Since retiring from industry in 2009, I opted for a career change to become a head of all odd jobs on the stud, ranging from mucking out, to fixing fences, working the land and being a general dogsbody. Outside of this you will find me either asleep in the armchair, playing golf or at the gym.
During the working week, I spend my time having ‘fun' in the world of accountancy. Outside of work, I help Lyn and Graham (or Mum and Dad, as I call them) when I can. I’m becoming a dab hand as Dad’s apprentice and my fence repairing skills have really developed over the years.
Mum and Dad gave me Annie, our first born foal. She was always going to be very special, but she really is a horse in a million.
She has been brought on very slowly, having had a couple of foals of her own, and she began her ridden career properly in 2014. We do a little bit of everything: dressage, hacking and, hopefully, some jumping soon (she will be a fantastic jumper, but, as I don’t bounce as well as I used to, I’m taking it very slowly!). She is a very willing, forward little girl who often shows maturity beyond her years and really looks after me.
I have been very fortunate to have spent my life with some very special furry friends. The longest of these friends was a very, very special Anglo/Arab called Jonathan. In those days ‘coloured’ horses were frowned on, and despite the fact that he was a very well bred and striking horse, many establishments would not tolerate them. How times have changed. In more recent times people were happy to pay a premium for a horse like him!
I hoped that when I ventured into the world of Knabstruppers my research would pay off. It has done in spades. Our extended family of furries have surpassed all our hopes and dreams. I cannot see the point of sharing your life with difficult, testing, or vicious animals. I think any pet or animal should add a positive dimension to your life. Our furry family have certainly done that. Each one, like our family, have very different personalities. They nevertheless contribute in a very positive way. It is always such a humbling experience to see a mare produce her foal and we feel very privileged to witness this occasion and it always amazes me to see how protective and nurturing the mothers are, but also how trusting they are in allowing us to participate in the process and help nurture their babies. They are such noble amazing friends, and we value each and every one. We are truly blessed!
I have been a keen horse rider from a young age and, despite my parents’ best efforts, I decided to make a career out of it. Whilst everyone else was out shopping and meeting friends during their teenage years, I was spending time with my much loved furry friends and dreaming of being a top show jumper or dressage rider. Of course, my little fat pony was far from our next Arkle or Valegro but I loved her nonetheless. My dream of fame has not quite materialised, but by following my ambitions I have met my best friend and a great teacher, Chelsea, an elegant Irish sports horse.
Chelsea accompanied me throughout my years at university in Cirencester and later in Cumbria while I was working at a thoroughbred stud. Finally, we came back home when I decided to continue to study and become a veterinary physiotherapist. Chelsea has since been subjected to regular massages and therapeutic treatments, but she doesn’t seem to mind.
When I first came home I worked at a national hunt stud, breaking and pre-training the thoroughbreds. Now I’m the groom at Woodfold Park Stud alongside my ongoing studies.