In September 1988 we ( The Davies’s ) bought and moved to Widmer Farm. It was an ex battery farm and all the barns had been homes to chickens. The feed store on site was called ‘Coxhead Feeds’and featured a lot of pink uniforms as I remember . The farm had 3 stables in a little self contained unit and not a lot of fencing!
We started off by purchasing a family horse called Caron Lady who had no lady like qualities and us as inexperienced horse people and farmers learn’t a lot very quickly. We initially ran a herd of beef cattle with our own Bull ‘Horis ‘ who also taught us a lot. He taught us how to run really really fast as he was a chaser and very territorial of his fields. There are funny memories of Chris pelting across the “L” shaped field with mental Horis hot on his heels with his long hair wafting behind him.
The farm’s equestrian side really began to develop in the 90’s when barn conversions took place and arenas were erected. The riding schools first set up was in the early 1990’s by two independent ladies. We took this over in about 1992. More arenas were built and we were a busy livery yard and bought and sold a lot of horses. We also specialised in breaking horses using a lot of the “Monty Roberts” methods. We opened up as a stud and to this day still breed the same line of horses.
We opened a large show field and hosted many many show jumping shows which were hugely successful attracting people from near and far .
Our open days are fondly remembered, 3 days of exhibitors, food and drink stands, bars, music and of course the discount in the shop! One year the ‘killer cockeral’ as we called him escaped and caused chaos, he even made it into the local newspaper.
The farm has been very diverse over the last 31 years. We installed a farm walk (before it was all the rage) , we secured a zoo licence and displayed many beautiful animals such as Ostriches, Ring Tailed Lemurs, Hornbills, Kookaburras, pigs, sheep, various birds of prey, we even had our own breeding program in place for owls. We have kept a herd of Red Deer, monkeys, reptiles and do still have Wallabies. We closed the farm walk down due to Winter being too tough and not getting enough visitors to cover the costs, if only we’d hung on a couple more years, we were ahead of the times!
So with the horses still being a big part of farm life I (Jenny) took over the running of the equestrian business in 2001 after returning from Greece. I moved away from the dealing to focus on the show side of the business, and away from show jumping towards dressage.