How many of us, whilst travelling around the UK countryside, look longingly across at that dream equestrian property – with the idyllic horse-shoe shaped yard or American barn, immaculate arenas, perfect paddocks and all the other facilities you could ever think of having for your four-legged friends.
So, in a bid to find the dream equestrian property we have had a look around and we think we have found a real stand out. We have also caught up with our KBIS sponsored rider team to hear what facilities they consider vital to have on the yard in order to run their business and if money was no object what they would look to put in.
International event rider Georgie Strang, made the move up to the equestrian hub-bub that is Badgerstown this time last year. This outstanding base, is home to the legendary kiwi rider Sir Mark Todd and he has hosted an abundance of top level riders at his yard. Boasting fantastic facilities, Georgie has noted that her horses are fitter than ever reaping the benefits of all Badgerstown has to offer and the surrounding rolling countryside. No wonder National Hunt jockey Stan Mellor originally created this property as a top-class racehorse training facility. However, there is just one thing that Georgie still has on the wish-list – an indoor school with surround sound!
On the subject of indoor schools, that is the only thing show-jumping brothers, Will and Olli Fletcher miss at their family base in Oxfordshire. Para Dressage Rider Charlotte Cundall is another vote for an indoor school especially during the winter with daylight hours at a minimum. However, she does have full praise for her outdoor arena which was recently upgraded to an Equi-Elite Surface. This is a carpet fibre surface which means Charlotte no longer has to deal with the issue of the school freezing, allowing for her training programme throughout the winter to be much more consistent.
Next up is leading lady show rider and producer Jayne Ross, who has a fantastic set up in Buckinghamshire for her stunning team of show horses. Jayne has put a lot of time and thought into creating her current equestrian base, which has a new Equestrian Surfaces outdoor arena. Jayne also couldn’t live without her lunge pen, especially for the young horses and breakers. Another recent addition to the yard is a solarium – which Jayne reports is not only a firm favourite with all the horses, but also with the team on the yard who can now hold a horse and warm up under it during a cold winter’s day! One thing that Jayne would still welcome facilities wise is a covered horse walker and then she would be complete on the dream equestrian property front!
To round of this feature, there is a local stud that has to have a mention as a stunning equestrian property. Oakingham Stud in Compton, Berkshire, is a breath-taking facility for anyone remotely interested in horses. Another base that was formerly a racing yard, the Ray family brought the property in 2011 and have transformed it into the set up it is today. Established to create an environment to produce the very best performing horses in the show-jumping business, no stone has been left un-turned and the facilities are truly world class.
Instead of writing a never-ending list of everything Oakingham Stud has to offer– check out the video below and be taken into the dizziest realms of true equestrian heaven!
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