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All in a day’s work: Meet hunter livery yard owner Nicky Chalk *H&H Plus*

Nicky Chalk on busy Saturdays, old-fashioned values and accidental horse-swapping

I started learning to ride at the local riding school when I was 10. A couple of years later a friend lent me a pony and I went out with the South and West Wilts and caught the bug. Once I had my own pony, I used to skive off school to go hunting.

I started doing a few hunter liveries alongside my freelance jobs when I was 19, before setting up my own yard 16 years ago.

I have been working with hunters for 28 years and it has got harder. Owners are more demanding, staff are harder to source and the horses are more difficult. Many horses that arrive from Ireland have had a poor start, so it takes longer to put them right.