By Tang Li
The Moore Park Stables community is fearful that their license may not be renewed at the end of the year.
Rumours have been circulating that four out of five riding schools (Budapest Riding School, Centennial Stables, Eastside Riding Academy and Papillon Riding Stables) at the Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre (CPEC) have been given the green light for their respective license renewals, but Moore Park Stables may cease to operate.
But the acting President of an Eastern Suburbs Group, Jane Anderson, told City Hub that these rumours are unfounded and that she has not heard of the stables closing or any of the riding schools being evicted.
“I do know that they did their usual call for expressions of interest to run a riding school at the CPEC and the applications have now closed. It is done every five years and the licenses are for five years. I asked if the results are available yet and was told by the Stables Manager that they are still going through the process,” Ms Anderson said.
A third year student at Moore Park Stables, Sheridane Kumanidis, organised an online petition to the House of Representatives to renew Moore Park Stables’ license.
The petition has objected to the removal of the Moore Park Stables by way of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust’s refusal to renew their license to operate at CPEC.
“That we object to the removal of all horses and cessation of horse riding activities from Moore Park Stables which, has for over thirty years, been a feature of the Centennial Park Equestrian Centre,” it stipulates.
Ms Kumanidis told City Hub that she received a letter response from the Centennial Park Trust entailing the ‘fair and equitable process’ of the tender renewal and that all five riding schools were given clear instructions.
But Ms Kumanidis believes otherwise.
“While the other riding schools have been informed that their licenses will be renewed, the Moore Park Stables are still up in the air and in limbo,” she said.
She believes that a closure of the stables would be caused by an apparently unsatisfactory performance in business and safety sustainability.
“They would be taking away something so important to us. We are worried about job losses and will be devastated if that is the case.”
“At the end of the day, we form really close bonds with the horses and coaches there and it will be a major loss for all of us. It’s not that simple to tell us to find another riding school, as forming a bond takes time,” she said.
The CPEC Marketing and Communications Manager, Craig Easdown, would not speak specifically about Moore Park stables, but insisted the process was fair.
“Licences have been offered on merit as per the priority order recommended by the tender assessment panel following detailed discussions with each short listed proponent. We have kept all the incumbent licensees updated at all stages of the process,” he said.
“We recognise that it may seem an elongated process, however the thoroughness and importance of this process is one we take seriously and we are ensuring it is undertaken with due process.”
A final decision will be made in the coming weeks.