History of Grove House Stables
The equestrian centre is based at Grove House Farm in Misterton, North Nottinghamshire founded by Andrew Stennett in 1991. The red tile and brick farmstead was built in 1811 and has played a central role in the local community ever since. In 1956 Andrew’s grandparents Norman and Eileen bought the mixed dairy and arable farm. The family developed the farm, raised, produced and showed cattle, cavies (guinea –pigs), rabbits, pigs, horses, ponies, cats, dogs and sheep.
Andrew’s Aunty Dawn and Criban Archer
In 1972 Andrew’s parents Pip and Judy joined the family business along with a two-year-old Andrew!
Andrew and Whisky (The pony that started Andrew’s Equestrian journey).
Andrew Stennett established P.A.G. Equestrian Services in October 1991. It had a sole trader status, and the aim was to provide quality training in horse care and riding, to all members of the community. This aim extended to the pricing structure – keeping the product cost effective and thus enabling many people to have their very first taste and experience of equestrianism.
Grove House Stables grew out of P.A.G. Equestrian Services. It was set up in August 1993 as a partnership. The objectives were to provide comprehensive livery services to clients owning their own horses and to provide training courses towards professional equestrian examinations as well as recreational riding lessons.
Grove House Stables (Training) Ltd commenced trading in January 1996. Through this company we began delivering NVQ training in horse care, riding and management. We started with 15 students training on levels 1 and 2, which resulted in a 100% pass rate. By September, we were able to offer level 3 as well and to take on more adult education students.
Early days of British Horse Society Training
The three businesses were then consolidated in January 1998, into “Grove House Stables”.
Back in 1991, the business began with one horse and one pony, and a very muddy field and two stables rented from Andrew’s father’s farm. Andrew soon decided that an all-weather, floodlit riding arena was essential and after a lot of hard work and long hours, his dream gradually became a reality.
Andrew managed to obtain financial support from the Princes Youth Business Trust and also the Bassetlaw Enterprise Board. The latter provided a £1000.00 bursary and the P.Y.B.T. sanctioned both a bursary of £500 and a loan of £1000.
The construction of the arena enabled teaching to carry on through the wet winter months regardless of most weather conditions and after the installation of flood lights, enabled the business to operate four evenings per week.
The next significant development came from the publicity generated from Andrew entering Yorkshire TV’s “Enterprise ’93” competition. He became a finalist and won £1000, which he put towards the cost of buying two acres of land and an old lean-to barn from his father.
Cross-country fences and a show jumping course were then set up in the paddock and a project to convert the old lean-to barn into stabling, toilets (including disabled facilities) and storage began. Once again the Bassetlaw Enterprise Board came to the rescue with an interest free loan of £2500 and the Prince’s Young Business Trust sanctioned an expansion loan of £5000.
In August 1995, we purchased a second hand portacabin to provide an office and a classroom to teach British Horse Society National Vocational Awards. In January 1996, we welcomed the first of our students and by October we had purchased a further 12 acres of land and a cattle shed from Andrew’s father… The cattle shed was then converted into stabling for 9 horses together with an undercover area for practical lectures, shoeing etc.
By 1997, the number of adult education students had risen sharply and we purchased a second portacabin building (again second-hand) to act as a further class/lecture room.
In 1998, the facilities were further enhanced, by the building of a second riding arena and the centre became officially recognised by the BHS as a recommended training centre.
The next expansion, in January 2001, entailed the purchase of a large cattle shed and land to the front of the farm which is now used as car parking. The shed itself is used as a “crew yard”, enabling all of the remaining ponies to be brought in out of the fields over the winter months.
During 2003 an exciting project was completed with the covering of our existing 20 x 60 metre all weather arena. This has improved work conditions for horses, staff and clients alike and has allowed us to develop a more consistent all year round take up of our services. The development of the facility continued in 2007 with the addition of side cladding. Alongside the development continued with the installation of internal kick boards and the addition of a 12 metre extension. The extension provides lorry, jump and equipment storage and access for spectators to view lessons.
During 2008 the centre purchased a new Kubota compact tractor for the maintenance of arenas and assisting with yard work. The centre also purchased new plastic show jumps and two new riding school ponies, bringing the total number of horses and ponies to 35.
During 2011 the centre put in a judges’ box and purpose-built seating for spectators in this area. Over subsequent years the centre continued to evolve and get involved with national and community events. These activities showcased the opportunities for equestrian experiences and their benefits for riders of all ages. The centre’s involvement in The British Horse Society Changing Lives through Horses is proving to be a popular and life changing opportunity using Equine intervention to aid learning and personal development.
In 2016 Andrew became one of the first elite recreational coaches in the country.
Grove House Stables continues to develop as a training centre and commercial riding centre striving to meet our mission statement and comprehensive equestrian training from hourly lessons through to examination courses.