top of the gallop is a small loop around which the horses can quietly pull up to a trot, enabling the horses to gradually cool down on completion of their morning exercise before heading back to the yard.
At Badbury Hill a deep sand loop, measuring 250m round, provides the horses with an ideal opportunity to undertake slow and steady stamina work, as well as allowing a chance for the youngsters to begin their education quietly away from the main yard.
In the centre of the gallop there is also a 20x40m school, complete with show jumps, cross-country style rolltops and a baby hurdle. The facility is primarily used during the day by former international event rider Chris King to school the horses. Chris’ expertise in producing young horses and developing their technique both on the flat and over a fence is invaluable, and he also works with some of our older horses to help keep them supple, and to improve and maintain their technique and confidence.
The latest addition to Team Skelton’s facilities is the impressive set-up at Alne Park.
Installed during the Summer of 2018, the gallops include a deep sand round gallop over a trip of 1000m, a large outdoor school to enable horses to warm up and cool down pre- and post-exercise, and a superb jumping lane with seven flights of hurdles over a 250m stretch.
With such a great variety of facilities between the yards it can make for some fabulous viewing opportunities for visiting owners, as well as making sure that each horse’s training programme can be individually tailored to suits their needs, and to ensure each horse can achieve their maximum potential.