A RIDING club is in search of a new home after its current one is being converted into allotments.

Members of Islwyn Riding Club fear it could fold after it was made homeless earlier this month.

The private field it had rented for two years near Gelligroes Mill, Blackwood, is being turned into allotments and the club is now desperately trying to find somewhere else in the area.

There are currently over 70 members aged four and over, with the group training every week in the summer and putting on shows at least once a month.

The group organised a gymkhana and mini jumping events at last weekend's Bedwellty Show - but, unless it can find a new home, it may prove to be the last big event it is involved with.

Cheryl Pasztor was a founding member in 1980 - she and friends were fed up of having to trek to Pontypool to attend riding clubs, so her mother, Edna Cook, helped them set up one at the old Double D Trekking Centre, Mynydd Maen.

Mrs Pasztor said: "Since then, we have moved about four times, we always seem to be borrowing fields. "If the club folds, there will be nothing in the area. The big thing for us is proving it is not an elitist sport and anyone can take part."

Fields in Torfaen and Usk have been offered for shows next month, but many of the youngsters involved won't be able to travel that far on a regular basis.

Secretary Shirley Marshall said: "We've lost a fantastic field and that is sad, but we need somewhere permanent with a long-term lease."

While we are a feeder club to bigger clubs, it is all about fun and not serious competition. Encouraging people to get started with riding."

If you have a field available or know of somewhere suitable for Islwyn Riding Club, call the newsdesk on 01633 777226.