Daisy and Richard Trayford – Hunting and Maseratis – Eventing Super couple series

Eastern Hay 770x170-March

Daisy and Richard Trayford moved to the United States from the United Kingdom two years ago and since that time they have immersed themselves into the North American Eventing scene, building businesses and competing horses.

They are the owners of Exmoor Eventing and while based in the UK were one of the biggest sellers of Eventing horses, selling well over 1000. They now import horses for resale to the USA, but no longer at the rate they were buying and selling while based in the UK.

“While in the UK we were selling about three a week. In the USA, we don’t really want to be turning over lots of horses because we like to put our stamp on them, which is what we did in the UK, i.e. the hunters that I sold, I took hunting, and the eventers that Daisy sold, she took eventing,” says Richard. “We weren’t just turning over horses even when we did a high volume. In fact, we had several riders that rode at the four-star level on the yard. With that number of horses, we had quite a lot of people working with us or for us. There were usually about six people involved in that business. Now Daisy and I don’t want to be volume sellers in the U.S. We want to produce the best quality horses that we can. Daisy’s just taken on an advanced ride. She’s producing a horse called Cilano, which should be doing well at intermediate anytime soon. We will continue to buy and sell a few, but not intensively. Our focus now is breeding horses,” says Richard.

Richard and Daisy are fans of the Irish sport horse. They have imported two of the best mares they could find in Ireland and are shipping in frozen semen from some of the best stallions the sport offers. With four on the ground and two more coming this spring they know it will be a slow process but they are enjoying the journey.

“We think Irish horses are the best. Usually when top riders look back, they’ll see that there’s an Irish horse that’s been successful in their past. And what we want is to continue that traditional approach to event horses, not go with trends, but go with what we always believe is and will be the best type of horse for the sport of Eventing. We’ve never been into a fast buck, and so what we want to do is to start producing horses the old-fashioned way. The only difference is, they’ll have been bred and produced in the United States. We like to be measured by the success of the horses.”

Daisy competes the horses they import and at most shows she is competing a few and is more often than not in the ribbons. The horses they import, they show at the level they have been competing in the UK.

The Trayfords purchased Equiventures last year and have been organizing USEA recognized horse trials at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala for the last two seasons. This year, the second horse trial of the season at the park broke all records for the most entries ever at a USEA show. Richard is bringing a revitalized approach to the venue. Richard says, “My job as an organizer is to keep our courses fresh and exciting. We want to surprise riders and give them a valuable experience when they come to our courses. Riders coming to the FEI event in April won’t even know where the show jumping’s going to be, let alone what it looks like. They won’t know what the cross-country course is going to be because I put polite pressure on what is proving to be a very, very good team, which is Jay Hambly… Jay Hambly is probably the best guy in the world to be building courses at the Florida Horse Park.”

Richard continues, “We don’t ever leave our audience behind. We all know that for every rider, there are typically other people involved. Sometimes mom, dad, and a groom or other denominations. I try to remember that for everyone out there on the course, there are three other people doing something else. We want the course to be presentable, as though you were coming to my house for dinner, not looking like a shoddy mess, and to add color to the fences and a bit of creativity to every aspect of it. But most importantly, keep it fresh.”

Equiventures will be organizing the Ocala Horse Properties International CCI1* and CCI2* from April 8 -12 and will likely enjoy record attendance as this is the year of the 2015 Pan Am Games. This show will be a CCI2* qualifier for the American and Canadian teams, as well as many other riders from some of the South American nations. Richard and Daisy are planning a top-notch show with great courses, commentators, food and entertainment. It will be a show catering to riders, fans and families. So plan your trip to Florida to catch some good weather and riding from some of North America’s best Eventers.

Richard and Daisy unplugged
This pair is friends with many of the top riders in the world as a result of contacts made through Exmoor Eventing and of course living and competing in the UK. However, many may not know that one of their most famous clients is the one and only Madonna. After buying a couple of horses from the Trayfords, Madonna hired Daisy to teach her on her new mounts. They became friends with Madonna and Guy Richie, socializing at each other’s homes and hanging out just like regular people. When Richard and Daisy married, Madonna hired Stella McCartney to design Daisy’s wedding dress. Daisy and Richard were sporting enough to share their love story with us leading up to the wedding.

Where did you meet?
Richard: We met on horseback. Actually, we met hunting originally. I met Daisy the first time at the Quantock Staghounds. Yeah, Daisy was coming one way at a hundred miles an hour on a horse, and I was going the other way, probably a little bit slower. And that was the first time I ever met her. Then we worked together for a while, and sometime later, probably five or six years later, we ended up getting married.

Where did you go on your first date?
He took me out in his Maserati on our first date. He took me out for a spin.

Who said ‘I love you’ first?
Oh, did we ever say it? No, we’re jaded. We’ve been married for a long time. It must’ve been me. I’m very romantic.

Where’s the most romantic place you  have been?
Daisy: Blair Castle

Richard: Yeah. Daisy did a three-star up at Blair Castle. So, that was kind of romantic because it’s a beautiful place. I had my bicycle stolen, which wasn’t too romantic, but it was a lovely experience going up there the first time.

To contact the Trayfords:
Equiventures    Exmoor Eventing  Daisy’s  Twitter


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