Those of you who have visited Press Mains over the last few years may remember Bob. He was the large grey horse who peered over the wall, sporting an interesting wardrobe of torn turnout rugs. Rug destruction was a favourite hobby of his but, as he was usually caked in mud from frequent rolling marathons in the field, you might be forgiven for not realising that underneath all that he was a beautiful pure white colour. Aside from mud-rolling, his particular specialities were eating and escapology.

He once ventured along the road several miles into Coldingham where he ended up grazing beside the Abbey. As it was summer he was not wearing a rug so presented locals with the ghostly apparition of a white horse in a grave yard. Thankfully a resourceful local lady caught him and contacted John who had to lead him all the way home.

The good news is that Bob is very much alive and well but he has moved south to spend some time in Gloucestershire with John’s daughter Alice. She finds his cheeky nature charming and is putting him through his paces. It turns out that he can do a rather creditable dressage test and his jumping is improving all the time. So it’s back to Bootcamp for Bob and hello to Harry.

John’s new horse Harry is settling in well and, after a rather frosty start, has made great friends with Susie, the elderly thoroughbred mare who also lives here. Bred as a very superior race horse, Susie started her life with a smart racing name at the National Stud and went to some of the top trainers. Sadly the results did not justify such an investment due to a complete absence of competitive spirit and her best finish was 16th out of 18. She has spent most of her life as a quiet lady’s hack and is much-loved despite the fact she is incredibly accident-prone.

Harry is ten years Susie’s junior and came over from Ireland. He started life as an eventer but proved to be rather careless over coloured poles which is a distinct disadvantage in a competition horse. He can, however, jump natural fences with great flair and John is now under considerable pressure to make use of this talent! Harry is, however, still young and just finding his feet, so if you see him out and about please give him a bit of space and time.

We are not a specialist livery or stabling establishment but, as you can see we do love horses. If visitors would like to bring a horse with them, there are miles of off-road hacking around the farm. We can also provide grazing and, in some circumstances, stabling. Simply ask Alice when making an enquiry and we will do our best to help.