Retired horse rider and trainer, Kate Cawthray (77) from Hambleton Grange care home in Thirsk, reignited her passion for equestrianism when care staff took her to visit a local stud farm and livery.
Kate’s passion for all things equine began when she was just four years old, when her parents convinced her to join Aire Valley Pony Club in Bradford. Kate said,
‘I took some persuading to get on horseback, but once I tried it, I was hooked!’
From that moment on, Kate was a devoted rider. As a teenager Kate started to compete on a horse named ‘Johnny D’. As her talents progressed, Kate competed against equestrian legends like British showjumping champions Harvey Smith and Graham Fletcher in the mid 1960’s.
In 1981, Kate’s horse ‘Picture Palace’ won a Horse of the Year Show Award at Wembley, ridden by Harry Hindle. Kate said, ‘Picture Palace was easy to train, I saw that he had a natural talent. It felt fantastic to win the Horse of the Year Show Award!’
For the next 35 years, Kate continued to train and compete in top national shows. In 1996 Kate moved to Thirsk with her two remaining horses, Bombardier and Oliver Twist, where the three would retire in 2016.
In April 2023, Kate decided to move into Hambleton Grange, where she told her carers all about her incredible equestrian career. When the team at Hambleton Grange asked Kate if she would like to get back in the stables after seven years, Kate couldn’t wait!
Elaine Snowden, the Lifestyle Manager, and Siana Landreth, a care assistant at Hambleton Grange, took Kate to Fox Folly Stables and Livery where they met up with Dawn Parker-Eland, another care assistant who keeps her own horses.
Kate’s memories came flooding back as she petted and fed Moonshine, one of Dawn’s horses – Kate even took Moonshine into the lunging exercise ring to show Dawn her old training techniques.
Kate said, ‘It was wonderful being back at the stables again after so long, I’m so grateful to Dawn and the team for bringing me.
‘Horses are such big animals, not everyone is comfortable around them, but I would love to come again.’
Sandra Anderson, the Home Manager at Hambleton Grange, commented, ‘At Hambleton Grange, our team do everything we can to support our residents in staying engaged in the things they love.
‘When Kate told us all about her astounding career, and showed the team all her beautiful pictures, you could really see the passion in her eyes. It was wonderful to see her get back in the stables.’
To find out more about life at Hambleton Grange, please call 01845 523 837, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the home’s Facebook page.
Hambleton Grange care home, on Station Road in Thirsk, is a purpose-built luxury care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. With an all-inclusive fee and 24-hour, person-centred care, it is rated GOOD by the Care Quality Commission.