Sweet Briar’s New Riding Arena

Equestrian riders at Sweet Briar College
Thanks in part to generous gifts from Richard C. Colton III and the Richard C. Colton, Jr. Foundation, Sweet Briar College will be expanding our equestrian center to include an additional covered riding arena to be used for competitions, clinics and instruction space.

The new $1.5 million arena will include a 115’ x 200’ interior space, as well as additional parking and a separate operational space for a new staff veterinarian. Construction is expected to begin in June 2024.

One of the program’s immediate needs is for more all-weather teaching spaces to accommodate the growing number of students who ride or want to learn to ride. The current indoor arena can only accommodate two riding lessons at a time, requiring extended hours and often challenging scheduling for instructional sessions. The new auxiliary covered riding arena, a new pre-engineered metal building sited adjacent to the hunter barns, will meet this need in Sweet Briar’s growing program.

This expansion is Phase II of the major renovations and updates to the 130-acre Harriet Howell Riding Center at Sweet Briar. Phase I included complete renovations and infrastructure updates to our main stable wings and the Bailey Room, including a team room with lockers. There are also refurbished bathrooms and a new kitchen to better meet the needs of both riders and visitors, along with significant landscape improvements.