Ride on - Sun Meadows equestrian

A popular Kamloops equestrian centre has undergone a name change but alterations are more than hide deep.

New owners Jutta and Glen Jealouse purchased the former Fieldstone Equestrian Centre in August. Three months later, she hosted an open house at the renamed Sun Meadows Equestrian Centre to show off her investment.

The showpiece is the footing for two arenas, a silver sand material comprised of pure silica trucked in from Revelstoke along with Soiltex, a synthetic material imported from Germany.

A California company came to the city to install the Soiltex material.

Together, Jealouse said the materials provide a no-compromise riding experience.

"The important part is the footing," she said. "That's where you compete, ride, jump and do dressage. It will compact without getting hard."

Visually, the footing "looks like a beach in Cuba.

"Everyone who rides on it is in love with it," she said.

Sun Meadows has two riding rings and plans to eventually add another 20-metre by 60-metre ring outside for horse shows. Jealouse said the overriding theme is to build quality and a reputation. In turn, that will attract enthusiasts from across B.C. and Alberta to expand on the local market.

Sun Meadows has also developed a lounge area for riders to relax after a ride and meet other equine enthusiasts.

If Jealouse's investment in the equestrian centre is anything like her experience in her most recent venture, it is sure to be a success.

Originally from Germany, she came here in 1985, working in real estate and at local assaying firm Eco Tech Laboratory, where she used her training in chemistry.

In 2000, when B.C.'s mining and exploration industry was in a depression caused by low prices and almost no work looking for minerals, she purchased Eco Tech.

Her timing could not have been better. Each year after her purchase minerals prices grew, activity in the field responded and work poured into the office. Intensive development of New Gold Corp.'s New Afton deposit on the city's western boundary became a staple.

She sold Eco Tech two years ago and began dabbling in her passion for horses.

"I love horses and tend to collect them. I wound up with a little herd."

While reluctant to provide details, Jealouse acknowledged she has made a substantial investment at the facility

But Jealouse is investing in more than buildings in a bid to grow the reputation of Sun Meadows across B.C. and in Kamloops, where she wants to continue catering to a local market through Sun Meadows' stables and its school facility.

The school will employ two in-house riding instructors as well as two guest instructors on a regular basis. And it will have a complement of 10 school horses for lessons, something the former facility hadn't employed for a long time.

While her investment and passion are large, so is Jealouse's ambition to become one of the top riding facilities in B.C. She will underpin that by catering to the local market.

"There's a definite love for horses in this community - it's horse country."


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