We're aiming to establish an upmarket, professional stables offering livery and training services to discerning owners. We have taken over a tired establishment which had an average reputation in the locality, but with the owners have completely refurbished the facilities of the site. It is set in the grounds of a 17th Century Manor house so is visually stunning and full of potential for a fresh start. We aim to provide the style of horse care and facilities that we have been searching for in vain over the 20 years we have owned horses, with an over-riding desire to ensure that horses come first. This will be an exclusive operation catering for just 12 horses, so the brand needs to say modern, caring, exclusive, but with enough fun and friendship of an extended family for the owners to feel part of.
We hope this venture at Dunsborough Park will be the first of several, so we'd like to be able to extend the brand to other sites in due course, so O C S @ Dunsborough Park, O C S @ Donlees Vineyards etc etc.
However, we need to get this one off the ground first, so we're not running before we can walk!
We want to demonstrate that we know how to care for horses, show great communication skills so that owners feel involved, and set high standards for organisation, cleanliness and hygiene. Stables will be mainained to a high standard and it will look disciplined but homely.
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Our main market for livery and training services will be typically middle class professionals with significant disposable income. Often they work long week days, so can only ride at weekends and need the confidence that their (expensive and valued) horse is being well looked after while they are not about, and that when they arrive at weekends the horse is fit and ready to ride. They are looking for the atmosphere of a small friendly club, to enhance their hobby.
The secondary market is for more serious riders who want top class facilities to be able to train consistently. They generally have even more expensive horses so again the quality of care and confidence in the carers is essential.
Both will be very brand conscious - and we want to appeal to their sense of style and to create something that they feel proud of being a part of, to be ambassadors for the brand, so capitalise on the location and its image. Being located in an affluent part of Surrey, just 30 minutes from London offers a wide catchment for such owners provided that we can demonstrate we are serious and competent.
First and foremost we need a logo for the brand, to go on the Website (owlbrook-stables.com and owlbrook-competition-stables.com); Print- letterheads, promo leaflets, but also a minimal version for Merchandising - like sweatshirts, t-shirts, embroidered designs etc. If the logo is strong enough to stand without spelling out the full name, that would be great.
So we didn't want something with too many colours, limiting to maybe a palette of 3 or 4 main colours but that says stylish, modern, classy.
The idea of positioning as a 'competition' stables is to elevate and differentiate from yards where the focus is on purely social hacking . There are several competition venues nearby, and the discipline of dressage is generally more refined and classical than show jumping or eventing etc.
Owlbrook is a pure invention, but there is a little brook running behind the stables and there a couple of great Oak tree skeletons in the manor grounds that allegedly attract visiting Owls from many parts of Europe. So it seemed apt. So we have Owlbrook Stables with a Competition theme running through it. Owls are not typically thought of as very athletic birds, but one theme is maybe an Owl with a horseshoe , but we didn't want anything too obvious! Nothing too cartoon-like either, but finding a balance between fun and competitive seriousness will be your challenge.
Otherwise - free hand!
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