Take a look at our pictures of Frankton Grounds Farm, the enviable base that enables Ben Way to successfully event at the top-level alongside a full-time job
Frankton Grounds Farm, where Ben grew up, stretches across 200 acres. John Pritchard, Ben’s step-father, farms 450 sheep and 50 cattle. The herd includes Charlie, a cow whom Ben has a soft spot for.
“She was hand-reared and loves attention but she’s getting a bit old now,” says Ben. “We rode her when I was younger — she even bucked my friend off once.”
Working from home
Sometimes Ben, who has a rural land management degree from the Royal Agricultural University, works from home. He is currently Head of Equestrian for property firm Butler Sherborn and is in the Cirencester office from 9am until 5pm.
The yard on his doorstep
The farmhouse’s back door leads into the stable yard. On the other side, a barn is currently being converted for Ben and Sarah to move into in August.
“We’ve designed it ourselves,” says Ben. “I love stepping out of the door and seeing the horses right there.”
There are currently five broodmares, plus a foal by Wish Upon A Star, at Frankton Grounds Farm. Ben’s family have bred many hunters, point-to-pointers and eventers, including Juke Box, who finished eighth in the BE90 grassroots championships with Ben in 2011.
“I’m pro thoroughbred so we’ve kept the mares and are trying to put more movement into them,” explains Ben.
A room in the family’s farmhouse is used as the tack room.
Ben describes Galley Light, who is being aimed at Burghley, as “grumpy but straightforward — anyone can ride him.
“He’s an ex-racehorse but has always been very careful over a fence. I think that’s why he upgraded so easily.”
Four-star amateur event rider, Ben Way shares his secrets to successfully juggling a full-time job and eventing
There is enviable hacking in the surrounding Warwickshire countryside and Ben, who runs a string of 18 eventers alongside his girlfriend Sarah Parkes, can ride for four miles without touching a road.
The gallop track
Ben rides his Badminton partner Galley Light alongside Sarah and her CIC3* campaigner, Balladeer Durban Hills.
The gallop track is on the farm next door, which belongs to Ben’s uncle, Tony. His son, Tom Ellis, will train point-to-pointers from there next season alongside his wife, the 2014/15 national women’s champion, Gina Andrews. Ben used to point-to-point, too, and rode five winners.
Head girl Amber Franklin leads Galley Light out of the walker. Horses are usually waiting for Ben on the walker when he returns from work so that he can get straight on to ride.
Don’t miss our Access All Areas feature with Ben Way in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (16 July 2015)