Livery stables business grew from rescued ponies.
Byline: By Hilary Clixby
Apartnership formed to support two rescued ponies has expanded to become the first livery LIVERY, Engl. law. 1. The delivery of possession of lands to those tenants who hold of the king in capite, or knight's service. 2. Livery was also the name of a writ which lay for the heir of age, to obtain the possession of seisin of his lands at the king's hands. F. N. B. 155. 3. stables in Alston for nearly 100 years.
Middle Bayles Livery Stables is run by farm tenants Gill Munro and her husband Russell and farmer owners Stephen and Kate Harrison.
When the Munros arrived to rent a house on the Harrisons' farm, Aimshaugh, they brought with them two rescued ponies, Tom and Jack, who were being nursed back to health by the couple after being found in appalling conditions.
Stephen and Kate were happy for the ponies to stay in one of their barns and use two of the fields on their land, and Gill decided to help support their upkeep by starting a small livery business.
Middle Bayles began with just four stables, but the immediate success of the venture led to the business applying for a pounds 17,000 grant from Defra's Rural Enterprise Scheme towards the cost of extending the yard.
They now have 17 stables in converted farm buildings, as well as a purpose built outdoor arena, paddock paddock
a fenced field or enclosure.
used for mating. fencing fencing, sport of dueling with foil, épée, and saber. Modern Fencing
The weapons and rules of modern fencing evolved from combat weapons and their usage. and a mile-long all- weather riding track.
"What began as a small pilot project has expanded very quickly," says Gill. "We weren't sure of the market when we began as Alston has not had a livery stables since there were mining ponies here 100 years ago.
"We hoped to have 100pc occupancy within three years, but word has spread very quickly and we were full after eight months with a long waiting list.
"The horses are well looked after, happy and relaxed - we even play music to them at the stables which they seem to like and we are now considering expanding the business further."
The venture is also a welcome development for Stephen and Kate, who keep a herd of limousin cattle, 800 sheep and 100 suckler cows.
Stephen, whose family has been farming in the region for seven generations, had been considering new ways of generating income for the farm for a while, and despite being wary of horses himself he was keen to join forces with Gill and Russell to expand the livery.
"Our sheep and suckler cows are still the mainstay of the farm, but the industry is changing and it is becoming necessary to diversify diversify
To acquire a variety of assets that do not tend to change in value at the same time. To diversify a securities portfolio is to purchase different types of securities in different companies in unrelated industries. and look at other areas of business," said Stephen.
"I have never been very interested in horses - in fact I am quite wary of them - but the livery has proved to be a great success and works well for all us."
The four worked in close partnership, drawing up a business plan with the help of Paul Harper from Cumbria Farm Link, with funds from the Farm Business Advice Service. The FBAS FBAS Farb-Bild-Austast-Synchron-signal (video)
FBAS Federation of British Aquatic Societies
FBAS FarbBild-AustastSystem (video signal)
FBAS Fund-Based Accounting System
FBAS Fixed Base provides a free service for farmers, offering up to three days of one-to-one advice to identify the most profitable and sustainable way forward.
They successfully applied for RES funding, and completed most of the building work themselves, including constructing an outdoor arena with full drainage system Noun 1. drainage system - a system of watercourses or drains for carrying off excess water
system - instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity; "he bought a new stereo system"; "the system consists of a and creating first class stables out of old cattle sheds.
Gill and Russell also give riding lessons, specialising in nervous riders, and Stephen, who rents out cottages on his land to holidaymakers, is thinking of offering a service whereby visitors can take guided tours of the countryside on horseback on the back of a horse; mounted or riding on a horse or horses; in the saddle.
See also: Horseback .
Tracy MacDonald, of Defra's Rural Development Service, said: "Middle Bayles is a great example of successful diversification, with the farmers and tenants working in close partnership to run a thriving business.
"Almost pounds 2m has so far been awarded to RES projects in Cumbria, and we hope to assist even more applicants over the next few years.
"Applications from those with a project that will meet a market or community need are particularly encouraged, and potential applicants are strongly advised to contact their local Rural Development Service office for further information and advice."