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Greg said he would treasure people making memories at Chester Farm when he departs after 31 years. Photo: GORDON PREECE

‘Life-long’ memories at Chester Farm

Generations of families have been taught by equestrian Greg Jamieson at the place he’s trotted for more than three decades.
The owner of Chester Farm in the Maratoto Valley told The Profile he sold the property in December, 2022, and said the fondest memories he’ll have after departing in March will be seeing the thrill people got from riding horses and camping.
“I know from when I was a kid and when I was a horse rider, a place like this would be a dream and the kids get lifelong childhood memories from here,” he said.
“They’ll ride their ponies in the morning and then when it gets hot they swim in the creek all day, and then at night they’re out there with their flashlights running round. That’s the thing you remember as kids.”

Greg bought Chester Farm in partnership with his parents, Pat and Joe Jamieson, in 1991 when it was a 150 acre dairy farm, and after 12 years milking cows he moved to a Pukekohe property where he was a full time horseman.
He then returned to Chester Farm in 2010 and built a house, an arena and equestrian facilities.
“At the height of the busy times we were training over 100 horses a year, and on top of that, we would have clinics and camps where people came and had riding lessons,” he said.
“There would be 30 or 40 clinics over a weekend and then we would have ongoing private lessons through the week as well, so it’s been a pretty busy place over the years.
“I was still a competitor during my time here, I think I produced three grand prix horses and the last horse I’ve got here now is Vollrath Cagall who’s a retired stallion, but he was my last grand prix horse.”
Greg said Chester Farm, which he named after the show jumping horse he rode for New Zealand called Chichester, also featured on Country Calendar in 2017 which roped in many visitors.
“The episode was called Horse Talk and they showcased our equestrian business, and from that we got a lot of national recognition,” he said.
“We got 150 trampers from Auckland that year who camped down in the camping ground for ten days and they weren’t horsey people, they were just camping and there were four generations of families staying there.”
Greg said it was a “fairly hard decision” to sell Chester Farm but he did so to focus on his ConTact C.A.R.E business which rehabilitates animals and people.
“I got to the point where I no longer needed farming facilities and horses for myself because I don’t ride horses anymore and there’s more and more demand for ConTact C.A.R.E work,” he said.
“In the last couple of years I’ve been doing a lot of work in the lower North Island and relocating down to Kāpiti is a way of me taking myself and my work to a place where there’s limited opportunities for people to access ConTact C.A.R.E.
“I’ve had 31 years [at Chester Farm] and we’ve been able to offer a lot to the local equestrian community so I feel like I’ve had my money’s worth out of it and I’m looking forward to moving on to the next adventure.”
Greg said The Supported Life Style Hauraki Trust will take over Chester Farm in March and it plans to continue the legacy.
“They’re looking to have the place still available for the community to hire the camps as part of their long term plan which for me is the perfect scenario,” he said.
“They want to keep the name and they recognise the significance of Chichester and what that means to the farm and I’m excited and happy to hear how it’s going to be taken into the future.”