From Animal Aunts to the Olympics!
In 1995, Sarah Heaton-Armstrong and her boyfriend Adrian Ditcham joined Animal Aunts as house and animal sitters. They both had lots of experience with all sorts of animals and were specialists with horses. Sarah’s father owned a riding school so she was virtually born on a horse! The work suited them as they were growing their own Event Course Building business at the same time. I remember Sarah approaching me to ask if she could work in the office which, at the time wasn’t necessary. But she covered holidays for a while and then worked in the Animal Aunts office with us for several happy years, while Adrian was building fences and courses all over the country. Adrian and Sarah were married in 2002 and now have two gorgeous children!
In her own words “About 20 years ago, while at Badminton Horse Trials, I located the Willis Brothers (the world famous cross country course builders) and introduced myself and (a reluctant 😉 Adrian as new course builders, who would one day build the Olympic track. And they sort of sniggered at the young girl before them. But now … HERE WE ARE :)))”
British Eventing announced “A team of course builders who are collectively known as “London Eventing” are responsible for building the Cross Country course at Greenwich for both the Test Event and the Games this summer. (if you can call it summer)
The team are made up of some of the most respected horse trials course builders in the UK, Jonathan Clissold, Adrian Ditcham, Andrew Hunter and Scott Brickell between them are responsible for the cross country tracks at numerous British Eventing one day evens and several international events, and also one of the World’s biggest events, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.”
We are so proud of Adrian and Sarah for their achievements and really look forward to seeing the course at the Olympics!
Have a look at the whole course here: there really is no end to the talents of our Animal aunts past and present.