The Deptford Family have been farming for three generations on these premises around the March area and have always had a very close affection for horses.
Horse breeding has been part of the Deptford family farming for at least 6 decades. They have a history for breeding great horses from Suffolk Punches to famous show ponies. In the 1970’s Holly of Spring, a horse bred by Mr. Albert Deptford (David’s grandfather) was winner of Show Pony of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show held at Wembley Arena, for 3 consecutive years, a feat that has never been done before or since. Many great show ponies competing today come from Mr. A. Deptford’s breeding programme.
David and Sarah Deptford were married in 1986 and at that time, whilst working on the family farm they started with 2 quarter horse brood mares and ploughed everything back into the business to be able to purchase top class stock stallions and brood mares from the USA. These have exceptional pedigrees and have produced numerous national and international winners, which is following in the family tradition.
During the 2000’s the Deptford Family realised to help promote The American Quarter Horse and western riding there was a need for a purpose built arena with great footing. Originally built to train from and host their own All Breed western shows , the lack of suitable facilities for Western shows (reining in particular needs a loose sand surface rather than the sticky surface that most large arenas have been changing to) meant that for several years Horse Creek Farm was the ONLY suitable arena to hold affiliated western events. Horse Creek Farm hosted near enough every major Western show for several years until other venues became available. The western riding competitors and show organisers were very grateful for the arena so that the popularity of American Quarter Horses and Western riding continued to grow steadily.
David wasn’t quite born on a horse, but he rode from a very early age. He was always interested in Western riding, probably due to his Father Henry’s interest, there are photos of David aged around 3 years old sitting on one of his Grandfather’s ponies on a western saddle! His first “western pony” was another of his Grandfather’s ponies “Jenny Wren” an elegant grey mare, who had shown successfully under English tack, but who David rode Western as a youth, before moving on to American Quarter Horses. “Old Timers” from the AQHA UK (American Quarter Horse Association UK – of which David is a former Chairman, and council member) remember the days when David was one of two youth riders – how times have changed, the popularity of Western and the influx of youth riders has a lot to do with David and Sarah, as they have mentored and trained many of the youth riders who are successful trainers both here in the UK and in the USA, and they have always offered their time and facilities and horses for youth training camps and clinics.
Competitively, David has represented Great Britain several times in the reining arena. He is a true all around competitor always training his horses, whatever discipline they are bred for, to be able to go in Trail, Halter, Hunter Under Saddle and Ranch Riding classes. David is one of only a handful of people worldwide who has earned AQHA Champion Awards (which are presented to horses who earn points in Halter, and performance classes) with two of his stallions, Jays Smokin Story and Snippers Heirogance. Snipper made the news in the USA by becoming the oldest horse to win this award (at 24 years old) and earned an article in the USA Journal.
With the introduction of the AQHA Ranch Riding classes, David with his home bred horses has become a force to be reckoned with, winning both in the UK and at the European Championships. David is also renown for producing Halter champions – including breeding, showing and producing a Superior Halter Horse. He believes in correct conformation being the most important thing when breeding a horse, and the Halter (in hand classes) that he and his horses win prove his long standing breeding programme is working.
A breeder of American Quarter Horses for over 25 years, David and Sarah’s Sovereign bred horses continue to promote the breed everywhere they go. David is a master showman, and sought after for demonstrations with the team. Multiple visits to Your Horse Live, the Dressage Champions, Dubai, Central London, the London Excel Centre. He and his horses prove that you can go anywhere with an American Quarter horse.
Sarah also grew up around horses, showing ponies to County Show Level and working for Davina Whiteman, where she honed her first class presentation skills. Meeting David, he introduced her to Western and American Quarter Horses and together they founded Sovereign Quarter Horses. A successful competitor in All Around events with several horses, Sarah took a step back from competing whilst David and Sarah’s daughters Amy and Eleanor were young. She may not have been competing at that time but she was and is the power behind the turnout and the success of their young stock showing in Halter. You would see David in the ring, but Sarah would be there with her brush turning the horses out. As their daughters grew older (and became successful competitors themselves) Sarah returned to the show ring with several of the horses who now make up the Sovereign lesson horses team. Sarah, like David is a true All Around competitor her horses show in different events and many Year End Awards and World Show Qualifications followed in multiple events.
Sarah has a love of Trail, Ranch Riding and Reining, and normally has a young horse to show when time permits. She’s a UKCC Coach and is very popular being able to successful bridge the learning experience for people trying western for the first time having ridden English before.
Olivia Lochhead is the Sovereign Assistant Trainer. From Scotland she successfully competed as part of the AQHA UK Youth Team in Australia in 2016 before turning professional and making her home in Cambridgeshire.
An integral part of the team, she starts the young horses, in fact one of the horses she started “White Faced N Blazin” earned Bronze in Junior Ranch Riding at the 2017 European Championships (with David in Silver position).
We continue to search for the next generation at all times.