Welcome to

Cheston Farm Equestrian Centre

Cheston Farm Equestrian Centre is home to husband and wife team, Sophie and Andrew Osborne.  The centre has been a riding establishment for many decades and was in a poor state when purchased in July 2007. Since then, the Centre has seen huge investment, has undergone a major transformation and is constantly being improved to keep it up.

The arenas, stables, farmhouse, clubhouse/cafe and fields have all been overhauled, replaced or built from scratch. We are always re-investing to develop the Centre, the horses and the staff team further. We can say we are proud of our achievements and the reputation we have established.

Developing and managing Cheston has been our passion for many years now. 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 Instructor and BHS Stable Manager (Stage 5) with 4+ decades of experience including teaching in equine colleges, freelance instruction and competing in Eventing (BE Novice) and Dressage (BD). She has produced her own horses for most equestrian disciplines and loves training and educating young and problem horses from scratch. Beautiful Solstice Drum (pic) from 6months to his passing age 21, competed in Dressage (BD Advanced Medium) and Showing then spent many years as a firm favourite in the Riding School. Young horses are still always taken out local or County showing, cross-country schooling or educated at Fun Rides or on the beach. Variety is the spice of life and new techniques and ideas for training horses are constantly embraced.

Having had no ‘horsey’ background can make it hard to get started in this business. Riding schools, Pony Club, invaluable support of parents, horsey mentors as well as Green Heron Farm and Southlands in USA established a great basis for taking on Cheston. From training baby Peanut, jumping Sultan and re-educating Bamber, many different and varied horses still add further experience always even decades later. Sophie also worked outside of horses, for The Princes’ Trust, Raleigh International and other youth and community roles, but returned to her first love building a successful career and business around it.

Andrew is the other half of the business 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, Syd and now Elvis, look after him and the two of them enjoy canters across Dartmoor.

When Cheston allows us, Andrew loves his sailing and outdoor countryside time with 3 gundogs, or is driving the lorry to take young horses out to shows and events.  The doggies are a huge love, our Lab and Cocker Spaniels keep us busy with outings to beaches and moor. Andrew is a fabulous chef and loves creating in the kitchen! Like Sophie, Andrew held various management and director level roles working in both the public and charity sector before the couple launched in to a new way of life.


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, most recent the BHS Stage 5 Stable Manager obtained.

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!

Apprentice & Junior Instructors

Apprentice enquiries welcome

Trainee Grooms and Junior Instructors. We offer 1 year Apprenticeships linked to Duchy or Bicton College and train towards BHS Stage exams. Junior instructors train towards taking our children’s Starter lessons for our youngest and deliver PC care sessions too.

Lizzie Dearn BHSAI

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 BHSAI. Lizzie is excellent at teaching our youngest to oldest riders.

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 a programme, and passed BHS stage one at just 14. Grubby is well on the way to achieving her BHSAI qualification and will be taking Stage 4 shortly. Grubby heads up the Sunday PC and is excellent with adult riders too.

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.

A great team!

Student & Careers Club Member

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

Jennie Sullivan

BHSAI Instructor

Jennie Sullivan has been on the Cheston team since 2017 and brings tremendous experience and personality to her training. Jennie has many years of experience including running the Bicton College yard. Jennie also delivers one of our BHS Challenge Awards courses where riders enjoy a mix of horse care, coffee, and riding.