LAKE FARM THROUGH THE YEARS
In 1972 my father, Leslie Vanassche went to an auction with my cousin Rod Scott to buy some building plots. He returned a few hours later as a proud owner of an Equitation centre!!
The rumours then started, we were a family of garage owners so everyone thought that was the end of Lake Farm as they knew it. Little did they know.
Lake farm had been started by Veronica Benson and her parents. They took what was a dairy farm and turned it into Lake Farm Equitation Centre. They had the foresight to build the first Indoor school on the Island. The old brick tack room which was the old dairy still has the original floor to this day.
What people didn't realise was that I was horse mad from a really early age. When Dad bought the farm I already had two ponies, Rocky and Prince which I kept with my best friend Terry O’kane. On top of that Dad had also bought nine colts at the New Forrest Pony sales. We needed somewhere to keep them all so Lake Farm was perfect.
The house was nearly derelict and the Indoor school was surrounded by straw bales so there was a lot of work to do. The house had to be modernised for a young family, new school bus routes had to be discovered and the rest of the family persuaded to leave Ventnor after living there for many generations.
Having had neighbours for so many years we were now in the middle of no where with only the Chequers Inn as company. But that is another story.
I was only thirteen so Linda Andrews was employed to run the farm. She was strict and really scary so my equine education really took off. Having gone from the watchful eye of June Helps at Wolverton on my pony I had to learn really quickly!! I must say that without Linda’s drive and knowledge we wouldn’t have known where to start.
Slowly I took over the running of the farm and carried on the expansion which Linda had started with the help of Mum and Dad. The original six stables were knocked down to be replaced by twelve new ones and sides were added to the Indoor school.
As I put pen to paper I realise how we have expanded. 27 more stables were added, hay and straw barns, out door school, Lower car park and the indoor school has been extended by twenty metres. Add to these more tack rooms, land and a cafe. I realise how things have altered since the original cow stable.
The only real original bit from the property that Dad bought is the gallery but we have the steels ready to replace that as well.
I am now very proud of Sarah who not only events a string of horses at a very good level nationwide but has taken on the running of the farm on a day to day basis, under my watchful eye I hasten to add.
Sarah now runs her own shows and is so popular teaching that she doesn’t get many hours to her self.
The farm will only get busier with the addition of our new cross country schooling field.
Thank you everyone for all your support over the years.
Proprietor, Lake Farm Equestrian Centre
61m x 22m Indoor Arena
61m x 35m Outdoor Arena
British Eventing standard Cross Country Course with 50 Jumps from 60 to BE Novice
Riding School with ponies to suit all ages and abilities
BHS Qualified Instructors
Hot horse shower & Solarium
British Dressage approved venue
British Showjumping approved venue
Riding for the Disabled approved venue
Pub with easy access serving food all day and accomdation.