Our facilities at Barbury Castle are second to none with some of the best gallops and schooling facilities in the country.
Progress never sleeps, and we are constantly looking at ways to improve the facilities at Barbury Castle, so, without being complacent, we feel that they are now as good as any in Britain. The horses want for nothing, the staff always have a smile on their faces, and since we came here in 2000 the operation has just got bigger and better.
STABLES & SPA
The ‘Barbury’ yard is separated into 5 barns, with each barn providing the horses with a blend of excellent ventilation and shelter from the elements. Each barn undergoes regular disinfection to ensure the horses have a clean and comfortable environment to obtain optimum results. The spa is a key component in the aid of a horse’s recovery, a mixture of chlorine and Epsom salts in water varying between 1-3 degrees centigrade, with a ‘Jacuzzi’ like effect on the horses legs. It provides any individual with niggling issues a perfect opportunity to recuperate after the rigours of a mornings exercise.
As we cannot accommodate all our horses at Barbury we have 43 boxes situated at Sharpridge, a stones throw away from us. With its own indoor arena, 6 horse walker and American style barn, with excellent ventilation, no horse is left wanting for comfort.
Within the confines of Barbury Estate we are blessed with multiple gallops, varying in distance and surface. The majority of the exercise takes place on the Sharpridge hill gallop, consisting of an Eco- Track surface. Stretching 5 furlongs and sculpted into one of our many hills, climbing 300ft, it provides the horses with a test of fitness and conditioning without being too severe. With an extra furlong being added to gallop the previous summer it gives me alternative distances to work the string, depending on the individual’s training regime. Running parallel to this is one of our many grass gallops, which we can use weather/ ground permitting to prepare the string for life on the racecourse.
The ‘Old’ gallop provides an alternative to Sharpridge, with its less demanding climb and one sweeping left hand bend. The gallop measures 6 furlongs on relatively flat land, with a grass gallop running adjacent to the all weather surface. With ample grass coverage and good drainage, we can be assured of the best possible ground for exercise.
To coincide with our two main gallops, we also have ‘The Barbury Mile’ grass gallop, with plenty of undulations it provides a key part in the horse’s education, allowing them to learn how to balance and use themselves correctly.
The sand gallop is situated next to the schooling grounds, it is approximately one and a half furlongs round and consists of sand and rubber based surface. The gallop rides on a slight camber and is used as a warm up canter for horses before they school. This gallop can be seen used to good effect in the aid of teaching the horses to relax and enable the horses to find a rhythm in their cantering, and again like the mile gallop, the horse learn to balance themselves correctly, and is a great alternative to the conventional gallops at our disposal.
Another key feature in the horse’s training is the estate itself. With almost 2000 acres of land, many bridleways and tracks, the horses need not see a gallop and fitness can be maintained thanks to the rolling hills and vast expanse of the estate. This can be also used as a great means to freshen the horses up and be beneficial both physically and mentally.
The outdoor school has many uses, it is where all the string congregates each lot to warm up and to be organised into their work groups. It is also where the horses begin their jumping education, with a row of logs running through the middle of the school, two easy fix hurdles, barrels and poles, it is a great starting point in learning a sound technique.
The schooling grounds here at Barbury are an essential part of the regime, and during the winter months will be used twice a week. We have an all weather strip with 3 easyfix hurdles, which is essential because the remaining obstacles are based on grass, which can only be used ground permitting. On the grass we have 2 lines of birch fences, consisting of 3 fences in each line, both varying in size. We also have a line of easy fix fences, and a line of wooden hurdles.