If you search for “beautiful barns” on Pinterest, you might come across photos of Gornall Equestrian in your quest. The stables belong to top show jumper Jamie Gornall and his wife, Averil Blundell. The updated facilities were previously a dairy farm. Today Home Farm in Yorkshire is one of the best equestrian properties in Europe without a doubt.
Jamie was highly involved with the building of the stables to make sure everything looked good, but was also focused on everything being practical. Averil owns her own interior design company, Averil Blundell Interior Design and was also very involved with the project. Every detail had to be considered, explained Averil.
“Whilst making sure that the facilities are as up to date as possible we have also retained as many of the existing architectural features as possible, as the building had originally been very well built with lots of attention to detail, but had subsequently fallen into disrepair as it wasn’t really suitable for modern farming methods. Some of the layout was partly dictated by the existing buildings and where existing doors / walls were located, which meant that that we had to think more laterally about layout, including having the main stabling area in what had been the centre of a covered courtyard with wide walkways around and the original walls left exposed. We ensured that there was maximum light and air throughout, especially in the stable areas as to us this is essential for the welfare of the horses.”
The large indoor arena features an Andrews Bowen surface with their Equaflow system below (used in Global Champions tours). At the end of the arena there is a gallery area (which is very unusual in the UK) and a meeting area above. Gornall does not have an outdoor riding arena. However they have a large, well drained grass arena with a gallop track between the stables and the indoor arena. This allows horses and riders to have multiple surfaces to ride on.
The stable was finished in the fall of 2015 and so far the layout has proved to work tremendously. The wash and tie up areas are close to the tack room. Everything is easy to maintain and keep clean and tidy.
When it came to sourcing materials, Jamie looked for quality brands he was familiar with. The stables are from Rower & Rubb and the joinery and tack room are by SeBo.
Stay tuned for part II of Gornall Equestrian coming next week with even more gorgeous photos.
Photos by Jonty Wilde