Poplars Farm was bought by Mr and Mrs Warrington in 1979 in order for their daughter Mandy to further her career as a riding instructor by opening a riding school. Over the years Mandy and her family have built the centre to become one of the most reputable in the area. Mandy had a passion for riding as a child and was fortunate enough to have her own ponies. She was a keen show jumper and progressed through the ranks from ponies to horses and competed successfully with her best horse Merry-Go-Round. Mandy gained her teaching qualifications under Sue Snow at Field House Equestrian, where she became a BHS AI (BHS Stage 3 Coach) before leaving to start up her own riding school.
During the early years here at Poplars Mandy met her husband Chris, who also works on the farm, and they had two daughters Philippa and Francesca. Mandy then started to live her passion for horses through her daughters, who both competed from a very young age. Both girls were successful in the showing world for many years, their most famous pony being Barkway Honey Bee (Beebee). Together they won many prestigious competitions and BeeBee gave them both the first of many rides at the Horse of the Year Show.
Philippa (Pip) currently works full time as a riding instructor alongside her mum here at Poplars. Having graduated with a first class honours degree in law; she followed her heart and her love of horses and joined her mother at the riding school, she is a BHS II (BHS Stage 4 coach). While predominantly teaching here at Poplars, Pip also does freelance teaching and schooling and has recently become a British Dressage Judge. As well as showing, Pip has competed in affiliated dressage & eventing. Pip has two children, Bonnie & Ralphie. Bonnie, now aged 4 has already started her competitive riding career & had a successful first season with homebred Poplabee Georgie Porgie last year, finishing 6th in the Stars Champion of Champions final at Aintree international and gained the best young rider award from her riding club.
Francesca (Chez) also works full time at the riding school, she is a BHS Stage 2 and has completed a Masters Degree in History. Chez has always competed her horses and ponies after being introduced by her mother, and was British Dressage Quest National Champion in 2018 with her horse Future Enigma. She also has a daughter, Harriet, who is proving to be a keen horse rider, and is looking to make her showing debut this summer as she approaches age 3.
Victoria Witham is the newest member of the teaching staff here at Poplars. Vicky learnt to ride with ourselves and recently passed her BHS Stage 2 teach exam to become a qualified coach. A pleasant, hardworking and valued member of staff Vicky has the same passion for horses as Mandy, Pip & Chez, which makes her a great addition to the team.
In terms of teaching staff, we are also proud to have freelance instructor Tara Godfrey available for lessons. Tara, a BHS Stage 4 coach, who has also gained her Stable Managers & most recently her Stage 5 teach exam, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team. Tara has previously worked all over the world, and therefore brings a huge amount of experience. Her passion is show jumping, having jumped competitively to 1m15. She has also competed to a very good level in dressage & eventing. Our teaching staff are supported by our lovely little team of yard staff, which includes our new apprentice Lewis. An apprentice from Reaceheath College, Lewis also learnt to ride with ourselves and is now following his passion of horses.