<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Cumbrian Heavy Horses - The couple who relocated themselves and twelve Clydesdale Horses

PUBLISHED: 09:55 02 February 2011 | UPDATED: 19:33 18 April 2016

Cumbrian Heavy Horses - The couple who relocated themselves and 12 Clydesdale Horses

Cumbrian Heavy Horses - The couple who relocated themselves and 12 Clydesdale Horses

When a couple decided to move from Skye to the Lakes, packing was the least of their problems. What do you do with 12 huge horses? Mark Gilligan reports

The Tack Room The Tack Room

We all know moving house is one of the most stressful things. I remember all too well our second move which coincided with the imminent arrival of our first child. I blame that for my balding pate!


So, imagine what it’s like not only moving home but relocating your business at the same time? Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that you have to bring along 12 Clydesdale heavy horses on a journey from the Isle of Skye and across the Lake District to the Whicham Valley near Millom.


For Annie Ross and her partner Tim Ancrum that was the reality. Their Scottish business offered visitors the chance to ride their beautiful horses and Annie went on tourist guide courses to help build up the business.
However, it soon dawned on them that the short season on Skye, as well
as the location, was stifling the business. ‘Something had to happen as
I couldn’t see us furthering our potential,’ said Annie.

The birthday ride 'Team Photo' The birthday ride 'Team Photo'


Then, she received a call out of the blue that changed their lives. On the line was Millom farmer and landowner Robert Morris-Eyton, who wanted to borrow one of their Clydesdales, as his daughter’s horse was in foal.


‘Tim and I came down with the horse and while we were here Robert offered us Chappels Farm. It was fantastic and we instantly saw that this was where we had to be. The longer season and the excellent year-round tourism gave us the chance to realise our potential.’


So, with a new location to stage riding days and holidays with accommodation firmly in their sights, all they had to do was plan the move. ‘Simple it was not!’ said Annie. ‘What a nightmare. We had moved one or two horses to shows before and that was expensive but the cost for twelve was prohibitive.


‘I was discussing this with a Scottish farmer and I glibly said that we’d be better off just walking them there. â Then I realised that actually made sense! Tim and I discussed it and thought - why not?’

Mani and Dingle boxing! Mani and Dingle boxing!


And so the idea quickly grew. Careful planning meant they organised overnight grazing, accommodation, ferry crossing (yes they rode them onto a ferry without a hitch!) and they even sold sections of the journey to competent riders. In September 2006 the ‘posse’ rode off towards their new destination.


‘The looks we got as 12 large horses strode gracefully onto the ferry alongside normal traffic were amazing,’ said Annie. They arrived a month later and quickly set about completing grants that had to be ready for January 2007 and the real work of turning the farm into the ‘Cumbrian Heavy Horse Centre’ began. It opened six months later.


It’s a beautiful day when I arrive on site and a group of Lancashire women are there celebrating a ‘special’ birthday for one of their friends. They are excited by the prospect of the forthcoming experience and although one or two are regular riders most aren’t.


I watch as they get ready and saddle up and began their ‘adventure’. It’s smiles all round and they are still laughing upon their return some
hours later!

In Wasdale on the Holiday Ride In Wasdale on the Holiday Ride


Annie tells me they have riders of all abilities and nationalities coming to the centre. ‘From the minute I speak to someone on the phone, their arrival, being fitted in the tack room, the ride and debrief, our aim is to ensure that quality is paramount.’


You can tell this is more than just a business to Annie and Tim, more like a real love affair. Not only are they partners in life but the dedication that they show to their staff and the horses is very obvious.


Others agree. They have been given a ‘Cumbrian Tourism Award for 2010’ and also won the North of England section. Now they are awaiting results of the national finals.


You get the impression that for Annie and Tim, the ride is only just beginning.

In the'equine hotel' In the'equine hotel'

The Clydesdale is around 18 hands, that’s about six feet. The breed was founded in Lanarkshire and dates to the middle of the 18th century when native horses were bred with Flemish stallions


These horses were in widespread use on farms across the country. They became popular overseas, too, with more than 1,500 stallions exported in 1911.


Clydesdales were ‘conscripted’ into the British Army during 1914-18 war but the need for high levels of productivity on our farms meant they started to be replaced by tractors during World War II.


During the 1960s and early 1970s, breed numbers dwindled and the Clydesdale was deemed vulnerable by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. There has been a revival thanks to people like Annie and Tim encouraging people to ride these gentle giants.

If the cap fits! If the cap fits!

www.cumbrianheavyhorses.com

www.facebook.com/cumbrianheavyhorses

0 comments

More from People

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

All the items that have appeared in our ambitious project to mark the 70th anniversary of Lancashire Life.

Read more
Lancashire70
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A poll taken by Lancashire Life readers has revealed who they think is the greatest.

Read more
Lancashire70
Thursday, October 26, 2017

A centre devoted to natural childbirth has just celebrated its 5000th arrival. Chief photographer Kirsty Thompson captured the celebration.

Read more
Blackburn
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The John O’Gaunt Rowing Club has a remarkable history – including the time one crew greased their shorts to make them go faster! Martin Pilkington reports.

Read more
Lancaster
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lancashire rock star Jeffrey Hammond is back home and about to reveal his hidden talent for art. But first, he spoke exclusively to Barbara Waite

Read more
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Troops clash in the seaside town as Allied forces attempt to capture a German fuel dump. Paul Mackenzie reports from the front line.

Read more
Lytham
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Presenter and journalist Beccy Barr tells Roger Borrell about her love of Lancashire, life as a single mum and dealing with trolls

Read more
Lancaster
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This year’s Lancashire Life Food and Drink Awards takes place at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, Blackburn on Monday, October 16th

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rebekka O’Grady meets people in Liverpool who are passionate about making their hometown the best it can be.

Read more
Liverpool
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Beautiful boats like The Polly are still being built the old fashioned way on the river Wyre, writes Paul Mackenzie

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Lancashire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search