Welcome to

Cheston Farm Equestrian Centre
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Introduction

Cheston Farm Equestrian Centre is owned and managed by husband and wife team, Sophie and Andrew Osborne.  The centre has been a riding establishment for many decades  was purchased by the Osbornes in July 2007. Since then, the Centre has undergone a major transformation.

The arenas, stables, house, clubhouse cafe and fields have all been overhauled, replaced or built from scratch. We are always re-investing to develop the Centre and are proud of our achievements and the reputation we have established.

Developing and managing Cheston has been our passion for nearly 10 years. The centre is our home, our job and our lifestyle! It is all encompassing, sometimes exhausting and frustrating, often very moving and rewarding. However, it is our lovely riders both little and large, our horses and our staff team that really make Cheston what it is. We welcome all those who want to be a part of something we really believe is a very good thing and always is striving to be better!

Meet the owners

Andrew and Sophie Osborne

Sophie is a British Horse Society qualified Intermediate Instructor with decades of experience including teaching in equine colleges, freelance instruction and competing in Eventing (BE Novice) and produced her own horse, Solstice Drum for Dressage (BD Advanced Medium). A local Hampshire riding school started her passion for horses, with Pony Club forming the backbone of her teen learning. The support of parents, pony club and horsey mentors meant that a great grounding was achieved as a teen with her horse Bamber. Following University, Sophie enjoyed working in charity and public sector roles for many years, but realising her heart wasn’t quite in it, she returned to her first love building a career and business around it.

Andrew is a key team member, responsible for managing the administration, facilities and land at Cheston Farm. Andrew has spent many hours on diggers, dumpers and other machines helping to restore Cheston to its former glory. As a horseman, he only took up riding in 2007, but his Irish Draft x Thoroughbred hunter, Elvis, looks after him and the two of them enjoy canters across Dartmoor and show classes.

When Cheston allows us out, Andrew is a keen competitive sailor of racing dinghies on Salcombe Harbour in summer and working our two Cocker Spaniels in winter . He is also a fabulous chef and loves his kitchen! Prior to Cheston, Andrew held various management and director level roles working in both the public and charity sector.

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Meet the team

Instructors, Apprentices & Grooms

Lead Instructor

Sophie Osborne BHSII

Owner/Manager and Instructor

Qualified BHSII (Complete Stage 4, BHS Intermediate Stable Manager and Intermediate Teaching Test)

Within the British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor qualification (BHSII), Sophie always enjoys a new equine challenge.

Sophie trained her own horse from foal-hood to Advanced Medium dressage and takes a number of the Centre horses out showing, jumping and cross-country. Young horses are being brought on for the future and our broodmares are busy trying to produce a future star!

Sophie regularly trains and develops her riding and teaching skills and can be seen out competing at affiliated level dressage and county level shows across the region. Equally, she is happy to take a centre horse out for some fun to give them a new outing at a local show, a blast on the beach or jumping hedges!

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Apprentice & Junior Instructors

Anna Beijen, Jade Proctor, Lucy Thurkettle

Trainee Grooms and Junior Instructors. Working towards Apprenticeships or BHS exams. Anna (work placement) Jade are both keen quiet riders working at BHS Stage Two. Jade takes some Taster lessons for our youngest and PC care sessions too.

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Lizzie Dearn BHSPT

Senior Staff training for BHS Stage 4 and IT exam

Lovely smiley Lizzie, she takes the lead with Mini Pony Club and is great with our younger riders. A keen Dartmoor Pony Club member and loves jumping, Lizzie is holds the BHSPT and working towards BHSAI. Lizzie is excellent at teaching our youngest to oldest riders.

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Shannon Gribbins (Grubby)

Assistant Yard Manager. Training for BHS Stage 4 and BHSPT

Grubs started learning to ride as a beginner with us at age 11. She has been through our Cheston Careers Club, attended as a school student one day a week under the PLT programme, and passed BHS stage one at just 14. Grubby is well on the way to achieving her BHSAI qualification. Grubby heads up the Sunday PC and is excellent with adult riders too.

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Being an Apprentice

Apprentice Groom

Work, earn and train in a real yard. Our apprentices train towards BHS exams and study with Bicton College once a week towards the Level 2 Diploma. You gain real experience and learn about responsibility, work with customers and get lots of riding. Hard working and good humoured local applicants (no live-in) are welcome to get in touch.

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A great team!

Student & Careers Club Member

We have a great team of part-time and freelance staff helping us with horse care and instructing. Former Cheston PC and Careers Club members such as Ella, Coutrney, James and Caitlin Bright who have learnt and ridden with us for many years now undertake paid roles with riding included. We recognise and reward the maturity, skills and commitment they bring that assist us to run the business.

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Lucy Thurkettle

Full-time staff member

Lucy is a great new addition to the team. Lucy is keen on her jumping and has been very helpful starting youngsters as she is a smart quiet and relaxed rider.  You will find Lucy teaching all ages and leading hacks. As she especially loves Arts and Crafts we have had great fun designing arty things with Pony Club on wetter days. We hope to train Lucy up quickly through her qualifications.