Downlands Equestrian was founded in 1997 on a one thousand acre farm crying out for a 2nd enterprise in an age where Arable Farming alone is non-sustainable. Victor Sidford, farmer and owner with the help of Lucinda Stokes, a local Small Business Consultant who’d ridden all her life, was immediately able to see the potential of this wonderful location, nestled on the edge of some of Wiltshire’s finest Downland. Schooling her own horses, Lucinda had to travel at least an hour in any direction and thus the Downlands XC schooling concept was born. In 1999 work started to create what has become one of the finest Cross Country Schooling courses in the South of England. A massive water complex is a central feature of the course but much of its appeal is down to the wide range of fences – starting at 2ft through to 3ft 9” with a mixture of banks, steps, ditches, corners, “skinnies” and some very sensible basic fences to develop both rider and horse’s confidence along with Gallops with speed markets. We have an ongoing policy of maintaining and adding to what we offer with a plan to have something to offer almost all year round.
“Downlands is able to offer precisely what I look for in a schooling ground.” – William Fox Pitt
Downlands has been delighted to have an association with and to sponsor William Fox Pitt who says “Downlands is able to offer precisely what I look for in a schooling ground. The XC fences are designed to give confidence to horses and the clever progression of small to larger fences are ideal. The water complex is outstanding. The all-weather landings and take-offs mean that I can safely work the horses in almost all conditions. The addition of the early spring course has meant that my youngsters are able to get good schooling early in the season. Even the more experienced enjoyed a “pop” in preparation for the season. The outdoor arena has proved a bonus too as I often choose to Showjump as well as XC school my horses during my visits. The enthusiasm and vision for the future is great and I am delighted to have such good quality facilities to do much of my groundwork and training.”
Developing Downlands has been a gradual process. Starting with 6 stables we now have a yard of 35 run under the watchful supervision of Paula Coward. Ideally located with access to the most fabulous rides, limited roads and the fantastic facilities Downlands offers makes it an ideal base for horse and rider. All the stables are large and airy with the added bonus of plenty of storage space and a purpose built toilet block.
Both the indoor and outdoor schools are well used and popular with local riding clubs and pony clubs. New accommodation on site means a massive improvement to security on the site. Our wide area for easy parking and large wash down area prove to be another good reason to make use of all of our facilities.
Year on year we continue to develop Downlands with more plans and ideas for the future. We hope those of you who have been coming since we opened have seen and enjoyed what we have achieved thus far.
Downlands is one of Wiltshire's finest Equestrian Yards with great facilities to hire and Competition Venue for all disciplines.
© 1997-2018 Downlands Equestrian Ltd.