Contessa Riding & Training Centre

Contessa is a leading Dressage Centre in Hertfordshire, providing Advanced Dressage lessons Lusitano stallions and warmbloods as well as riding for all levels

The end of an era.

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that Contessa Riding Centre will be closing its doors from the 31st of March 2022. I have decided it’s time to hang up my boots after 45 years.

I know many of you will be shocked and saddened by this news. We have had many fulfilling and successful years and achieved a great deal in the equestrian world over this time, from starting with only one horse in the very early days! The last 18 months have been very challenging what with the Coronavirus, our downsizing and all the lockdowns we’ve had to deal with. But…..2021 has been a successful year for us as we won the Best Small Riding School in the UK that was sponsored by SEIB and with myself being awarded a Fellowship from the Association of British Riding Schools, also individuals having completed and won various dressage and vaulting competitions but as they say “all good things must come to an end”.

At this point I would like to say a huge thank you to all staff past and present and all our wonderful friends, clients and students that have supported us over such a long period. And of course a huge debt to the wonderful horses that have been part of the Contessa Team, and special tributes must be made to Tessa, Pik Dame, Queijada, Buster, Lanzo, Quartz, Rendezvous, Worth-While, Apollo, Buna, Marietta and family, Palamos, Marcus, Deskant, Unico, Riacho, Xairel and many more, too many to mention but all valued members of the team. It has been wonderful to remember clients that came as children to ride Tessa (and others) now come back with their children and even grandchildren, I like to think that we have given many people the opportunity to start their Equestrian journey with us. This has been a very hard decision to make and has not been taken lightly as I’m sure you will all understand. We are very much hoping that the Vaulting Club will continue under the Contessa name, so watch this space. I will continue my freelancing and teaching clients on their own horses at Contessa. And we may continue running some of our clinics and hiring the facilities.

So once again a huge thank you to everybody that’s been part of the Contessa family over so many years.

Best wishes from Tina, Paul and Zak plus all of your four-legged friends.

Contessa Riding and Training Centre
Advanced Dressage Lessons
Careers & Exam Training
Riding School

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Welcome to Contessa Riding & Training Centre

Contessa is one of the UK’s leading Equestrian Centres specialised in Dressage. We are a friendly family run Riding & Training Centre located in 50 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire countryside with easy access to London and Cambridge.
Established in 1977, Contessa is owned and run by Grand Prix rider and trainer Tina Layton-Elliott BHSI & Sheila Layton MBE.
Tina has competed to Grand Prix level and rode internationally on her mare Pik Dame which she had trained from a three year old up to Grand Prix. Tina has always worked to a classical method of training and she works to instill in the method in all her Instructors and Students. The philosophy at Contessa is to strive to create harmony between horse and rider, working as a partnership with the horse.
We provide Advanced Dressage lessons on our Lusitano stallions and our warmbloods as well as riding tuition for all levels. As a training centre we prepare our Apprentices & Students for a career in the Equestrian Industry and for BHS and/or ABRS exams. Co-Proprietor Sheila is deeply involved in the ABRS and became a fellow of the society in 2006. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the equine industry. Find out more about what we offer

5 star rated. Riding School Licence number: 18/1761/ARE, East Herts Council

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