Annabel and Jamie’s Wedding

Saturday the 10th of July dawned bright, dry and fine, perfect for the wedding of the year, the decade, even the century!  Yes of course it was the special day for Annabel and Jamie, the childhood sweethearts who tied the knot in the tiny St David’s Chapel at Llanthony in front of their nearest and dearest family and friends.  The bride was stunning in an Oyster Pearl dress with gorgeous train and carrying freshly picked local flowers.  Jamie was handsome and smart in a grey morning suit, with bridesmaids, best men and ushers all looking wonderfully co-ordinated.  The church was filled with flowers and candles and after a simple ceremony the happy couple were showered with rose petal confetti.  A wonderful reception followed in the marquee in the Abbey Field (after champers and fantastic home made canapés in the Priory grounds – well done Cressy, Cordelia and your wonderful team of helpers).  When the side of the marquee was taken down the panoramic view of the Priory ruins was revealed to gasps of wonderment at the stunning view.  Evening guests then joined in with music and dancing late into the night, even Colin was kicking up his legs to the strains of ‘Ol Blue Eyes singing New York New York!  A fabulous day for all was rounded off with the magnificent sight of the Priory floodlit against the dark sky, giving the late night revellers one of the most amazing sights the valley can provide.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Windsor-Medley, from everyone at Court Farm and beyond, here’s hoping you have a fabulous honeymoon in St Lucia and we look forward to seeing you at the show on 7th August!

Love Karen and everyone at Court Farm

July 2010

Well the longest day has come and gone, and finally we get some gorgeous weather! Bright and sunny, and hot enough to take the horses for a welcome paddle and a splash in the river at the end of the day, which they love. The horses are all now super fit (a few are still a bit fat too!) and have shiny glossy coats.

We have welcomed a new guide for the summer to help for the holidays – Kelly has got straight into the swing of things, learning the different routes, and like Joey is riding as many of the horses as possible to get to know them and choose her favourite! Kelly is from a farming background, has working at riding centres previously and is currently studying Outdoor Education at university, so she is with us until the end of the holidays.

Maestro and Erehwon have both undertaken their first treks after some intensive training and “baby-rides” out with Tom and Harri, both these youngsters are taking to it very well. Bonnie is coming along really well too along with all the other regulars.

Cressy and Katie have been out and about in Cressy’s new lorry to more Le Trec events, doing very well with Flame and Ace, they can go further afield now as the lorry has living accommodation. And of course it’s blue to go with their very own colour scheme of “That Blue Pair”.

“Bryony-and-Tom Fest” happened recently with all sorts of activities organised including group rides, a fancy dress party and barbecue and a cake decorating competition. The fancy dress theme was Disney and all the costumes were made with great care and innovation, especially Joey as Buzz Lightyear! There were Peter Pans, Tinkerbells, Captain Hook, Cruella de Ville (X2), several very spotty Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, Belle, Aladdin and the Genie plus magic carpet, Pocahontas and many many more. The faces of the bemused campers walking by were great! Some even remembered us from the previous years.

Of course the main event of the summer is Annabel and Jamie’s wedding – preparations enter the final phase now ready for the big day coming up very soon. Everyone is really looking forward to the day itself, the day after the wedding (hangovers permitting) is given over for games at the happy couple’s request. Anyway, I will be there to make a photographic record of the whole thing alongside Katie with her video camera.

Summer holidays are approaching fast when we are expecting to be busy, remember to book up well in advance for treks and hacks to avoid disappointment. Oh, and remember plenty of sun cream!

Love from Karen and all at Court Farm.

2010 season underway

The 2010 season has successfully started and has been underway for a little over a month now, all is running smoothly, and all the horses are fit and very well.

We are excited to announce Joey as a new member of our team this season. Joey has spent the winter working the ski season in Les Gets, the French Alps. She also has experience as a Ranch guide in Los Monetesinos in Spain, and has worked as an instructor for PGL in Shropshire. Welcome to Joey.

Also welcome to all 4 of our Llanthony babies 2010, with Cobalt as proud father to 3 of them:

Chilli has a chestnut sabino blanket spot filly,

Africa and Libro have a smart bay colt – name still to be decided,

Rio has a perfect mini-me, she’s been called Daisy,

And last but no means least little Willow has had a black based sabino, leopard spot colt,

They are all very gorgeous, you simply must come and visit to see them playing in the field.

Otherwise view the gallery page and see some pictures of them.

As the valley gets greener and greener we anticipate more visitors and riders for the May Bank Holiday and on into the summer, let’s hope that the weather is on our side this year – fingers crossed.

If you are holidaying in the area and want inspiration for other acitivites after your ride here then the Brecon Beacon’s National Park website is a great place to start

Look forward to seeing you soon…

Bryony and all at Llanthony Riding and Trekking

Hello February 2010

The snow has gone, yahoo.!!

Llanthony life has been quite a slog the last couple of months, with the rain, mud, snow and ice. The foals (now almost yearlings) are none the wiser to the cold weather, snug and warm in their cozy straw barn…WITH ROOM SERVICE.!!

The older youngsters have had quite a rough time so far, being their first winter out fending for themselves…..but I couldn’t resist and hay was taken out regularly and the weaker ones brought into the barn on the worst nights…I think they know how to play me!

The broodmares are looking exceptionally well, Africa, Rio, Chilli and Willow are now into their final trimester..not long until new Llanthony babies arrive…… this space.

Cobalt has been in and ready to do ridden work after a summer out at grass (doing job no.2) but due to the ice-age returning to britain, so much for global warming, we have been unable to do anything. So instead he is getting fat and playing manly games with the colts that are in desperate need of a visit from the surgeon.

On a veterinary note, I have been saving up projects for our vet to undertake this winter after the flies have all died and are no longer a threat to infections. Bramble had his tooth removed that had abscessed in the summer and was not clearing up with antibiotics, not a straight forward operation but he is now recovering well in the absence of his 6” poison tooth – IT WAS HUGE.!!!

Murphy had a tumour removed from his sheath and has suprised everyone on the team with the fastest recovery in the history of equine operations, not bad for a cob that has spent the last 20 years working hard. Heres to the next 20 years, good one Murph.

Horses that are out on loan are all doing well. Monty in particular has been having a whale of a time with Cerys in Llangenni, dressage, jumping, riding club events, lessons, and a family that loves him. It sounds like no one has been doing too much riding this winter, no suprises there with white stuff everywhere, but I imagine the horses are just happy to get some TLC.

The horses that are at Hartpury college are participating in a feed trial to investigate the effects of red-clover forage on the microbial populations in the hind gut, good luck everyone.

Now we are into February I can start getting excited about the start of the trekking season again, woohoo. Harri is moving back here in a couple of weeks to help me prepare, we have all sorts of things to get ready.

2010 is going to be a FANTASTIC year for riding I can feel it in my bones. We have popular horses back in work after maternity leave last season, Rosie has many eager fans awaiting her return to work, as do Gossip, Duchess, Seren and Lady. We also have Saira who is going to do some work this year after several foals and years of being Annabels private riding horse, I think she will enjoy the change and take very well to trekking.

There are LOADS of young horses that are lining up ready for training in the hope of making the grade and joining our ranks. Bonnie has been waiting her turn for 2 years, although the time was well spent raising her colt – Captain. Firefly, Maestro and Erehwon are my own youngsters that were supposed to begin training last year but I ran out of time, this year they will have to be my priority. AND we also have the 3yr olds, Velvet, Sugar and Violet who are going to need to start their training too, although not until later in the year when they have fully grown up.

GOOD. Now I am most definitely excited. Can’t wait to see you all. – We open Thur 1st April 2010.

Best Wishes


Happy New Year for 2010

New Year in the valley was beautiful with the hills blanketed in snow.  Much fun was had with tobogganing and snowballing!  The Half Moon was packed out once again on New Year’s Eve with great fancy dress outfits on which everyone had worked hard.  Katie and Cressy were convincing Christmas Trees, even with fully working lights when they were next to suitable sockets to plug in to!  Much of Court Farm had a Circus theme (great clown make up Tom and Annabel), and the bunkbarners (Karen, Paula, Jessie, Harri and lots of other friends) all went dressed as different band names which others in the pub had to guess from the clues (eg Paula in a boiler suit covered in question marks – The Who, Karen in pink top and chef’s hat with a glass of wine – Pink Floyd).
Next day was the traditional river jump with a good crowd to watch the bravest ones take the icy plunge to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  Cordelia was on standby with hot mulled wine to warm them up afterwards.  The duck race took place after the jump (proceeds to Cwmyoy Hall and Great Ormond Street).  Well done everyone!  Tony was the first in as usual, Jessie made it eventually after wavering on the edge for a few minutes!
News from the trekking yard is that Bramble has had an operation to sort out an abcessed tooth, he is recovering well now, and Murphy is due to have a small operation too – lets hope he gets through it OK and that they are both fit and well by Easter for trekking.
There was a Court Farm day trip to Cardiff and their mission was accomplished as Annabel has now ordered a stunning dress for her summer wedding to Jamie.  Before that we have Cressy’s 30th birthday bash to look forward to at the end of January – watch out Cardiff here we come!
We hope all our friends had just as much fun as we did over the New Year, and that 2010 is a happy and prosperous year for all.
With much love from Karen and everyone at Court Farm