• CONTACT:

    Bayford Hall Farm, Bayford Lane,

    Bayford, Herts SG13 8PR

    Tel: 01992 511529

    Mobile: 07768 231711

     

  • DAN'S BACKGROUND

    Being the son of a farmer, Dan started riding from a young age – originally on the farm bull! His father was the Master of Enfield Chase Hunt and introduced Dan to hunting on his scruffy little Welsh pony who would often attempt to roll with rider in saddle while crossing rivers or when too hot.

     

    He was a keen member of the Enfield Chase Pony Club where he took part in all equestrian activities including mounted games, polo, eventing, show jumping and dressage. The Enfield Chase Pony Club was, and still is, used for selecting the cast of riders at Olympia where Dan was able to use some of his acting skills in such roles as Dick Whittington and Prince Charming. The Pony Club encouraged him to undertake the Pony Club Exams where he achieved his A-Test with honours in 1986, a feat that few have achieved even to this day. He also won the British Dressage Talent Spotting in the same year; this helped Dan decide that horses and dressage, rather than farming, would be his chosen career. He looks back on his Pony Club days with great affection as it was there he met some of his life long friends and found his vocation.

     

    Following his Talent Spotting success Dan went to Denmark to train with his young rider horse Sporty Sam. From this he learnt a great deal and then brought on his ex-show jumper from Novice to Prix St George. He travelled with this horse (his first) to many places and had originally intended to Event with him. Sporty Sam was a Hanoverian whose heart was not in the jumping but always did well in the dressage discipline.

    By this time Dan had already met Judy Harvey FBHS who was very much responsible for his Pony Club A-Test success and the Talent Spotting. He first met Judy at a show where she very kindly read a test for him after seeing he had gone wrong many times, even with his poor flustered mother calling it for him.

     

    Following this introduction Dan became a working pupil with Judy at Lea Bridge Riding School in London before moving to work with William Micklem FBHS and Captain Mark Phillips at Gleneagles in Scotland.

    Dan came south again to try out for the Young Riders Team, with further help from Judy he became reserve for the team. Judy moved to Buckinghamshire and Dan followed her there they remain great friends and Dan retains a great admiration and respect for this accomplished rider and trainer. It was Judy who taught him great horsemanship, sportsmanship and the discipline required to get the best from his horses.

    On meeting Dan you soon realise that he is passionate about horses and their training. When he was 23 he met David Hunt whilst stewarding in a riding horse class. Dan recognised the same passion he had for horses in David, and then found out he was training riders locally. He went along and found David’s honesty refreshing and the reality of his training stimulating.

     

    Dan has been fortunate to have been trained by many of the World’s best riders and trainers through scholarships, squad training and being guinea pig at National Conventions. To name drop them would be too time consuming but they have all helped to shape Dan into the feeling rider and trainer he is today, none more so than Judy Harvey and David Hunt. Dan prides himself of his honesty, this coupled with his passion has stood him in good stead in business and as maturity sets in he has learned to use his enthusiasm (passion) and directness (honesty) more cautiously. Assessing horses and their needs has always been comparatively easy compared to the needs of their owners or riders. Age, experience and some helpful advice from his mentors have given him the necessary skills to develop into the great rider and trainer he is becoming.

     

    His early success in Pony Club can be attributed to his ability to interpret the feel of a horse and translate this into learning and latterly teaching. This ability has grown over the years and enabled him to train some very successful horse and rider combinations. Television channels such as Horse & Country as well as daytime TV and international news programs have used Dan as a spokesman against cruelty to animals, representing the RSPCA. Although he admits that talking in front of an audience and competing before one can be nerve wracking and intimidating – but if you know your subject and are prepared, after the initial adrenaline rush it’s a wonderful thing to be able to entertain and share your knowledge.

     

    Having never been particularly academic Dan is incredibly grateful to horses for giving him the confidence to shine in life. He has trained all of his horses form babies to Grand Prix which has earned him much respect from his peers.

     

    To read more about Dan: click here to view a recent article