Gornall Equestrian open day delights visitors

Sports horse enthusiasts from across the country flocked to the pretty North Yorkshire village of Kirk Hammerton at the weekend for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Gornall Equestrian – one of the finest training facilities in Europe and home to international showjumper Jamie Gornall and his collection of stunning competition and breeding stallions.


Visitors took their seats at the yard’s vast indoor arena to watch as Jamie introduced some of his elite showjumping horses, including stallions Baloutelli, Count Codex, Carsten and Christian 25. He discussed about each one, providing details of their breeding, careers to date, personalities and training regimes, before showcasing their tremendous ability under saddle. The crowds were also delighted to meet Christian’s handsome foal – a brilliant example of classy bloodlines and a huge amount of raw potential.

The open day also featured presentations from vet and world-renowned equine reproductive specialist James Crabtree from Equine Reproductive Services and Gornall Equestrian’s nutritional partner, Connolly’s Red Mills. These were followed by tours of the yard, where visitors could see the fantastic range of facilities and gain further insight into the way that Jamie produces and manages his horses.

Visitors also had the opportunity to visit a tradestand area where they could indulge in a little retail therapy and chat to some of the industry experts who support Gornall Equestrian.

“We were absolutely thrilled with the day – it certainly surpassed all our expectations,” said Jamie. “It provided us with a brilliant opportunity to showcase our tremendous facilities, explain our approach to horsemanship and equine wellbeing, and meet a wide range of people who share our passion for bloodlines, breeding and producing quality sports horses. We had some really interesting conversations, which I am sure we will continue over the coming months.”

Allison Tasker, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire – one of over 100 visitors – came on a fact-finding mission to discover more about Gornall’s breeding potential for her mare. “The yard is absolutely amazing and I have really enjoyed looking at which stallions we could put her with,” said Allison.

Katie Seward, from Knutsford, Cheshire, was on a similar mission, as she was considering putting her 18-year-old dressage mare in foal. “People sometimes assume that, because we have a dressage mare, we would look for a dressage stallion, but Jamie’s sports horses would be perfect,” she said. “Count Codex, for example, would be a brilliant match for her, as he would bring that wonderful roundness. We have thoroughly enjoyed our day and this place is the ultimate equestrian dream.”

Keith and Diane Jones, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, owners of a Belgian warmblood, were “blown away” by the Gornall Equestrian facilities and Jamie’s approach. “We really like and respect the way that he allows the horses to develop at their own pace,” Keith added. “It was refreshing to see how patient he was with youngsters. He’s definitely our kind of trainer.”

Jill Hewtt, from nearby Whixley, was visiting the yard with a group of York & Ainstey North Pony Club members. “I loved the facts and educational aspects of the presentations, and found the talk on embryo transfer extremely useful,” she said. “And, as for that beautiful foal, what more can I say other than he was absolutely gorgeous?”

Amateur event rider Kellie Fisher and her husband, Charlie, travelled up from Suffolk for the day because they were keen to see Gornall Equestrian’s modern showjumping stallions. “We are looking to put our eventing mare in foal next year and the qualities and temperament we are looking for are right here,” said Kellie. “Rather than having to travel around the world searching for stallions, we have some quality contenders right here all in one place.”