There is little doubt Robins Farm Racing can spot a winner. From a standing start one year ago, husband and wife racing professionals, Olly and Hetta Stevens', state-of-the-art training facilities, based on the Surrey/Sussex border, has helped train 17 winners, including one at Royal Ascot.
Attention to detail runs through the lifeblood of the yard and their latest acquisition has turned heads with a caring nod to both old and new. When the couple assessed gallop viewing platforms to fine tune race training, they quickly identified the perfect moveable building, a bespoke Blackdown® Shepherd Hut.
Backed by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani - whose horses carry the colours of Pearl Bloodstock and Qatar Racing and are based at the Robins Farm yard - the ambitious couple eagerly surveyed the shepherd hut market, tasking Blackdown® to provide the high end, gallop viewing facility.
Trainer, Olly Stevens takes the reins to explain, 'A protective covenant in the Robins Farm Deeds restricted building on the area needed for viewing gallops. We thought hard about it and realised a tailor-made, shepherd's hut provides the ideal, weatherproof, raised-base to assess the horses from.'
'Looking at the market, we knew if we chose the right hut specialist, it would be long-lasting and totally in keeping with the stunning local countryside.'
'We own the land, so no planning was needed, and with a moveable structure, the sturdy hut could simply be moved around the gallops at as needed.
The race-winning couple's Blackdown® Shepherd Hut offers the ideal mix of traditional countryside charm, blended with a perfect, cosy, covered platform-structure to fine tune training gallops, that remains unobtrusive to the countryside and an ideal place from where high profile clients can watch their horses train.
Director of Robins Farm Racing, Hetta Stevens said, 'Being new to shepherds huts, we found Blackdown® through a search engine. We quickly realised they had the nation's top shepherd hut know-how, were able to meet our demanding requirements, and that their pricing was highly competitive.'
Olly and Hetta Stevens' hand-crafted, Blackdown® Shepherd Hut was ordered in Feb 2013 and arrived at the end of May.
Built on Blackdown's signature oak chassis, the 16ft by 7ft moveable shepherd hut, has uniquely insulated Thermafleece sheep's wool insulation in the floor, walls and roof cavity, with year-round use achievable thanks to Blackdown's® double-glazed windows, professionally treated double-door and a cosy, Windy Smithy-supplied Louis Ranger wood burner.
Hetta continued, 'Choosing Blackdown® was a logical step. They were great to work with and helped personalise our hut with large windows on the front and both sides, allowing extensive views of the gallops, with floor length glass in the double doors that can be opened wide during the summer months. There is also a log-burning stove, which is lit when we have owners watching work during the winter. The colour of the steps and the natural wood was chosen to match the landscape and it always attracts the delight of our guests.'
Royal Ascot winning trainer, Olly Stevens concluded, 'Our smart Blackdown® hut impresses everyone who sees it. The workmanship is fantastic, it's incredibly versatile and fits perfectly into the surrounding Sussex countryside.'
Established in 2013 by Olly and Hetta Stevens, Robins Farm Racing has rapidly become a major player in the UK and international racing world, targeting major prizes for a wide range of clients.
In the past year, the couple have won more than £214,000 in prize money from 17 winners and 30 placed horses, a Royal Ascot victory plus a Group Two success, all have combined to give the couple a trail-blazing start on the racing circuit.
Blackdown Shepherd Huts/Robins Farm Racing