Dassett Eventing is run out of the buildings and 30 acres that make up Dassett Fields, in beautiful rolling countryside on the Oxfordshire and Warwickshire border, just north of Banbury.
We believe it is important to allow horses their own time, and with 11 large turn-out fields, some with field shelters, a further two paddocks and two woodchip paddocks, we are fortunate enough to have all year round turn-out in these post and rail fenced fields.
The yard currently has 20 large, well-ventilated loose boxes all fitted with rubber matting. Nine of these are in a court yard directly overlooking the house. This is primarily for the horses Kate rides. There are then a row of nine stables behind the court yard, and a further two in a barn, for the horses Sue and Craig are producing.
There is a horse walker, which has recently had a roof added, and two wash boxes, with a constant supply of hot and cold water. There is a fully heated rug room with hot water and a washing machine, allowing rugs/pads/boots and all the other kit to be clean and dry whatever the British weather throws at us.
Both Kate and Sue have separate barns where the horses are tacked up and groomed, and prepared for work and travel, both containing feed rooms and additional rug rooms. We have full use of static magnetic rugs and boots, an electro-magnetic and massage combination rug and leg wraps, and several lasers to treat any more specific problems should they arise.
The original school is a 40m by 45m arena, but we are all very excited about our two new arenas, completed in August 2015. There is a 70m x 40m jumping arena, with adjoining steps and ramps to a 20m x 60m dressage arena, which is awaiting mirrors. This means there will always be a full course of show jumps set up, including grids, and still space to practice all those fancy dressage moves! A large grass area has recently been levelled off to create grass dressage and show jumping arenas, which will be equipped with another full set of brightly coloured show jumps, fillers and water trays and a range of cross-country style fences which can be used in the school or the fields, depending on the weather.
We have a cross-country schooling field with both dry and water ditches, steps and a wide range of portable cross-country fences. David Evans has been in to help design a quarry, coffin, sunken road and water complex, making the most of the natural stream that runs through the property. We have long-term plans to develop an all-weather track around one of the larger fields.
And last, but certainly not least, is the mighty truck... "Big Blue". A common site around the Midlands' roads, and easy to spot in the lorry park, the lorry is completely reliable and very comfortable for the horses. It easily takes six large horses and even nervy travellers turn into happy campers! We also have a smaller 7.5T lorry, "Rio", which is much quicker round the country lanes and is Sue's mode of transport.
There is 24-hour supervision, as Kate and her husband live in an annex attached to her family's home, which directly overlooks the yard, and the grooms live in a cottage adjacent to the yard. The security is tight, with electric gates, alarms in all the barns and tack rooms, CCTV and most importantly, Kate's German Shepherd dogs.