Brian Babbage with his long and passionate interest in the equestrian world, dating back to his childhood growing up in the local area with the Racecourse almost his playground, horses and all things horsey became part of his DNA. In his later years he forged several successful businesses which enabled his interest to spread beyond the spectator experience. Brian’s son, Norman infected with the same passion became a National Hunt Jockey, followed by becoming a trainer. The Deer Park purchase provided initially a stable yard focusing on the extremely competitive world of National Hunt, but over time with the wonderful location Brian began to seek a wider use.
One of Brian’s granddaughters Maddie, following the family traits started with ponies then progressed to various completions, Brain with an eye for fun, saw there was demand for a more inclusive experience. He had the foresight to see that the Deer Park offered the horse world a perfect setting for a Cross Country Course. Never one to do things by half he enlisted the Willis brothers to help him set up the first jumps, with their Olympic credentials and being in the same grove as Brian put in the initial course.
Brian spent some time simply walking the site to try and get a balance where he wasn’t expecting the British Olympic Equestrian team, his aim was the happy and positive group of horse lovers who just wanted a venue that could challenge them of allow their houses a variety of experiences. Once the first riders arrived one of his delights was to catch owners Mums, Dads, anyone really using the course and squeezing out them of insight and how the course rode for them. He would always enthuse on the happiness the bringing together of horse and rider brought and as he frequently said in comparison the Racing world the riders and their families were just in it for the obvious pleasures, never stopped him smiling, just loved a good story.
Brain passed away in 2016, his son Norman and granddaughters Maddie and Grace have taken up the mantle with in keeping with Brian’s thinking has kept up the ethos of riding for fun. The course is constantly being tweaked, adding the tiny tots jumps allows the younger or less confident group to join in. The pirate ship jump epitomises the course to challenge in a safe manor, give space to open up and most importantly smile and have FUN.