Landmark Hyde Park stables forced to close
HORSES in Hyde Park are as much of a London landmark as red double-decker buses and black cabs, but they will now be a much rarer sight.
Hyde Park Stables, used by royals including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has shut down and the steeds sold.
‘It’s very sad, but I can confirm we have closed the doors after 30 years,’ says socialite Basia Briggs, right, who owned the stables with her husband, Dick.
Famous figures including Donald Trump and Madonna have been for a ride in the park, where there are now ‘ cycle super-highways’.
Basia tells me: ‘ We just couldn’t go on. Our insurers refused to continue insuring us. With all the cyclists now speeding around the park, it has become increasingly hazardous for horses. And people are more and more scared of falling off. It’s pathetic; that’s half the fun of riding — you can boast about falling off afterwards. These days, customers are likely to sue you, so it makes insurers too nervous.’
The stables will be sold as property for £1.75 million. ‘Hyde Park just won’t be the same,’ Basia laments.
‘One hundred years ago, there were more than 1,000 riders in Rotten Row each day.’