Turville Valley Stud was founded some forty years ago by the late Nan Thurman, and was originally a riding school for children. However, for the past thirty years it has been specialising in training horses and riders influenced by traditional Portuguese Classical methods.
Nan and her husband, Eric, fell in love with the Lusitano horse after a chance trip to Portugal. At the time the breed was not well known in the UK, but return trips were made by Nan and her daughters, Angela and Diane, to learn more about these beautiful Iberians and the Portuguese way of training. Soon four stallions and two mares made their way to Turville and the centre became one of the leaders in breeding and training Lusitanos.
Nan sadly died of Leukaemia in 1995 and the yard passed to Angela (Fois) and Diane (Thurman-Baker). Both Angela and Diane have competed successfully in various disciplines. Starting with The Pony Club, they were in show jumping, eventing and mounted games teams. Later they moved to BSJA, British Eventing and British Dressage. Diane was also on the first British Team for working Equitation on the home bred son of Diabo, ‘Lucca’.
Angela and Diane have two daughters each who all ride and are successful in different disciplines. Angelas eldest, Lauren, has taken to showjumping and is now also a Pilates instructor. Dianes girls do dressage and have both already represented Great Britian. Samantha, 20, is riding her home produced horse Spring Pascal at Grand Prix and has just finished a year working for Carl Hester gaining fantastic experience. Joanna is still at school but rides Piko whilst Sophie, the speedy ‘Arty’ one, is at University but also playing Horseball!
The yard is calm and well organised and is set in the beautiful village of Turville, nestled in the Chiltern Hills. A small team keep everything running smoothly and both Angela and Diane live ‘on site’, one on either side of the stables, so there is 24-hour supervision.
There are two very good outdoor arenas, one 20m x 40m and one 20m x 60m. Horses that come for schooling are kept stabled. Turnout is limited in the winter, but for the rest of the year all the horses, including the stallions, get to have play in the field.
Although there are a few stallions on the yard no stud work takes place here. Any ‘stud’ stallions go away for the covering season.
Angela and Diane are on the yard most of the time except when they are at competitions with their daughters. (See Horses in Competition).
Turville Valley Stud is a British Horse Society and Association of British Riding Schools Approved Establishment.