Bentley Riding School was founded in 1987 by Mannie Beaven, formerly one of the country’s leading lady riders who, as a long time member of the British Team, represented Britain in major international show jumping.
Alongside her competitive career, Mannie has had a life long association with riding schools of all kinds and before moving to this lovely part of Suffolk, she owned and managed one of London’s largest and most prestigious equestrian centres.
Bentley has long been known as the ‘friendly riding school’, combining an informal, welcoming character with high standards of tuition and safety. It is for people who want to learn to ride for pleasure; with the benefit of first class instructors, obliging horses and ponies, a fine indoor arena and lovely woodland rides with no roadwork. We teach children - and their parents – and, in many cases, their grannies. Children who learned to ride here now bring their own children.
Over the last 25 years, Bentley has proved to be a remarkable nursery for talented youngsters who have gone on to success in affiliated show jumping and dressage.
Licensing of Riding Schools
Riding Schools must have a Licence to operate, issued by the local authority and renewable every year following a veterinary inspection. Commencing in 2019, DEFRA have introduced stringent new rules governing every aspect of a riding school's operation, including horse welfare, client safety, staff training and legal compliance among many others.
Licences are now issued on the basis of a star grading system whereby one star represents minimal compliance with the legal requirements and five stars denote the highest standards in all areas.
Following the latest Veterinary and Local authority inspection in December 2020, we are very pleased that Bentley Riding School has been awarded a Five Star Grading.
Mannie is the Chief Instructor at Bentley and supporting her is Senior Instructor and Riding School manager Lauren Ryan BHSAI and RDAGI, Sarah Hawley BHSAI, Beth Taylor BHS Stage 2, Alex Keinzley BHSAI, together with Courtney Elliot and Jade Peck.
Lauren Ryan BHSAI
Lauren has been with us over 20 years and in addition to teaching staff and clients, managing all riding school activities, running our website and Facebook page, she also teaches Riding for the Disabled twice a week.
In her spare time she owns and runs 'Connla Connemara Pony Stud,' breeding consistently good prize - winning foals and youngstock which she takes out to compete at Shows around the country. They have all gone on to make superb riding and competition ponies.
Sarah Hawley BHSAI
Sarah joined us in 1999. She is a super Instructor, very popular and her experience is unrivaled. She has spent time teaching in the United States and is also a regular Pony Club Instructor.
Beth has also been here since a young child! She was a regular on our 'Saturday Club' and went from being promoted to being a helper and then weekend staff whilst at school and college. She has a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Equine Management from Writtle College and is well on her way through her British Horse Society Examinations.
Beth has a natural talent with horses and is now proving a very valuable and experienced Instructor.
She has her own horse, Daphne, who was bred here at the Riding School. She competes and takes her out with the Draghounds when she can.
Courtney has a Level 3 diploma in Horse Care and Management and is now working through her BHS qualifications. She is now an established Ride Escort and has her own horse here, Harley.
Jade has her Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care and Management and is a tower of strength in the vital work of keeping the horses well cared for and fit for the job.
All of our Teaching and Escort Staff are trained First Aiders, have an enhanced DBS check and have attended courses in the area of Safeguarding.