JEREMY & GISELLA KNEEN - YARD OWNERS
Jeremy and Gisella are the owners of both Leyland Court Equestrian Centre and Springtime Equestrian. They are the brains behind the entire operation and make everything we do possible.
Jeremy is the DIY King of Leyland. As well as being a part-time veterinary surgeon who takes care of all but the most serious equine illnesses and injuries, he is also a budding farmer, electrician, plumber and carpenter, amongst other things. He is the go-to-guy and is always around to support the whole team in whatever way he can. He is a hero to all.
Gisella represents the ethics behind Springtime Equestrian. Her mana is "there is always more to learn". She has an unending enthusiasm and interest in the horses and their development; she is dedicated to the running of the yard and the education of the liveries and staff alike. She is the person to go to for advice on any aspects of training and horse health. She is also a veterinary surgeon with many years experience maintaining the competition horses in top condition.
KATIE KNEEN - RIDER AND YARD MANAGER
Katie has been working with horses from a young age, starting in the local Pony Club and progressing to BE competition at 14 years of age. Early on she developed a talent for riding ponies with a "wilder" temperament, that others were less keen to compete. In this way Katie developed a fantastic relationship with a pony called 'Springtime Winnie the Pooh'. Together they competed up to Pony Club Championships and ended up first reserve for the European Pony Team. After moving from ponies to horses Katie took a previous Grade A showjumper, originally competed by her brother, and turned him into a competitive eventer. She was very successful up to Intermediate/2* level and competed through Junior teams.
After this success, Katie started looking to produce young horses through the levels. Whilst establishing our breeding program with Mullentine Stud, Katie spotted 'The Last Cavalier' (aka Tiggy). She bought him as a 3 year old and Katie produced him up to 2* level eventing. A talented jumper, they were also very competitive at BSJA and had great success, a highlight of which was finishing 5th in the grade C championships. The pair are now focusing on dressage and are working to compete at PSG over the next few years. Alongside this Katie has youngsters from 3-6 years she is also producing in all disciplines.
Katie is also a registered BD judge, working her way through the exams to move up the listings. Day-to-day Katie helps run Leyland court, organising regular competitions, teaching private lessons and clinics, and riding horses for clients.
ALICE KNEEN - RIDER
Alice started riding at the age of 5 at her local pony club. She was producing young, talented ponies through Pony Club when she was given the opportunity to inherit 'Springtime Winnie the Pooh' and 'Mastermix Murphy' from Katie. As a result of this she went from jumping 2ft 6 to 4ft Pony trials in just a few months.
She went onto compete very successfully in Pony trials, finishing 11th at the final trial. She was selected to compete at Ballindenisk, Ireland finishing 8th individually. Alice also went on to win the Open Pony eventing Championships the same year, as well as competing in the open PC Dressage championships and open PC showjumping team.
Alice also had great success at BSJA on a local find, 'The Talented Mr.Ripley' winning several Blue Chip and Dengie qualifers.
After moving off ponies, Alice was lucky enough to inherit 'Leo Z' from Katie who gave her experience at intermediate level and was able to compete at Junior Regional Novice Championships. In 2012 Leo retired so Alice moved into breaking and producing young horses as part of our breeding program. In the last few years she has successfully produced several talented youngsters; our homebred 'Dazzling Springtime' (aka Apollo) is her main horse and has competed successfully at 3*L in 2019 .
In 2017 Alice completed a Veterinary degree at Bristol University and has been balancing a full time job as a small animal vet alongside producing and competing her horses. Now she has established a promising homebreds she plans to move her focus towards the horses in the next year and move Apollo up to 4* in 2020.
KIRSTY - YARD MANAGER
Kirsty has worked with us for the past 4 years. A bubbly, hard working and invaluable member of the team, Kirsty keeps our liveries happy and manages our staff members. She also helps make sure the other aspects of Leyland court equestrian centre, such as the arena hire, competition and maintenance, runs smoothly. She is a jack of all trades and we would be lost without her fantastic personality and work ethic.
When she's not running the yard you can usually find her taking her daughter Aimee out to unaffiliated competitions.
JASON PENNELL - GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
Jason came to us in 2018 to complete his level 2 apprenticeship. Having completed this in early 2019 he has taken responsibility for the care of our full liveries. In the summer months particularly, Jason is also responsible for maintaining our turn out and our cross-country course, from strimming, aerovating, harrowing and watering.