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Myself and my businesses!
Hi my name is Francesca and I’m an event rider based in Oxfordshire. Alongside competing I run a full livery yard and buy and sell horses.
I have an 18 stable yard in a small village called Curbridge. 11 full liveries, 2 of my own and 5 sales horses.
My horses are called Pippa (Knockaderry Misty Bat) and Ariana (Alvescot Flamenco). Pippa is a 5 year old ISH who is competing successfully at BE100 and Ariana is a 4 year old warmblood who was broken in in April and being produced slowly to be my second event horse.
My sales horses include Bruno a Belgium warmblood who is starting his BS career, Simba a ISH who is competing at 4YO/90, Felix a 5 year old ISH who is beginning his event career, Belle who is a 2 year old Belgium warmblood who is wintering out and will be broken next year and finally Amber a 10 year old ID who is eventing at 80/90.
Of my 11 liveries 4 are in full ridden/competition livery and the rest are on full livery at my beautiful yard. We have some amazing facilities and in a beautiful location in the cotswolds.
What do you like to do away from horses?
To be totally honest I spend an awful lot of time at the yard, I start at 7am and often finish at 7/8pm depending on the number of horses that need to be exercised. So when I get home I take my doggies for a walk, have dinner with my fiancé and then go to sleep! I love my job and I’m very lucky that my fiancé and family are so supportive of what I do so they don’t mind me working all week doing crazy hours.
However, I am considering going back to university to get a further degree in Human Biology to have alongside my degrees in Psychology and Neuropsychology. It’s important for me to have something other than horses just in case I want to go back to having horses as a hobby. I have a real interest in research so maybe in the future I may put my degrees to good use!
Other than Pippa and Ariana I also have my retired eventer Bassett (who is my heart horse and is the inspiration for my yard name), my companion pony Loui, my fell pony Knight who is on loan to a friend in Yorkshire and finally my two dogs, Bailey and Harley. Both are Jack Russell and father and son. Bailey is dad and Harley is his puppy who was born last year.
How did you come across Horse Search? What made you chose it?
I came across horse search on Facebook after seeing an advert for a horse shared on a Facebook sale site. After that I found them on Instagram. I chose horse search because I could advertise both businesses and my horses all in one area, and horse search did a lot of the hard work for me by sharing the post over both platforms and on a number of pages and groups so all adverts had maximum exposure.
What made you want to become a BA?
I wanted to become a BA because Horse Search had been so helpful for both businesses. I had a lot of livery enquiries and have sold 2 horses from adverts on horse search so far, so I wanted to help increase the exposure of Horse Search as it’s a brilliant platform where you can find so many different business as well as horses for sale, you’re able to look for anything horses or rural in one area so don’t need to spend hours trawling google.
Other businesses I work with
I have recently started working with Protexin Equine. They support my competition horses by providing high quality feed supplements to help support their digestive function.
Lots of issues that arise with horses can be traced back to problems with the digestive system, for instance any issues with immune system (like sarcoids or sweet itch) can often (not always!) be traced back to imbalances in the gut so it’s important to always be on top of your horses diet and to make sure they’re getting everything they need. Protexin are really helpful and always on hand to offer advice!
Best piece of advice
My dads favourite saying is ‘persistence beats resistance’. It has quickly become our family motto.
It can apply to many situations and for me it’s been such a useful piece of advice when producing and competing young horses. Just because it doesn’t go right the first time doesn’t mean it won’t go right! Keep persisting and eventually your hard work will pay off. This can apply to short term and long term goals. When riding as well, if you’re trying to introduce something new to your horse keep quietly asking until you get what you desire. They will resist to begin with because they won’t understand but eventually you’ll have a light bulb moment and all the hard work would have been worth it!
My typical day it pretty busy! We have 18 horses to look after and 7 of those have to be ridden daily (sometimes I have more if I have livery horses to ride!). Luckily I have fantastic members of staff who run the yard on a day to day basis for me so I can focus my time on riding and competing the horses I have in. I also do a bit of teaching alongside my riding.
I have got plans to film a day in the life vlog for Horse Search- so keep your eyes peeled as it’s coming soon!
Biggest achievements to date
Well I have the usual competition victories, I’ve had top 10 finishes when out eventing with my horses which is amazing.
But also, my biggest achievement for me is opening and creating a successful business during a pandemic. I opened Bassett Equestrian in May 2020 just as lockdown had begun. I was terrified it would all fall apart but it hasn’t! And I’ve been full for a long time now with still a lot of interest.
I’m also proud that I backed my baby horse last year (Ariana). I’ve had her since she was 6months old and 14hh. She’s 4 now and is 16.2hh! I did all the handling, long reining, lunging and eventually riding and now she has won her first dressage competition and is schooling well showjumping and cross country! I’m excited for the future with her.
Goals for the future
For now my short term goals are get some double clears in newcomers with Bruno and double clears in foxhunter with Pippa over the winter.
Then run Ariana round her first BE90 next year.
A long term goal for me is to get to Blenheim 4* with my girl (Pippa and Ariana). Blenheim is our local, big event. So me and my family have gone every year since I was little to watch so the goal is to compete there. I will keep moving my girls up the levels and hopefully either one or both will be able to fulfil the dream
Bassett Equestrian – http://www.bassettequestrian.co.uk / @bassettequestrian
Seren Sport Horses – http://www.serensporthorses.co.uk / @serensporthorses
Francesca Hicks – @francescahickseventing