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Equestrian Excellence

Press Release   •   Apr 03, 2017 11:54 BST

The team at Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre celebrate their four-star QA award from VisitScotland. Photographer: Ian Watson

A family-run equestrian business on the south shores of Loch Lomond has achieved a four-star rating from VisitScotland.

Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre, which offers year-round tuition in the riding and care of horses and ponies, becomes one of only two four-star activity centres in West Dunbartonshire.

Situated just outside the village of Gartochern, the centre had previously been part of the Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme and re-applied when Mari Claire Dance took over from her mother, Janette Doyle, just over two years ago. The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

The first of her family to take an interest in horses, Mari-Claire began riding at the age of four and it quickly became her passion. The family moved from Glasgow to Duncryne Farm, where they could keep their own horses, in 1992.

Expanding into an equitation and trekking centre in 1994, the business offers a variety of activities, including trekking, riding and jumping lessons, pony-care days and non-residential pony camps. Although Duncryne provides lessons for adults, a big focus is allowing children of all levels and backgrounds to learn about ponies.

Mari Claire hopes to expand the business and build an outdoor arena which would allow for a pony club and summer events for all to enjoy.

Mari Claire Dance, owner, said: “It feels fantastic to receive this award. Having taken over from my mother it’s great to see the high standards have been maintained. Duncryne, is about allowing anyone who is interested in horses and ponies to learn how to ride and care for them. We are always looking to improve and expand our facilities so receiving this recognition from VisitScotland is a big boost.”

David Adams McGilp, Regional Director at VisitScotland said: “I would like to congratulate Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre on its four-star Quality Assurance Award. It is a superb achievement. Duncryne is an activity centre which allows people of all ages to embrace their love of horses and ponies and I wish them every success in the future.

“Our Quality Assurance Scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine. The scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door - it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business and making it as economically sustainable as possible.”

VisitScotland star awards are indicators of quality and provide reassurance to visitors. The national tourism organisation offers support to businesses to ensure they meet and exceed the high standards expected by visitors.

For more information on Duncryne Equitorial and Trekking Centre, go to

For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme, go to

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