Ian Winfield

Ian WinfieldIan started life as a Barnardos boy and struggled through his early years in a challenging environment. Ian was well advised by a local policeman to join the British army; he subsequently had a highly successful career in the 2nd Battalion The Queens Regiment, completing distinguished tours of duty in Londonderry Northern Ireland, the Falklands, UN Peacekeeping in Cyprus and many tours in Berlin and other parts of Germany. On leaving the army Ian knew one thing for certain - being very successful means applying the attention and detail he had learned in the army to whichever business he chose.

With little financial resource he started as a bodyguard for celebrities which took him to many nightclubs, and so started the journey from managing other bodyguards and doormen, to hiring out pubs, in time owning his own pub and eventually owning and running a chain of nightclubs, restaurants and pubs. To him it was simple, the discipline of hard work combined with operational skills, selling his product and delivering an extremely high quality service.

With success, Ian made some time for relaxation and his new hobby – riding horses – fitted the bill. Once Ian is passionate about something, there is no stopping him. He bought his own horses and began competing, show jumping and eventing, and having fallen in love with horses and equine sports - the ‘nightclub and pub’ owner decided to give up the ‘fast lane’ licensed trade business in exchange for Oldencraig Equestrian Centre which he purchased in 1998. After 15 years as a nightclub owner/manager it was time to do something he really enjoyed.

Stables at Oldencraig Equestrian Centre

When Ian bought Oldencraig it was a run down and shabby yard, with stables held together with bailing twine, flooring that was crumbled and in parts bare earth. The roofs leaked, drainage was a serious issue and in the paddocks there was a mixture of barbed wire, unkempt hedges and rotting post and rail. Since taking over from the previous owners, Oldencraig has been transformed into one of the most stunning, prestigious and professionally run premier dressage competition and training establishments in Britain with a worldwide reputation for excellence.


Ian Winfield is MC at British Dressage Southern Region Ball

Vicki Thompson, Olympic dressage rider, trainer and 19 time National Champion, moved to Oldencraig in 2001, and Ian and Vicki married in 2008. Oldencraig has a diverse and talented international clientele who benefit from the exceptional facilities.

Ian is a perfectionist; as you look around each section of Oldencraig, from the well designed outdoor schools and stables to the elegant landscaping you will notice how breathtaking the establishment has become. Every requirement is catered for; even a canteen and bar for the comfort of the spectators and riders. The yard is now an eye-catching, immaculately clean yard, which offers its clients and staff a unique experience. The stables are always perfectly kept, the horses immaculate and the whole area is a work of art.

Ian Winfield and Vicki Thompson - WinfieldIan bought Oldencraig to retire and relax but his drive and determination has transformed this equestrian centre - Ian’s quest for perfection has led to Oldencraig being voted the 'Best Show Centre' by British Dressage magazine for a number of years now and this is likely to continue. The dedication to detail, quality and experience for horse and rider is extraordinary.  

Ian is an entrepreneur, an inspirational businessman and a no-nonsense guy who will only accept the best and that is what you can expect if you come to Oldencraig.

If you would like to read more about Ian's career - please follow this link.

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