release – Lanhydrock
Families visiting Lanhydrock House the weekend
before Christmas, must have been bemused to see
the coach carpark full of trailers and horses dressed
in tinsel with their riders looking like lots of
Father Christmases, trotting across the park.
Thanks to the generosity of the Lanhydrock Estate
and Forest Enterprise, it was the very popular
Christmas Ride organised by the South West group
of Endurance GB.
“The ride gets more and more popular every
year,” said the organiser Frances Webster. “This
year I had the first entry in September. Both our
members and local pleasure riders enjoy the fun
of decorating their horses, and the wonderful route
around the estate.
a fun ride with carrots for every horse and mulled
wine and mince
the riders when they get back.”
This year, for the first time, I was able to take
part and, with my ever enthusiastic little mare,
had a lot of fun riding a scenic and easy to follow
route around the estate. From the carpark, we rode
out through Lodge Plantation to the road and then
turned off to follow a really good track around
the back of Little Cutmadoc Farm. This led into
a grassy field with wonderful views right across
the valley with the railway line in the distance.
Then, it was back onto a track and downhill around
Dreasonball Wood to the lane at Dreason.
From here, there was a diversion into Hart Wood,
following a leafy uphill track to the log stack
at the top and descending again via a broad forestry
track. A quick trot up the lane and through fields
belonging to Cutmadoc Farm and we were back into
the sheep pastures surrounding the park.
This was part of the Lanhydrock cross country
course and there were some formidable but tempting
jumps! We resisted the temptation and cantered
on into the main part of the park. Here, both to
my surprise and the astonishment of some visitors,
the route entered the lower garden by the side
of the house and followed a wide track up through
the rhododendron bushes that are so glorious in
From here the track wound its way downhill through
the woods past the old moss covered remains of
the stone quarries and Newton Lodge before crossing
the avenue and winding up through the Lower Park
to the finish.
Many thanks to Frances and Peter Webster for
their organisation, to the estate for allowing
us to do the ride and to the many stewards manning
gates and checkpoints. It was a lovely ride, impeccably
marked, which made a really enjoyable start to
The Best Decorated Rider was Kim Hammond with
Rachel Claridge as runner up. Katie Rowe had the
Best Dressed Pony and Jessie Lethbridge was the
: From left to right – Kelly Basby from
Penryn on Meg, Jackie Meyers from Falmouth on Black
Jack and Lydia Vinniscombe, also from Falmouth
on Golly Miss Molly.
Picture by Caroline Cooper