Olympic breeder faces crunch planning ruling

Emma Phillips on Lancelot at Quainton Stud
Emma Phillips on Lancelot at Quainton Stud

A horse breeding and training facility which reared an Olympic gold medal winning stallion will close if permission for it to continue holding exhibition events is not granted.

Quainton Stud owner Emma Phillips says public events have been taking place at the facility for around 17 years, but pressure from parts of the community has resulted in them having to submit an application to continue the tradition.

Among those pressing for this has been Councillor David Vick, Liberal Democrat member for Waddesdon. Mrs Phillips accused him of having a vendetta against Quainton Stud, saying the matter was not an issue before he became involved. Mr Vick declined to comment on the matter.

Mrs Phillips said the stud had not previously applied for planning permission to hold events because the previous owners of the land had held similar exhibitions and she was not aware of the need to do so.

She said the events have been on a slightly larger scale since she and her husband, Michael, took over the site in 2005. Quainton Parish Council has been investigating any irregularities and Aylesbury Vale District Council has advised an application be submitted.

Mrs Phillips said: “I remain very optimistic that the strength of support locally will enable us to get planning permission. But we can’t live on a 300-acre farm and not have any income from it. If the shows stopped we would go out of business.”

Ben Maher rode the stud’s black stallion Triple X to London 2012 showjumping glory, and nearly 750 people have signed an online petition supporting the events at the venue.

But nearby resident Tim Massa said the stud must abide by the rules.

Mr Massa said: “My concern is that the stud doesn’t run out of control and if they are holding serious eventing enterprises they must have the necessary permission in order to do that.”

Quainton Councillor Sue Polhill said the issue has been ‘blown out of proportion’ and that Mrs Phillips had become distressed by complaints against her and the site, particularly from Councillor Vick.