Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (33) Love at a Gallop (Part 03)
Chris Harper was from a wealthy Tipton family in the north of the county whose business was making money, lots of money, and they didn’t care what they had to do to make more.
His father wanted to put him in harness the moment he left University.
But he turned his back on the family and the business he despised and instead of University he joined the army.
His father cut him off without a penny and never spoke to him again but he stayed in touch with his mum and his sister via email.
The rest of them didn’t bother to contact him and nor he them and in the Downshire Light Infantry he found a new family.
However when he was 25 years old he got the surprise of his life after the death of his Grandfather.
In his will Chris was left a very large bequest much to his father’s disgust but in an accompanying letter he explained how much he admired Chris’s decision to follow his dream, and how he wished he’d had the courage to follow his own.
He didn’t touch the bequest though despite the sentiments behind it, he had managed without the family’s money for the best part of eight years and saw no reason to change, and so he just banked it until he could decide what to do with it for the best.
But he never quite got around to making any decision until the moment he spoke with the Army Doctors and he knew exactly what he should do with his legacy.
So after he had completed his 12 years in uniform he resigned his commission and set off on the path of his new career.
But it was to prove to be a solitary journey as his fiancé Bella did not share his vision for the future.
He found a suitable piece of land in the Dulcets with the right sized property on it with stables and out buildings that would suit his needs.
It was once upon a time known as Larkspur Farm but for the previous 30 years it had seen no farming done on it and it was gentrified for some city gent and his family to use on weekends.
But the particular gent who owned it lost his shirt in the financial crash and had to sell quickly just at the time Chris was in the market.
It was perfect for his needs, plenty of space and easy access to Brownhill Woods and as luck would happen the inhabitants of Copper Beach Farm were his nearest neighbours.
It wasn’t an easy project to get off the ground but with a lot of help from some good people that he met along the way he did it.
His contact from the Army served him well firstly by securing him 4 retired army horses and then a recommendation from Dr Martin at the rehab facility.
The Downshire’s had pledged to give him first refusal on any retiring horses but as the therapy was for all ages he needed other horses and ponies as well.
As Lynda Radcliffe had a Riding school at Copper Beech he employed her services to teach the novices to ride, this she did at Copper Beach and Larkspur and the two of them became friends.
It was through that relationship and the affable conversations they shared that Lynne suggested using Hazel to retrain his newest acquisitions.