16 February, 2022
RM’s vision a reality
The ambition of RM Williams to turn the Hodgson Vale polo grounds into an equestrian hub has come to fruition thanks to the work of his daughter-in-law Jo Williams.
RM’s Equestrian Centre, as it has been named, is on the Hodgson Vale Road site where there used to be polo facilities, bistro and a bar.
The new venture will host a wide range of horse-related activities, including equestrian, an eventing course, cross country, polocrosse, dressage and show jumping.
Mrs Williams said re-imagining the 100-acre property into an equestrian centre began two years ago.
The process really got well underway last year after she had a knee injury, with the extra time gained by not being able to do much else utilised for planning.
“It’s been a full time job for the past four of five months,” Mrs Williams said.
Most of the land which now encompasses the course had been previously used for grazing cattle and required a mountain of man-hours to clear and get ready.
The preparation included slashing and getting the obstacles ready by painting them and moving them into place.
Mrs Williams said they had brought portable jumps in from New South Wales and other jumps, including tyre jumps, they had made themselves.
Local kids were brought in over the school holidays to help with painting.
Although the property has gone a long way since the beginning of the work, there are plans for a second stage of it to be built down the track.
Mrs Williams said that once the centre has been up and running for a while, she hopes to use the revenue that has come in to extend the course from its current length of 1900m to 2600m.
There are about 25 acres left to be cleared which will be used to extend the course.
Apart from the equestrian facility itself, the building which formerly housed RM’s Polo Bar & Bistro will be up and running as a bar with food, with the area just outside the back door providing a great view of the course.
Nearer to Hodgson Vale Road, there is also a large area set aside for horses and camping.
There are plenty of events scheduled already, with the first, a clinic, being held this weekend (February 19/20).
On the weekend of 12/13 March, there will be show jumping and dressage on the Saturday and express eventing on the Sunday.
There are also plans to hold a Masters event in September.
Mrs Williams said RM’s Equestrian Centre is open to people at all levels and there has already been interest shown by everyone from kids to mothers who used to ride but have not been on the saddle for 20 years.
She said they are also looking for volunteers to become involved and help out by sitting on jumps or helping to set up.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org