This entire trip has been about meeting some amazing equestrian people and their horses and reconnecting with people from my past.
28 years ago, I attended Berkshire agricultural college and studied equestrian business management meeting many amazing people during that time. A few of whom I have stayed in touch with through the power of Facebook, with me being very visible on social media it’s allowed me the opportunity to catch up to people I haven’t seen. So when Roisin got in touch to invite me to pop in if I was in the area, and with Whitton Park only being an hour down the road I couldn’t refuse.
I knew Roisin had stayed working with horses but I didn’t know in what capacity so as I drove through the gates of her farm/stud I soon learned that she owned and managed a first-class thoroughbred stud.
After parking in the wrong place and wandering around many amazing brand new stables in the most amazing complex, I fell over a Staffordshire terrier and bumped into Roisin, immediately recognising her infectious smile. I am not sure how we did it in just an hour, but over a quick lunch we caught up the last 28 years finding out that we still had so much in common.
Pulling on borrowed gumboots and my even-more soddened little navy puffa jacket, we headed off to tour the farm on foot. We started with a viewing of the 4 spectacular stallions of the stud as well as paddocks full of relaxed mares and foals who never batted an eye despite the onslaught of the Staffie pack!
I very much admired her full-bodied brood mares showing such elegant heads for TB mares as they should. Alongside her love of TB, Roisin also enjoys breeding her own welsh cross TB cross WB sometimes accidental line-breeding lol
I must admit the latest Welsh section A cross weanling was probably the most terrifying thing I have seen in the last week as it hooned around us and the pack of hounds in the rain!
Finishing off the day I admired Roisins 6 yearlings being prepared for sale, yet again another example of exceptional preparation of young racehorses.
On my way out I also got to meet PEARL SECRET, a striking chestnut stallion with 4 white legs and a belly splash, I felt as though I knew him having met some of his progeny at Culworth Grounds earlier in the week, he most definitely leaves his stamp on his offspring.
I want to thank Roisin for the most amazing visit, I am totally in awe of what she has achieved on her own in the last 2 years at Chapel Stud, she is an incredible inspiration not only to me, but to anyone who aspires to run and own their own stud. She has an incredible story behind her and I am grateful for the time I spent with her.
As my UK tour draws to an end, I have one more special bonus installment to come over the weekend.... just tracking down the last 4 legged fur baby 😉