AN EQUESTRIAN centre near Bourton-on-the-Water has celebrated its 15th anniversary despite being on the verge of closure only a year and a half ago.

Staff at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre were concerned they would have to say goodbye to the centre forever when developers put forward plans for housing on their old site, while staff were still trying to sort out planning permission for their new site.

Now that the new site is secure, the centre has already hosted school trips as well as an apprenticeship programme for school leavers.

The Pony Club Centre, providing children who do not own a horse with the same opportunities that horse-owning children have, has also been renovated.

For many years BVEC has entered a team into the national quiz championships and hope to do this again with their own fundraising Shetland pony Ollie.

Ollie recently helped raise £170 for the Midlands Air Ambulance at a Bourton-on-the-Water event, inviting visitors to guess his weight.

To also celebrate the complete transformation of BVEC, new instructor Vicki Boyle-Atkins was employed and is already eager to put her stamp on the business.

"I am really excited to be taking over the Riding school," said Vicki. "I have a busy summer planned for the children with summer camps and visits to other stables."